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Thread: Variable Neutral Density Filters in Landscape Photography

  1. #1
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    Apr 2008
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    Variable Neutral Density Filters in Landscape Photography

    The potential utility of variable neutral density filters intrigues me. I understand that they are popular in video applications and that may be a factor in the increased variety of these filters. I am primarily interested in static, landscape type applications and am thinking of possibilities like:
    a) urban environment, architecture, travel: eliminating moving objects due to long exposure time
    b) HDR or panorama stitching where movement such as clouds, water, grass causes strange artifacts or ghosting.

    My questions:
    What uses do you see in landscape photography?
    What is the quality effect in a MFD high-resolution imaging chain? Are they good enough to stand up to 60 megapixels and beyond?
    Is a fixed high-density filter better?
    Is the new Heliopan filter (Schott glass, I presume) better coated than Fader, Genus, or Singh-Ray brands?
    Are these filters even coated?
    How bad is vignetting, how wide a lens can you use?

    Thanks, - Christopher
    Last edited by engel001; 4th May 2011 at 08:35.

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Join Date
    May 2008
    32 31' 37.06" N, 111 6' 0.9" W
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    Re: Variable Neutral Density Filters in Landscape Photography


    I used to have tons of filters (okay actually pounds) however I very quickly learned that "most" cases where I thought I needed a filter was correctly in post using Photoshop. While I still have and occasionally use filters (Lee RF75) on both my M9 and tech camera I find myself using various effects in C1 Pro, and/or Nik Viveza as a plug-in to CS5.

    Regarding vignetting - I found I could all but eliminate this with the larger filters out to 28mm when using MF gear.

    Might not directly answer your questions but I hope I helped...

    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Tucson AZ

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