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Old Feb 1, 2013, 6:39 AM   #1
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Default ND Filter Suggestions Wanted:

Hi, I have a Canon 7d with a EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 Lens. I'd like to know what ND filters that you are using for both stills and video such as manufacturer, stops, etc.. I'm basically looking for a couple good all around ND's. Your help will be most appreciated. Thanks, Ray
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 8:22 AM   #2
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For Filters: Price is an excellent indication of quality.

You've got nice gear. Don't ruin it all by using cheap filters.

Don't scrimp.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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ND filters brand and stops ?

Personally I primarily use the Lee Filters 4*4 (100mm*100mm) and 4*6 (100mm*150mm) filters system.

Stop wise 2, 3 and 10 stop ND.

I prefer the Cokin z-Pro filter holder to the Lee filter holder, but they getting difficult to find here.

If you are looking for high end also look at the offerings from singh-ray, I have their polarizers and they are very good.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 1:31 PM   #4
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  • Look for "Multicoated" or some indication that the filter is multicoated.
  • Look for "Digital" or some indication that both sides of the filter are mulitcoated.
  • OEM Brands (i.e.: Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, Sony) are good.
  • SOME third party brands (i.e.: B+W, Schneider, Heliopan) are good.
  • SOME product lines from SOME third party brands (Hoya DMC, Tiffen Digital HT) are good.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 7:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I do have a B+W Digital MRC Nano XS Pro UV filter on my lens for a couple reasons; Protection and known dust issues on this particular lens from other owners. I have done some research on both variable and solid ND's. My research has shown X factor issues with the variables, but on the flip side they are convienent. The biggest draw back with solid ND's would be threading them on and off more frequent. As of right now I'm lening towards the solid ND's due to the lack of the X pattern and knowing exactly what stop is being used for calculations. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that a 6 stop and a 9 or 10 stop would be a good basic platform for both stills and video. What are your thoughts? Your help is most appreciated. Thank you, Ray
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 5:48 AM   #6
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I use a B+W ND 0.6 on my Tokina 100-300/4 while shooting outdoors so I can keep the aperture wide open (for a shallow D0F) and get a shutter speed that's not so fast as to do away with all motion blur. Without it, I 'd need to use a smaler aperture that brought backgrounds into focus, and/or shutter speeds that would freeze all motion in a horse's mane, tail, and hooves.

The "0.6" is a measure of the optical density of the filter, which in this case is equivalent to 2 stops. An "ND 0.9" would be 3 stops. In order for an ND filter to be 10 stops, it would be an "ND 3.0" filter which blocks 99.9% of light. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral...D_filter_types )

What are you planning to use an ND filter for?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 7:44 AM   #7
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Hi, thanks again for your help! Smooth/soft DOF of moving and non-moving area around my point of focus such as moving water/landscapes. I also take both stills and video of snow landscapes with snow covered pines. I've seen many photos which give a soft look of landscapes along with a very detailed point of focus. I understand that this is going to take some practice, but i'm willing to learn. It appears that a 1.8 (6 stop) along with a 9 or 10 stop would be what I'm looking for. In your opinion, would this be good for both stills and video? Thanks again to all of you for your help, Ray

Last edited by Ray and Paula; Feb 2, 2013 at 7:48 AM.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 8:12 AM   #8
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Each stop you get from an ND Filter means, all other things being equal, you get to double your exposure time. For what I think you want to do, I don't think there'd be much difference between a 5 second exposure you'd get with an ND 1.8 and a 80 second exposure you'd get with an ND 3.0. But if your subject is so bright that you need the ND 3.0 to get a 5 second exposure, then that's all there is.

This animated GIF from the WikiMedia Commons shows the effect of different shutter speeds on a small waterfall:



Whatever shutter speed you're getting now for the subjects you what to shoot, this should give you some idea of how many stops you need to be able to get the result you want.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 11:23 PM   #9
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As TCav mentioned a 10 stop blocks 99.9 of light, it is almost a solid black.
To use it you pre-focus the lens and get your setups settings for a shot without the filter, then mount the filter and use a table to convert that shutter speed to what you need to enter into your timer. (You need to use Bulb mode and an external remote timer to get over 30 seconds)

My Canons can only self time to a 30 seconds exposure and the exposures required even in mid day with the 10stop usually go over a minute especially if you want a lot of DOF in the image.

Not sure how useful a 10stop would be for video where you need maybe 29 frames a second, unless you are doing time-lapse.

I've tried a few different 10stops brands and they all seem to exhibit some nasty flare effects if the sun shows up in the frame.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 6:13 AM   #10
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Hi, Thanks for all the great info.. Very much appreciated. Ray
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