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nd filters for omd?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Omni, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Omni

    Omni Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2012
    Never used an ND filter kit and wanting to try my hand at taking sunsets by the ocean and just wondering if anyone has some suggestions / pointers on where to start with the OMD.

    I'll probably be using a 12mm lens.
  2. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Personally I thought about grad ND filters for my canon system long and hard in the end I decided against getting any because they cost a lot and I didn't know if I'd use them much. It turned out to be the right decision as I find post process mixing of exposure bracketed shots to work quite well for when I would want to use grad ND filters.

    That said if you want ND filters (are you looking for grad or just ND?) most people get the resin ones from either hitech or lee. Cokin are ok but generally viewed as poorer due to potential color cast effects.

    For resin filters you need a filter holder with a ring that fits the screw thread on your lens. Then you just have to decide what ND filters to use. Most people get a few of different strength.

    If you only need a ND and not a grad ND it might be worth while to get one of the screw in variable ones. That way you don't need multiple filters and the strength can be set on the fly. These tends to be used for video shooting.
  3. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    The Lee 75 system is good for the OM D. The original Lee system looks enormous on the OM D. It's not cheap. If you are after ND grads for seascapes, then the Lee .9 (3 stop) is probably going to be your most used one. I find that I am using grads less as I can often get a good exposure using the highlight/shadows display in the EVF and correct in post.
  4. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I am a fan of Helipan ND filters . They offer one of the best quality filters and there is no color casting .
  5. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    To be able to use an ND filter on all your lenses, purchase the one for your largest lens and then add step up rings for the others.

    Just a thought.
  6. Rockinggoose

    Rockinggoose Mu-43 Regular

    I do have a cheapish variable ND which works well for increasing exposure times and hasn't so far shown to affect IQ. I don't use a grad ND as I pp with Lightroom 4 which has a superbly controllable graduated filter facility - absolutely cracking piece of software IMO and you still have the unfiltered RAW to do other things with.

  7. OhWellOK

    OhWellOK Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 4, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Great read on ND filters

    I've just started playing around with a Hoya NDX400 10 stop, which can give some really cool effects to a landscape photo by blurring water and skies etc.

    I also have the Cokin A ND grad kit, which I haven't started to use in earnest enough to give it a fair opinion. I am more attracted to the idea of getting the exposure (skies) as perfect as possible by this method in camera, rather than blending exposures or using heavy PP.
  8. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Good link!

    IMHO, ND filters of any kind should be treated as "tool of last resort" when shooting digital. Adding the extra glass surfaces (2 with most filters and 4 with the variable NDs) will only increase flare. Also, any except true gelatin filters, will add some astigmatic flaws to the edges of the image when used with wide angle lenses. If you can achieve the effect with PP from the RAW source image, or images, then PP is the better way to go.

    The one case where PP can't substitute for an ND is the use of very dense NDs (e.g. the NDX400 10 spot, ...) to effectively lower the camera's ISO enough to allow long exposures in daylight conditions.
  9. Giant bubble guy

    Giant bubble guy Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    I've got to disagree. Using fast glass in bright light to take photos with a narrow depth of field requires using an ND filter. There is no amount of post processing that will let me save an image that is badly overexposed due to the shutter speed limitations of my camera.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. mcshort

    mcshort Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2012
    czech republic
    i use nicna fader ND filter - adjustable from ND2 to 400, with stepup ring on 14-42mm (14 to cca 20mm vintage), but works well for water bluring, and for low aperture (londer time for, F2 on helios 44-2 in direct sun)
  11. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I think that's one use of ND filters most people forget about. Most think NDs are just for extended exposures. If you want to shoot a portrait with lens wide open during the day they come in handy.
  12. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    You're not disagreeing; you've merely not read the last sentence in my post or read it and couldn't understand that it is actually the same issue as your point. When the camera's ISO can't go low enough to accomplish the needed f/stop and shutter speed then, of course, the only solution is to use and ND. Again, this is a last resort issue. You should do everything possible to accomplish the effect (e.g. setting the camera's lowest ISO, ...) without the ND and only when you can't get the effect any other way should you use the filter.
  13. Giant bubble guy

    Giant bubble guy Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    I'm not sure why anyone would go to the hassle of using an ND filter if they could simply adjust their camera settings. I don't see using an ND filter as a "last resort", but rather the only option when it's needed.
  14. Giant bubble guy

    Giant bubble guy Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    And this is the part of your statement that I disagree with. That's not "The one case". Post processing can't eliminate the shutter speed limit of my camera. I don't need to use an ND400 filter to use my 20mm 1.7 lens for taking portraits in daylight, but I've got to use some kind of ND filter. My statement of disagreement was that I feel your statement is incorrect by omission regarding ND filters and post processing (e.g. the NDX400 10 spot, ...)...
  15. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Some things you can do in post. But for me I got into this hobby, and stay in it, because it is fun. I have fun using filters for effects in camera. I have no fun in post. Also there are many effects you just can't get in post.
  16. Omni

    Omni Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2012
    Thanks for the recommendations everyone!
  17. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Yes you certainly need an ND filter to use wide apertures in bright light.

    This pic below was taken at 7.05 am - just after sunrise - in Sri Lanka.

    It is 1/4000 sec @ F3.5 ISO 200 (with the 25/1.4) - it is also +0.7 EV overexposed. The light is seriously bright in Asia where I live.

    I actually think it is a shame that the OMD doesnt have some sort of ND filter built in as an option. Afterall the combination of 1/4000 sec max shutter speed, ISO200 min ISO and fast glass makes ND filters something of a necessity.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  18. apbtlvr

    apbtlvr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 10, 2012
    I have some Singh-Ray filters, including a vario-ND and circular polarizer that were originally used with Nikon glass. I really wanted to try them on µ43 lenses so I got hold of a step up ring (Heliopan #149) that allows 46mm lenses to accept 77mm filters. I tried this out on a short stay at the beach and found the results to be fairly decent. No problems with fitting the M.ZD 12 & 45mm lenses. I also had an 80mm push on lens cap to cover and protects the filter while mounted on the ring. The filter/ cap/ring fit in a zip-lock which made things quite pocketable and protected while on the beach setting up composition and focus. Once that was set, I used the Live Time feature and a cable release to expose. Being able to adjust Live Time refresh rate (set to 1/2 sec) is very useful as I could see a given image develop rapidly with exposures a minute or under.

    One minor problem was the filter's adjustments did not necessarily line up on top for viewing. This made it hard to use a given stop reduction consistently based on the filter's hash marks. This was not at all hateful however. Also, some of my beach shots taken in bright sunlight/ bluebird sky conditions produced some unusual banding and flare. That's no surprise however as those shots were taken with the sun in the frame and no lens hood. Don't expect much in that circumstance.

    I didn't get to take a lot of photos on this trip but will use this filter set up a lot more in the future.

    OMD E-M5 / Z.D. 45mm f/1.8, Singh Ray Vario ND Filter, F/8 @ 18sec.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/apbtlvr/8350805652/" title="_C280085 by apbtlvr, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "1024" height="656" alt="_C280085"></a>

    OMD E-M5 / Z.D. 12mm f/2.0, Singh Ray Vario ND Filter, F/8 @ 60sec.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/apbtlvr/8350805498/" title="_C290033 by apbtlvr, on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "1024" height="716" alt="_C290033"></a>
  19. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I had this same dilemma about nd filters for my cameras. Went to my local camera shop and started asking for the cokin z pro System, the guy asked me what camera i was using and i said a m43 one, then he suggested, why not go with the P series instead, and i said, well what about the quality compared to the z pro, and he said, in all honesty, they are both exactly the same in terms of filters quality, the differences are the physical size and therefore the price. Both make my omd with a p12-35mm ridiculous with those filters but i went ahead amd got a full p series kit, im more than happy with the results.

    Heres a shot using my EPM2 with my P12-35mm and grad nd filter from cokin, P Series.

    View attachment 249725
    Untitled by nadameansnothing, on Flickr
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