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A set of "must carry" filters?

Skwerg 7 2
3 Oct 2010 8:28PM
Hi, I've recently got a Lumix G1 and have some birthday money to spend on it, having got myself a bag and having a Monopod & Tripod which I used with my previous camera, I'm looking at investing in some filters. I consider myself very much a novice, so I'm wondering what is a good set of "Core" filters - i.e. the four or five you wouldn't leave the house without?
I'm less bothered by the make (Cokin vs Lee etc. - I've already settled on Cokin to allow sharing with my wife!) as much as the effects (if that's the right term?). I've been suggested a set of 2 stop & 3 stop Grad and ND filters. Does this sound right? or are there Others I should invest in?



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MrGoatsmilk 9 1.5k England
3 Oct 2010 8:36PM
I would look to get a polarising filter to add the above, it's the first filter I had a go with you can cut out reflections on water and also darken skies with them, you can turn them to get the desired effect.
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 8:38PM
Hi James and welcome to the site.

It would help if you could give some more detail. e.g. the type of subject you like to take pictures of. What focal length will you be using the filters with? Also you mention that you want cokin so you can share them with your wife - why does this exclude Lee? Both are slot in type, albeit they may be different sizes.

As a landscaper I never leave the house without a set of nd grads (0.3, 0.6, and 0.9 in hard and soft varieties) and a polarizer.


User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
3 Oct 2010 8:39PM

Quote:...you can turn them to get the desired effect.

(Optimum effect is achieved where the sun is at 90 degrees to your subject Wink)
WilliamRoar 10 188 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 8:39PM
Circular Polariser is a must.
Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
3 Oct 2010 8:42PM
I'd go for a 1 and 2 stop grad - you can always stack them to get the 3 stop.

As for a polariser; unless you have a lot of reflections to kill (their other main use) then the grads used correctly will give you all the blue sky you need.
JJGEE 13 7.1k 18 England
3 Oct 2010 8:43PM

Quote:What focal length will you be using the filters with?

Why is the focal length relevant ?
Skwerg 7 2
3 Oct 2010 8:53PM
Thanks for the welcome! I have circular UV & polarising filters, and a definate need to practice and understand how to use them! I had excluded Lee on the (wrong?) assumption they'd not fit in the same holders... Part of my problem is I'm somewhat undecided on my preferred subject - I guess I tend toward lanscape with a good dose of nature - trying to snap dragonflys has been entertaining this summer! I associate the use of filters very much with landscapes really though (compensating for the bright skies), and thus tend towards fairly large depths of field (I hope that's the right term - higher f numbers at least)
Skwerg 7 2
3 Oct 2010 8:54PM
What's the difference between hard and soft filters?
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
3 Oct 2010 8:58PM

Quote:Why is the focal length relevant ?


Focal length is irrelevant.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
3 Oct 2010 9:09PM

Quote:Focal length is irrelevant.

Not entirely true when it comes to ND Graduated Filters. The longer the focal length, the harder the graduation has to be be to give an equivalent result. Hence why some manufacturers offer 'Extra' Hard Graduated.

...and with that he left the building.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
3 Oct 2010 9:17PM

(If one pushes hard enough!!!!!!!!!)

Welcome back Keith.

Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
3 Oct 2010 9:29PM



Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
3 Oct 2010 9:29PM

Quote:What's the difference between hard and soft filters?

It's to do with the transition between the dark dyed part of the filter and the non dyed part. Hard are very distinct, soft well it's a gradual smooth transition.

I was told once hard are better for cropped sensors (tho never did understand why). Soft are better if you have something that breaks the horizon.

Hard grads are much easier to position, tho when you get it slightly wrong it also stands out like a sore thumb.

Oh and welcome back Keith, I think Wink
Scutter Plus
10 1.7k 6 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2010 9:32PM
Crikey Keith good to see/hear from you....i guess the "extra hard" grads are for the extra hard landscape togs!TongueWink

(sorry to butt in on your thread Skwerg!)

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