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miahurricane
Which grade of ND filters do you suggest I purchase? I of course would love a set, but do not have that luxury. I want to get for shooting at the beach, and here it is mainly bright Sunny South Florida days Any other suggestions of filters to purchase and where from? I usually shot BH. ~ Thanks Julie
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SM2012
I suggest you consider the Cokin system, which attaches a frame into which you slot in various kinds of filter "plates". The initial purchase price is probably higher than a one-off filter purchase, but you can add to your collection and adapt the frame to various lenses, each of which has a different diameter and sometimes a slightly different thread (which means you can wreck an expensive lens with adapter rings or cheap filters that can't be taken off again!). I have bought several ND filters for e.g. a 58 mm diameter lens, only to give them away when I upgraded to lenses with a 72 mm, 77 mm or 82 mm diameter.

There is one downside to Cokin (or similar approaches): you have to clean carefully both sides of the filter for specks frequently. They're exposed to the elements.

Perhaps the most cost-effective solution is Lightroom 4, which has a very effective and totally adjustable ND function. A professional photographer friend of mine says it makes little sense to purchase a very expensive lens and then stick a $10 filter on the end.
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miahurricane
I remember the Cokin from "film" cameras. One question, and I do not mean to sound dumb, but that's what a forum is about right? Does the Cokin square "drop ins" stay in securely if I was in an extremely windy surrounding? That is what I do not remember Thanks
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SM2012
Apart from a UV filter to protect the front end of a very expensive wide-angle lens, I don't use filters so I can't answer your question. I shoot in RAW and post-process in LR4, which costs $149 in Amazon.com. I used to buy Hoya filters (same company as Pentax, BTW) for their glass and manufacturing quality. Some of their ND and UV filters cost more than Lightroom! It's when you've crossed the thread (i.e., screwed in the filter badly) with a cheap filter on an expensive lens that you start to wonder whether you haven't made a terrible mistake...

The same search for Cokin in Amazon produces a "complete kit" for exactly half the price of Lightroom. I didn't find an answer to your question, but I can say that you have glass in front of your lens, but Cokin doesn't manage your images or correct them with anything like the flexibility and effectiveness of LR4.

Sorry, forgot to add another downside: you can't use a lens hood (of course) unless you buy the Cokin one, which means the risk of more flare, especially in your bright, sunny Florida.

Some people swear by filters. I have sworn at them. And putting a specific filter on a lens instantly limits your creative options later in post-processing, but that is only my opinion and I fully understand (and to some extent agree with) the approach that says get it right for the shot and minimise the salvage work later on a computer.

IMO filters made perfect sense with film, but I fail to see their relevance in digital, especially if you shoot in RAW.
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miahurricane
Thank You Very much!
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yellodog
I don't use filters myself but I think some of them do have specialized uses which are hard to duplicate in LR. If you have to have a very slow shutter speed or very thin depth of focus in blazing sunlight is one of them. Of course what you can do is make sure you do your shooting close to dawn or sundown which has the added benefit of giving you a lot more interesting light.
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digitalideas
I have 3 filters I got off eBay for $25 and they seem to work very good I usually use the polarized one but I also have one for night shots and neutral density filter as well.
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thekeyislooking
I have been thinking about buying some ND filters too... i understand the advantages of frame system over screw-on filters...
What about shooting long exposure in daylight? ND filters can be very useful for just that!
And ND graduated filters can be useful for ie. shooting a beach at sunset, when the beach and water tends to be too dark compared to the sky, or sky too bright compared to the foreground...
But what "stops" to choose if you are on a budget, thats the problem/question? (i mean, what 'strenght' of darkening of the filter to choose)
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digitalideas
To be honest i play around the with the settings on the f stops because according to what i read somewhere they are 2 fstops greater than the one you have on your camera setting, so compensate 2 fstops above. I use more my polarized filter than thean the nd and night filters.
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liveandletlive
I just had to Google what an ND filter is.
Now I want one.
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liveandletlive
Well Marjorie,
You might want one to keep your wave shots from getting overexposed when you travel to Astoria.
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SewerRanger
I love my conklin filters - I bought a ND one for the same reason as you and have found many uses for it. I've not had any issues with it "blowing away" in high winds. If anything you really have to be forceful to get the glass out of the square holder. The other thing I like about them is that you can position the ND filter in about four different spots - the closer the more pronounced the dark/light transition is.
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GKorts
I am using Cokin already a long time. Of course you can do everything with a soft nowadays but if you come home with 400 pics on your card it is a real relief to have only minor adjustments or take the shot just out of the box. And that Cokin should be wind sensitive is a fairytale most probably spread by Adobe )
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GKorts
Oh I forgot they have ND gradual filters in pink which can be a real goodie if you shot at grey in grey weather
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HoosierAtHeART
I LOVE MY ND filter!!! I bought a variable ND filter so you can adjust it. Some are really expensive but I got a reasonable one (Genus brand from B & H Photo). I use it constantly since you can adjust it to a little or a lot!
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