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General accessories Batteries, eye cups, power grips, straps, eyepiece magnifiers, cables, remotes and much more.

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  #16  
Old 7th March 2013
stoates stoates is offline
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Re: ND Filters

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Originally Posted by rutwij View Post
Thanks Steve. Much appreciated!
Lee holders seem to have the option to use the lens filter screw to attach the holder. Does usage of the brass screw fixture not damage the paint on the lens?
Have you had experience using the big stopper? Would it be worth investing in one?
Hi rutwij. The Hitech holder uses rings similar to the Cokin system which attach to the lens thread. You therefore need to buy as many of these rings as you have different lens diameters (I need a 67mm and 72mm for mine). The holder them fixes to these rings using a knurled nut and has no contact with the actual lens. The 4 brass screws I was referring to in my original post hold the various components of the actual holder together and again have no contact with the lens.

I have used the 'big stopper' on several occasions and have so far been disappointed with the results. There is a very heavy colour cast present and my attempts to correct this in LR have been unsatisfactory. However, I tried a new approach in some tests this week setting a custom white balance on the E-5 using the 'One Touch White Balance' facility with the filter fitted. I then 'tweaked the WB 'A' and 'G' settings with a + 2-3 in both giving the best results. This gave an image that was close enough to be able to further manipulated in LR - I found I needed to change the Red Hue and Saturation and increase overall contrast but the results were encouraging. I need to test it in the field now. (I am actually interested in any other members' exoperiences in correcting casts with these filters but don't wish to hijack this thread).

I haven't noticed too much of a cast using the ND grads in isolation but have seen some when either stacking 2 together or in combination with a standard ND but in all these cases it was easily corrected in PP where necessary.
Hope this helps?
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E-M1 Mk II, E-5, E-510, 9-18mm f4-5.6, 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II, 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD, 5omm f2, EC-14, 14-42mm, 40-150mm, Velbon GEO E640L/PHD64Q, METZ 48 AF-1

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  #17  
Old 7th March 2013
rutwij rutwij is offline
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Re: ND Filters

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Originally Posted by stoates View Post
Hi rutwij. The Hitech holder uses rings similar to the Cokin system which attach to the lens thread. You therefore need to buy as many of these rings as you have different lens diameters (I need a 67mm and 72mm for mine). The holder them fixes to these rings using a knurled nut and has no contact with the actual lens. The 4 brass screws I was referring to in my original post hold the various components of the actual holder together and again have no contact with the lens.
Thanks again Steve. That puts my mind at ease.
Is there a way to use these filters for lenses without filter threads? I'm thinking about lenses like the 7-14mm.


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Originally Posted by stoates View Post
I have used the 'big stopper' on several occasions and have so far been disappointed with the results. There is a very heavy colour cast present and my attempts to correct this in LR have been unsatisfactory. However, I tried a new approach in some tests this week setting a custom white balance on the E-5 using the 'One Touch White Balance' facility with the filter fitted. I then 'tweaked the WB 'A' and 'G' settings with a + 2-3 in both giving the best results. This gave an image that was close enough to be able to further manipulated in LR - I found I needed to change the Red Hue and Saturation and increase overall contrast but the results were encouraging. I need to test it in the field now. (I am actually interested in any other members' exoperiences in correcting casts with these filters but don't wish to hijack this thread).

I haven't noticed too much of a cast using the ND grads in isolation but have seen some when either stacking 2 together or in combination with a standard ND but in all these cases it was easily corrected in PP where necessary.
Hope this helps?
I'm not sure where I stand with colour casts. I adjust WB for almost every situation using the colour temperature scale and try and make the images warmer or cooler depending on my subject and the effect I'm trying to achieve.

A good example is the 2 long exposures of the Forth Railway Bridge on my Flickr. One was exposed at 2000 kelvin and one at 9000 I think. As long as the cast produced by the filter can be compensated using the WB scale, I wouldn't be averse to using it.
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Last edited by rutwij; 7th March 2013 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Incorrect display of quoted text
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  #18  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

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Originally Posted by rutwij View Post
Is there a way to use these filters for lenses without filter threads? I'm thinking about lenses like the 7-14mm.
I haven't seen anything which would allow this but then again I haven't really looked too hard as my lenses are all threaded. I do remember seeing a thread some time ago about using filters on the 7-14mm though which may answer your query.


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Originally Posted by rutwij View Post
As long as the cast produced by the filter can be compensated using the WB scale, I wouldn't be averse to using it.
I have found that this is the problem with the colour cast on my 8 stop ND. The cast does not seem 'linear' and I have not been able to use WB in isolation in PP to adequately correct it. I know that early Hitech 'big stoppers' were badly affected by IR but I believe this has supposedly been addressed. Perhaps there is still an element of this going on?
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  #19  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

No complaints about the HiTech filters, mine must be around 20 years old now. I used them habitually with film, hardly at all with digital although they're still in my bag just in case.
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  #20  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

It possible to remove a very bad colour cast quickly in ACR using the WB tool

This shot with welding glass as a big stopper

Before

Parton beach unprocessed by alf.branch, on Flickr

After

Parton beach 8 by alf.branch, on Flickr

I have better since this then needed a colour balance layer in PS to bring out the colours(not really the version shown)

A good quality filter will be easier to use and correct.
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  #21  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

There's a couple of solutions to filtering the 7-14. One was modifying a spare lens cap to take a filter holder. Mine was the biggest Cokin filter holder and their universal lens adapter. Neither solution is cheap, I had a big (130x170 mm) Cokin ND grad on order for 8 months, planning to hand hold the filter to see if ot would work before getting the filter holder and universal adapter. As I never managed to get the filter I gave up on the experiment.
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  #22  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
There's a couple of solutions to filtering the 7-14. One was modifying a spare lens cap to take a filter holder. Mine was the biggest Cokin filter holder and their universal lens adapter. Neither solution is cheap, I had a big (130x170 mm) Cokin ND grad on order for 8 months, planning to hand hold the filter to see if ot would work before getting the filter holder and universal adapter. As I never managed to get the filter I gave up on the experiment.
It would be interesting to see a picture of an ND filter solution for a lens with a wide element like the 8mm or 7-14mm if anyone has one they use!
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  #23  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

I do wonder if you'd get uneven gradation with an ultra wide which is why I tried just getting the filter. As the angle of view gets wider the lens is looking through much more optical resin at the edges of the frame than it is in the middle.

Years ago I tried a gelatin ND filter (not a grad) in front of the 7-14 and got a weird effect towards the edges of the frame. But I was never sure the problem wasn't because I was hand holding a large, floppy gel and it wasn't flat or square to the lens.
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  #24  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

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Originally Posted by rutwij View Post
It would be interesting to see a picture of an ND filter solution for a lens with a wide element like the 8mm or 7-14mm if anyone has one they use!
This may be of interest - it is for a Pany 7-14mm but may give you some ideas:

http://the-random-photographer.blogs...m-problem.html
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  #25  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

I had a set of Cokin ND grads and became frustrated with the purple tint they applied, especially when using 3 stops or more. I made a set of reference test shots.

Then I bought a set of Lee soft and hard 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 ND grads and made another set of reference test shots.

Comparing the two sets there was a very noticeable difference, virtually no tint whatsoever with the Lee filters. They were expensive, particularly when adding the adapter rings and holder but I don't regret the expense one bit. You get what you pay for, as the cliche says, but it comes down to just how much you are willing to pay and how much tint you are willing to accept. I can see why the pros recommend Lee, they are excellent.

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Re: ND Filters

The last time I checked Cokin made grey grads in A and P sizes and ND grads in the X-Pro and Z-Pro sizes.
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  #27  
Old 7th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

Also have a look at SRB Griturn filters. They're a small firm in Bedfordshire (Mail order etc) but have an excellent range of filters.
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  #28  
Old 9th March 2013
rutwij rutwij is offline
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Re: ND Filters

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Also have a look at SRB Griturn filters. They're a small firm in Bedfordshire (Mail order etc) but have an excellent range of filters.
Thanks Lee. What's your experience with them as compared to Lee or Hitech?
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  #29  
Old 9th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

This probably won't suit you, rutwij, but just for the sake of completeness in discussing ND filters, the other route to consider is screw-in filters. I bought a 52mm B+W ND110 (10 stop) filter, which I use quite a bit with my E-M5. It fits the 9-18, 12-50 and 45-200 lenses, but I've only ever used it with the 9-18. One of the advantages of M43 is the smaller, and therefore cheaper, filter sizes.

My observations with using the filter are:
1) It can be useful for smoothing out water on lakes and pools which might otherwise be rippled by wind to make maximum use of reflections.
2) You can get some interesting effects with moving clouds with exposures of 15 seconds or more.
3) The B+W ND110 does tend to increase saturation quite a bit when shooting sunsets, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
4) With flowing water you have to be careful not to use too long an exposure, otherwise you end up with a mist and lose any sense of movement.
5) Be careful around vegetation. Any slight movement from wind can lead to bluriness. Even trees can end up being blurry with exposures of 15 seconds or more.
6) Long exposures in low light does produce quite a bit of vignetting. That can sometimes be effective, but it's easy to correct in Lightroom if you don't want it.

Some example shots taken with the ND110 - pretty much all with the 9-18mm and mostly (if not all) at 9mm:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=nd11...89%40N00&s=rec

Of course, buying several screw-in filters for different lens sizes will ultimately be more expensive than a filter system such as Cokin, Lee or one of the others mentioned, but if you want a specific filter to use with just one lens (or different lenses with the same filter size) it can be a viable alternative. I also have a 52mm IR filter.
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  #30  
Old 9th March 2013
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Re: ND Filters

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Originally Posted by rutwij View Post
Thanks Lee. What's your experience with them as compared to Lee or Hitech?

Pretty good, actually. I've bought a few ND and ND graduated filters from them and the quality seems more than acceptable. Prompt delivery etc. I can't compare them to Lee (I haven't got Lee money!) but I have got a HiTech which was bitterly disappointing. I can't use it if there is even a hint of sunshine without getting flare/sunspots all over the image. Horrible. I have got a B and W screw filter, but using that with a graduated filter is a bit of a palaver, so I tend to stick with the square SRBs.
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