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    Peter_West
    2 Jul 2013 - 7:10 AM

    Hi All. Hope everyone ie well, Grin is it possible to take a decent landscape without having to use filters, Just that back from Scotland and uploaded some to ny gallery not this one, but will put some on for you to see, and got a comment that they will be better when i invest in some Lee Filters, Thanks Peter

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    pulsar69
    pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 7:44 AM

    Filters can certainly give you an edge and a more artistic result in terms of dynamic range and movement terms. If your shooting in broad daylight slowing water down or creating high contrast scenes will require either filters or HDR PS techniques. Its down to approach and expectations too , if you are looking for a natural look then there would be no need for filters , some people use them - some dont.

    RavenTepes
    2 Jul 2013 - 7:59 AM

    I usually don't use them, but some people use them as often as possible. I'll mostly use a circular polariser to remove some glare or enhance it, or use a neutral density to add exposure time for effect. Really, it all depends on what you want to accomplish. Honestly, a lot of filters can be replicated in Photoshop and working in RAW.

    joolsb
    joolsb  927115 forum posts Switzerland38 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 8:14 AM

    If you enjoy blending exposures or doing HDR (I don't) then a polariser is all you really need (and then not always). Otherwise, get a polariser and 2-stop graduated filter. Only use the grad if the sky meters as more than 2-4 stops brighter than the foreground - if you want a 'natural' look. Stronger grads (>2 stops) might be useful to acquire later as your experience using flters increases.

    IanBurton
    IanBurton  470 forum posts United Kingdom7 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 8:18 AM

    Hi Peter, in response to your first question it is possible to take decent landscape images without filters, it is often debated that when you start introducing plastic/glass filters in front of the lens the image quality starts to diminish. Different people have different ways of accomplishing an image. I prefer to use ND grads and full ND filters to complete the image in one photo rather than spending lots of time post-processing/manipulating. There are times when filters are of no use, then I will use the hand blending method rather than HDR to gain a natural look. Don't feel compelled to buy Lee filters just because someone makes the comment, as good as they are, they are too expensive for most and there are many other manufacturers to consider. I use Hitech and they have been great.

    Gundog
    Gundog  1624 forum posts Scotland
    2 Jul 2013 - 9:56 AM

    I'll second what Ian said above about cost. I had to buy Lee for my 14-24mm lens as it has no filter thread but I use Chinese Cheapies on my other lenses. Frankly, for all practical purposes, a 5 Chinese ND grad is every bit as good as an 80 Lee.

    But, whether you need them at all?

    Modern sensors have enough dynamic range to cope with a 2 EV difference between sky and foreground provided you then know how to compensate in software. The Grad filter in Lightroom does a good job and the radial grad in LR5 offers even more versatility. This will let you avoid the use of physical filters in many landscape shots. However there will still be some lighting conditions (often the most dramatic photographically) where some filtration is necessary at the time of shooting to capture both shadows and highlights satisfactorily. An alternative, at those times is, of course, multi-exposure HDR - so long as there are no moving elements in the picture.

    Last Modified By Gundog at 2 Jul 2013 - 9:57 AM
    joolsb
    joolsb  927115 forum posts Switzerland38 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 11:45 AM


    Quote: I'll second what Ian said above about cost. I had to buy Lee for my 14-24mm lens as it has no filter thread but I use Chinese Cheapies on my other lenses. Frankly, for all practical purposes, a 5 Chinese ND grad is every bit as good as an 80 Lee.

    On the other hand, why spend on a good lens only to compromise its quality by scrimping on the filter?

    Nick_w
    Nick_w e2 Member 73903 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 12:29 PM

    The Chinese filters are nowhere near as good, and do the do ones for the 14-24?

    Why spend a grand and a half on a lens to compromise it with some tacky delboy filter?

    IanBurton
    IanBurton  470 forum posts United Kingdom7 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 2:56 PM

    As the old saying goes "You only get what you pay for" and not everyone can afford Lee filters (or a 1,500 lens for that matter), but I think Gundog was making the point that in practical terms they all do the same job and yes quality will vary. Why put anything in front of the lens if it's going to affect IQ? There has to be a compromise somewhere be it using post-processing or getting it right in the camera using filters.

    Gundog
    Gundog  1624 forum posts Scotland
    2 Jul 2013 - 4:50 PM


    Quote: On the other hand, why spend on a good lens only to compromise its quality by scrimping on the filter?


    Quote: The Chinese filters are nowhere near as good, and do the do ones for the 14-24? (sic)

    Why spend a grand and a half on a lens to compromise it with some tacky delboy filter?

    I think you are missing the point - I have both Lee and Chinese Cheapies and I can give you a 100% cast-iron assurance, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that for all practical purposes, there is no discernible difference in resultant image quality.

    OK - I'll qualify "for all practical purposes". Using a D800 or D800E, with the Lee filters on the Nikkor 14-24mm lens and the Chinese Cheapies on the Nikkor 24-70mm lens then, all other things being as equal as they ever can be, and printing to A3+ from down to about 10% of original image area, both combinations will produce salon-quality prints with no difference in quality that can be detected by anyone with normal eyesight.

    Anyone who says otherwise is talking through an orifice located firmly below the waistline. Smile

    keithh
    keithh e2 Member 1023173 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 4:58 PM

    To be fair Iain, until you show some evidence, you may well be talking from the same exit point.

    Nick_w
    Nick_w e2 Member 73903 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
    2 Jul 2013 - 5:36 PM

    Iain I'm interested in your findings, do the Chinese filters block iR light to the same degree as the visable spectrum? It does make a difference, but I see I can't see any examples in your portfolio. Have you done side by side comparisons?

    To be fair when you will really see the difference is at or near sunrise/ sunset with heavy grad (3+) both Cokin and HiTech have had problems. I did do a side by side comparison and I did see a noticeable difference (Lee v HiTech) and have a set of HiTechs that haven't been used since. To be fair to HiTech they have invested and solved the problem. It's also worse with heavy cloud cover, which blocks Visible light more than IR, you will see it as a magenta caste, it's virtually impossible to remove, for two reasons, 1. It only affects the top half of the image (where the grad is), 2 as its caused by infrared and not visible it's almost impossible to counteract it with more cyan.

    Do the Chinese use either pro glass or CR39 optical grade acrylic resin ? (And yes I do know what I'm talking about, you will find the main manufacturers are Rohm and Haas, Evonik and DSM) I would bet the Chinese use cheaper polyesters, which have know-where near the optical qualities. It's way spectacles tend to use acrylics these days.

    I would welcome you posting examples to prove that your not talking about of the or advice you mention Wink

    For the record I used to use Lee filters (and still do occasionally) but for the few I do these days I prefer to blend manually, as you do see a difference in clarity, but I know I'm over critical of my work.

    Last Modified By Nick_w at 2 Jul 2013 - 5:39 PM
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