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Old Dec 22, 2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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I bought myself for Christmas a 4X neutral desnisty filter, a circular polarizer and a UV filter (for lens protection with my 18-250). I have had very good luck figuring out the polarizer. However, the neutral density I am having problems with.

I thought the neutral density filter was supposed to cause a shift in exposure by a couple of stops making images that would have otherwise been too light or blown out to come out correct. However, taking the same shot with and without the ND filter both images look the same. It is as if the camera is compensating. I can force a difference if I take a meter reading without the ND filter and then lock in the setting in manual mode. Then the ND shot is darker. But, I can't get this same effect in auto. Yes, the exposure shifts, but what good is that when the image comes out looking exactly the same as the shot without the ND. I thought the ND was supposed well as I said make the shot darker so that you for example don't blow out the sky?

I suspect I am missing something, a few brain cells maybe.

Also, what exactly besides protecting the front of the lens does the UV filter do? I have take shots with and without (same subject) and can't see a bit of difference. When and on what kind of shots would I see the UV filter at work.

Finally, does anyone have any comments on the Promaster digital filters compared to the non-digital Promaster filters. From reading the digital one should make a difference but I am not seeing it. The only thing I am seeing is less money in my bank account.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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With the neutral density filter, I always meter without it and then lock this in using manual mode. Then I apply the filter.
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Old Dec 22, 2007, 11:23 AM   #3
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An ND filter gives you access to larger apertures or slower shutter speeds when shootig in bright light. Say, for example, you wanted to take a picture of niagra falls with a two second shutter speed for that neato blurred water look. You can't do it, no matter how small of an f stop you use, because there's simply too much light . The ND filter purposely throws away light.

If you don't want to blow out the sky, simply dial in a bit of negative exposure compensation. IF that doens't give you the look you want, perhaps a graduated ND filter is what you want. Those are dark on top, but clear as you move toward the bottom.
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Old Dec 22, 2007, 11:49 AM   #4
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David has it right, many people used graduated ND filters since they allow you to expose the sky at a couple of stops lower than the foreground resulting in a much wider dynamic range covered in a landscape image. A straight ND filter is for slowing down the shutter or allowing a wider aperture to control DOF in brightly lit scenes.

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 1:08 PM   #5
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I see you have the answer concerning the ND filters. Personally, I don't think the UV filters do a thing to improve a photograph and sometime can detract from the photograph. I think the biggest selling point is supposed to be "protection" for your lens. Personally, I put the lens cap back on when I am not shooting and leave the UV filters off all together.

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 1:59 PM   #6
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Indeed. Any filter added to your lens is adding two more reflective surfaces, and/or changing the color. Why would one spend the money for a super-multi-coated lens, only to add more reflections and flare by using a filter? :? (edit: talking about the UV, Skylight, etc. filters here, not ND.)
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Old Dec 22, 2007, 4:45 PM   #7
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Well that was one of my questions. The Promaster digital filters is supposed to include "technology" to reduce these kinds of problems that is why they are so much more expensive.

As for the UV filter that seems to be the standard one to use to protect the lens.

Another of my questions which haven't been answered yet are these ultra expensive (three times the price here locally) digital filters worth that kind of money compared to the filters that were designed for the old film cameras.

So far my testing of the polarizer and HD filters seem to indicate no. But, what I am not sure of is if this extra "technology" in the digital filters pays off under certain circumstances. I doubt I would get an honest answer if I asked Promaster, they want to sell the expensive ones.

I was hoping that someone might have more experience with the digital versions and non-digital versions and could tell me that under these circumstances the digital ones on a digital SLR really pays off.

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 6:29 PM   #8
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the two are the same because they ARE the same. ck the Ev of each shot and that will tell you the difference.

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 7:31 PM   #9
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I purchased a ND8 filter last year to do exactly as David has said, to reduce the amount of light coming in and facilitate longer exposures during daylight shooting.

NOW I have worked out how to use the Multi Exposure Mode oton the K10 achieve the same effect, I don't need it.

I still use a CP filter for sky contrast and to cut glass reflections.

I have UV/Clear filters over all my lenses simply for the added protection.

There has been huge threads on many different forums about the benefits or not of using them, it is a personal choice.

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 7:48 PM   #10
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When you live in a humid enviroment early morning photos with a polorizing filter and either a Skylight or UV filter are a must. They do help cut through the water vapor fog the is so prevalent in North alabama Summer mornings. I know cause I've tried with and without UV's they work but do not totally relieve the problem. The polorizer helps by cutting the reflected light from these morning sunlit vapors and together with the UV or Skylight filter they cut through 80-90 percent of it.
Use a graduated ND for the sky and clouds. I use a Cokin Grad ND because I not only can rotate it to get the ND where I need it but the Gelatin Filter being square and much larger than the buisiness end of the lens can be moved up or down to give varying degrees of coverage and Nd exposure compensation without vignetting. Ya' Caint Do thet with a roundy one! And you can't do it with the camera controls..You can do something close with filters in PP but it still ain't tha same!


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