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View Full Version : Some advice on Filters needed, Please.


bully74uk
4th September 2008, 08:55 AM
I need some advice regarding filters.

I had a UV filter on my old bridge camera but didnít buy it myself, it came as part of the package.

I keep seeing mentions of Polarising Filters and ND Grad Filters but donít have any idea on what they do or what type of photography (landscape, portrait etc) they are best suited to.

Can anyone give me some brief information on the type of filters available and what they are best suited for?

Any information on what would be a good selection of filters to buy for my E510 would also be appreciated? At present I only have the two kit lenses so I think im right in saying that I will require 58mm filters?

I would like to attempt some of the classic milky water effect shots on rivers and waterfalls and understand that I may need some type of filter in order to block out some light and get the longer exposures required?

Oh and any links to a good site that explains the use of filters would also help?

Thanks in advance,

knikki
4th September 2008, 10:18 AM
A quick lesson and hopefully someone might be able to stick a couple of links in as well :D

Polorising Filter. These act just like there sunglass counter parts, so will cut down on reflections in windows or water. Will also make blue skys bluer (on sunny days) and bring out the clouds. Can also be used to increase colour saturation on autumn days even if the sun is hiding behind the clouds.
You can get them made by the like of Hoya, B&W, Cokin, Hitech etc just depends on your pocket and all work by attaching them to the front of the camera and then rotating them. As you look thought the view finder you can see the effects described above.

ND Grads or Neutral Density Graduated filter. These are usually square in shape and work well in Landscape photography and come in a variety of strength from 1 stop to 3 stop. Top half grey bottom half clear
Ever taken a shot where the sky is right but the land is to dark? well a ND Grad would help as it evens out the exposure, nice skys and detail in the foreground. ND filters do not alter the colour of the image (unless you get some really cheap ones, then you can get a cast)

ND Filters: These look grey over all and come in a variety of strengths. You can use these to cut the light down when doing long exposures to get that milky effect. You can get them from less than 1/2 stop to over 20 stop (doing astronomical photography of the sun I think).
So for example you have a meter reading of 1 sec add say ND 10 (10 stop) and you now have a time of 384 secs (my maths is not great) so you should get "milky water" with that. Mind you with very long exposures you may start to get noise artifacts or reciprocity failure in colour but convert to Black and White may solve this.

Hope that helps a bit

Chillimonster
4th September 2008, 10:23 AM
I Tend to use a UV filter on all of my lenses (more for protection than anything else)

In my bag i always have

Circular Polariser filter for darkening blue skies / getting rid of reflections in glass etc.

ND4 & ND8 (Neutral Density filters) - Basically a solid colour filter that stops some of the light getting through, thus allowing longer shutter speeds, or wider apatures in bright light, and allowing the long exposures with water, creating the "milky" effect you mentioned.


Some people also carry a Graduated ND filter so that the skies can be darkened while maintaining the details in the foreground.


As for makes i always use KOOD filters as they are the right price between quality and price.


Chris

j.baker
4th September 2008, 10:46 AM
Different lenses may have different filter ring sizes.

From 52mm to 67mm and larger.

For most of my lenses I use the Hoya HCM UV filter

58mm for £9.99 from 7day shop

http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=777_1&products_id=99684

Kood are good (hey it rymes), Hoya and B&W are also good. Watch out for clones/copies on ebay, and try to avoid no name filters.

I use UV on my lenses (bar the bigma), and also use Polarisers when needed. If you have an old polariser, you may have problems unless it is circular and not linear. It can mess up the auto-focus and metering.

Remember, you get what you pay for.

bully74uk
4th September 2008, 11:41 AM
Great advice, thank you.

HughofBardfield
4th September 2008, 11:57 AM
I belong to the "keep a UV filter on the lens" fraternity. I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, as you can always whip it off if shooting into the light, but gunk on the front element can be hard to shift. Flare does seem to be more of a problem with digital than with film, presumably because of the highly reflective sensor bouncing light around inside the lens/ filter. However the "UV" / "no UV" debate generates passions of almost religious intensity, so be warned! :)

Other than these, I use entirely Cokin/ Kood P size so I only need to carry around one set of filters (and adaptor rings) for all of my lenses. The 11-22 vignettes quite badly at the wide end with the standard filter holder, so it's worth getting either the Cokin "wide" holder (or chopping the front couple of slots off a cheap Cokin holder clone with a Dremel) if you have a wider lens. Don't know if this also affects the 12-60 at the wide end.

I use ND Grads a lot, and the Cokin versions can give colour cast problems, although I've only really noticed this on the E1 (fixable with a saturation tweak in Lightroom). "Zuiko" tells me that Hi Tech filters - 85mm to fit the Cokin P system - don't have this problem. He kindly offered to let me try them - but I haven't had the chance to take him up on his offer yet!

knikki
4th September 2008, 12:21 PM
Yep I can vouch for the Hi Tech filters as well, really like them

PetePassword
8th December 2008, 10:31 AM
Has anyone any advice on quality of UV filters? They seem to vary in price between £1.40 and £68.49 at Twenga for 58mm ones, but which to choose? Could one costing £1.40 be any good?

HughofBardfield
8th December 2008, 02:12 PM
Let me put it this way - would you really want to put a £1.40 piece of glass in front of even a £100-ish kit lens? Let alone a £400+ 14-54? How much is left over from the manufacturing costs of the mount to pay for the glass itself, I wonder? :)

UV filters are a mixed blessing: they keep rain, dust and crud off the front element, but can introduce reflections and flare. The super-expensive versions may be better than the middleweight division, but I strongly suspect we are into diminishing returns when we get beyond the better Hoyas and B+Ws. No filter is completely proof against flare and other problems, and the filter is best removed when not actually needed (indoors, for eg). I would go for the middle ground and avoid the extremes - I have a mix of Hoya HMC, Marumi and Olympus (on my OM lenses) and they are all fine.

PetePassword
8th December 2008, 03:06 PM
About what I was thinking - the £1.40 question was rhetorical!:o I'll go for what I can afford, which is normally the best option. It does seem a bit hit and miss though, with so many and with such a range of prices, and not knowing anything about the names' reputation.

Wreckdiver
8th December 2008, 10:45 PM
I belong to the "keep a UV filter on the lens" fraternity.

A few months ago I dropped one of my cameras and the front of the lens took the knock. It was one of my compacts and, as always, I had a UV filter fitted. The filter was smashed but not a mark on the camera. Had I not had the filter fitted the camera would have been a write-off.

Steve

sapper
8th December 2008, 11:10 PM
Luminous landscape site may be of help, this page is about the polariser.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/polarizers.shtml

ndl0071
9th December 2008, 08:22 AM
I belong to the "keep a UV filter on the lens" fraternity. I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, as you can always whip it off if shooting into the light, but gunk on the front element can be hard to shift. Flare does seem to be more of a problem with digital than with film, presumably because of the highly reflective sensor bouncing light around inside the lens/ filter. However the "UV" / "no UV" debate generates passions of almost religious intensity, so be warned! :)


Up until recently I would have agreed with Hugh, I have always (for donkeys years) put a UV filter on all lenses mainly for protection purposes (Hoya). When I bought the 50-200 SWD I fully intended to follow suit, silly me:o ordered the wrong filter and ended up with a Hoya plain protector filter and I have to say that I really haven't noticed any difference in picture quality, so now the jury is now out for me.

I have to agree with the majority though, buy a protector of some sort but make it branded.

photonutter
9th December 2008, 08:53 AM
You can check out hoya's site for a general overview of uses and effects of different filters here.
http://www.thkphoto.com/products/hoya/index.html