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Thread: CPL & ND Filters

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    CPL & ND Filters

    Just wondering if it's worth looking into grabbing a couple cheap filters off of eBay to play around with, was thinking a CPL and a ND filter? Are they worth having? Do they make much of a difference?

    Thanks.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    As a beginner, I would suggest you work on your basic photography skills first, before adding filters. Get your skills up and then look at what else you can add to enhance your photography. Having said that

    A CPL is great for landscape photography, if you know how to use it. It can be rotated to change the intensity of the polarising effect, but the effect is also varied based on the angle to the sun, so you can end up with one side of your image looking different to the other cause you have not set your polariser correctly. ND filters are great for doing things like milky waterfall shots, or long exposure sunrise/sunset shoots.

    But you have to have the basic skills of photography down first cause a badly composed waterfall shot, will still be a badly composed waterfall shot with an ND filter.

    More info on filters and what they do etc, can be found here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ead.php?110857
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    Ausphotography Regular aussirose's Avatar
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    Good points Rick. Having said that, I love my CP filter because it makes the sky so vivid blue. Also you can't be without a variable ND if you find that you enjoy long exposure photography. I wouldn't be without mine
    Sounds like you are enjoying learning. Exciting isn't it
    Cheers, Ann

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    Member sanger's Avatar
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    I bought a CPL and ND filter from ebay, about $10 just to see what they do and play with.
    Both work fine if used correctly.
    A couple of pics highlighting both.
    CPL for reflections and ND for long exposure.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I love my CPL and ND filters......agree with Rick and when you are ready to explore what filters do .... I think it's a good idea to buy cheap ones to start with so you can play around and see what they do before investing in the good quality ones which are EXXY!
    Canon 5diii; Canon 7D; Canon 3.5 15-85mm IS USM; Canon 4-5.6 70-300mm IS USM; Canon 1.4 50mm , Canon Macro 100mm 2.8 L IS USM, Canon 35mm 1.4 L USM, Canon 24-105mm L IS USM, CPL and UV filters, manfrotto tripod and Lowepro backpack plus dreams for so much more!!


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    Thanks for all the feedback people, just thought it might be worth grabbing a couple, seeing I can get some cheap ones to play around with while I'm learning and if I like 'em, I can branch out into the more pricier ones.

    Was thinking the CPL Filter would come in really handy while taking photos of the new car.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I would normally say that if they're there, go for them. (Now quickly see below!!)

    BUT (<a big but) be careful about spending money on cheap stuff.
    I'd say that since you think you may have a use for (some of) them, then go for
    something you know is good. If the quality of "cheap stuff" is low, then you'll get
    possibly bad and unwanted results and have wasted your $ as well.

    So if the need is there...[something that follows that].
    Last edited by ameerat42; 10-06-2016 at 3:30pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    I would suggest you do not buy cheap filters, either buy mid level stuff or nothing. I would suggest a quality CPL (around $100). It will help with reflections and also act as a very subtle ND filter.

    I agree with the others that you should hold off on ND filters till your composition and skills improve. But once you feel ready i would suggest a 3 stop filter to start with.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    sanger, I really like the water in your first photo.

    Don't buy cheap. If you like what the filter does, you just end up buying better (though cheap generally won't help you like what it does and will not show you the benefits of the filters you ask about). If you don't like what the cheap filter does you think what's the point and think filters are a waste, which they aren't for some things.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I'm going to go against the grain here and say do buy the cheap filter!
    Yep .. that was a DO, and in go ahead and get them.

    Reason:
    If you find that you use it a fair bit, and the quality is crap .. then go ahead and get yourself a high quality version.

    BUT!!!
    1/. if you find that you don't use it/them much, then you would have wasted far less $'s in trying the experiment.
    2/. if it turns out to be of 'acceptable' quality .. then an even better bonus for you .. you didn't pay some silly price for something that does the job.


    ranting and raving time:
    Years ago, I was also given the same advice as above .. get good quality, etc, etc.. blah blah blah!
    So I did. Spent a small fortune on an uber high qulality Hoya Pro CPL that fit most of my main lenses, but for the specific use on my Sigma 10-20.
    Damned thing cost me over $200! Reason for this particular CPL was the ultra thin frame to eliminate/minimise vignetting, and for the supposed benefit of quality optics.
    After much testing of CPLs for various lenses(that fit) .. the difference in quality between my cheapest CPL and this uber-est Hoya is zero/zip/nothing/zilch!

    I've basically always used my oldest CPL filter(over 20 yo) as my main CPL filter. And even tho the filter rim is about 3x the thickness of the ultra slim pricey Hoya, it still shows no vignetting effects at the 10mm setting(by way of comparison).

    The only difference that I've noted in the quality of the filters in every day use is simply that the higher quality filters such as CPLs will have a much higher quality filter ring mechanism and material.

    The cheaper(smaller) CPLs I've also tried (cheaper shop bought CPLs) usually the filter ring mechanism can fall to pieces on 'ya.
    Remember CPLs have a dual filter ring setup where one side is fixed to the lens, but another outer ring needs the ability to rotate freely.
    There is usually a circlip system used to hold the rotating part to the fixed part .. and in my two cheapies from the shops, the circlip wears out and the front glass section falls out!

    Note that I also did once have a go at a massive CPL filter, with a 122mm size.
    I did try it out simply because to source such a massive CPL is prohibitively expensive for a high quality version .. close to or upwards of $1K or so.
    Found one on ebay for about $25 .. and thought to self .. I just had to try it.
    The temptation of stumbling across such a filter was too great, simply in that such a rare beast comes across every so .. never!
    The conclusion for this specific filter tho was that the filter ring system is top notch .. possibly one of the best I've seen .. ever! It gives the feeling of having been made in "the good old days" when things were made to a higher level of craftsmanship.
    The obvious downside tho is that the optics are about the worst I've ever seen .. and this is comparing it to a cheapie magnifying glass once trialled as a macro relay lens.
    I still have it tho .... simply for the quality of the ring.

    moral:
    I have no issue in trying stuff out. If I lose $20-$30 dollars on a potential lucky strike .. I'm happy with that.
    What I really hate is spending large amounts of $s on a supposed high quality product that is supposed to offer a benefit, but turns out to be a load of crap!

    I have no opinion on ND filters (I rarely use them), but for the past few years my favoured brand of CPL filter is Kenko, and their 'Zeta' branded version.
    Good stuff, at kind'a reasonable prices.
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    Thanks for the feedback guys, appreciate it.

    Yeah, I agree @arthurking83, the way I see it is that if I find I will use the CPL or ND quite a lot then I'll go out and grab a quality version, if not, then I've only lost a few dollars here and there which I don't mind, instead of $100+.

    Anyway, ordered a CPL Filter, 3 ND Filters, a Shutter Remote, Tripod.

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    Ausphotography Regular Filter's Avatar
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    Well done Darkthrone, good decisive action. Out of this thread I just ordered a 77mm Fotga variable ND to have a play with. Last week I purchased a Manfrotto 77mm Pro Digital Circular polarizer so I think I'm about done .
    Filter


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    Member sanger's Avatar
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    That's why I bought cheap first to test the water and the most I would waste is $20 for the two if no good.
    I thought while my two comparisons above are nothing to look at they do highlight that the cheapies do a good enough job for a starting point.
    I also started with both shutter release and tripod cheapies which have also done the job.

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    I got my CPL and 3 ND filters earlier, had a quick play with them, happy with them so far, will have more of a play tomorrow though, also got the shutter remote and tripod, really happy with them as well.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I think the only risk with filters is knowing that you would get something half decent. I've heard horror stories of filters which are not just crap quality, they are basically unusable so whatever you buy, it's important to buy from a location where you can return it if you get a dud.

    On the issue of filters, I've just bought some hoya pro ND, a 6 stop and a 10 stop for about $110 each from a reputable local dealer. You can get them for $50 online but from what I have heard, these are copies and the quality is questionable.
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    Yeah only paid a handful of dollars on each of the filters so if they were no good it's not much of a loss really.

    Didn't get to have a play today like I planned, family member was in hospital all day so been up there, so might tomorrow, but from the quick play with the CPL yesterday, I'm impressed with it.

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    Ausphotography Regular Filter's Avatar
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    I went out today to play with my new filter only to find they sent me a 72mm instead of a 77mm, I was a tad peeved off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Filter View Post
    I went out today to play with my new filter only to find they sent me a 72mm instead of a 77mm, I was a tad peeved off.
    Oh bull****! That's bad luck, or bad service!

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    I used a cheap eBay filter while I was on holidays and was disappointed with the amount of noise in the sky.

    So, I went to a reputable camera store and bought a mid-range branded filter and was again disappointed with the noise in the sky.

    "Those B's have sold me a cheap filter", I thought. So I took a picture of the sky with no filter and guess what? I was disappointed with the amount of noise in the sky. All of these photos were taken at ISO 100 and f8. Cropped at 100% zoom. The shutter speed needed to be increased for the shot without a filter. The first kind of grey one is the cheapie, the nice blue is the more expensive filter, while the shot with clouds is with no filter. The best that can be said of the more expensive filter is that it has a nicer hue.

    Maybe I just expected too much from my camera. It is nothing that can't be fixed with noise reduction software, which is good.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Andrew




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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Yes, the old "Filters DON'T produce noise in the sky, photographers do" adage has been illustrated again

    I would add, as it's relevant to the following question, the the more expensive filter probably DOES NOT have a nicer hue,
    either.

    Oh, wait! One more thing before that question: you should use noise reduction sparingly, as most such processes
    de-noise everything, including detail you might want to preserve.

    And lastly...
    Q: Can you detail how you are processing these, and whether they are crops of a larger images?

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