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Old May 3rd, 2005, 02:14 PM
G_Dunkel G_Dunkel is offline
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To Filter or Not to Filter

Hi All,

I have come to one of those crossroadds in life and would like to think outloud a moment.

I have been working with my sweetheart sharing my limited knowledge of photography while we both learn to use our new DSLR. We started playing around with some Cokin filters I have had for years. I came to realize the A size filters will not work on my 28-70 zoom. This piece of glass came long after my filters.

My little dilema;

Upgrade filter format = $$$ ( I am cheap by nature)

or

Use photshop to achieve the desired effect. I am a newbie to photoshop however alot of the enhancements I have done to my images mimic the changes I achieved with filters on my film camera.

Beginning with an image properly focused and exposed within reasonable limits I believe the photshop route has the advantage.

Other than basic lens protection a polarizer would be a "hard" filter required.

What am I missing in my logic?

Regards,
Gary
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 03:22 PM
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crazyredwizard crazyredwizard is offline
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If you look around in past threads talking about filters you'll see over and over that a polarizer is a "must have" and that there really is no way to replicate it in post production. It would also be very difficult to reproduce the effect of neutral density filters as these become an integral part of getting the picture exposed properly in some situations. You would certainly have trouble if you have a situation where you would use a gradient ND filter but don't have it and lose details in either the highlights or shadows because of how you had to adjust your exposure.

You shouldn't need to worry about having any type of colored filters when you're using a digital camera. If you are setting your white balance appropriately you can tweak whatever levels you need after the fact with more control than trying to pick the right colored filter at the time your taking the picture.

In short, you'll probably want to have a couple of filters still but you shouldn't need nearly as many as you did with a film camera.
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  #3    Top
Old May 3rd, 2005, 04:35 PM
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BugLightGeek BugLightGeek is offline
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I might also suggest a NGD (Neutral Graduated Density) filter for one of those good filters to have on hand.

The Cokin P series is what you want to look at for your larger lenses and, can be found readily on eBay as well
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:38 AM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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I vote for filter.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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ohenry ohenry is offline
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With digital cameras only:

Polarizer -- should be the most important filter you own. Reduces glare on non-metallic surfaces. This effect cannot be duplicated in Photoshop. Additionally, this filter will turn your skies darker, but this can easily be done in Photoshop as well.

Neutral Density -- Allows you to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. Extremely useful for using slower shutter speeds to simulate motion or larger apertures to decrease depth of field when bright sunny conditions would prevent the choice. [b]Cannot be duplicated in Photoshop.[/]

Graduated ND filter -- useful when you need to properly expose both bright skies and the foreground. This effect can be generally handled in Photoshop, but some conditions benefit from using the filter on the camera better.

All other filters can be duplicated in Photoshop and are probably best done in Photoshop because you can control the exact effect desired.

For film cameras, other filters make sense when used for their intended purposes (see my article in the Resource section).

oh yeah...UV and skylight filters: frequently seen on the lenses of many amateurs as a means of protection, rarely on the lenses of most pros that demand the highest image quality unless they are being used to reduce the blue effect of high altitude or cutting through haze. Take 'em or leave 'em -- the choice is up to you...I won't get into this never-ending debate on what is right. Personally, I own one but I don't use it as a protective filter.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 08:56 AM
G_Dunkel G_Dunkel is offline
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I have the polarizers for my lenses. The exposure control afforded by ND filters had not occurred to me. Those will need replaced. Guess I be buying some new filters.

The only con to the Cokin A series for me is my paranoia about the plastic filters becoming scratched. I am anal about handling them.

I am not so up on all the equipment available today. Is Cokin still a viable system? I know they make a series with glass substrates for many of the filters. Is there something better I might consider?
  #7    Top
Old May 4th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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ohenry ohenry is offline
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Cokin filters are not the best option because they are not color neutral. A better option is to use the Cokin P filter and filters from either Lee, HiTech, or Singh Ray -- more expensive, but MUCH better image quality. They suffer from the same malady, however -- they can be scratched if not handled gingerly.

Other than Graduated ND filters, I wouldn't bother with the Cokin system

For polarizers and ND filters, I'd use the standard filters that thread into your lens.
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