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Old Feb 25, 2007, 2:19 PM   #1
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Interested in getting a neutral density filter for taking pics in bright sunlight, or assist with slow shutter exposures during daytime.

Wanted to ask if anyone's experience can suggest a particular strength of filter: 1, 2, or 3 fstops. Currently thinking toward 3 fstop filtering.

Not sure what size to get, but thinking that diameter symbol followed by 52 or 58, etc that is on the lens is the size I want.

I've heard of a "graduated" ND filter - what distinguishes this from other ND filters?

Thanks...
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 6:44 PM   #2
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A graduated ND filter is one that is darker on one side and gradually goes to almost transparent, allowing you to take pictures where the view is beyond the dynamic range of the sensor - for instance, sunsets where you want to capture some detail on the ground. Without it your ground could be all black with the sky properly exposed, or you have detail in the ground but your sky is blown out. With it, the dark portion would block the extra light in the sky and make it possible to have proper exposure for both sections of the scene.

The number is the mm diameter of your lens. Check your lens(es) to see what diameter they are (the lens cap has the figure printed on it for an easy way of checking). Not all lenses are the same so you'd need to decide which lenses you want to use the filter on and buy that size. If you have several lenses you want to use the same filter on, buy the biggest size required and then buy step up rings so you can use that filter on lenses with a smaller diameter.

An example - I have one lens with a 77mm diameter (my A*300) and I want to buy a circular polarizer for it. I'd also like to use the filter with the kit lens and the DA 50-200 lenses, which are both 53mm. So I could buy a 77mm filter, then step up ring to go from 52 to 77. Does that make sense to you?

Can't help you with which ND strength you should get - it really depends on how much you want to block the light, and that depends on what you are planning on using it for.
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 10:06 PM   #3
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Thanks, that info was perfect!
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 11:56 PM   #4
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If just one I would say a 2.... but a 1, 2, 3 set might not be a bad idea.. 4 is a bit extreme for most things.

Also keep in mind that a polarizer acts as a 1+ ND depending on how it is is set.

So for instance in combo with a ND 2 would be an effective 3.
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 4:06 AM   #5
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I have the Hoya ND400 - it reduces the available light by 1/500th - around 9 stops
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Old Feb 26, 2007, 8:12 PM   #6
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http://kenkomall.stores.yahoo.net/filters1.html

This place has some 52mm and 55mm ND filters at pretty cheap prices. Not much selection left though.

Tim
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 4:58 AM   #7
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errno_gmm wrote:
Quote:
I have the Hoya ND400 - it reduces the available light by 1/500th - around 9 stops
May I ask for what general purpose? That seem rather extreme... and only one?
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 9:41 AM   #8
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I like the Cokin system and I have a graduated ND filter with 1 stop, but 2 is best. Get the "P" adapter...with this and ring that fits your lens, you can buy lots of cokin filters that meet your needs. Cost wise they are reasonable.
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Old Feb 27, 2007, 9:51 AM   #9
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Again unless used with a polarizer in which case a ND 1 plus the P would equal a 2 stop efect.... so a 1 might be usefull too.

3 might also be useful, but 4 up is fairly extreme.

Plus other than possible vignetting (dpending on lens) a 1 and a 2 can be stacked to net a 3 ND.
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