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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    ND Filter Questions

    I'm aware of what ND filters do, but I know nothing about actually buying and using them. I have a specific question: I'm a little low on funds these days, so I can't practically afford to spend a bunch of money on a set of ND filters. However, I'd like to have at least one "all-purpose" filter that I can use that will cover most situations. Specifically, almost all of the shots I imagine myself taking with the filter would be in mostly full daylight, where I'm shooting rushing rivers, creeks, waves, etc.

    How do I know which filter to buy, 4-stop, 6-stop, 10-stop, etc? Also, what's the preference between using a filter holder and using a hand-held filter? (I'd think handheld would be easier)
    Last edited by smmokan; 04-30-2010 at 01:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bozeman
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    I've had good luck with Marumi ND-8's and polarizer filters picked up on ebay. My advice is go bigger than your biggest filter size and use step up rings. I oiriginally set up for 52mm, then 72mm, then 77mm and am finally at 86mm filters.

    For river shots at 1/2 to 2 seconds I'll use at least 1 ND-8 and a polarizer and sometimes add another ND-8. I believe the ND-8 cuts it down 3 stops. Stacking this many filters can cause vignetting so stepping them up works well for me.

    Haven't tried the handheld filters.

    edit: outabounds nails the river shots-be nice to hear his filter setup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    berkeley
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    1,635
    get a vari-nd. gives you a range of 2-8 stops (at least the singh ray one does).

    and do what mtcham said, get something like an 82mm and use step-up rings.

    i like handheld for grad nd filters so you can do some painting, but with a standard nd, you won't be doing that, so i'm all about ring mounts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    12
    If you already own a circular polarizing filter then this may be an option. Cheaper than the vari-nd, and would give you an idea of what is possible. The big concern would be vignetting due to the stack of filters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Three-O-Three
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    Nope, I don't own a CP filter... but damn, I've been looking around and filters are $$$. Maybe I just won't shoot moving water.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    What sizes do you need steve? I might be able to let you borrow a set while you are here.
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bozeman
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Nope, I don't own a CP filter... but damn, I've been looking around and filters are $$$. Maybe I just won't shoot moving water.
    For the shooter on a filter budget

    CPL's
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Marumi-DHG-Circu...#ht_4370wt_918

    I've bought quite few filters from this outfit.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Marumi-77mm-77-S...#ht_1273wt_983

    Review of CPL's
    http://lenstip.com/115.4-article-Pol...d_summary.html

    ND-8

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Marumi-77-ND8-77...#ht_1213wt_918

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    What sizes do you need steve? I might be able to let you borrow a set while you are here.
    Lonnie- aren't you in SLC? We're driving from Denver to St. George, so I don't know how I could arrange that.

    Mtcham- I'll check those out...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Lonnie- aren't you in SLC? We're driving from Denver to St. George, so I don't know how I could arrange that.
    I was going to drop them in the mail if you really needed them.
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virgina (It's humid here)
    Posts
    4,480
    I just bought 3 filters off KEH for a new lens that's on the way. I don't have them yet, but from what I've heard their rating system for used equipment is really conservative. Not stoopid cheap, but pretty good prices and a safe option if they've got what you want.
    (All 62mm Tiffens rated E: Grad ND, Cir Pol, 81A all for $32 incl ship)

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