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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #1
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Are additional ND filters a must?

Hi there,

I have read on previous posts (notably Doug Jenson's) about using either additional ND filters for outside shooting. Are they really needed for the best result?

If so could anyone recommend which one/ones to get.

Many thanks
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Ruddock View Post
Hi there,
I have read on previous posts (notably Doug Jenson's) about using either additional ND filters for outside shooting. Are they really needed for the best result?
If so could anyone recommend which one/ones to get.
Many thanks
Hi Darren,

Just to be clear, I usually shoot outdoors with both a polarizer and a 1/2 Grad .6 ND filter to darken skies. I do NOT normally shoot with a full ND filter because I find the built-in ND filters to be totally adequate 99.9% of the time to get the exposure I desire.
I just wanted to make sure that was understood.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Hi Doug,

Thanks for the advice. How much did that lot set you back?
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Of course, it depends on what you are hoping to achieve, Darren, but I say yes, absolutely.

I have a Lee adapter with Lee ND 3, 6 and 9's. I find them invaluable.

Recently, for example, while shooting an indoor interview outside Vegas (a desert home), I used my ND 9 (soft edge) to significantly reduce a portion of the frame outside the window so a swimming pool and infinite desert were not blown out.

Last week, I was shooting time lapse in downtown LA. I used my ND to reduce the brightness of a neon sign and to back the moon off in a night skyline shot. For that I used the ND 6 & 9.

Personally, I think ND's are compulsory.

Which filters are the best? My Lee ND's are very good, but there are more costly ones available. Less costly ones, too.

I like the soft edges rather than the hard edges, but I would recommend a hard edge ND 9 also.

Hope this helps a bit.

Last edited by Mark Savage; July 20th, 2009 at 01:39 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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Thanks Mark,

I have shot outside stuff but not thought about additional filtering and looking at some of the stuff you guys are producing (well done Doug on the National Parks video..stunning!) I think it could be a must!
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Darren Ruddock View Post
Hi Doug,

Thanks for the advice. How much did that lot set you back?
Hi Darren,

I can't remember what my filters cost because I've had them and the same old Chrosziel matte box for 10-15 years. That's one thing about investing in quality filters, lighting, grip accessories, lenses, etc. I get decades of use out of them so the original cost is not really that important to me. Afterall, they're important business tools to make my life easier and/or my work better. Whatever you decide to spend, think if it as an investment.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #7
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Doug,
I think you might have posted the most important message of the day. I read constantly in these forums how one can do things more cheaply by buying such and such microphone or some other important production gear. For those whose make careers in the motion picture/video busines, I strongly recommend to the young filmmakers out there to buy quality equipment up front . . . camera, tripod, microphones, lighting equipment, filters, editing software (& hardware such as Matrox Axio), etc. If you purchase quality gear, you will never regret it. This is, after all, your chosen career path. I know that I spend more $$ than many, but I love my equipment. You can't build a house with a pocket knife is what a friend of mine told me many years ago. So true . . .
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Old July 21st, 2009, 03:21 AM   #8
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I fully agree with the others. It was a struggle at times to buy the 'proper' kit but now it has paid off. My Sachtler tripod is 15 years old and used almost daily, the odd service has kept it up to spec. A number of lesser specced tripods bought for hire have long since been binned. My 416 gun mic has also given sterling service. I like to think I am giving the client the best at all times and in return just like Brian and Doug have the enjoyment of owning and using quality kit.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Variable ND Filters

I have recently seen that people are talking about variable ND filters - I think Philip Bloom reviewed one recently.

I'm assuming that these amount to a pair of polarizing filters - if I'm correct, I would also think that these filters will also "polarize" the image when you're outside.

Anyone have any thoughts on variable ND filters?
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