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For questions pertaining to photographic filters, which are usually glass or plastic accessories that are either screwed onto the lens or otherwise added in the optical path.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

14
votes
3answers
3k views

What are neutral density filters and how do I use them to create long exposures in daylight?

I've seen a few related posts on the site but nothing specifically on this point: I'd like to be able to take long exposure photos during daylight (like the examples in this Flickr group). I'm told ...
41
votes
8answers
5k views

Are there reasons to use colour filters with digital cameras?

Digital photos can have colour filters applied after the fact by software, so are there any good reasons to use colour filters with a digital camera? As I understand it, the main reason for them ...
56
votes
10answers
5k views

Are there any downsides to using a good-quality UV filter?

Are there any real downsides to using a UV filter? I know that a poor quality UV filter can effect image quality ... but, assuming I use a good quality UV filter, will that actually be an issue? Is ...
32
votes
5answers
3k views

In which situations should I use my circular polarizing filter?

I received a circular polarizing filter as a gift, but I have a hard time determining when I should be using it. I've done river shots with some success, but other than that, it doesn't seem to do ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between a linear and a circular polarizer?

When I bought my polarizer, a friend told me that I should get a circular one, because the linear ones can mess with the autofocus. Is this true? What should each be used for?
36
votes
13answers
4k views

What are the must-have filters for a new photographer?

What filters are good and why?
22
votes
9answers
2k views

How do I choose a polarizer?

It was suggested that I should get myself a polarizer filter to get over my reflection problem. ( How to avoid reflection when taking a picture of a ceramic object with a shiny glaze? ) I found out ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I use Graduated Neutral Density filters?

I want to improve my photos of landscapes with high contrast (sunset/sunrise). What are good selections for GND filters and what are some techniques for using them correctly?
15
votes
6answers
21k views

How do I find the right size of filters for a lens?

I was looking to get a circular polarizing filter and an UV filter for my Canon 550D, 18-135mm lens. When I checked online I found these filters came in different sizes, like 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm. ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Is a UV Filter required/recommended for lens protection?

Is it still required/highly recommended that I buy a UV or similar filter to 'protect' the front element of my lens? I ask because this advice has been around for 30 years and you would think that ...
40
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the best way to clean lenses and filters?

After removing dust with an air pomp and a brush, what are you using to remove stains from the lens and filters? So far I'm using the liquid from a Giotto's CL 1002 cleaning kit for the lens, but I'm ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

What types of filters are there and what's their use?

I have basic idea of what a filter is and what it is used for. I would like to know what are the different types of filters are available and if possible would love to have the following questions ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the difference between using an ND filter versus 2 polarizers?

I know what an ND filter does. I know what a polarizer does. I also know what two polarizers stacked together and rotated properly do. So the question: why should I use an ND filter to achieve a ...
15
votes
7answers
8k views

Is a UV filter better for lens protection than a protector filter?

I'm usually very good at getting water/finger marks on lens, so I must use something for protection. Is there any downside of using an UV filter instead of a protector filter? Example: Hoya HD ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I fix the color of blue photos using settings from “good” photos?

Imagine how photos with a bad blue filter look. I can recolor those pictures with the color filters from any image manipulation program like gimp. Now my question is: can I "grab" the right settings ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can using a color filter help to improve a black and white photo?

Okay, so I know that using a color filter can have some desirable effects, for instance, if you use a certain color filter, it will diminish the effects of any skin problems a person has. What color ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

What ND filter would you recommend?

I'm thinking about getting an neutral density filter to shoot some silky waterfalls and smooths waves on the beach. What would you recommend in terms of: 1. Brand - quality, durability, price 2. ...
21
votes
14answers
18k views

How do I get a stuck screw filter off of my lens?

There is a UV-filter screwed on my Canon 16-35mm. For some reason, I'm not able to get it off the lens. Does anyone has a simple but safe trick?
24
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you handle the varying sizes of filters in your kit?

I have a variety of Nikon DX lenses that take differently sized filters. Most take 52mm filters, but there are a few that take larger 67mm or 77mm filters. The advice I've read most commonly online is ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Which suits better for hobby usage: extension tubes vs. close-up filter?

I am looking to do a little macro work, but am not ready to invest in a macro lens. For hobby work like photographing flowers and such would it be better to invest in a set of extension tubes or in a ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does a linear polarizer work as well as a circular one on a P&S camera?

I have just purchased a Canon SX30 IS and though extremely happy with it I will need to use a polarizing filter due to the fact that I am travelling to Indonesia to do volcano photography/landscape ...
8
votes
1answer
801 views

What is the highest quality graduated neutral density filter?

I've been trying to find a Lee .9 Hard stop GND since November. Really, November of '09. Adorama, b&h, amazon were all out. I finally found one on amazon through a third party in the beginning ...
16
votes
5answers
889 views

What types of filter cannot be emulated by post-processing?

What types of filter cannot be successfully emulated by digital post-processing? Polarizing, obviously. and neutral density for depth-of-field control. But what about UV filters? and are there other ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What effect does UV filter provide?

I know that I should always use a filter on my lens to protect the camera lens, however, exactly what impact to the picture does using a UV filter have since that is the one most often used? Do I ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there any filter opposite to Polarizing filter, to emphasize reflections?

Polarizing filters are mainly used to reduce glare on water or similar surfaces. My question is, are there any filters that do the opposite job? ie that allow the camera to capture more glare or ...
8
votes
1answer
706 views

Will Cokin-Z and HiTech 100mmx150mm filters fit on a Lee Holder?

I have a bunch of Cokin Z and HiTech filters. I may be able to get my hands on a Lee Foundation Kit. Would these filters fit into the Lee?
3
votes
2answers
348 views

How to shop for a lens filter?

What should I consider when shopping for a lens filter? I see filters that range from $15 to $115 and more. What are the differences between the $15 and the $115 filter? I'm asking in the ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Does the quality of a UV filter make a difference when used with a cheap lens?

I like to use UV filters to protect the front side of my lenses. I have always used the cheap Tiffen filters, around US$5.00 each, depending on the diameter. My question is, should I spend some more ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How does one use circular polarizers?

I just purchased my first circular polarizer. I have read the thread here about when to use it, but I still have a question. How to use it? A friend told me to spin the polarizer until the sky ...
12
votes
4answers
366 views

What are your preferred filters for certain subjects?

I know that filters have in common a protective aspect. Beyond that, which filter type would you use for certain shots? e.g. Sunsets, waterfalls, daylight...Any case where you would change filters! I ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

Galapagos vacation — what photo gear should I take?

Soon I'm off to the Galapagos Islands. I have to admit I've been spending a lot of hours talking to people and reading reviews, and that has left me very confused choosing the correct gear for my ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Will a variable neutral density filter produce similar results to a fixed neutral density filter?

I've decided to look at experimenting with neutral density filters and I found this variable neutral density filter on Amazon here in the UK. It's a lot cheaper than buying a set of filters of ...
10
votes
4answers
864 views

What filter should I buy if I wanted to do 5 min shutter speed in daylight?

What type of filter would I need to create an image such as the following: http://500px.com/photo/10158205
3
votes
4answers
777 views

Where to buy cheap UV filters online?

I like to be extra careful with my lenses, in the hope that I can resell them for nearly what I pay. To this end, I use UV filters as an extra layer of protection(in addition to my paranoia :P ). ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Does longer exposure increase saturation?

I have read that longer exposure times lead to increase/improved saturation and that landscape photogs use ND filters to allow for longer exposures to get better saturation. Is this true and does ...
14
votes
0answers
616 views

Is it possible to use two polarised filters to create a variable ND filter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between using an ND filter versus 2 polarizers? I was reading that by attaching two polarised filter we could create a variable ND filter. Has ...
9
votes
3answers
600 views

What are the benefits of infrared conversion?

I just picked up a Hoya R72 infrared filter, and I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with it. I'm in love with the false color style that can be added. So now I'm contemplating converting my DSLR ...
9
votes
2answers
435 views

What filter should be used to lengthen exposure?

I would like to take long exposure shots in the day, but I just can't imagine how to do it because even fireworks (night shot) exposed for more than five seconds are too bright. I did some research, ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I go digital or analog for B/W on a budget?

I would like to try out photography in Black and White, specifically because it just has an awesome contrast and makes the motive "pop" in a certain way that color just detracts from (or maybe I have ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I make a package look “heroic and important” in a advertising shoot?

I've been given the following assignment, and unsure what to do with it. An advertising agency has hired you to photograph individual "pack shots" of a range of packet soups. The soups come in ...
2
votes
2answers
477 views

What is the basic gear for astrophotography?

I have a Canon 60D and would like to start doing some astrophotography and/or time-lapses of the Milky Way. I know I need to buy a special tripod, one with either ecuatorial mount or a computer ...
19
votes
2answers
451 views

How do graduated ND filters actually work?

My question stems from the fact that the surface of the filter is completely out of focus. My understanding is that light from any one point of the subject hits the lens all over... some of it ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How do Cokin and Lee filter systems compare to each other?

Is there any material difference between Cokin and Lee filter systems? I'm looking for a limited range of filters - ND, Grad ND and Polariser - for use with a Sigma 10-20 Wide angle lens on a Nikon ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Do ND filters increase the dynamic range that a camera can 'see'?

I am attempting to work out, conceptually, how the use of a neutral density filter effects the resulting captured image. Do ND filters allow a camera to capture higher contrast scenes (without ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Does a filter exist to color-correct color negatives when copying them with a DSLR?

This question and other internet sources propose using a DSLR with a macro lens to rapidly copy negatives and slides. Copying color negatives, however, seems to be a challenge because the color tint ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best choice of filter for infrared photography?

If I choose to remove the hot mirror off the sensor of my D70, should I absolutely drop in an IR filter in it's place? I understand that dropping an IR filter shall put an end to all visible ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Whats the difference between Singh-Ray Vari-ND and cheap Fader-ND filters?

I think the Singh-Ray Vari-ND variable ND filter sounds great, but is really expensive. There are way cheaper variable ND filters from some chinese sites. I wonder: are the cheap ones worth the ...
7
votes
4answers
350 views

Do I need a polarising filter?

A friend of mine who has a lot more knowledge than me regarding photography says that I should use a polarizing filter on my lens as that will protect it from sunlight and prevent it from getting ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How would one use filters with the “bulb”-like shape front element lenses?

I am toying with the idea of picking up either the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC or the 8mm f/3.5 Aspherical Fisheye lens. These lenses have a built-in petal-shape hood and a "bulb-like" front ...
3
votes
5answers
452 views

How to clean a lens filter?

What's the best way to clean a lens filter? I bought a used lens that came with a filter. The lens is in great shape but the filter clearly has smudges and streaks across the front. Am I better ...