Author Topic: Suggestions for filters?  (Read 15575 times)

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Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1153
  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Suggestions for filters?
« on: March 28, 2014, 06:42 PM »
I've been looking for a while into the 100mm Lee Filters system to make my landscape photos more evenly exposed (ND filters) and possibly for added hues (coloured filters).

I was looking for a suitable starter kit on eBay and the amount of combinations is a bit overwhelming.

Originally I thought that the starter set with the holder + soft grad ND filters for 1,2 and 3 stops (0.3, 0.6 & 0.9) would be it, but now I noticed other combos with the big stopper (10 stops) + 2 & 3 stop soft grad ND's or just the filter holder + the big stopper, sets with hard grads, a combination of all above, etc.

Since these filters are quite dear I wouldn't want to shell £500+ just to get the lot.

What combination of filters would you suggest as a good starter set for landscape photography?
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline carlb40

  • Posts: 367
  • Site carpenter
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 10:25 AM »
I have a .3/ .6/ .9 grad filters, but mainly use the .6/.9  I also have a .9 ND - sold my big stopper as i rarely used it. Plus for seascapes i have a Hitech .9 reverse grad. Plus i have a warm up filter as i now use film rather than digital. :)

TBH i would just buy filters as and when needed, it might cost slightly more, but why buy a set and only use 2 out of 3 filters. ;) 
Carl

Never never go, never never know [smile]

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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3299
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 11:50 AM »
The one filter I would recommend above all others is the B+W 486 IR/UV filter with a digital camera. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1898
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2014, 12:29 PM »
Expensive but rewarding journey you're taking. If the sets save lots of cash per filter then I'd get the set, you can always sell any you don't find helpful.

Of equal or greater value is polarization, consider their rotating polarizers, circular or linear, or better yet both.

Also consider when possible the wideangle rings in case you want to get adventurous and stack many filters, and especially if you dive into tilt/shift lenses which can take landscape work to a whole new level of possibilities.
+1

Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1153
  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2014, 05:15 PM »
Thanks for your insights!

So 0.6 + 0.9 + 0.9 reverse would be a good starter set on ND grads and since I'm usually out and about at sunset time I might look into the sunset filter set for hues and ignore the big stopper for the time being. The set discounts aren't that stellar with Lee's products since they seem to have a rather standard sale price all over... about £30 savings over separate parts. I'm definitely planing on getting the 77mm wide angle adapter since I shoot most of my landscapes on my EF17-40 f/4L. I guess you cannot use a circular polarizer attached to the lens with the Lee Filter holder? The Lee 105mm circular polarizer and holder attachment is another £200 which does make me cringe...

I live by the sea so about half of my landscapes have sea in them, but I also take photos on hikes into the national parks where the horizon is usually hilly treetops. I've understood that a hard grad would be good for a straight well defined horizon like the sea, but not so well suited for uneven horizons like treetops + hills.

How would you do with hard vs. soft grads?

Edit: So I went and ordered the basic kit of the holder + 77mm wide angle adapter + 0.9 soft grad ND filter to start off with and will add filters along the way when I get a better idea on what I need.
I'd still like to hear you insights on the filter combinations and hard vs. soft though.  [wink]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 05:45 PM by Reiska »
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1898
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 08:28 PM »
Hard vs soft grad all comes down to the effect you want and experimentation. Also consider bracketing shots and combining in photoshop. If you at all go that route be sure to ALWAYS keep RAW files. Many ways to do things digitally but the polarizer is unique to the time of shooting. Circular is basically necessary if you're relying on TTL metering but a rotating linear offers you so much more artistic benefit and can be stop compensated for manually.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 10:48 PM by Paul G »
+1

Offline es07Eric

  • Posts: 191
    • www.ericllanesphotography.com
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 02:54 AM »
Forget about the Big Stopper for now, pretty much pointless unless you plan on making water look like ice.  Also, if you're shooting full frame, be careful with a CPL as it will cause banding in your exposures, especially at 17mm and wider.

As for hard vs grad, I'd say go hard, it's easier to create a gradient in post than it is to create a natural looking "hard" line.

Cheers,
Eric
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Offline iamnothim

  • Posts: 1422
Re: Suggestions for filters?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 05:11 PM »
I have a lot different filters.  NDF, Polar, on-lens, and large plates.
Other than water effects or implied motion I rarely use them.

Instead....... Google (Nik) Color Efex Pro 4
My reputation pre-deceases me.