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Henk
17th January 2009, 08:05 PM
I never owned nor used a ND grad filter but think of getting one or two for DR control with sunlit clouds.

So could those who have experience with this type of filter please give me some tips, do's and don'ts?

snaarman
17th January 2009, 08:24 PM
Hi there

I used to use ND, blue and tobacco grad filters when I was shooting film. They are good for restricting DR and thus probably better used with a DSLR than with film.

I used the Cokin filters, and they developed tiny scratches after a while, and this caused artefacts on the image if you stopped down enough. Worse than that, the grey graduated filter did have a distinct magenta hue to it. Yust something to be aware of...

Pete

PS - a Grey or ND grad will make the sky darker and reveal the clouds, but it also makes the tops of buildings darker as well - its a bit of a give away.. I now spot it all the time on TV progams :-)

shenstone
17th January 2009, 08:27 PM
Like Pete (snaarman) I've had odd colours. I've had ND filters from the internet (7 day shop) that had a really green tinge.

I would advise not pbuying unless you can test i.e. get them from a shop

Regards
Andy

MarkVarley
17th January 2009, 08:35 PM
Buy a good one, I got a cheap one and it has a purple colour cast, which you can usually fix easily on other filters but not with a grad.

Jonesgj
17th January 2009, 08:53 PM
I bought a cheap one of ebay II think it was around 20, ND8 from a UK Seller) to experiment with. Found it worked quite well reducing the light into the lens. I'm not an expert but I used shutter priority and took, for me anyway, some nice shots bluring water in water falls and streams. The ND filter I bought wasnt graduated but I hope this helps you anyway.

Henk
18th January 2009, 01:31 PM
Thank you all for your advise, I think I will purchase a Cokin filter system which seems to be versatile and of good quality.

yorky
18th January 2009, 01:47 PM
Cokin are very good but rather expensive though half the price of Lee. I use them quite a bit for getting detail into steam and smoke etc. I got the Z pro range of cokin as the holder, Kood make some filters that fit this range that are quite good for the nat grad range but if you want a polarising fiter the cokin is best though far from cheap.

Archphoto
18th January 2009, 01:57 PM
Snaarman is right: a grad filter darkens not just the sky and cloulds.
Depending on the circumstences I use a pol-filter aswell, it just darkens the blue sky and leaves the rest untouched.

Peter, newbee here

-----------
E410, E520, 7-14, 11-22, 14-42, 40-150

Zuiko
18th January 2009, 02:21 PM
Check out Hitech ND grads, they are a lot cheaper than Lee, only slightly more expensive than Cokin but vastly superior (neutral really is neutral - no funny colour casts with these) and they fit a Cokin 'P' filter holder which is the most cost effective solution. Use them myself and highly recommend them!

Henk
18th January 2009, 05:30 PM
Thank you Yorky, Peter and John I will do a google search for the Hitech filters. As for darkening tops of buildings that will not be an issue if you know my style of landscape photography (for which I need the grad filters).

an example:
http://mordisco.smugmug.com/photos/203982111_S3RPU-M-2.jpg

stryker
18th January 2009, 05:49 PM
Check out Speed Graphic they do a kit of Cokin P Square Neutral graduated filters: a 1 stop, 2 stop, and 3 stop with a holder. All you have to do then is purchase a adaptor ring for each lens diameter.

http://www.speedgraphic.co.uk/prod.asp?i=3376&1=Cokin+P+ND+Graduated+Kit

Hope this helps

Henk
19th January 2009, 07:46 PM
Check out Speed Graphic they do a kit of Cokin P Square Neutral graduated filters: a 1 stop, 2 stop, and 3 stop with a holder. All you have to do then is purchase a adaptor ring for each lens diameter.

http://www.speedgraphic.co.uk/prod.asp?i=3376&1=Cokin+P+ND+Graduated+Kit

Hope this helps

Thank you stryker but as I am in the Netherlands the shipping cost will be over 11 GBP so not much of a bargain anymore.:o

This afternoon I purchased a Cokin system and one graduated ND filter to see how it works, if necessary I can get the Hitech ND's.

Thank you all for your help!

yorky
19th January 2009, 07:53 PM
I find the 2 x filters don't seem very effective. 4x & 6 or 8 seem to be better, but there are other makes so u can mix n match. Good luck, awaiting results!

snaarman
19th January 2009, 09:58 PM
Careful Henk!
Grads can be addictive :-)

Pete

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/614/grad_sky.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/12041)

Henk
20th January 2009, 05:30 PM
Hmmm... I'll stick with ND (grey) Pete, I just want to expand DR a little for the highlights.:p :)

250swb
21st January 2009, 08:41 AM
I never owned nor used a ND grad filter but think of getting one or two for DR control with sunlit clouds.

Have you considered the options available in NOT buying a grad filter?

If you process in RAW you have the possibility of making two or three different exposures from the same image and combining them using HDR software that in itself will be cheaper to buy than a grad filter. Or if you use a tripod you can make three or four different exposures in the camera and combine them with HDR software. The point is that none of these techniques has the potential to ruin a basically good photo by poor use of a grad filter (over buildings or trees etc), or even introduce hideous colours such as the dreaded 'graduated tobacco' effect. You could add artificial colours afterwards in post processing.

Of course you can make a hash of things using HDR software, and you only need to look in some camera magazines to see what extremes HDR is taken to. But used carefully nobody ever needs to know the image was built from a number of exposures, one for sky, one for land etc. It really is only like it used to be in developing your film to reign in contrast or use a different grade of paper in the darkroom.

Far better to by a straight 8ND filter without any graduation so you can use it for those dreamy waterfalls, and leave grads for use with film when transparency needed all the help it could get to keep highlights and shadows in balance.

Steve

Solar
22nd January 2009, 02:13 PM
And there is a "grad filter" in Lightroom too ... if you use that. But the best way is obviously multiple exposure with blending options in pp ... well I guess if you don't have this software it may be cheaper to buy the filter.