1. Reminder: Please user our affiliate links to get to your favorite stores for holiday shopping!

Lens Filter Advice for M4/3 Lenses

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by hunyuan7, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    140
    Aug 31, 2011
    Please suggest graduated neutral density filters and regular neutral density for Panasonic 20mm (46mm), Olympus 9-18 (52mm), and Panasonic 14-140 (62mm).
    What have you used to your satisfaction? Were you able to stack the two kinds of filters? Is there a one-size fits all filter sizes set up?

    I don't have experience using filters at all, but the photos with these optical filter effects are something lacking my photography. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Stacking filters is never a good idea, if you want to retain image quality, especially if you aren't prepared to buy the highest quality filters. Graduated spin on filters are a bit of a hit and miss affair, regarding usefulness, as the gradation is pretty much set.

    If you want flexibility, then you need filters such as Lee, which are attached via a filter holder into which they slide and can be moved up and down and rotated, to allow quite a degree of adjustment. These filters usually come in a range of sizes, generally around 100mm x 100mm square and the like.

    Graduated filters have fallen somewhat out of fashion because of HDR software, but can often provide better results than overdone HDR that you often see. Be prepared to pay if you want good quality ND filters, as poor quality filters are worse than none.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    I have the Lee Seven5 system with both hard and soft graduate neutral density. I have singh ray 75X90 reverse graduated neutral density, and I have B=W Neutral Density. I love all of the and would highly recommend the systems.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    352
    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Mike Kaplan
    • Like Like x 1
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    One could debate the benefits of exposing naturally with filters or using HDR (whether via PS or dedicated HDR software). Bracketing is effectively doing HDR. The vast majority of photographers couldn't do it properly to save themselves, and I'm one of them. I have HDR software which I actually paid for and the results are always crap no matter how much effort I put into the HDR.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Etude

    Etude Long Exposure Addict

    202
    Jun 24, 2013
    You can take a look at Haida filters from photospheresg.com. I'm currently using their 83mm slot filters and I am happy with their quality. Quite affordable as well.
    Before Haida, I used Hitech and color cast is quite bad when stacked Hitech ND and GND together. When I stack Haida ND and Hitech GND, there is minimal color cast.
    Another alternative is Cokin, but based on online review, the color cast is bad as well.
    I read that LEE filter is good but the price is a bit too high for me.

    You can bracket your shots and do manual blending as well. I tried HDR before and didn't like the output. There are online tutorials on how to do manual blending.

    But you will still need to have filters if you want to achieve smooth water effect, cloud movement etc...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    I use Cokin p121s and I find the color cast minimal. Adjusting WB is always a good idea anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    352
    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Mike Kaplan
    Not sure if you were replying to my post, but I was not referring to HDR - just combining 2 exposures using luminosity masks - a VERY different look to HDR.
     
  10. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    140
    Aug 31, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. You all gave me ideas of how to get started. This forum has been very helpful in my developing my photo hobby. Much obliged.
     
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes, I was as I did think you were referring to HDR. Regarding masks, isn't that what the HDR programs like Photomatix does, either standalone or within Photoshop, just automating it to make it easier?
     
  12. wilson

    wilson Mu-43 Regular

    44
    Mar 26, 2014
    For ND Gradients in certain lighting conditions this may be true. Also one must have a really steady hand to help ensure all the photos line up, or use a tripod.

    However, if one is shooting in bright sunlight and wants to shoot close to wide open, ND filters are the only solution. I'd much rather have natural Depth-of-view blurring than have to add it later in PS.

    There is never a one-size-fits all solution.

    So I have a Hoya HD Circular Polarizer for sunny day shooting, and an inexpensive variable ND filter if that's not enough. I've also read good things about the Hoya variable ND filter... it won't break the bank, and has acceptable quality. (I haven't gotten around to picking one of those up yet.) But of course you can never go wrong with B+W filters.