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New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-22-2016

Grad ND Filters

first time buyer off ND Grad Filters for my EOS 6D - some advice would be very welcome. Thank you.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,881
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Grad ND Filters


@Lillieb wrote:

first time buyer off ND Grad Filters for my EOS 6D - some advice would be very welcome. Thank you.


I don't use graduated ND filters.  You can add digital filters in post that can do the same thing, and with even greater precision.  You can shape the filter, and use multiple overlapping filters to achieve the precise effect you need.

 

About the only real use I would have for an ND filter is if I were in a situation where I was shooting with a very wide aperture and had too much light, which is actually pretty rare.  I have experimented with photographing the Moon with them, too.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,897
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Grad ND Filters


@Lillieb wrote:

first time buyer off ND Grad Filters for my EOS 6D - some advice would be very welcome. Thank you.


As with a polarizer, don't buy any lens whose front element rotates when the lens is zoomed or focused.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,232
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Grad ND Filters

If you really want one, use one with an external holder so that  the graduation can be adjusted up and down to hit the horizon.

 

I agree with Wadizzle. Don't bother with the filter, simply take a bunch of exposures and put them together in post - possibly with HDR software.

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: Grad ND Filters

[ Edited ]

@Lillieb wrote:

first time buyer off ND Grad Filters for my EOS 6D - some advice would be very welcome. Thank you.


There are very few filters that can not be duplicated with digital post processing.

 

A gradient ND filter is not one of them.

 

The only filters that can not be duplicated with digital technique are a polarizing filter and a regular ND filters.

 

So my advice would be to skip buying on and save some money.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,881
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Grad ND Filters


@TTMartin wrote:

@Lillieb wrote:

first time buyer off ND Grad Filters for my EOS 6D - some advice would be very welcome. Thank you.


There are very few filters that can not be duplicated with digital post processing.

 

A gradient ND filter is not one of them.

 

The only filters that can not be duplicated with digital technique are a polarizing filter and a regular ND filters.

 

So my advice would be to skip buying on and save some money.


Here is an example of using digital filters in post processing, instead of an ND filter.

 

IMG_6767.jpg

 

Notice the appearance of the falling water.  I didn't use an ND filter to achieve the effect on the water.  In addition, I also brightened up the water cascading down the steps with a few Radial Filters.  This water was moving very quickly, and the photo was about a half second exposure, shot at f/22.  The most glaring "flaw" were the dark areas, which were cleaned up in post using Lightroom.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 10,933
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Grad ND Filters

As most of the consensus form above is, filters are mostly obsolete.  Learning and how adapt you are at post processing is by far the best way to go.

 

"The only filters that can not be duplicated with digital technique are a polarizing filter and a regular ND filters."

This statement is only true depending on how well you know how to use editors like Photoshop or not.  This person probably doesn't know how.  I agree a polarizer is likely the most difficult to master in post but it is possible.  It does take advanced skills in PS and a lot of time so I generally still use a polarizer, occasionally.  However I never use any of the several dozen filters I had for my film gear.  They now collect dust and are doing a fine job of it.

 

A gradient filter is one of the easiest filters to duplicate in post.  It even has a tool built in.   An ND usually requires layers to accomplish but is also possible.  The polerizer requires the use of channels and layers.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,232
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Grad ND Filters

So Photoshop can reveal what is behind a blown highlight caused by a reflection that a polarizer can remove?

 

Amazing!

 

http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/technical/polarizers.html

 

Note the picture with the frog.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,897
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Grad ND Filters


@ebiggs1 wrote:

As most of the consensus form above is, filters are mostly obsolete.  Learning and how adapt you are at post processing is by far the best way to go.

 

"The only filters that can not be duplicated with digital technique are a polarizing filter and a regular ND filters."

This statement is only true depending on how well you know how to use editors like Photoshop or not.  This person probably doesn't know how.  I agree a polarizer is likely the most difficult to master in post but it is possible.  It does take advanced skills in PS and a lot of time so I generally still use a polarizer, occasionally.  However I never use any of the several dozen filters I had for my film gear.  They now collect dust and are doing a fine job of it.

 

A gradient filter is one of the easiest filters to duplicate in post.  It even has a tool built in.   An ND usually requires layers to accomplish but is also possible.  The polerizer requires the use of channels and layers.


One common use of a polarizer is to get rid of reflections on water, exposing what lies below the surface. And a ND filter can be used to prevent blown highlights. How do you propose to perform those tasks in post-processing, no matter how advanced your skills are and how much time you're willing to spend?

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
VIP
Posts: 10,933
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Grad ND Filters

I suppose neither of you read this, " I agree a polarizer is likely the most difficult to master ..."  It does depend on how advanced you are in the use of PS.

In some cases HDR is used to enhance the ND filter effect.  Highlights can easily be captured and even the very darkest parts in a shot.

I don't intend on giving a class on how to use PS here on the Canon forum.  If you want to learn how to use PS check into courses by some of the best like Ben Wilmore.  There you can learn how.  You can even put a frog where a frog can't be seen! Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, even less and less other stuff.
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