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I am looking to add filters to my kit, grads and a polariser.
First a stupid question. Am I right that I will need a lens adaptor (per lens - though for my sigma 10-20 to start), a holder, the filters and in addition for a polariser plus the 105mm adaptor so I can use grads and polariser together.
Secondly has anyone bought from Teamwork as they seem significantly cheaper than Warehouse Express on all of the above.
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I haven't bought fom Teamwork but if you're talking about one of the holder systems for rectangular filters such as Lee or Cokin then you seem to be right with the rest. The lens adapter fits the thread size of the lens, the holder fits to that and the grads go in the holder with the polariser on the front.
I am thinking about the Lee system (instead of the new lens given the price) but i am fed up with either washed out sky or black foreground so I think filters must come first.
Thanks for the confirmation
I use the Lee Pro series and yes you do have to have different rings, but they are very easy to instal. Not so sure a polariser filter is that necessary these days as lens usually cater for this requirement. I have an ND9, ND2 and a grad grey. I find any other filter requirement can be replicated in photoshop. Hope that helps. John
I would disagree about the polariser personally. You can replicate some of the job ND grads do digitally but I've never found anything yet that's a substitute for a good polariser.
Software is something I am hoping to avoid as much as possible. I have a couple of shots already that I know I may be able to rescue with a grad effect and have printed off a tutorial for Gimp. I am not wildly optimistic about the likely results given my lack of computer skills so it seems filters are a must.
I'd stay clear of digital grad effect filters. However one alternative to using actual ND grad filters is to shoot 2 frames (one for the sky and one for the land) and combine in Photoshop. Works very well, is easy to do and in some cases can be generally preferable to using filters.
Having said all that, I personally use my Lee grads whenever possible. I still like the satisfaction of getting it right in camera with one shot.
As for Polarisers, there is no digital substitute for a good filter when it comes to controlling things like reflections. They do come at a price though as I'm sure you've found out!
I have been taking two or three shots as you suggest at diferent exposures with a view to combining them as and when I get photoshop (or work out how to in Gimp).
I absolutely agree with getting it right in the camera. In my case more 10 shots than one. I tend to get the composition then try various permutations (as part of the steep learning curve i seem to be on).
I have indeed found out about polariser prices. The lens I was saving for is going to have to wait quite a while but my local camera shop has a s/h jessops polariser for £7 that will fit my prime so I might get that and have a play just to see first hand what it does before investing.
I prefer grads where possible too but in the meantime, if you already have different exposures of the same shot you can try this in Gimp:
- Open one of the images
- Create a new layer (Layer->New Layer)
- Show the layers dialogue (Dialogues->Layers or Ctrl-L)
- Ensure the new, empty layer is selected and paste one of the different exposures into that layer
- Right click the new layer, select 'Add layer mask'
- Using the gradient tool, draw a black-white gradient on the new layer mask.
You've now basically got a ND grad between the two exposures. You can experiment with the position and width of the black to white transition until you're happy.
Quote: Not so sure a polariser filter is that necessary these days as lens usually cater for this requirement.
what? polarising lenses?
I am afraid you overestimate my talents. I got as far as adding the new layer and I think a layer mask. I used two totally different shots to make sure I could see the changes. However I don't seem to have a "gradient tool" and even though the two pictures were different when I attempted merge them ,they didn't, or only one was visible.
I should have said I am hopeless when it comes to using software and since I downloaded Gimp have only really figured out the very basic functions such as cropping or applying an effect to an entire image.
You see now why I am after buying the grads.
using a grad at the time of capture is much easier than messing around in software afterwars, however adept you are on the computer. Learn to read the histogram display - if you take a shot with a bright washed out sky, it will typically look like a pair of horns with two spikes. Then as you apply the right amount of grads the outer spikes will draw in and a central hump will appear. The "ideal" histogram should usually be one central hump gradually fizzling out to the right and left..
No problem Dave - just thought it might help in advance of getting hold of the grads
Histograms are something I haven't taken any notice of yet so that will be this weekends homework.
I will persevere with Gimp as I suspect even with filters I will need to learn at least how to tweak this a bit.
Quote: Secondly has anyone bought from Teamwork as they seem significantly cheaper than Warehouse Express on all of the above.
Hitech filters are actually very good quality especially for their price. The 85mm filters will fit into a standard Cokin P size holder and the 100mm filters will also fit into the Lee holders. They also do their own holders too, if you get their own holder then make sure you get one with more than one filter slot.
If you send me a PM I will tell you how to get 20% off when ordering direct.
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