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Using Filters With Your Nikon Kit

Here's a guide to filters and using them with your Nikon equipment.

| Digital Camera Operation
In this guide, we'll go through the different types of filters available, and how they can be put to best use with your Nikon equipment.

Built-In Filters
Several Nikon cameras have built-in filters that can be applied to your images in-camera. This will give you the opportunity to give your images a more unique feel.

Most Nikon COOLPIX compacts have a wide variety of filters that you can play with - from painting and pop colour to high contrast, monochrome and toy camera effects. All of these will give your images a different feel, so experiment until you find one that suits what you're trying to achieve.

Nikon bridge cameras tend to have slightly less filters available. However, Selective Colour is particularly useful for making a specific subject stand out in your images. Sepia, black & white and vivid still give you plenty of options to play with to make your shot a little different from the norm.

Using Filters With Your Nikon Kit: Nikon Colour Sketch

Nikon DSLRs still have some filters, unlike some other brands. The D7100 still features all the filters you'd expect - Black & White, High Key and Landscape Colour, to name a few. It also features Colour Outline and Colour Sketch, which give your shots a more cartoony feel.

External Filters

Now it's getting brighter outside, the temptation is there to grab your Nikon camera and head off outside without giving a thought to your accessories. However, by packing a few filters, you'll soon be shooting more creatively. 

You can buy specific filters for Nikon cameras or you can buy adapters and filter holders for most Nikon DSLRs, to enable the use of square filters which are a more generic fit.

Big Stopper - Big stoppers are useful for doing really slow shutter speed photography, useful for when you want to create the popular silky-smooth water shots. It works by blocking out the majority of the light, so the image has chance to form without being over exposed, allowing you to use much slower shutter speeds. They often come with a conversion chart so you can easily work out the length of the exposure. 

Using Filters With Your Nikon Kit: Filters

Grad ND filter - A graduated ND filter is ideal for balancing out landscapes with bright skies. The filter is tinted grey at one end, and this fades to clear at the other, helping to balance out the exposure of the sky and the land, so that one's not over or under exposed. These come in various strengths, and the overall effect will change depending on what strength you choose.

ND filter - A ND filter is a grey coloured filter that is used in bright conditions. You'll be able to use longer shutter speeds and wider apertures without having to worry that your shot will be overexposed. 

Coloured filters - There are many different coloured filters available, but the most notable here are the tobacco filter and warm up filters. These can add a touch of warm colour to sunsets and sunrises that would otherwise be a bit on the cold side. Some Nikon cameras, like the D7100, have a vivid colour mode that will also add some punch to a sunrise or sunset photo. Do be careful with coloured filters, though, as they don't work in every situation. 

Polarising filter - Polarising filters are great for reducing reflection from windows, water or glare from fur and skin. They are ideal for landscape photography too as they increase saturation so colours are boosted. 

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