Do the ND filters protect from the sun? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old August 8th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #1
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Do the ND filters protect from the sun?

Looking at the lens of my Z1, I see no difference when the built-in ND filters are turned on or off. Does anyone know if they do anything to protect from damage caused by the sun?
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Old August 9th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Utley
Looking at the lens of my Z1, I see no difference when the built-in ND filters are turned on or off. Does anyone know if they do anything to protect from damage caused by the sun?
Well, you shoudn't see anything, except the stops going down, which should be invisible if you don't see the transition.

Now set your camera on low light condition and turn the ND filters on and off. You should see things get darker.

Of course, for all this you should leave your shutter fixed, or it will compensate for the lower light.

No, the NDs don't protect from damage from the sun. You should try not to point at it for a long time, though things are not as serious as it was with camera tubes. A short shot of the sun shouldn't do much harm or leave any lagging traces.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #3
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Experience and common sense tells me:

1. Sunset and surise usually provide their own filter, and shooting will not have any extreme effect.

2. Don't shoot the noon day sun with out heavy filter, unless you are prepare to loose your chips.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, guys!
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Old August 10th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #5
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The ND filters are there so that you can avoid using small apertures or high shutter speeds, both of which degrade video quality. I would advise you turning on the NDs so that you never shoot smaller than f/4 (and especially so if you're shooting HDV), which means switching them in before the silent scream appears in your v'finder.

High shutter speeds will get you into the CCD smear area, though going up to 1/250 is fine.

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Old August 10th, 2006, 07:52 AM   #6
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External NDs and graduated ND

Controlling stop apertures is a problem in daylight.

Completely agreed with Tom on always trying to stay at F4, but that proves problematic in daylight. This will give you some control on the depth of field and avoid resolution problems wide angle lenses have at higher apertures.

Most of the times you may need to use external NDs to get there, which come in 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 graduations, corresponding to 1, 2 and 3 stops correction.

A very useful filter for handling contrast in video, particularly in DV and HDV, is the graduated ND or grad ND. This filter will allow you to control the sky brightness or even other bright objects or areas in your shot.

For me such filter would come first, before even UV filters, because it will allow you to control your contrast ratios which are a problem in video. Particularly in backlight situations, where you have to correct for the shadows and your highlights go sky high (pun non intended).


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