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Author Topic: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3  (Read 3985 times)

jeanluc

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ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« on: July 18, 2013, 12:50:19 AM »
Just wondering how most people are metering with their 5d3 (or 5d2) while using various ND filters.

Will the 5d3's meter be able to see well enough through say a 3 or 6 stop ND filter to allow one to just shoot in aperture priority mode with one of these on? Or is it best to meter, figure out the extra shutter speed, put it in manual, set the speed then throw on the filter?

What are most people doing with the 5D3 and 10 stop ND filters?

I have not really used ND filters much, and will be travelling to a waterfall-rich area soon and don't want to blow it by making a bunch of noob mistakes.

Anybody know of any particularly good waterfall-shooting advice sites?

Thanks for any help!!

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ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« on: July 18, 2013, 12:50:19 AM »

Drizzt321

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 01:05:48 AM »
3-stop filter, probably is alright, not sure about more. What most people do is meter without the 10-stop ND filters, then go 10-stops longer exposure. If they want a real long exposure, they'll meter at ISO 100 (or 50) with the aperture close way down, sometimes all the way to f/22 or smaller (if the lens supports it). Once they get the exposure length without the ND, they then take the shutter 10-stops slower, put the filter on, and use mirror lockup with a very sturdy tripod with a remote release cable.
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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 01:31:05 AM »
Just wondering how most people are metering with their 5d3 (or 5d2) while using various ND filters.

You are supposed to precompose, prefocus and meter the scene without the ND filter and thereafter switch to manual focus. Mount the ND filter and adjust accordingly to how many stops you are going to reduce the shutter speed.


Will the 5d3's meter be able to see well enough through say a 3 or 6 stop ND filter to allow one to just shoot in aperture priority mode with one of these on? Or is it best to meter, figure out the extra shutter speed, put it in manual, set the speed then throw on the filter?

Yes and you are supposed to shoot in manual or Bulb mode depending on how long your shutter speed is.


What are most people doing with the 5D3 and 10 stop ND filters?

I have not really used ND filters much, and will be travelling to a waterfall-rich area soon and don't want to blow it by making a bunch of noob mistakes.


For shooting waterfalls, it also better to shoot it together with a polarizer mounted to get rid of unwanted reflections. As for me, I like stacking up to three filters and it is pretty easy as long as you know the basic exposure triangle. ;)
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BozillaNZ

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 01:31:35 AM »
I borrowed my friend's B+W MRC 10 stop filter, in short, it's a niche product. You will find that you only use it on your 0.001% photos. Also your white balance will get screwed big time and pretty hard if not impossible to adjust back in PP.

ISO 100, F22, with 10 stop filter on cloudy day would give you 15min exposure! Which IMO is way overkill for water shots.

I currently only have a 3 stop square ND filter from Lee, and I think that fits almost all my ND need apart from graduated ones. A 3 stop slows down your shutter speed from say 1/200 to 1/25, or 1/100 to 1/12, which is quite handy most of the times for giving water streams this in motion feel.

The thing 10-stop ND does best is to make sea look like fog, something like that:
http://www.gregorydeese.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/10-stop-ND-Filter-1.jpg

It's not good for water falls.
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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 02:27:53 AM »
Which IMO is way overkill for water shots.

Yes, indeed. It is much of an overkill using a 10 stop ND filter to shoot waterfalls. A 2 stop ND filter and a CPL combo will do the trick already for shooting waterfalls.

Here's what even a few stops of ND filter can do:

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AUGS

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 04:29:51 AM »
I borrowed my friend's B+W MRC 10 stop filter, in short, it's a niche product. You will find that you only use it on your 0.001% photos. Also your white balance will get screwed big time and pretty hard if not impossible to adjust back in PP.

ISO 100, F22, with 10 stop filter on cloudy day would give you 15min exposure! Which IMO is way overkill for water shots.

I currently only have a 3 stop square ND filter from Lee, and I think that fits almost all my ND need apart from graduated ones. A 3 stop slows down your shutter speed from say 1/200 to 1/25, or 1/100 to 1/12, which is quite handy most of the times for giving water streams this in motion feel.

The thing 10-stop ND does best is to make sea look like fog, something like that:
http://www.gregorydeese.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/10-stop-ND-Filter-1.jpg

It's not good for water falls.

Agreed.  I use a 3-stop ND at most for waterfalls, as I feel you want to blur the motion of the waterfall, not completely smudge it - but that is my personal preference.

A 10-stop ND is great for removing moving objects from images.  For example, I have used mine to make it look like there are no cars on a typically busy highway, or removing people from a landmark foreground - like people around the Eiffel Tower.  Sort of in-camera photoshop.  I remember seeing a great photo of the Taj Mahal years ago with absolutely no-one in the image and thought that could never happen, now I think I know how it was done.  But I wouldn't use it for waterfalls.

Definitely meter without the filter and then use Manual or Bulb mode, depending on the corrected exposure time, as shutterwideshut said above.

Probably the most important lesson I have learnt about photographing waterfalls is to do it on an overcast day, not in bright sunlight as you may (probably will) have too many highlights and/or lose shadow details.  Also, with overcast skies, you may not need a ND at all if you use a high f-stop as the time may already be sufficient to cause the water motion blur.

neuroanatomist

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 08:40:43 AM »
What are most people doing with the 5D3 and 10 stop ND filters?

I have not really used ND filters much, and will be travelling to a waterfall-rich area soon and don't want to blow it by making a bunch of noob mistakes.

3-stop ND and a CPL work well for most waterfall shots.  Sometimes a 6-stop if it's a very bright day.  You probably don't want to be shooting at f/22 - I'd stay at f/11 or wider.

As others have stated, with a 10-stop you have to focus and meter before putting on the filter (and if you have focus linked to the shutter button, set the lens to MF - personally, I use back-button AF so that's not an issue).  It's not difficult to do with a screw-in 10-stop filter, but the Lee system makes it easier since you just need to drop the Big Stopper into the slot.
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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 08:40:43 AM »

MK5GTI

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 09:55:59 AM »
any tips on setting white balance on shooting waterfalls?

AWB and correct it in post ?

Grey Card?

my ND filter give me that nasty magenta colour

jabbott

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 10:38:21 AM »
I use a 3-stop ND filter with the 5D3 and have no issues focusing while it's attached in daylight.  Works great for blurring motion with waterfalls / streams (the example below was taken last weekend).  I also have a 10-stop ND filter but I haven't used it yet with the 5D3 (used it on the T2i however).  It also works wonders but requires focusing beforehand and then setting the lens to MF.  One good reference I found for ND filters is here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/peterh111/journal/4421304-the-ultimate-guide-to-neutral-density-filters


emag

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 11:53:26 AM »
A drawback to using those high f-ratios like f/22....it will show any dust dirt whatever specs that are on your sensor, in addition to refraction effects.  f/11 is more forgiving.  The EF 28-135 will go to something like f/36 (32?) on the long end - great for checking sensor cleanliness, lousy for photos.

Daniel Flather

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 11:53:39 AM »
The 5D3 can see through my 10 stop filter in live view.  I do that and even meter though it.  Take a shot and if the exposure is off, adjust accordingly.  Go out and try it.  It's digital, not film!

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Canon1

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 12:05:46 PM »
I use a singh rey 10 stop vari ND filter.  I set everything up on the tripod with the filter on the lens.  I shoot in manual mode setting the Aperture where I want it and dial the ISO as low as possible (ISO 100).  At this time i also set my shutter speed where I want it.  Generally I am going for between 1/4 of a sec and 1 second of exposure for waterfalls.  I find that too long of a shutter speed and the water just looks like fog.  I want there to still be some texture in the water with a little bit of silkyness to it.  The shutter speed will depend on the waterfall.  With the filter only at 1 stop setting I compose my scene and focus the lens.  Then I switch the lens to manual focus, and using evaluative metering I rotate the ND filter slowly until I get the meter where I want it.   With a test shot I can see whether I wanted to add a little more exposure to the scene or a little less.  I do so by slightly rotating the filter and then I get my shot.

If you are using a fixed stop filter everything is the same except I would be adjusting my Aperture/ISO to increase or decrease exposure.   I find shutter speed to be the most critical element in a waterfall image so this is one setting I generally don't change too much.


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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2013, 04:48:19 AM »
Snip 8<

Probably the most important lesson I have learnt about photographing waterfalls is to do it on an overcast day, not in bright sunlight as you may (probably will) have too many highlights and/or lose shadow details.  Also, with overcast skies, you may not need a ND at all if you use a high f-stop as the time may already be sufficient to cause the water motion blur.

Hi Jeanluc,
As Augs said, overcast day, not bright midday sun, any shadow will be very dark or conversely the highlights will blow, I first tried on a very small waterfall, well more like an 8 foot rapids really at a 45 degree slope.
As it was purely an exercise in learning I tried with 3 stops and polariser. The water was all in shade but the narrow cut it was in was leaving a hard edge shadow and the bright bit is so blown.
It doesn't look too bad cropped down to remove the bright area but lesson learned make sure the light is even across the scene. Important for most pictures but it seems even more important when playing with nd filters.
I am actually planning on trying it both ways, earlier in the day when the sun is shining straight in to the cut, as it is v shaped there should not be any shadow cast and I think that the water may have a better look?
And on an overcast day so the light is even. At the moment the overcast day is looking like a long wait! Southern England heat wave!

Cheers Graham.
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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2013, 04:48:19 AM »

docsmith

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2013, 07:02:05 AM »
As for AE/AF.  I can AE/AF through my 6 stop filter through my view finder on my 5DIII (and 7D for that matter).  I can AE/AF through my 10 stop filter on the 5DIII through Liveview.

As for "how many stops do you need for a waterfall?"  It all depends on the light on the waterfall and what you are trying to accomplish.  Typically, I use 3-6 stop to blur the falling water of a waterfall and 6-10 stops to blur the water at the base/in the pool of the waterfall.  But if the waterfall is in direct light, you may need a 10 stop filter to blur even the falling water.

So, I regularly use all the way from my 1.7 stop CPL to a 10 stop filter.

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2013, 12:54:23 AM »
I've been shooting waterfalls for 45 years and I live in a waterfall rich area. (Near the Columbia River Gorge.)  I shot them obsessively until I switched to shooting pretty women.

The waterfalls around here are mostly in canyons that never get good light on a sunny day.  ND filters don't help, because you have too much contrast between the white falling water and the dark rocks and trees.

I simply wait for a cloudy day or I shoot early in the morning before the clouds burn off.  If I am travelling some distance to photograph a particular waterfall, I make sure I understand it's geographic orientation.  Sometimes with that info, I can make an educated guess as to when there will be good light on the falls, like just before sunset, for example.  Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls Idaho is a good example of a waterfall that faces West for a nice sunset look.  It took me two visits to figure that out!  Sometimes if you wait until evening when there is no direct sun, you can get the dim low-contrast light that you want.

The key thing to remember is that every waterfall is different.

If you are travelling and only have a brief opportunity to shoot a particular waterfall, you are often screwed by the nasty bright, contrasty light.  If you are visiting for the first time, you probably won't know what lens is best, so bring all your wide angle lenses.  It might be helpful to study photos of the particular waterfall on the net to see what light and what shooting positions others have found attractive.

If you happen to get a good cloudy day you are golden.  Set your shutter speed at 1/10, your ISO at 50 and you should have a small enough aperture to do the job.  You won't need a filter unless you want to turn the water into fog, but that's up to you.  Don't be afraid to chimp the LCD screen to get what you want.

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Re: ND filters /waterfalls on 5D3
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2013, 12:54:23 AM »