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I am keen to buy a ND filter after a bit of good advice from a good amateur photographer i met. But I am not sure which one to buy for suiting most situations. i have had a look and their are many different types etc. any quick advice would be appreciated.
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Hi Gregg and welcome to the site.
You mention ND but I'm not exactly sure whether you are after a full ND [to lengthen exposures] or for an ND grad which helps to balance out brighter areas in a shot [skies for instance]? Can you elaborate a little further to give myself and possibly other people a chance to understand what exactly you need the filter for.
Thanks for your reply.
I am just a budding novice but i think the ND grad is what I am thinking. i like to take random outdoor images etc.
Would you be looking to invest in a filter system such as Lee or Cokin?
Start with Cokin and as you become your best critic begin to invest
my naivety made me think these filters all screwed onto the lens like the Hoya ones i have been looking at !! I take it the different ND numbers i.e. 4,8,64, 400 are the depth of darkness on the filter. The Cokin ones i take it you purchase a holder that goes on the end of the lens and you fit the film styled filters as required ?
i am sure this all sounds dumb !
You buy into a system - adapter ring, filter holder and then filter. Different systems don't cross over and the price eg. between Cokin and Lee is considerable!
I have had a wee look and Lee is expensive ! I will take your advice and start with Cokin to get some practice and take it from there. What filter number would you tend to use more for outside shots, skys, landscape etc....
What camera do you use and what lens are you going to use for your landscapes?
I apologise for asking lots of questions but not giving much in the way of answers, but I could recommend something that's overkill for what you will do. IN short if you can only afford 1 ND grad then I would recommend a 2 stop version [lee - 0.6 or cokin ND4], this will give you a good middle filter for most needs.
Have a look at the Hitech filters too.
As sut68 says it depends what you want to do. Get onto the websites (which ever brand) and they will show you the affects, like Cokin.
Cokin is in the process of being taken over by Hoya (according to Jessops last weekend). They are becoming increasingly difficult to get as I also found out at the weekend! I am looking to replace my Cokin soft grads with Hitech which look pretty good. My Cokin filters scratched very easily as they are a type of resin and have now become unusable.
if your purchasing cokin filters ,make sure that you get the correct size of filter ,
this depends on your thread size of the lens.
personally i would go for the 'p' size they say you can use this with lens up to 82mm thread size without getting any vignetting
check your largest lens thread size before purchasing..
cokin site www.cokin.co.uk
good luck with whichever you purchase
Cokin, Lee, Hoya which system is down to budget Lee being significantly more expensive.
Be wary of buying second hand OK you can get some good deals but only by inspection before purchase as janeez said they scratch easily so need to be stored properly in soft wallets and looked after.
An ND4 would be a good starting point to reduce bright skies.
You also have to consider soft or hard grads personally I prefer soft,as the name suggests soft gives a gradual transition whereas hard is more pronounced
I have a mix and match of P size filters which suit all my needs and cover most lens sizes. the ones I have are manufactured by Hitech, Cokin, Hoya and Kood which it another budget maker. Quality wise they all do the job, but I don't use them that often to be honest so the highest quality filters such as Lee are not of any great concern to me......You spend your money and takes your choice I guess. I suppose it all depends on how much you want to use them. If it's just for occasional use, the same as me, I'd go with any of the budget manufacturers mentioned....
To start with, I would advise an 82mm system - Cokin 'P' or Hitek 82mm - and of those two, I would go with Hitek. Better quality for about the same price
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