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Like all when I started photography I also purchased Filters from Cokin, ND Grad etc etc, however I found that when using same with my favourite Lens - Canon EFS 17 - 85, at 17 - 25 is it cropped image badly.
Now I use AEB on my Canon 50D and just forget about filters. I use AV and set AEB and timer so that I meter expose, fix camera tightly on tripo and Camera does the business.
Basically one end up with 3 RAW, 1 overexposed, 1 under and 1 as metered.
Then in Photoshop one blends the Underexposed with the metered version and this gives good sky and fore etc.
Thoughts on this ?
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Its one way, but only as a tool for use now and then, some guys do this rather than use filters at all, I use filters and do a similar thing, but preffer to use filters and get the shot in one frame if pos and then pull or push via PS.
If it works for you then go for it.
EDIT, I use Lee filters and a wide angle adapter, no probs so far.
Much the same as Steve, if I haven't got my filters to hand then I will use the blending technique. Ultimately it is less hassle to go with the physical filters if I have them with me.
I also use Lee filters with a WA converter, no probs on the Siggy 10-20.
Hmm, not sure why you'd have problems at those focal lengths, I've only got Cokin Ps and I only have a problem with the NON wide angle adapter on it at 10-11 mm. Mind you that's if they're used parallel to the horizon
I use Cokin Z pro filters and don't get any vignetting, even at 10mm.
However, sometimes bracketing and blending yields better results (especially when stuff sticks up above the horizon - windmills, lighthouses, trees, towers, churches.....).
If you are happy with bracketing and blending, then that's great. If not, then just use bigger filters so you don't get vignetting.
Cokin Z-pros for me, if you only use 2 at a time you will not get vignetting at 10mm, you will need to take the last slot from the holder off though. I tend to use filters in the field as i prefer to have the shot as needed out of the camera to reduce time back on the computer. To be honest though i normally bracket a little on important shots and do blend shots together, particularily when ive used 5 stops of grad and it still isnt enough!
I do not use filters either and for many shots a Raw can cope even without multiple exposures providing you tone map. For more difficult situations, multiple exposures can be far better than using a graduated filter. This method corrects the exposure where needed whereas, a filter cannot take account of irregular objects in your picture (trees and buildings). However, one warning, multiple exposures can be a probem if you have a moving subject. One way of dealing with this is the combine your exposures then clone the moving object in from the best exposed shot.
The fact is that no one technique works for all situations.
It often comes down to where you want to put the effort in...
Whilst taking the shot
In post processing
If you're like me, get bored on PS easily, you'll try to use filters more as you can get the result you're after in-camera.
If you're less confident with a camera, bracket away and spend the hours toiling with layer masks.
The exception is, as was mentioned above, when you have key things popping above the horizon, like most architecture. I use HDR then though, not manual blending, HDR's quicker once you get the hang of it
Quote: Mind you that's if they're used parallel to the horizon
A good point to mention there. I was recently using a polariser in a Cokin P holder on a Sigma 17-70mm at the wide end. Instead of rotating the polariser I rotated the whole holder as it was spinning round much more freely than the filter was!
This seemed fine at the time but when I viewed the piccies later on computer some had a vignetting effect in the corners. I've put this down to the fact that the holder will show up on certain "non-horizintal" images, so from now on I'll only be rotating the filter, and not the holder! Lesson learned!
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