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Who uses filters?

RalllyFan

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And which ones? Any negative effects?

The other day I shot a few test pics with an old polarizer from my film days. I guess there is some merit to when a filter says 'for digital' as the pics looked a bit crummy. I should have saved them for show and tell but I was a bit frustrated and formatted the memory card right away.

Anyway, I've been wanting a circular polarizer and a few ND filters. Anything anyone recommends that's not quite in the B&W price range? It's been forever since I bought a filter (besides UV), so I'm not sure who the major players/best brands are these days.
 

snkenai

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Been at this about 50 years and have tried many different filters. I just don't use them. I'm not pro., just a hobbyist. But it was just too much trouble, for the limited results I got, and I always seem to get a bit less image quality. Just me.
 

Poki

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I consider ND filters and polarizers as absolutely essential for landscape photography. As far as I tried ND fikters are pretty good even the cheaper ones. Well, cheap ones ruin your white balance, but you shoot raw after all, right?

Spend more money on the polarizer though - I had bad experiences with some of them.

UV and Skylight filters are also less critical - except for some flare in cheaper filters they don't make any problems.
 

Bimjo

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A UV filter for those times when the front of the lens will get mucked up. Note to self: Get a 39mm UV filter for the CVs.

A CP for those times you want to see through water, not record the reflection. Also useful for taking the shine of foliage.

A ND to slow things down (like a waterfall), or making people disappear from a scene (or turn them into ghosts).

Maybe some ND grads, because it's different than a HDR for a sunset/sunrise.

That'd be it. Probably used less than 5% of the time.

ymmv
 

SRHEdD

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30 years ago, my photography teacher instilled in us, "Put less between the image and the film." and " 1 good shot in a roll of 36 is a very high average." No filters here in general use,

BUT...

Some lenses look more open in the front than others. The Oly 14-150 looked prone to dust, so does the Sony 16-50. THEN I'll put a very high quality filter on the front as a dust barrier, especially on day trips and trail rides. Nikon on my Nikons, or Heliopan/B+W, usually. Looking at Sony's now quality-wise.
 

Joshua Cairns

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I use ND filters for video, but for photography, just a polarizer. A polarizer is most definitely a must for landscape photography, and - in general - I've found it to be great for all around outdoor photography when the sun is high. Clouds are preserved.
 

Dioptrick

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I used to put a UV filter in every lens I've even owned, but I don't do it now as a general rule. I shoot with bare front glass these days, because I often either shoot into the light or do night/dark photography without flash.

In saying that, I will use a Polarizer or a UV filter when necessary.

Something worth considering (with smaller diameter filter rings, like the 49mm on the native SELs), is to buy 'ultra-slim rimmed' filters because it doesn't take much filter rim thickness to encroach into the field of view and vignette - especially the SEL16.
 

christilou

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Once upon a time when I had an Olympus OM10, I used a UV filter. Latterly, I've read so much about them degrading the image unless you spend lots of money on a good make that I've neglected to use any at all.
 

applemint

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One of the legacy lenses I bought had a uv filter on it (actually quite a few have had one) but this particular one was filthy with all sorts of dirt encrusted on it - however when I screwed it off the glass underneath was pristine - so I guess they can serve a useful purpose. :)

For polarisers and ND I got Kood and Hoya as the 'not too expensive but not cheap and horrible either' option.
 

Jefenator

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I've been rather filter lazy and I tend to just use UV filters as screw-on lens caps.

For certain effects, we now have some very compelling software-based alternatives. For instance, yellow, orange & red filters to darken the sky for B&W landscapes. Also, Lightroom has a graduated filter tool that has become indispensable to me and has effectively erased any desire to mess around with that at the capture stage.
 

RalllyFan

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
For certain effects, we now have some very compelling software-based alternatives. For instance, yellow, orange & red filters to darken the sky for B&W landscapes. Also, Lightroom has a graduated filter tool that has become indispensable to me and has effectively erased any desire to mess around with that at the capture stage.
I agree, but there's still no good replacement for an ND or polarizer. And I try to do as little PP as possible. The grad filter and the little magic masking brush thingy in LR4 are amazing tools, though.

It seems like everyone has the same mixed feelings that I do. I guess there's no other way to smooth waves in the ocean, so I'll have to pick up a few ND filters. Never heard of Kood before, I'll have to check them out. It looks like Tiffen and Hoya are still pretty good makes as well if you stay away from their cheaper offerings.
 

freddytto

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Hi I have a UV filter for dust protection when I'm using my all lenses in 49mm, also I have a Hoya ND4, but hardly use it, I bought some welding glasses, to save money, because they are very expensive, to use long exposures in the day.

A friend of Spain, Gabino Cisneros had made some incredible photographs, using these glasses (only in B / W) and let me tell you that are incredible long exposures.
I think sometimes as amateur photographers we can make a excellente work with simpler tools, just need more creativity, a bit of courage to try it and enjoy it, also practice more practice, that is what we like, that is photography.
some examples.
This is his blog, take a minute and watch, more inspiration.
Gabino Cisneros. Imagine-ando...: Calas de Roche.


Solo... | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 

Grisu_HDH

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I use a circular pol filter from Doerr and ND8 gray filter from Serk.
Didn't spent too much for them cause I don't need them very often.
But B+W still is agood choice and worth the money.
Just make sure that the filters are made for digital use and try to get slim versions when using wide angle lenses...
 

Orange

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It's not Orange!
As mentioned by some already, I too always had a UV filter permanently attached to all of my lenses as a matter of course, cheaper to replace a filter than a front element! However I'm not such a fan anymore. Though I would still consider it if I had any fast, expensive lenses with a large front element.

A polarizer is always an excellent filter to keep in the bag, not just for landscapes either. Wonderful rich, contrasty colours in the sun. I too am not a big fan of post production, prefer to do as much in-camera as possible, though that's purely a personal choice of course.
You will need a CIRCULAR polarizer (as opposed to LINEAR) however, I think this is for the autofocus and metering systems to function correctly.

I've always used HOYA (pro series are considerably better) filters in the past, though the high end models can be expensive in the larger sizes, though you can normally get a bargain on eBay, I always do.

I've no experience of other brands but am confident (after many years as a hobbyist photographer) that the likes of KOOD, B+W, HOYA etc are all good. If you've an interest in landscapes then Cokin kit system is also very handy! Cokin - holder mounts to the front of your lens, then a square filter slots in, ideal for graduated filters, plus you can insert more than one!!!

Well hope all that helps!
 

NickCyprus

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Bringing this back to the top, 'cause I don't know anything about filters in general and the MD 35-70 f/3.5 I received today came with a Hoya HMC 55mm Skylight (1B) filter...

Besides the obvious benefit on protecting the lens glass, is there any other advantages in using this particular filter? Do I need it or to word it better when would I need it?

Thanks
-Nick
 

Poki

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Bringing this back to the top, 'cause I don't know anything about filters in general and the MD 35-70 f/3.5 I received today came with a Hoya HMC 55mm Skylight (1B) filter...

Besides the obvious benefit on protecting the lens glass, is there any other advantages in using this particular filter? Do I need it or to word it better when would I need it?

Thanks
-Nick
I use a Hoya Skylight (1B) filter on my 24mm CZ lens for a year now. It certainly doesn't have a positive effect (it may make some shots look warmer, but your white balance will negate this) more than protecting the lens. It does, however, reduce your resolution. By measurements I found it only is able to resolve about 85% as good as a near-perfect lens (which is quite good for a filter, btw) on the 16 MP sensor Sony uses in many cameras, and this seems to be about in line with what I've seen, so I started taking it off when shooting important landscapes, but it's nice to have in most other occasions.
 

Grisu_HDH

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Just a nice thing to protect the lens.
Technically you won't have any advantages from a UV or Skylight filter an a digital camera...
That's what I know, but I thing many experts out there ar arguing for years about this issue...
 
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