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Neutral Density x4


Roger1 12 1 England
3 Jan 2011 1:23PM
Would it be possible that somone could talk me though the setting of how to use a ND4 grad Filter, iam trying to take landscape pictures but all i get on screen is white overexposer.
muzzeyman 18 293 United Kingdom
3 Jan 2011 2:25PM
Hi Roger, What effect are you trying to achieve with the ND Filter. Pete Bargh wrote a very useful article on the use of ND filters Using ND Filters. This should be a good starting point for you.

Hope this helps

Phil.
WilliamRoar 14 188 United Kingdom
3 Jan 2011 3:39PM
How about a table to help you?
*.pdf version
*.xls version
User_Removed 12 4.6k 1 Scotland
4 Jan 2011 11:54AM
You say an ND Grad filter rather than a simple ND.

I find the best way of using an ND Grad is to use manual exposure. Basically, for landscapes, compose your scene with the camera on a tripod. Decide upon the aperture that you want to use (for depth of field), and then adjust the shutter speed to arrive at the correct exposure, using spot metering with the "spot" on a neutral toned area in the section of the scene you want to expose for.

Then insert the ND Grad and take the picture without adjusting the exposure. That will expose the lower part of the image according to the exposure you set but underexpose the sky as you intended.

I think that the most common mistake made when using ND Grads is to meter the exposure with the filter in place and to use matrix metering (which attempts to negate the effect your were using the filter for in the first place)

Hope this helps,

Eric
mattw 18 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2011 12:03PM

Quote:I think that the most common mistake made when using ND Grads is to meter the exposure with the filter in place and to use matrix metering (which attempts to negate the effect your were using the filter for in the first place)

Don't know how the Nikons work, but I use Evaluative metering (canon) with the ND grad in place quite oftern. For most general sceans it works fine.
Nickscape 15 708 9 England
4 Jan 2011 12:36PM
The easiest way is to use spot metering and manual exposure.

1) meter for the foreground
2) meter for the sky
3) count the number of stops difference between the two
4) put the grad in place
5) shoot

Once you've used them a few times you will learn to know what strength grad your likely to need, you can then as Matt says use evaluative metering for the whole scene as you know that you've already balanced the difference in lighting levels by putting the grad in place.
Nick_w Plus
14 4.3k 99 England
4 Jan 2011 12:43PM
I tend to do as Matt (with a Nikon ), use evaluative, set to 0 ev comp, take shot, review histogram, alter exposure accordingly (usually requires -0.7ev) - make sure you have no blinkies. Always use RAW. If sky looks too dark reduce grad, if ground looks too dark - more grad.

After a while you just know what grad to use.
User_Removed 12 4.6k 1 Scotland
5 Jan 2011 2:14PM
I am maybe making this a wee bit more technical than it needs to be - but using Nick's method, remember that both the LCD image and the camera histogram are not based on the RAW file but, rather, on the Jpeg that the camera's firmware algorithm creates. Assessing relative exposures of sky and foreground from either the image or the histogram may not be as accurate as you think.

On the other hand, the RAW file will contain a much greater dynamic range than the LCD image or histogram suggest, so maybe you do not need to be quite as accurate as you imagine.

In Lightroom, expanding the dynamic range using the Recovery and Fill Light sliders and then pulling a graduated filter of negative exposure down over the sky can very often get the desired result (and with a finer degree of control than can be achieved by simply using ND grad filters in front of the lens).

.

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