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Neutral Density Filter?
What is this? In what situation would you use a neutral density filter?..

Comments (9)

Sgt_Strider wrote:.

What is this? In what situation would you use a neutral density filter?.

It's called neutral because it is not coloured (unlike yellow, orange or red filters use in b & w film work). It has density, meaning it is not bright like clear glass, it darkens the image, or actually reduces the amount of light passing..

What is it used for? A plain ND filter could be used to cut the amount of light, allowing slower (longer) shutter speeds to be used. Examples would be in shooting waterfalls, to create a dreamy blurred effect. Another could be in shooting a busy street scene or building interior. If people are walking in and out of the scene during shooting, a very long exposure could be used and the transient passing of people will not be noticed, giving an empty-looking scene..

Secondly, there are Graduated ND filters, which fade from having density at one end, to clear glass at the other, usually with a mid-zone where there is a gradual transition. These can be used to good effect in shooting landscapes, to balance the brightness of the sky against the darker ground. Without the filter the sky is over-exposed and washed-out.Regards,Peter..

Comment #1

Sherwoodpete wrote:.

Sgt_Strider wrote:.

What is this? In what situation would you use a neutral density filter?.

It's called neutral because it is not coloured (unlike yellow, orangeor red filters use in b & w film work). It has density, meaning it isnot bright like clear glass, it darkens the image, or actuallyreduces the amount of light passing.What is it used for? A plain ND filter could be used to cut theamount of light, allowing slower (longer) shutter speeds to be used.Examples would be in shooting waterfalls, to create a dreamy blurredeffect. Another could be in shooting a busy street scene or buildinginterior. If people are walking in and out of the scene duringshooting, a very long exposure could be used and the transientpassing of people will not be noticed, giving an empty-looking scene.Secondly, there are Graduated ND filters, which fade from havingdensity at one end, to clear glass at the other, usually with amid-zone where there is a gradual transition. These can be used togood effect in shooting landscapes, to balance the brightness of thesky against the darker ground. Without the filter the sky isover-exposed and washed-out.Regards,Peter.

Do you have any pictures to demonstrate this effect?..

Comment #2

Sgt_Strider wrote:.

Do you have any pictures to demonstrate this effect?.

Not my own work. But I've always been impressed with the work of Steve (g0wex). Some recent examples where the skies have been enhanced by a graduated ND filter:http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1008&message=25226236http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1022&message=25113604Some waterfall examples:http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1022&message=25089845.

Actually, according to Steve he did not use any filter for the waterfall shots, but he did use a slow shutter speed (4 or 6 whole seconds I think) which is the point I was making.My compliments to the photographer here.Regards,Peter..

Comment #3

Sherwoodpete wrote:.

Sgt_Strider wrote:.

Do you have any pictures to demonstrate this effect?.

Not my own work. But I've always been impressed with the work ofSteve (g0wex). Some recent examples where the skies have beenenhanced by a graduated ND filter:http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1008&message=25226236http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1022&message=25113604Some waterfall examples:http://forums.dpreview.com/...ms/readflat.asp?forum=1022&message=25089845Actually, according to Steve he did not use any filter for thewaterfall shots, but he did use a slow shutter speed (4 or 6 wholeseconds I think) which is the point I was making.My compliments to the photographer here.Regards,Peter.

So why would a ND filter be used over a polarizer in those scenes? It seems to me that a ND filter and a polarizer have similar functionalities...

Comment #4

Polarizer cuts up to 2 stops of light, that's it. It is best used to reduce the glare from water, for example. Or give a dull sky a more vibrant blue hue..

Neutral density is cutting the amount of light entering the camera so you can obtain slow shutter speeds in brighter light. There are different amounts of ND filtes. 1 stop, 2 stop, 4 stop, 8 stop etc...

You could never acheive some long exposure photography without them or by using a polarizer. As I said...polarizer will cut up to 2 stops of light, but that's it..

Here are a few photos that I've recently taken with 4 stacked ND filters during the afternoon. These are between 1-2 minute exposures of the ocean..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

You'll notice what a slow shutter speed will do to the ocean. I couldn't acheive this without the ND filters. I could do just after the sun has set, but with the 4 stacked ND filters, this allows me to do this type of photography at all times of the day. A polarizer could not do this..

Check out my photo galleries !!http://www.vandervalk.cahttp://www.vandervalk.ca/yukonhttp://www.vandervalk.ca/usa.

And when I stop being lazy, I'll actually put them onto my main website gallery and not have 3 seperate galleries. ..

Comment #5

Would you recommend that I buy both a polarizer and a ND filter then? Or if you were to pick one, which one would you pick?..

Comment #6

That may help answer some of your questions.http://www.naturephotographers.net/dw0502-1.html.

Http://www.earthboundlight.com/...otips/neutral-density-and-graduated-nd.htmlJoe B..

Best wishes.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Anything's possible if you don't know what you're talking about...

Comment #7

Joe Btfsplk wrote:.

That may help answer some of your questions.http://www.naturephotographers.net/dw0502-1.html.

Http://www.earthboundlight.com/...otips/neutral-density-and-graduated-nd.htmlJoe B.Best wishes.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Anything's possible if you don't know what you're talking about..

Thanks for the response. It sounds like using a ND filter requires a bit more work than a polarizer. As a newbie to photography maybe I'll stick with a polarizer instead of a ND filter...

Comment #8

If you want your photos to look better during a sunny blue sky or you are taking a lot of picutres with glare, water, reflections etc.. then you will want the Polarizer. ND filter is not something one would need everyday, unless you are specifically looking to increase your shutter time, which most people don't..

I would suggest that you get the polarizer..

Check out my photo galleries !!http://www.vandervalk.cahttp://www.vandervalk.ca/yukonhttp://www.vandervalk.ca/usa.

And when I stop being lazy, I'll actually put them onto my main website gallery and not have 3 seperate galleries. ..

Comment #9

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