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Old Oct 16, 2005, 5:07 PM   #1
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Hey guys,
I am looking at some filters for my sony cam (polarising filter and Neutral density filter) and the sales person told me these would make the images look more life like. IMO i dont think this guy had any idea what he was talking about.

Could someone explain what the 2 filters actaully do and if photoshop could accurately simulate what these filters achieve.

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Old Oct 17, 2005, 7:39 AM   #2
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ND filters simply cut the amount of light getting through the lens ... they are useful in some settings (such as taking IR shots with an IR enabled camera) or shooting in an EXTREMELY bright place (an ND filter is like putting sunglasses on your camera). Probably for most people an ND filter would be bottom of the list. And you can brighten/darken to a certain extent in PhotoShop. I use normal Hoya ND filters (4 and 8,and occasionally an almost-black ND 400), when shooting infrared on my Sony F-828. The ND400 allows for LONG tripod exposures that, in effect, remove any moving-through-the-scene items (http://www.digitalsecrets.net/Sony/AdvancedKnow2.html).

Now, the polarizing filter. You MAY be able to replicate some of its use in PhotoShop (like making fall leaf colors more vibrant and intense). But a polarizing filter cuts glare ... for example, if you cannot see through the reflections on a window, turn the polarizer until the glare is removed/reduced and you can see through the window with no problem. Ditto clear lake water to see fish, etc. I have and use a polarizer quite a bit and find it very useful (but not mandatory by any means). The polarizing filterhas always been (over 40 years), and always will be my first filter of choice.

On edit, this site has some polarizer example photos http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/digi...mcfiltereg.htmas does this site http://www.offrench.net/photos/artic...ing_filter.php

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Old Oct 17, 2005, 1:03 PM   #3
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Polarizing lens filters cut the "scattered" light out and only allow in light directly from the image itself. Scattered light can be similar to background noise. Reflections are only one example of scattering...hazy days are heavy with scattered light. ND filters are designed to cut light down by a specified amount (stops) across the spectrum. In other words, they don't favor any one frequency...hence the term "Neutral Density".
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Old Oct 18, 2005, 12:00 AM   #4
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Thanks heaps for all your help guys
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Old Oct 31, 2005, 12:45 AM   #5
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A simple rule to remember is a computer editing package can only work on what it is given. If crap comes in, all you can do is hope to improve on crap....

If you improve the original input, by using a filter, then you have more for the editing package to work with.

no editing package can accuratly put something into a photograph that was not originally captured.

You can improve what is there, but without digitally faking things, you cant improve something that does not exist...
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