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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)

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 ...
41
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
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 ...
36
votes
13answers
4k views

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

What filters are good and why?
33
votes
5answers
4k 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?
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 ...
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 ...
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
19k 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?
20
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
454 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

ND Filter not Dense enough - How do I get long exposures in very bright situations, where my ND filter isn't enough?

What is the best way to achieve very long exposures in very bright, sunlit conditions? Right now, I have a Hoya ND-400 X filter (9 stops reduction), and even with my camera set to ISO 50, and F22, my ...
18
votes
2answers
3k 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?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

ND filter or exposure compensation?

I was at the camera shop a few weeks ago looking for a neutral density filter, so I could play around with long exposure shots without overexposing. The guy at the camera shop told me I didn't need a ...
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Hour long exposure of the sun

I'm attempting to do a shot without causing damage to my camera...A hour long exposure of a sunset. I've have used two pieces of welder's glass and got this shot. It caused a purple haze over a good ...
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
904 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
0answers
4k views

What should I look for in a polarising filter? [duplicate]

I am wanting to invest in a polarising filter for my camera (a Canon T2i/550D). What sort of things should I be looking for? What differentiates a good polariser from a bad one? Are there any brands ...
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
829 views

Why should I use a Graduated ND filter as opposed to the digital equivalent(software)?

With options like Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 allowing me to digitally apply a Graduated Neutral Density filter, why would I choose to use a piece of equipment that I have to buy and carry around? Related ...
15
votes
6answers
22k 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. ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Filters for a Wide-Angle Lens

I just got a Nikon 10-24mm lens that I'll be using on my D90 (DX) lens. I expect to be using it a lot outdoors for landscape shots. In general, I know what kinds of filters would help landscape ...
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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the result of stacking ND filters in terms of total stops?

If you stack two 3-stop neutral density filters, does it reduce the exposure by 6 stops or 9 stops?
14
votes
0answers
618 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
553 views

Why don't today's lenses come with a polarizer by default?

As I am now looking for a decent polarizer for my 18-105mm and 50mm (Nikon D80) I realized how important they are for outdoor photography. So why aren't they directly hard-mounted on every modern ...
13
votes
1answer
210 views

Is it normal for a small portion of a polarized lens filter to appear unpolarized?

Just picked up my first polarized lens filter from Tiffen — a 52mm SR Polarizer. It looks like a small portion of the lens is NOT polarized, but this being my first lens, I wanted to confirm this ...
13
votes
1answer
390 views

What kind of effect can I hope to achieve by hand-holding a filter at an angle?

I have been looking at some of Little Shao's photographs when I came upon this photoshoot video. Looking at the shoot I noticed this scene where the photographer is holding a filter at a diagonal ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the consequences of stacking a circular polarizer on top of a UV filter?

The reason I'm asking this is that I don't have a circular polarizer yet and I'm planning to buy one. I know I'll be too lazy to unscrew the UV filter to put on the polarizer. I'm wondering whether ...
12
votes
4answers
369 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 ...
12
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 ...
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
6answers
2k views

Does stacking more lens filters decrease overall image quality?

As stated by @t3mujin in another thread's comments: Stacking filters will decrease image quality, as it's another piece of glass light has to go through before reaching the sensor. I was ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Screw-in or square filters in the field?

I currently carry a circular polarizer and a screw-in 4X ND with me in the field. I've decided it's time to upgrade my filters, because there are too many times when I really need an 8X ND (or more) ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are my results with a variable neutral density filter poor?

I bought a inexpensive variable neutral density filter, this ND2-ND400 variety. I wasn't expecting a whole lot because of the very low price point, but I think I'm either using it incorrectly or my ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I use wide aperture with fill flash?

I was working with an off-camera flash this weekend for some portraits of my son. I was shooting in medium sunlight (early morning, partly cloudy, w/ some shade), and I like the lighting control I ...
10
votes
5answers
862 views

What is causing this extreme glossy effect when using a polarizing filter?

I have noted a few times at car shows and events when processing my images that some have what i can only call an extreme gloss effect - OK this car was shiny, but the image looks very striking and ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I avoid a strange lens flare at bright lights when using UV filter?

I have a Panasonic Lumix GF1 with the kit 20mm f/1.7 lens. I put a UV filter on it (this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004ZCJE/ref=oss_product), simply as protection for the glass. I'm ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the real-life benefits of B+W's MRC?

My 24-105L is in the mail, and I'm looking for a filter to protect the front element. I've decided to go with B+W since they seem to have the best quality to match my L lens. I've narrowed it down to ...
10
votes
4answers
875 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
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What type of effect is caused by different cutoff lengths for IR filters?

I'm looking at getting into IR photography, and am trying to decide what cutoff frequency filter to buy. Has anyone done a comparison of the same scenes using different filters?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Putting the red back into underwater photographs

I've just come back from the Red Sea and took my camera along on most of my dives. I do have an external strobe, but for most of the shots the light was so strong that the camera didn't fire it. The ...