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Thread: ndfilters

  1. #1

    Default ndfilters

    Recommend me some ndfilters... preferably something that would work with all my lenses?
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    Legend Janke's Avatar
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    Cokin or similar* square filters and filter holder, suitable adapter** rings for each of the lenses.

    Or, large, say 77mm or 82mm filters and step-up** rings for all lenses.

    There's not much use buying a 1-stop (ND 0.3) filter, I'd go for a 2-stop (ND 0.6) and a 3-stop (ND 0.9). Combine them if necessary to a 5-stop (ND 1.5).



    *Cheap ebay copies aren't very good, especially for 18 mpix stills. They distort and soften the image a bit. (Personal experience, but no big loss at only $3.50 each... )

    ** Adapter rings can safely be bought cheaply from ebay sellers, since they don't affect image quality.
    Last edited by Janke; 2012 February 6th at 14:40.


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    http://www.ebay.com/itm/260771224123

    And a full set of step-up adapters for all your lenses.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    One thing about coking filters and holder: if you lens rotate, then it's not a great idea, as the holder will also rotate with it. That's why a matte box is a good idea. Should have kept it last time.
    Other than this, any ebay filter holder would do. Also, I've used a cheap ebay ND filter on both the HV and the T2i without problems or major quality loss.
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    Cheap ND filters can very easily cause a color shift, especially if "stacked". The very cheapest quality glass ND filter I would consider would be Tiffen and Tiffen has a fair reputation. I went with 52mm and 58mm Tiffen .6 and .9 (the main lenses I use for video are primes in those two filter sizes) and when I "stack" the two strengths for a 5 stop reduction I get a very slight magenta color shift.

    Not very noticeable but it is there although it is easily correctable in post if needed.

    Cheap non glass (acrylic resin supposedly optical quality) can also kill some definition. So cheap ebay filters...I won't go there.

    Bruce Foreman

    I am a reforming videomaking addict

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    Get yourself the Light Craft Workshop Vari ND (the 77 or 82mm size). no colour fringing, works with all your current and future lenses and you'll never have to change ND's while shooting, just rotate the front ring to dial in the ND you want.
    add a couple step up rings for your lenses (ebay is your friend) for a few dollars and you're set.
    I use my VariND for every daylight outdoor shoot. It's become an essential part of my kit.

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    I originally paid $60 for a Chinese variable ND filter last year. When I saw that LCW dropped their prices, I bought one of theirs for $72 a few months ago. The difference was huge. I sold my Chinese filter after that and bought a second LCW. Definitely worth the price difference.

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    They do carry a new, more professional version too. Did not my hands on that one yet, I forbid myself to look at it more in depth within the next months .
    I'm looking for a way to add hard stops as I do not want to constantly look whether its at either of the maxima or beyond, which would decrease or increase the effect again.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Here's what I've been able to do (quick test) this morning. I'll try to give it a try outside tomorrow with the tripod to test a proper comparison between ND et high shutter speed matched stills.

    So far it doesn't seem (to me though) to be such a bad investment. There's a slight color shift but it can be easily be corrected in post using the Hue/Saturation plugin.

    The things I'll need to put to the test will be:
    1) Resolution Loss
    2) Whole Image Degradation
    3) Color Shift strength

    So far, it seems fair for the price, but I'll try to post a deeper review/comparison tomorrow.
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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Interesting article.
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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bif View Post
    Cheap non glass (acrylic resin supposedly optical quality) can also kill some definition. So cheap ebay filters...I won't go there.
    Not that I want to sound arrogant, but here's one still I've took today in a photo shoot for the schoolplaying where charlie's kid was today:


    ND8 x2
    ISO:200
    Shutter Speed: 1/125th
    Aperture: f/3.8
    Focal length: 75mm

    Here's one straight without the ND filters:


    No ND filters
    ISO:100
    Shutter Speed: 1/2000th
    Aperture: f/3.8
    Focal length: 75mm

    So as I wanted to show, it doesn't change much the colors (a little bit on the magenta) and it doesn't affect much on the whole quality (almost no degradation). Sure it's a little less "sharp" because of 2 layers of "glass" in front of the lens, but not as worst as I thought when I read your post Bruce.
    So far, it does the job for me, especially for the price!
    Last edited by Marc-Alexandre Drapeau; 2012 April 5th at 22:17.
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    Marc,

    The only thing I see when I "stack" 2 glass Tiffen ND filters besides the 5 stop reduction in light transmission, is a very slight magenta color cast. Sometimes not even really noticeable. While there is a "theoretical" degradation of image detail, in a very practical sense you and I won't be able to really see it.

    Now that's with the Tiffen ND filters I have. That brand is about the lowest quality I'll take a chance on.

    If you can "pixel peep" and not see any problem you're in good shape. The filter makers with a reputation to maintain go to great lengths to be sure the glass they use is optically flat.

    Bruce Foreman

    I am a reforming videomaking addict

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bif View Post
    The only thing I see when I "stack" 2 glass Tiffen ND filters besides the 5 stop reduction in light transmission, is a very slight magenta color cast. Sometimes not even really noticeable. While there is a "theoretical" degradation of image detail, in a very practical sense you and I won't be able to really see it. [...] The filter makers with a reputation to maintain go to great lengths to be sure the glass they use is optically flat.
    1) I get that slight color cast too, with these cheap filters.
    2) It's not very noticeable in most of the shots, just when I compared them to other shots without the filters.
    3) Theoreticaly, because I haven't seen much of a difference so far. Even if they are cheap resin filters, now I don't feel the need to get "optical flat" from the "well-known" brand glasses. I couldn't tell myself if these weren't my own stills.
    4) As I said, I don't see much of a difference with these cheap filters, and as you said with your Tiffen, they act in a very similar way, so no need for me to "invest/waste" money in more expensive filters, as these serves me well so far.
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

  14. #14
    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    I thought about it during the weekend: as the Canon DSLR (using Magic Lantern) have the ability (through the ML menu) to manually white balance (WBShift):
    Attachment 15150
    WhiteBalance Shift on magic lantern wiki:
    WhiteBalance: 1500...15000
    Kelvin white balance.
    On 60D, extended range (*) is only available in Movie mode and LiveView. For still pictures, Kelvin WB will be clamped to the native range (2500...10000).
    Push-button white balance: in LiveView, press Q to auto-tune Kelvin value for the current scene. ML will use the center (200x200 pixels rectangle) as reference gray.
    WBShift G/M: Green 0..9 / Magenta 0..9 Green-Magenta white balance shift. Useful for fluorescent lighting. Use the Q button for auto-tuning.
    WBShift B/A: Blue 0..9 / Amber 0..9
    Blue-Amber white balance shift. 1 unit = 5 mireks on Kelvin axis, according to this post.
    Then, adjusting magentas, cyan and other colors, using cheap ND filters isn't really an issue as it can be "fixed" directly in cameras. Even if it's not the best way to do it, it can be done without major color correction work in post.
    Just wanted to share.
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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    All right, as Janke previously suggested:
    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    *Cheap ebay copies aren't very good, especially for 18 mpix stills. They distort and soften the image a bit.
    Original no-filters, ISO 100, 1/4000, f/1.8:

    100% Crop:



    2x ND8filter, ISO 100, 1/125, f/1.8:

    100% Crop:


    2x ND8filter + 1x ND4filter, ISO 100, 1/50, f/1.8:

    100% Crop:



    Overall:
    1) You loose definition, but nothing exceptional. Less than I'd thought.
    2) There's color cast, but simply because of the filters. 3x filters doesn't add more color cast.
    3) For less than 30$ for a filter set, cokin holder and 52mm ring, you can shoot using DSLR outdoor with a slight color correction in post:
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drapeama View Post
    Original no-filters, ISO 100, 1/4000, f/1.8:
    Seems not very sharp. Something doesn't sound right...

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    Focus error, apparently.


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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 View Post
    Seems not very sharp. Something doesn't sound right...
    Can be my error, but so far I've simply only added/removed the filters in front of the lens. As it was my Nikon 50mm (quite short lens), I can't see how I would have accidently touched the focus ring...as it's not much easy to adjust to start with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    Focus error, apparently.
    Could it be that there was too much light that hit the lens at that shutter speed and ISO? Just asking, because I'm pretty sure I never touched the focus...
    That being said, at f/1.8 it's not as crisp as it would be at f/5.6 or f/8.0...like many lenses.
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    like many lenses
    Like all lenses!
    The 1.8 is said to be tad sharper wide open than the 1.4. However, I got great images with the 1.4 at about 2.8 and down.
    The rule of thumb is that lenses are the sharpest roughly two stops away from their largest aperture.

    BTW: As an old Nikonian, I have to cringe when you write about Nikon lenses. They are called Nikkors (and you can leave the "lens" qualifier away).
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    Quote Originally Posted by drapeama View Post
    I'm pretty sure I never touched the focus...
    Well it does look quite out-of-focus. Better make a new test...


  21. #21
    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    Well it does look quite out-of-focus. Better make a new test...
    And if I do another one, with same settings and results, will you believe me? =P
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    Yes, but it would still be unbelievable...

    Question: Did you focus with or without filters? If the filter(s) affect focusing, then you should re-focus when shooting without... Vice versa also applies.


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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    Question: Did you focus with or without filters? If the filter(s) affect focusing, then you should re-focus when shooting without... Vice versa also applies.
    With. I'll try to adjust it with cranked up shutter speed next time, to be sure. I've used the filters because I've set everything correct to start recording: 1/50th, ISO 100 and f/1.8.
    I'll try to redo the test on the next sunny day. It's rainy today and probably tomorrow too.
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Janke, what would be the best filter set to get?
    So far, I have some Cavision filters in my aim. My question is, using f/1.8 lens with the intention to shoot at minimum ISO and average of 1/50th shutter speed, what would be the filters to get (1.5, 0.9, 0.6) and how many of each?
    So far, here's my B&H whishlist.
    Any recommendation are welcome!
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    How many filters can you stack in your box? Start with a 1, 2, 3 - stop kit. If you can stack them all on top of each other, you'll have a total of six stops. How many stops do you actually need?
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