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Old April 26th, 2009, 09:22 AM   #1
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ND Filters

I am looking into getting a few nd filters for my lenses. My question is... What are the benefits of going with expensive filters over some of the cheaper filters? I have seen them anywhere from 9 - 115 bucks! What are the benefits that I will see of the more expensive filters? Sharpness? Lens flare?

I have my eye on a kit from Dolica for my Canon lenses. It's like $39 for three filters. It comes with a .3 .6 & .9 The filters are glass. Is there anything I should be weary of? Sorry if this has been covered before, but I couldn't find the answer to my question in a quick search and wasn't sure what thread to look in beyond that. Not to mention the people in here seem to know more about lenses than in most other threads.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old April 26th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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The fancy ones are coated so you cut down on reflections between the lens and filter or between filters.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:16 PM   #3
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Yes if you have great lenses like Canon L's. I would not use a cheap ND or even UV filter.

Reflected bounced light really diminishes sharpness contrast and Color.

It is kind of like you can get a 50mm lens for $35.00 or $1,000.00. Is there a difference yes.

B&W an Heliopan are great Canon and Tiffen are quite good. In my opinion.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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another source for ND filters....

Singh-Ray Filters: Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter

they work great for controlling Canon lens apertures in both Video mode and Still mode....

don't forget to check out the blog.. Focus on Singh-Ray Filters
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Old April 26th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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I have been contemplating the Singh Ray Vario ND also. It looks like it will be great, I just wish that it wasn't so expensive. But if you cost out a full set of good glass B+W, Formatt or Heliopans in all of the grades (.06, .09, 1.2, 3, 6) you might need in changing daylight, the Singh Ray price begins to look reasonable.

Putting on and taking off filters takes time and is a hassle and I am not going to load up my 5D with my mattebox that is larger than the camera to use all of my 4x4 glass.

The Singh Ray Vario is also available with a built-in warming pola that looks pretty sweet too.

Dan
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Old April 26th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #6
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ND Filters

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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
I have been contemplating the Singh Ray Vario ND also. It looks like it will be great, I just wish that it wasn't so expensive. But if you cost out a full set of good glass B+W, Formatt or Heliopans in all of the grades (.06, .09, 1.2, 3, 6) you might need in changing daylight, the Singh Ray price begins to look reasonable.

Putting on and taking off filters takes time and is a hassle and I am not going to load up my 5D with my mattebox that is larger than the camera to use all of my 4x4 glass.

The Singh Ray Vario is also available with a built-in warming pola that looks pretty sweet too.

Dan
Mount 2 Linear Polar Filters together. Rotate one or the other. Result, about 8 stops of exposure adjustment.....For about $50

Ron.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #7
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Mount 2 Linear Polar Filters together. Rotate one or the other. Result, about 8 stops of exposure adjustment.....For about $50
Would that work gradually -- i.e. as a linear vari-filter..?

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Old April 27th, 2009, 01:27 AM   #8
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ND Filter

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Would that work gradually -- i.e. as a linear vari-filter..?

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The information via Schneider Optics Tech. For my trial run I used an old linear & a new 77 mm Circular, as this was all I had!!, having recently purchased a Singh-Ray 77 mm Vari ND. The combined filters changed from bright to dark, but I've no idea how smooth.

Some form of vari filter works well with both Canon & Nikon glass. A benefit for me.

Ron
A recent video on Vimeo details a very practical way of controlling the 5Dmk2 Aperture, ASA, Shutter when using Canon Glass. You may find this is a better approach.

EventDV TV // 5D Reel - DSLR Cinema on Vimeo

Cheers. Ron

Last edited by Ron Coker; April 27th, 2009 at 02:44 AM. Reason: Addition Information
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Old April 27th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #9
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What are the benefits of going with expensive filters over some of the cheaper filters?
Generally in the quality of the coating Ryan. Remember that the front element of any lens is the element that should have the very best super multi-coating of all the elements in the lens line up. As such, if you screw a filter to the front of your lens, that filter becomes the new front element and that controls a lot of the recorded flare.

So spend the dosh - make sure the filters you buy are beautifully multi-coated if nothing else. I've been surprised at how many polarising filters are completely uncoated - ug!

tom.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for all of your input. So now that I have the understanding that I need to spend some significant dough to obtain a quality picture with ND filters, this kind of limits me to a couple of filters. I was originally planning on buying a .3 .6 and .9 for both my 55mm and 77mm lenses. Does anyone have suggestions for the correct density filter for shooting well-lit interviews while still being able to keep the aperture wide open for a shallow DOF? I would also like to shoot outside sometimes, sunny days, and keep a wide aperture. The Schneider filters look very nice, but a little steep in price for me at the moment.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #11
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Just so's we know what we're all talking about here Ryan - you're shooting video interviews on a 5DII with a 55 or 77 mm lens?
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #12
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I am shooting interviews with a 50mm f1.4. I apologize because I realize that I have been typing 55mm, what I meant was 58 and that is the filter size. I will be shooting some outside b-roll footage as well with the stock 24-105mm and the filter size on that one is 77mm. I would like a wide aperture on the outside footage for rack focus shots.
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #13
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Then I'd be tempted to get wide apertures in other ways - shoot at very low ISO numbers and up the shutter speed if necessary.

Then use your longest focal lengths and have the background as far away as possible.

Last edited by Tom Hardwick; April 27th, 2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ron Coker View Post
Mount 2 Linear Polar Filters together. Rotate one or the other. Result, about 8 stops of exposure adjustment.....For about $50

Ron.
Ron:

Have you actually tried that? I have read about others who have and while it works, they have complained about weird random color casts as well. The appealing thing about the Singh Ray is that is is optically engineered to perform the ND function with no color shift and the ring has a calibrated set of numbers, allowing one some reference and repeatability as far as settings. A lot of money for the Singh Ray but two 77mm quality multi-coated linear polarizers aren't cheap either.

Damn, my filter collection is getting out of control, I just bought a B+W circular pola I needed for the HPX300 for another job and I have two Formatt 4x4 circular polas. Too many filters for too many uses but unfortunately not in the right size or style for the 5D MKII. I am determined NOT to turn the 5D into a cine looking camera, no matte box or ff on mine, I want to look like a tourist for the project I bought it for. Low key is best for me.

Dan
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Old April 27th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Mueller View Post
Thanks to everyone for all of your input. So now that I have the understanding that I need to spend some significant dough to obtain a quality picture with ND filters, this kind of limits me to a couple of filters. I was originally planning on buying a .3 .6 and .9 for both my 55mm and 77mm lenses. Does anyone have suggestions for the correct density filter for shooting well-lit interviews while still being able to keep the aperture wide open for a shallow DOF? I would also like to shoot outside sometimes, sunny days, and keep a wide aperture. The Schneider filters look very nice, but a little steep in price for me at the moment.
Or you could get a matte box, and buy a set of 4x4 filters that you could use on both lenses... It would cost more at first, but save more in the long run when you accumulate a big collection of various sized lenses.
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