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Thread: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    Hi folks

    In the film era (mainly Fuji Velvia) I frequently resorted to using a graduated ND filter - a practise I largely abandoned in the digital age - due to the DR of cameras such as at the D800 etc.

    Query - are their any folks still using such filters?

    At times I wonder if they could be a help - but I've found my old filters (Singh Ray etc) give a horrendous colour cast with modern cameras.

    Thanks or any feedback.

    S

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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    I still use my grad NDs with my Nikon and Leaf Credo kits. Strictly speaking, they are not necessary, but i find that the results are somehow more pleasant than doing it in post and also, it's good to see the result in-camera.

    I use Hi-tech Grad filters that do not have any color cast, but the pro-stop ND filter does have one. But since it is universal, it's not so hard to fix in most scenes. The Lee Little Stopper I have has no real color cast though.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    In film days, I had an assortment of hard and soft feather 2 and 3 stop SND's I used regularly, often in combo, to achieve the desired effect without leaving the notable "line" through the image. With the introduction of layers and masks for early digital I abandoned them as it was so easy to draw in a perfect horizon match and adjust to my liking after the fact in post. And now with simply so much DR in a digital original, we don't even need a layer, just a mask and adjustments. End of day, it's so easy to do it better digitally in post that I cannot see any advantage to an SND for my uses. I do still however carry and use digital IR-ND filters, specifically a 3 and 6 stop, mostly to blur moving water during normal daylight exposures.
    Jack
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    Thanks for the info Jack - very useful.

    I have a set of normal NDs + polariser for the same purpose.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    While we are on the subject, I should elaborate on IR-ND versus regular ND filters. For many digital cams, IR bleeds past a regular ND filter and contaminate color, usually adding an ugly brown-yellow. The issue is most notable after 3 stops and very significant after 6 stops, so we highly recommend the IR-ND's to our workshop participants -- offered FWIW.

    I do also carry a polarizer, and though I use it very infrequently it's nice to have when you need it as its effect is not easily replicated in post.
    Jack
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    Thanks for the IR_ND tip Jack - will check it out.

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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    I used them when i had my fuji s3 pro and then Nikon D200, and will continue to use them when i get a D800 later this year. I prefer to get it right in the camera, so i spend less time after with editing. I have tried the expose for the sky/ foreground and merge, but it doesn't suit me. So if i can get it in one shot using filters, i will.

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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    I still use them for seascapes but that's it. I haven't used them for anything else for years.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com
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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Hi folks

    In the film era (mainly Fuji Velvia) I frequently resorted to using a graduated ND filter - a practise I largely abandoned in the digital age - due to the DR of cameras such as at the D800 etc.

    Query - are their any folks still using such filters?

    At times I wonder if they could be a help - but I've found my old filters (Singh Ray etc) give a horrendous colour cast with modern cameras.

    Thanks or any feedback.

    S
    I have a set of Lee Graduated N.D. filters, Soft and Hard 2 stop filters and a holder for Polarize filter. I do not use them very often, but at times I wish I had used them when I am reviewing photos. Granted I can implement Graduated filter in LR, but somehow it is not the same and there is no way to substitute affect of polarize filter in LR.

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    Re: GraduatedND Filters - still useful in the digital era?

    I've got a 3-stop hard and a 3-stop soft that I find useful and still use. For anything up to 2 I just expose for highlights and use software.

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