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New to filters. Advice appreciated

AlfaCam 9 2 United Kingdom
17 Apr 2012 12:45PM
Hi, I have always admired the art of photography and around 5 years ago bought myself a Nikon D40 with kit lenses. I spent a lot of my spare time practising and trying tutorials from magazines.
I have been very busy with work the past couple of years and haven't had much time to spend with my camera.

I now have more time available and went out and bought a D3100, Nikkor 16-85 and 35mm F1.8

I am about to go on my honeymoon to Riviera Maya in Mexico and want to make the most of my camera and lenses. I have been reading as many tips as possible on sunrise/sunset and travel photography.

I have never owned any filters but want to buy some to use while in Mexico.

The ones that I have been looking at will be for my 16-85 as the 16mm would be useful for the landscape shots.

UV This one I would use as general protection for the lens

Or this UV

Polarising Filter

I would also like a couple of ND grads for landscape/sunset. Am I right in thinking that a hard grad would be good for sunset and soft grad good for landscape?

I will be wanting to shoot wide at possibly 16mm, I know it's not super wide but I want to avoid vignetting. Can anyone advise on a good adapter, holder and a couple of filters to get started with please? I know I am building up a bit of a list here but I would like to have a go at a bit of everything over the 2 weeks in Mexico.

If I wanted a ND filter for nicely saturated and creamy water/fall shots would it be better to get one for the filter holder and if so, how many stops would be useful to me?

I have been looking at good lightweight tripods also.

I've read good reviews on this Velbon one and want to know your opinions.

Many thanks on any advice given.

David Grin

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scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
17 Apr 2012 3:10PM

I'd suggest you look at the two major makes - Cokin and Lee filters.

Lee make a cracking holder, adapter rings and polarising filter, but they are expensive. Cokin Z-Pro range is cheaper, not as well made, but many people swear by them. Robert White Photohraphic stock both I believe.

Re the UV filter, I'd save your money, be careful and add it to your polariser fund.

Enjoy Mexico, we loved it. Forget the trip to the Mayan ruins though as its a waste of time photographically.

mediaman 8 14 Scotland
17 Apr 2012 3:46PM
If you are wanting to saturate colours, and eliminate reflections, then ok. But...a polarising filter and wide-angle lenses combined do not always give the effect desired if you are wanting a deep blue sky, over all of the scene.
[For this effect, I normally use a graduated filter in Lightroom, ]
AlfaCam 9 2 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 12:32AM
Andy, Thanks for the info on the filters. I think I will give the UV ones for protection a miss. I've never had a need for them in the past so why should I need them now.

I will take a look at the Cokin Z-Pro and Lee filter holders. I have a couple of questions about this bit:

1. What sort of polarising filter would you recommend? Is there a special one for using with the filter holders or would I be better off with a screw on Hoya Pro-1 CPL

2. is 16mm on a DX format considered "wide" for slot in filter systems and would I need to go with the wide versions to avoid vignetting

I don't have a great deal of money to be spending but I don't want something cheap that will break easily or be unpleasant and frustrating to use.

If I were to buy just a couple of slot in grad or ND grad filters to begin with and take with me, which ones would be good to start with?

Also, thanks for the tip on avoiding the Mayan ruins. I will steer clear of them Smile

@Medlaman, I was considering using ND grads for scenery shots such as sea and sky and the polariser for general shots that have elements of water or blue sky for polarising purposes only.

Thanks again in advance

NEWDIGIT 7 401 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 9:26AM
forget the cokin and lee if you are on, as you say, a limited budget as these brands will blow your wallet.
They are very good but come at a price to match
Take a look at Premier Inks of Leamington Spa they do what they call a starter lanscape kit consisting of holder, adapter ring to suit your filter thread , ND 2 hard,ND 2 soft, ND4 hard ND4 soft.
I have had mine for some time and found them ok I believe the current price is about £40 the set.
You could add a second adapter to suit your other lens as well as there Circular polariser which also slots into the holder.
All told your wallet would be lighter by about £70-£80.
As for a tripod this is a very personal choice height weight etc just remember YOU not your NEW WIFE will be lugging all your kit around.
Mayan Ruins RIP OFF CITY.
ABOVE ALL ITS HER HONEYMOON AS WELL so put the camera down occasionally and simply enjoy being with your new wife
MrGoatsmilk 9 1.5k England
18 Apr 2012 9:38AM
I have been using the Kood P series of filters in a Cokin holder, you can get the same holder made by Kood or 7dayshop own make for less than £4 the filters are inexpensive too.

I have the Kood ND2, ND4 and a grad, my recent uploads here were taken using those on a Sigma 10 - 20 and a Canon 40D, with each lens you want to mount the holder you need a ring for each size. I have had them a few years now and they have been fine.


scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
18 Apr 2012 11:15AM

Ikky is right, go Kood if you are on a budget. My suggestions are expensive...

Suggest you buy a Gorillapod so you can get some great shots with you both in them!

Have a great time!

AlfaCam 9 2 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 1:23PM
Ikky, Stu, Andy

Thanks for the above. The Kood solution is just what I've been looking for Grin Many thanks. I'm not far from Leamington so I'll nip in at the weekend.

I've read some really good stuff about the Hoya Pro-1 circular polariser. Would you recommend buying one of these or the Kood one for the filter holder? The hoya is a little cheaper. Is it advisable to use the Kood polariser at the same time as the ND filters? If so, I'll do that. If not then I might go for the Hoya.

Stu, love your recent long exposures. Wink

Ikky, I will be very careful to not spend too much time talking about or taking photos while on the honeymoon. Although, the wife has just bought a Panasonic GF3 and I'm hoping it gets her a little more excited about photography too. Tongue

Good point about the gorillapod. The one I have isn't a DSLR one but thinking about it I think the Panny GF3 might work well with it with it's 14mm pancake lens on.

Thanks again guys and once I hear back from you about the polariser I will be making sure they have it all in stock for Saturday when I go in.

scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
19 Apr 2012 9:00PM

I'd get the Kood polariser to go with the filter holder as you are most likely to be using them together.

The Hoya is a screw-on type and will interfere with the filter holder fit too, so get the Kood.

All the best to you both - hope the honeymoon goes well and you don't get many pictures taken... Wink

NEWDIGIT 7 401 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2012 11:31AM
Get the Kood to go with the holder.
Hope the new wife is excited by something other than photography LOLWink
rightguy 7 4
20 Apr 2012 12:11PM
hi dave
i have read your request about filters for your nikon camera .
i have been using hoya ultra slim on my nikon d7000 with the following len's
24-120mm nikon lens
12-24mm tokina lens
70--200mm nikon
i only use the hd in both uv and circ pol and found then a lot better than any other filter's in the hoya range .
i also use hoya nd filters as well upto nd 400 for water falls .
dave if the conditions won't give you a long enough shutter speed try an nd8 filter or three -stop neutral density cuts 87.5 per cent of the light . an nd64 or six -stop cuts 98 per cent .
Alternatively use a polariser to cutout up to 75 per cent .

if you get any darkness in the corner's you can use photoshop to remove the darkness
dave i have never used any other brand of filters due to the fact in my country they are not consired good value for money .
i hope this will help you
regards rightguy Tongue.

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