Lens Filter Advice for M4/3 Lenses

hunyuan7

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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.
 

OzRay

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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.
 

rklepper

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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.
 

OzRay

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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.
 

Etude

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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.
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...
 

orfeo

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I use Cokin p121s and I find the color cast minimal. Adjusting WB is always a good idea anyway.
 

letsgofishing

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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.
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.
 

hunyuan7

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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.
 

OzRay

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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.
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?
 

wilson

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Save yourself a bunch of money and learn to shoot multiple exposures and combine in PS.
This thread might be on interest to you:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53826913
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.
 

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