Using ND filters on primes

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Petrus61, May 17, 2013.

  1. Petrus61

    Petrus61 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2012
    Hi All,

    Trying to learn - I have an OMD and the following native primes ( 25,45,60,75) which I really like. When using the 75 in bright sunlight I tend to max out or get very close to 4000 shutter speed - when using a variable ND filter will the camera automatically compensate to how much I vary the filter?

    If I put a 10 stop presumably I can get long exposures....?

    sorry novice with ND but I think I need them on these primes allowing shallow DOF in bright sunlight. - thanks for your help
  2. Wizard Steve

    Wizard Steve Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    Provence, France
    Real Name:
    David Ricketts
    All the ND filter will do is reduce the light coming into the camera. The camera has no idea that you're using a filter and doesn't need to know. It will just look at the available light and set the exposure accordingly. You don't need to do anything special.

    A 10 stop filter cuts down the light by a factor of 1000. You probably won't be able to see anything in the viewfinder so it would be best to line up your shot, on a tripod, and then add the filter and take your shot.

    If you're walking around taking hand-held shots, you'd be better off with something less aggressive.
  3. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    I was advised to use a 4x on my Nokton f0.95 25mm; but went a bit further with a 6x ND. Works a charm if you want to use wide appertures. I agree that 10x sounds like overkill, and hard to focus, as pointed out. 6x is manageable.
  4. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I use a 3-stop ND on my Nokton 25mm and haven't maxed it out in daylight
  5. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Same thing here on a PL 25 and 3 stop.
  6. Wizard Steve

    Wizard Steve Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2013
    Provence, France
    Real Name:
    David Ricketts
    For the record, mine too is a 3-stop.
  7. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    Went out yesterday and shot directly into the sun with the 17 and a 3 stop. It was cutting it close especially with long exposure daytime shots (moving water)I think I will purchase a 6 stop in the future for good measure
  8. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    What brands do you all recommend? I'd like to get some for my Sigma Twins & my Oly 45...

  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    A good polarizer will work as a 2-stop ND as well.
  10. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Real Name:
    I like Marumi, though I have a couple Hoya filters, and I will likely add one from B+W in the future. Just make sure you buy the multi-coated filters to avoid unnecessarily degrading your images.

    Marumi makes DHG and Super DHG (digital high grade) filters. I own a couple Super DHG, and they're very good. Much less expensive than other top brands and excellent quality. :smile: You can find Marumi filters on Ebay, Amazon and at
  11. albert_ang

    albert_ang Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 5, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yes and yes. I have the vari-ND filter. If you use variable nd, at close to the extreme stop (eg. > 7 stop in my lightcraft vari-nd), the quality degrades drastically and often you can see the infamous X pattern problem.

    So for 10 stop, use the dedicated nd filter instead.
  12. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Don't confuse "factors" (e.g. 2x, 4x, ...) with stops. The OP refers to a 10 stop filter. Such a filter would have an exposure factor of 1024x. An exposure factor of 10x is approximately 3-2/3 stops.