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Old July 20th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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ND Filter Dumb Question

Hello All! New here and have one question hopefully you all can help. I just recently purchased 1- AG-HPX 170 & 1- AG-HPX 300. I am super excited to get these and do some work. The thing I cannot find clarification on is the ND Filters, I am used to SONY’s ND filters but these Panasonic ND’s I cannot make sense of:

Here are my best guesses

¼ - best used indoor lighting or for night shooting
1/16 – best used for semi cloudy days, overcast etc…
1/64 – best used for bright sunny days

I think I read somewhere that the 170 will tell you what ND to use in the view finder, Is this also true for the 300? If so it will help idiot proof the camera for me.

Thanks so much for your help. This forum is a great resource. Glad I found this place helps me with a ton of questions.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #2
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Jamie:

It is pointless to arbitrarily try to setup specific situations that will call for specific ND values. Light changes constantly and all you are doing with ND filters is managing the dynamic range and amount of light that the imagers receive in the cameras.

Do you know what zebras are? Learn how to use your zebras and you will then know when to apply the needed amount of ND in each shot. You use the iris, the zebras and the ND filters to correctly expose the image you are photographing. Zebras are the key to making sure that your footage is correctly exposed, always trust your zebras over the limited exposure feedback that an LCD monitor or VF give you.

Open your manual and read the section about zebras and how to use them correctly.

Good luck,

Dan
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Old July 21st, 2009, 01:09 PM   #3
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Thank you I will give it a shot!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:39 PM   #4
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Good luck. We want to see some shots when you have something perfectly exposed and photographed. Might be fun to do side by side shootout between the 170 and the 300.

D
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 05:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Guy View Post
If so it will help idiot proof the camera for me.
The AG-HPX 170 and a AG-HPX 300 are hardly idiot proof camera's, they need to be operated manually for best results and understanding what ND filters do is an essential part of it. As Dan suggested the zebra's have an important role in this, in good light situations I always try to balance the iris value between 4,8 and 5,6 (with my xh-a1) as that should give you the sharpest image. I switch between ND filters depending on the light intensity and iris values I have. If the first ND filter gives me a correct exposed image at F9,5 I always switch the second ND filter on to get that value down or the iris wider open. Leaving it at 9,5 can cause diffraction that will soften your image. The zebra's are then a valuable aid in finetuning your exposure.

edit: also never write "dumb question" in your title, there is no such thing, there can only be dumb answers. :)
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Old July 24th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #6
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In a way, the HPX172 camera will tell what ND filter to use - but it is hardly foolproof. The best results are obtained on manual control - manual focusing, manual aperature. Look at the zebra patterns and see what areas are over-exposed. Try to keep the aperature at around f/4 to f/5.6 for best results. Don't use f/8 and smaller on this camera - you will get an image that is not sharp.
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