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Camera technique Questions and advice on how to improve your picture taking can be posted here. This board is discussion beyons the basics, which are catered for in the 'Help and advice for beginners' board.

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Old 17-06-08
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Filters, are they necessary anymore?

Hi All,

I am shooting a wedding this saturday, and this time round, it is at a church, rather than a registry office.

So I thought I would invest in a Cokin ND Grad filter, with a view to getting some (hopefully weather pending) nice fluffy cloudy skies over the church, with a view to converting to mono.

My question to you though, is, do you think that filters are as important, if at all with todays post processing power.

If you do think they are necessary, which ones do you regularly use? (other than skylight and polariser) and what do you use them for?
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Old 17-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

ND, polariser, lens protector, don't seem to need anything else.
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Old 17-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

The ND Grads and Polorisers are good ones to have in the bag. Unfortunately I always forget to put mine in

In answer to the question though, I'd say that whilst the need for filters has been negated somewhat by the use of PS etc. To do the job properly a filter can be a better route. Holding back a bright sky with an ND Grad filter or killing reflections with a poloriser can be the best way. Doing a wedding though needs a clear head and fast thinking, and messing about with filters whist the subject waits can be a difficult thing to balance
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Old 18-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
The ND Grads and Polorisers are good ones to have in the bag. Unfortunately I always forget to put mine in

In answer to the question though, I'd say that whilst the need for filters has been negated somewhat by the use of PS etc. To do the job properly a filter can be a better route. Holding back a bright sky with an ND Grad filter or killing reflections with a poloriser can be the best way. Doing a wedding though needs a clear head and fast thinking, and messing about with filters whist the subject waits can be a difficult thing to balance
Your not wrong, fortunately though, with the Cokin system, it should be a lot easier as I will leave the filter system in place, and slide in what I need as and when.

Its going to be a very relaxed affair, and having spoken to the bride and groom to be, they dont want any big family shots etc. (they are freinds, and I am doing it as a favour) so I am not too worried about the messing around with filters. They are more looking for the candids, and it was actually me that insisted on taking a few traditional bride and groom shots!

I am reassured by what you say about the ND Grad though!
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Old 20-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

well, I was hoping this would turn into an interesting discussion. 2 responses!

Come on, hasnt anyone else got any opinions on filters?
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Old 20-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

Have not used them myself but I know a man who does. Not really sure why you would use them for weddings , you would have your work cut out enough without wanting to have to set them up all the time.. NG grads are great for landscape work which the guy I know uses them for.
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Old 20-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

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Originally Posted by coupekid View Post
well, I was hoping this would turn into an interesting discussion. 2 responses!

Come on, hasnt anyone else got any opinions on filters?
Hi Ben, everything I would have said was concisely put by Stephen

I now routinely carry a Cokin ND4 grad and a circular polariser and that's it. I don't use protective UV or Skylight filters.

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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

Having just come back from a short holiday in the Lake District the one thing I wish I'd had available was an ND Grad but I don't actually own one - yet. Even though I used a polariser on a lot of my landscape shots, I still think an ND Grad would often have been a better choice. True you can approximate the effects of polarisers and grads using PhotoShop (to a degree - you can't get rid of unwanted reflections AFAIK) but it would be nice not to have to - I spend enough time post-processing as it is .

I've shot 3 weddings (all family) but only one as the "top tog" and I definitely wouldn't want to faff about with filters when the pressure is on. If, however, you're looking at a relaxed affair, then I don't see why you shouldn't use them.

I always use a UV filter but I'm re-thinking this strategy and may do the same as Ian - i.e. stop using them, especially on my lesser used, more specialist lenses, my 100-400mm zoom and 60mm macro for example. I'll probably leave one on my 17-85mm "walk-about" lens as I always seem to be cleaning that one!

Which brings me to another pet hate, rotating your polarising filter with a lens hood on when the hood is of the manufacturer's bayonet fitting type - mucky fingers straight on the filter, every time. I suppose the obvious thing to do is take it off, adjust, and re-fit but that's a pain if you're in a hurry. Rubber screw-in lens-hoods are the way for me at the moment, they may not look as good but just rotate the hood to rotate the filter...rubber is also good for holding against glass to cut reflections (think zoo photography in particular).

I guess I should bring myself to spend some money on a Lee or Cokin filter set up but don't you really need to buy the, rather expensive, lens hood as well? I never shoot without a hood and I've always thought that was important when using a UV filter - i.e. all that glass right up front.
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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

There are always exceptions to general ideas and one of them is the Leica M8 where the use of IR cut filters is a necessity. There are several other cameras that have the IR contamination problem, too. If you are unfamiliar with IR contamination, it can turn synthetic fabric purple/mauve and it will do a number on foliage colors, too.
Aside from the mentioned filter uses, there is the play situations like B&W jpegs and the old B&W filters. I just did a test with the M8 and the IR & Orange 21 filters to check the gray scale rendering. Here is a composite of the resuls.
Bob
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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
Having just come back from a short holiday in the Lake District the one thing I wish I'd had available was an ND Grad but I don't actually own one - yet. Even though I used a polariser on a lot of my landscape shots, I still think an ND Grad would often have been a better choice. True you can approximate the effects of polarisers and grads using PhotoShop (to a degree - you can't get rid of unwanted reflections AFAIK) but it would be nice not to have to - I spend enough time post-processing as it is .

I've shot 3 weddings (all family) but only one as the "top tog" and I definitely wouldn't want to faff about with filters when the pressure is on. If, however, you're looking at a relaxed affair, then I don't see why you shouldn't use them.

I always use a UV filter but I'm re-thinking this strategy and may do the same as Ian - i.e. stop using them, especially on my lesser used, more specialist lenses, my 100-400mm zoom and 60mm macro for example. I'll probably leave one on my 17-85mm "walk-about" lens as I always seem to be cleaning that one!

Which brings me to another pet hate, rotating your polarising filter with a lens hood on when the hood is of the manufacturer's bayonet fitting type - mucky fingers straight on the filter, every time. I suppose the obvious thing to do is take it off, adjust, and re-fit but that's a pain if you're in a hurry. Rubber screw-in lens-hoods are the way for me at the moment, they may not look as good but just rotate the hood to rotate the filter...rubber is also good for holding against glass to cut reflections (think zoo photography in particular).

I guess I should bring myself to spend some money on a Lee or Cokin filter set up but don't you really need to buy the, rather expensive, lens hood as well? I never shoot without a hood and I've always thought that was important when using a UV filter - i.e. all that glass right up front.
Some lens makers, Pentax is a good example, provide a slot through the side of the hood for most of their bayonet fit, non-rotating, hoods, for access to the filter. Olympus provide this with their more expensive lenses. With Canon of course, the hood is an optional extra!

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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
There are always exceptions to general ideas and one of them is the Leica M8 where the use of IR cut filters is a necessity. There are several other cameras that have the IR contamination problem, too. If you are unfamiliar with IR contamination, it can turn synthetic fabric purple/mauve and it will do a number on foliage colors, too.
Aside from the mentioned filter uses, there is the play situations like B&W jpegs and the old B&W filters. I just did a test with the M8 and the IR & Orange 21 filters to check the gray scale rendering. Here is a composite of the resuls.
Bob
Attachment 1323
Hi Bob, nice to see the face behind the persona in your avatar

The trend is to cut a lot of IR out in digital cameras by default, but as you say, there are exceptions.

Ian
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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hi Bob, nice to see the face behind the persona in your avatar

The trend is to cut a lot of IR out in digital cameras by default, but as you say, there are exceptions.

Ian
Hi Ian,
I was one of those that never had seen IR contamination untill I got the M8 and comparing the images with and without the IR cut filter is certaily enlightening. Leica could be knocked for how they did it, but it has been educational, if not a bit expensive....
The avatar shot was with a Panasonic FX500, severly altered to mimic a charachol sketch. Did you see the FX500 in Japan?
Bob
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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

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Hi Ian,
I was one of those that never had seen IR contamination untill I got the M8 and comparing the images with and without the IR cut filter is certaily enlightening. Leica could be knocked for how they did it, but it has been educational, if not a bit expensive....:
The avatar shot was with a Panasonic FX500, severly altered to mimic a charachol sketch. Did you see the FX500 in Japan?
Bob
Yes there were a few FX500s around. The touch screen is neat. It's on sale generally now of course.

The follow focus enhancement is also nice.

Ian
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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
With Canon of course, the hood is an optional extra!

Ian
Apart from the "L" range I think? A hood certainly came "free" with my 100-400mm.

I've always thought Canon were a bit tight for not providing hoods for their entry level and mid-range lenses.
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Old 21-06-08
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Re: Filters, are they necessary anymore?

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Yes there were a few FX500s around. The touch screen is neat. It's on sale generally now of course.

The follow focus enhancement is also nice.

Ian
Hi IAn,
The flip side of follow focus is that focus hold even when the user is the one who can't hold steady or is moving around ....
Bob
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