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Author Topic: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.  (Read 3533 times)

clicstudio

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Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« on: May 22, 2014, 12:24:13 PM »
Hi I shoot outside a lot, and since my Einstein Flashes can't sync over 1/320, I usually take my Canon 600EX Flash with me.
Unfortunately, even with the built in diffuser, the shadows are harsh. And with a Gary Fong Diffuser, which softens the shadows a lot, the flash loses output so it has to be set at a stronger level, therefore taking longer to recycle.
Another reason I like the on board flash is the High-speed sync, so I can shoot at F2.8 and not worry about shutter speed.
I want to know if there is a filter that will help me keep sync speeds under 1/320 and still shoot at F2.8 on bright sun light.
Basically, sunglasses for my Canon 24-70 II :)
Thanx for your help.

Pat

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70 F2.8L II,  Canon SpeedLite 600 EX-RT, 5x Paul C. Buff Einstein Flashes with Pocket Wizard PowerMC2's, Pocket Wizard Mini-TT1, Pocket Wizard AC3.

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Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« on: May 22, 2014, 12:24:13 PM »

BL

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 12:34:12 PM »
You want a Neutral Density filter to cut down the light transmission so you can drop your shutter speeds to match your X-Sync.

When I use a 3stop ND, I can typically shoot at f/2 @ 1/250 outdoors on a sunny day so I don't have to use high speed sync.

A variable ND works great, but can get pricey.
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mackguyver

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 12:38:48 PM »
Hi I shoot outside a lot, and since my Einstein Flashes can't sync over 1/320, I usually take my Canon 600EX Flash with me.
Unfortunately, even with the built in diffuser, the shadows are harsh. And with a Gary Fong Diffuser, which softens the shadows a lot, the flash loses output so it has to be set at a stronger level, therefore taking longer to recycle.
Another reason I like the on board flash is the High-speed sync, so I can shoot at F2.8 and not worry about shutter speed.
I want to know if there is a filter that will help me keep sync speeds under 1/320 and still shoot at F2.8 on bright sun light.
Basically, sunglasses for my Canon 24-70 II :)
Thanx for your help.

Pat
BL beat me to it, but as he says, what you're looking for is a plain old ND filter to "overpower the sun".  A polarizer can be used, but can do quirky and unflattering things to skintones and generally don't cut enough light.  Depending on the ambient light, you'll need a ND 0.9 or stronger filter to keep the shutter below 1/320s although you should really be shooting at 1/250s which is the 1D X's sync speed.  You'll need the Einsteins with the ND filter on unless you have multiple 600EXs.

Also, generally speaking, the best way to shoot outdoors with a speedlite is to put your subject in full shadow (either open shade or with the sun behind them causing a solid shadow on their face) and then use a un-diffused flash in Av mode with high-speed sync so the camera will meter it as a fill flash.  That or use reflectors to fill in the shadows like I did with this shot with nothing more than a 4' rectangular reflector.  The sun provided a hair light, the reflector served as the main/accent light, and the open shade was the fill.  A set of lights would have produced better results, but sometimes simpler is better.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 01:54:36 PM »
Agree that a 3-stop ND is the way to go.  I have one in 72mm, convenient for the 85L and 135L.
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clicstudio

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 02:37:37 PM »
You want a Neutral Density filter to cut down the light transmission so you can drop your shutter speeds to match your X-Sync.

When I use a 3stop ND, I can typically shoot at f/2 @ 1/250 outdoors on a sunny day so I don't have to use high speed sync.

A variable ND works great, but can get pricey.
Hi, thanx for your reply. That's what I need.   :)
What do u think of this one?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/821128-REG/Tiffen_82VND_82mm_Variable_Neutral_Density.html

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70 F2.8L II,  Canon SpeedLite 600 EX-RT, 5x Paul C. Buff Einstein Flashes with Pocket Wizard PowerMC2's, Pocket Wizard Mini-TT1, Pocket Wizard AC3.

clicstudio

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 02:38:28 PM »
Hi I shoot outside a lot, and since my Einstein Flashes can't sync over 1/320, I usually take my Canon 600EX Flash with me.
Unfortunately, even with the built in diffuser, the shadows are harsh. And with a Gary Fong Diffuser, which softens the shadows a lot, the flash loses output so it has to be set at a stronger level, therefore taking longer to recycle.
Another reason I like the on board flash is the High-speed sync, so I can shoot at F2.8 and not worry about shutter speed.
I want to know if there is a filter that will help me keep sync speeds under 1/320 and still shoot at F2.8 on bright sun light.
Basically, sunglasses for my Canon 24-70 II :)
Thanx for your help.

Pat
BL beat me to it, but as he says, what you're looking for is a plain old ND filter to "overpower the sun".  A polarizer can be used, but can do quirky and unflattering things to skintones and generally don't cut enough light.  Depending on the ambient light, you'll need a ND 0.9 or stronger filter to keep the shutter below 1/320s although you should really be shooting at 1/250s which is the 1D X's sync speed.  You'll need the Einsteins with the ND filter on unless you have multiple 600EXs.

Also, generally speaking, the best way to shoot outdoors with a speedlite is to put your subject in full shadow (either open shade or with the sun behind them causing a solid shadow on their face) and then use a un-diffused flash in Av mode with high-speed sync so the camera will meter it as a fill flash.  That or use reflectors to fill in the shadows like I did with this shot with nothing more than a 4' rectangular reflector.  The sun provided a hair light, the reflector served as the main/accent light, and the open shade was the fill.  A set of lights would have produced better results, but sometimes simpler is better.


Thanx. Cool shot. I think I will get this one.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/821128-REG/Tiffen_82VND_82mm_Variable_Neutral_Density.html

What do u think?
Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70 F2.8L II,  Canon SpeedLite 600 EX-RT, 5x Paul C. Buff Einstein Flashes with Pocket Wizard PowerMC2's, Pocket Wizard Mini-TT1, Pocket Wizard AC3.

mackguyver

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 04:02:35 PM »
Thanks - it was kind of fun to shoot - I used to do fashion many years ago - but haven't done so much since I got married ;D

On the variable ND filter, they are handy, but I'm not sure if you're aware of the dreaded "X" you can get with them at higher (i.e. darker settings).  Essentially they are two polarizers fitted together and you turn them to increase or decrease the amount of light being filtered.  The trade off is the flexibility for changing light, particularly when shooting video. 

I went for this set from Tiffen and have been very pleased with it - it comes with a 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2 filter in 82mm: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/674667-REG/Tiffen_82NDK3_82mm_Digital_Neutral_Density.html

The 0.9 (3-stop) filter is probably all you need for this purpose, though the 1.2 might be needed on bright days.  I have Hoya, Tiffen, and B+W ND filters and this Tiffen set seems to be the best in terms of value, but the B+W filters are really nice and a bit thinner.
CPS Score: 111 points, those 0 and 1 point items really add up

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Re: Polarizing Filter to reduce light advice.
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 04:02:35 PM »