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Author Topic: Filters - how important are they?  (Read 2887 times)

arcanej

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Filters - how important are they?
« on: May 07, 2012, 10:22:51 PM »
I can understand the need for / point of polarizing filters, but how necessary / useful are filters for everyday shooting?

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Filters - how important are they?
« on: May 07, 2012, 10:22:51 PM »

newjerseykita

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 10:42:44 PM »
THIS! SOMEONE ANSWER THIS, i have nearly all L glass and i have no filters, what should i get and why!?

24-70, 70-200 2.8 is usm MARK II, 50 1.4, what filters and why?

neuroanatomist

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 04:21:49 AM »
Many filters are designed/needed for film, few are useful for digital.  IMO, the useful ones (i.e. effects cannot easily be replicated in post) are:

  • Circular polarizing: cuts reflections, deepens skies, etc.
  • Neutral density: longer shutter speeds to blur motion (waterfalls, waves, etc.)
  • Graduated ND: compensate for differential brightness of sky vs. ground (can sort of be done with HDR)
  • Clear or UV: protection (some L lenses require a filter to complete the weather sealing)
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RJSY

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 04:46:47 AM »
+1

what neuro said....

and if you're looking for a recommendation on what brand.... B&W is tops...

imkev

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 05:09:04 AM »
Was wondering about what filters to get myself. Thanks guys...
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briansquibb

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 05:10:30 AM »
In terms of image looks the only filter that cannot be added in pp is the polariser

For adding DR then grads can help a lot. I often use blue and red grads

The rest as neuro said

bycostello

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 05:29:29 AM »
+1

what neuro said....

and if you're looking for a recommendation on what brand.... B&W is tops...

i'm a hoya fan

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 05:29:29 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 06:47:49 AM »
Many filters are designed/needed for film, few are useful for digital.  IMO, the useful ones (i.e. effects cannot easily be replicated in post) are

+1 ... I've got clear b+w protection filters on my lenses with no iq drawbacks - some lenses even require a filter for full sealing. I'd like to add that polarizers mostly don't work with wide-angle due to too different angles towards the sun. I thought grad filters are analog old-school, but after what briansquibb wrote maybe I should think again? How often do you use them (for static scenes I'd just do hdr or exposure fusion, that's when IS comes in handy, too)?

It's a pity polarizers & nd are so expensive for 82mm - but I guess if I get the Tamron 24-70, there's no way around it. Shooting water/glass with a polarizer is extremely useful, and bulb with nd is great too.

briansquibb

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 07:05:03 AM »
+1 ... I've got clear b+w protection filters on my lenses with no iq drawbacks - some lenses even require a filter for full sealing. I'd like to add that polarizers mostly don't work with wide-angle due to too different angles towards the sun. I thought grad filters are analog old-school, but after what briansquibb wrote maybe I should think again? How often do you use them (for static scenes I'd just do hdr or exposure fusion, that's when IS comes in handy, too)?

ND Grads are good in that they can reduce the DR of the scene, therefore allowing better details to be captured.

The traditional use is to have a scene with a bright sky and dark grass/trees etc. In summer the bright sky totally overpowers the ground, so you end up with blown out sky or near black ground , depending where you are metering.

By adding a grad with dark at the top and light at the bottom you reduce the light coming from the sky whilst not affecting the light from the ground - which means you can capture detail in the sky as well as the ground as the by reducing the sky light you are reducing the DR of the scene  - by several stops. This means that in this case a 5DIII + ND Grad would be able to capture the same detail as a D800.

I like using ND grads for low light street scenes where the dark  part reduces the light level of the street lamps

I also have used 2 together, blue and red for sunsets on the sea. I put the dark red on the sky and the dark blue on the sea - gives spectactular colouring.

I use Cokin/Lee filters

IIIHobbs

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 07:40:38 PM »
I am not a fan of filters, i keep my lenses clean and covered when not shooting.

I had a Tiffen Polarizer on my 17-40 f4 years ago, and did not like the reduced image sharpness. Sold the filter (and the lens eventually). However, I have been considering the B+W 82mm Circular Polarizer for my 16-35 f2.8 since getting my 5DIII. Reason for the renewed interest is since getting the 5DIII I have been using the 16-35 for primarily landscape.

Thoughts/recommendations.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 10:56:32 PM by IIIHobbs »

Razor2012

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 12:02:29 AM »
I use B+W also, XS-PRO MRC Nano.  I can't stand the thought of something touching the glass, like some guck getting splashed on it and having to clean it off. :o  ;)
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2012, 09:51:32 AM »
I had a Tiffen Polarizer on my 17-40 f4 years ago, and did not like the reduced image sharpness. Sold the filter (and the lens eventually). However, I have been considering the B+W 82mm Circular Polarizer for my 16-35 f2.8 since getting my 5DIII. Reason for the renewed interest is since getting the 5DIII I have been using the 16-35 for primarily landscape.

Thoughts/recommendations.

Were you using the CPL and 17-40 on APS-C?  I ask because at angles of view wider than ~24mm (on FF), a CPl will give uneven polarization of the sky, resulting in dark/light bands.  Sometimes the effect works, sometimes it distracts.  Just something to be aware of...  OTOH, for shots of water, foliage, etc., the uneven polarization isn't much of an issue.  Personally, I have a B+W 82mm Käsemann CPL and it's excellent (I use it both on the 16-35mm II and on the TS-E 24mm II).
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IIIHobbs

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 12:00:15 PM »
Were you using the CPL and 17-40 on APS-C?

Yes I was. 40D and the 17-40 with either a Tiffen UV and Tiffen CP (separately). The colors with the CP were great, but the sharpness/clarity with vs without, were noticeable.

OTOH, for shots of water, foliage, etc., the uneven polarization isn't much of an issue.  Personally, I have a B+W 82mm Käsemann CPL and it's excellent (I use it both on the 16-35mm II and on the TS-E 24mm II).

The glare and reflections are what I was looking to overcome more than darkening the sky.

I have a beach trip coming up in a few weeks and really wanted to take some of my new gear with me (reluctant). Adding the MRC UV filters to the lenses I decide to take along is what I am considering; to reduce salt/sand contamination on the lens front.

For most of my work, I really don't see the need to keep filters on the lenses.

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 12:00:15 PM »

cliffwang

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 07:20:51 PM »
I have protector for all my lens because that make me easier to clean the lens.  That's the only reason for me to have protector in front of my lens.  I personally believe lens hoods are the best friends for your lenses.  If you really need a protector, get B&W or Hoya.
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Terry Rogers

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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 09:16:16 PM »
I once dropped my camera shattering the UV filter and leaving the lens intact. I also feel much more comfortable cleaning a filter than my lens
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Re: Filters - how important are they?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 09:16:16 PM »