ND Filters, who uses what?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by F/Stop, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    So i was browsing through my raw files on Adobe Bridge and really realized how much i shoot wide open during the day, and that usually ends up maxing the shutter speed @ 1/4000. Which i know i can avoid by adjustments, but obviously i did not notice i was shooting that high of shutter speed on certain images.

    So who all on here uses a ND filter on a fast lens on a day to day basis? i am trying leaving the B+W 103 filter on the pana 25 1.4 which reduces 3 total f-stops.

    Now if you do leave a filter on the lens at day time , what filter would it be? I am thinking that I should buy the 106 (6 stop) or 110 (10 stop filter) for the 1.4 and run the 103 on the 1.8 lenses.

    just curious as to what others have found to be more useful for everyday usage of shooting wide open in bright daylight, or long exposures..
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Daylight shooting with the pl25 with nd filter is pretty common for me.
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    My experience with ND filters is limited thus far, but the X100S has a built-in 3 stop filter and I find it to work fantastically well for "bright sunny day" shooting. The X100S has a max shutter speed of 1/1000 wide open and I've still been able to shoot at f/2 on a super bright sunny day with no problems. Based on that experience, a 2 or 3 stop would likely be my first choice for shooting the PL 25mm wide open in sunlight.

    I guess it depends on how much latitude you want for shutter speed reduction. Are you wanting to do slow exposures at f/1.4? If so then maybe a 6-stop or 10 stop is warranted. Otherwise if you're just wanting to shoot wide open in sunlight, I would think a 3-stop or even something like a simple polarizer might be enough.
  4. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    I leave a 3-stop on the 75mm so I can shoot wide open in the daytime, and I use an assortment of graduated ND filters with the 9-18mm for landscapes.
  5. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I use a 3-stop filter in daylight a lot, or even just a polarizing filter can cut the light down by about a stop.
  6. I use a 3 stop and 10 stop. Never needed anything else.

    All of my filters are of 77mm or 60mm. I use step up filters. I don't leave them on all day though...
  7. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Does using step up filters have any negative effects? I've just bought a 37mm - 58mm step up so I can use my filters with the oly 45. I wasn't sure if having such a difference between the two sizes would have any unwanted effects?
  8. Nope... except when you have them on wide focal lengths they can introduce some vingnette if the rings and filter are too thick. Many of my filters where used with my Canon with sizes at 77mm. Later I started getting 60mm when the systems I adopted shrunk. In one case I have to stack 2 step up rings but its not a problem. I have a 58mm to 60mm and a 58mm to 77mm. I then step up everything smaller than 58mm to 58mm.
  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    as long as you're not getting any vignetting I don't see why step up or down filters would be a problem. I'm planning on getting a step up ring for my CPL - seems foolish to spend twice...
  10. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    That's good to know, cheers for that. While we're talking about filters, i bought a cheapy variable ND last year to see how I would get on with it, I've enjoyed using it, but at certain points on the variable rotation you get a purple x-section thing move across the picture. Is this simply due to it being cheap? Would the more expensive filters not suffer from this? (I would hope they didn't for the price!)
  11. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    At some point, you will always get an X across the frame, as the two polarizing layers interact (usually beyond "max critical ND-ness"). Most of them are rated to a certain step, and while you can push it beyond, you may get the X. I just picked up an inexpensive Fotasy, and while I can get up to 8 stops easily, going beyond the "Max" label means I start to get a bit of the X, up to full blown unusable frames (occurs for mine at about 10 stops). The thing that more expensive ones will do is be more likely to not have any color casting as it darkens. Depending on the specs, it may go up to 10-11 stops before X-ing (read the specifications).

    Still testing out the Fotasy, but will put a better review up once I have had some time to play with it extensively.
  12. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM Subscribing Member

    The X you are seeing is a result of your variable ND filter consisting of two polarising filters. Unfortunately my lack of sufficient knowledge in optics doesn't allow me to give you a scientific answer, but the polarising filter is not equally effective across the whole surface of the filter, the most effective area is a somewhat thin/flat ellipse. You will usually have no issue with this with telephoto but with wide angle especially the sky will show as unequally lit. As you rotate the two polarisers in your vari ND filter towards 90 degrees rotation between the surfaces, the transmission decreases, hence the ND effect - but also the X becomes more visible. But your filter being as you say on the cheap side, the neutral density is slightly away from neutral. Check if you are seeing this with longer focal lengths. I think using a polariser / vari ND filter bigger than the normal filter size of your lens and step up rings shoud at least partially minimise the effect.

    Cokin recently came up with an interesting product line, called Pure Harmonie, which are very (very) thin screw-in filters - polarising and vari-ND. The vari ND is below £100 which is far less than Singh Ray or other well known variable ND filters. You usually don't buy stuff like this more than once :)
  13. I made my own by using two polarizers and decided it was not good for image quality.

    I also came to the realization that i dont need that level of granularity of ND strength to accomplish what i want. So i got one 3 stop and a 10 stop and havent needed anything else.
  14. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Ah that's good to know then, I wasn't sure if I should just get a better one if mine had issues. But knowing that that's normal I will give it a bit more time! I've only used it properly once and I was pretty happy with the majority of the shots, it's made by Hama, I'm sure I remember a slight colour cast though and also it annoyed me as there was no reference mark to know how much of the effect is being applied! It has a scale from min to max, but no arrow to show at what point it is set! Strange design...
  15. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK

    So I thought I would double check and I was wrong it does have a marking! My eyes must of been playing tricks on me the day I first looked at it! That will make things much easier in the future!
  16. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM Subscribing Member

    Exactly the same here.

    I don't do vdeo and the level of creative control I require does not yet warrant a variable ND filter.
  17. JoeV

    JoeV Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    Joe Van Cleave
    I use an ND4 on my P-20/1.7 lens. I also have a round rubber lens cap afixed to the front of the filter. But it's a bit of a kludge, since with the P-20 you can't tighten the filter entirely, otherwise it jams the autofocus from turning. Which is why the lens didn't ship from the manufacturer with a lens cap. So I've taught myself to keep it a 1/4 turn loose and check it periodically that's it's not too loose.

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