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Old Sep 19, 2003, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default Filters for digital cameras

Are filters needed for digital cameras?

Although the list of accessories in my new Nikon 5400 includes filters, my camera retailer seemed to think that they were unnecessary (other than as a means of protecting the lens). The Nikon 5400 uses 79mm filters and they are generally very expensive. The retailer sugested that with digital photography, anything that a filter would do can be done with software instead.

Is he right?
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Old Sep 19, 2003, 11:26 PM   #2
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Well, not everything... a polarizer filter for example, will filter out certain reflections from an image, creating a different look that cannot be recreated in post processing. Also, infrared filters block off visible light and the near infrared images produced also cannot be perfectly reproduced without it.

79mm?? Was that a typo? That's wider than the 77mm filters for my lenses!
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Old Sep 20, 2003, 2:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Filters for digital cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by wpla
Are filters needed for digital cameras?
Yes, filters are needed and being used by digital shooters. If you wish to buy only one, it is going to be a polarizer. The remaining list would include neutral density (ND) and gradual ND filters. The effect that you can obtained with other filters (e.g., color compensation and color correction) can easily be duplicated by an image editing system. However, the effects you can get from a polarizer (linear and circular should work fine with your 5400), ND and gradual ND filters cannot be duplicated easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wpla
Although the list of accessories in my new Nikon 5400 includes filters, my camera retailer seemed to think that they were unnecessary (other than as a means of protecting the lens). The retailer sugested that with digital photography, anything that a filter would do can be done with software instead.

Is he right?

The retailer is not right, absolutely. Polarizers can eliminate reflection from non-metallic surfaces making colors more saturated. This cannot be done with any software because the reflection has changed the original color and tonality, and even the scene dramatically. For example, with a polarizer, one cannot see through fishes under water due to water reflection. A polarizer can eliminate this reflection to some degree allowing you to see through the water. ND filters and gradual ND filters help reduce the light intensity that can reach the image sensor. With ND or gradual ND, the image or portion of the image may be over-exposed. Should this happen, no image editing system can rescue those lost details from an over-exposed image. See the "Filters" section of my Coolpix 4500 for the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wpla
The Nikon 5400 uses 79mm filters and they are generally very expensive.
I believe 79mm is a typo. The actual value should be 77mm. However, that is the lens cap size and is not the thread size for using filters. You will need an adapter to use filters in a more efficient way. Check here for possible adapters: http://members.rogers.com/nextphoto/order5400.htm

CK
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Old Sep 20, 2003, 3:53 AM   #4
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I suspect that the dealer was thinking along the lines of color corection lenses. The need for color corection lenses has been mostlly replaced by adjustable white ballance. They are still usefull if you want to alter from a proper white ballance (like a warming filter) or for special effects etc. I would look on ebay. I have found some pretty good deals on filters there, if you are carfull.
Fyi I am having a lot of fun learning ir photography. There are defanatlly filters that are usefull. I also agree that a uv and a polerizer should be among your first purchases (the uv primarilly for protection.
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