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Questions tagged [neutral-density]

In photography, a neutral density filter (ND filter) can be a colorless or grey filter. An ideal neutral density filter reduces and/or modifies intensity of all wavelengths or colors of light equally, giving no changes in hue of color rendition. The purpose of a neutral density filter is to allow the photographer greater flexibility to change the aperture, exposure time and/or motion blur of subject in different situations and atmospheric conditions

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27 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Mark Whitaker's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
4k 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?
Ian Felton's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
11k 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 ...
dpollitt's user avatar
  • 46.5k
11 votes
4 answers
2k 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
ben birdsall's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
52k views

How to read ND filter description?

When I search on Amazon for eg. neutral density 67mm, I get long list of different filters. Some of them are marked like: ND2, ND4, ND8 etc. I'm guessing this means ...
Tschareck's user avatar
  • 787
18 votes
4 answers
9k 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) ...
chuqui's user avatar
  • 9,346
13 votes
5 answers
74k views

Can I photograph a solar eclipse using a 10-stop Big Stopper (+ extra ND?)

Will a 10-stop ND filter (Big Stopper) allow me to photograph a solar eclipse? I read in another post here that solar filters are around 14-stops - presumably I would need around this strength even ...
Barn's user avatar
  • 313
29 votes
6 answers
3k views

When should I use graduated ND filters and when should I use HDR processing?

I'd really like to stop blowing out the sky and/or underexposing the ground in my pictures. The traditional solution would be to use graduated ND filters, but taking multiple exposures and applying ...
Matt Bishop's user avatar
  • 3,380
27 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 3,837
23 votes
8 answers
4k views

What ND filter would you recommend? [duplicate]

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. ...
Piotr Zurek's user avatar
  • 2,212
12 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 3,146
19 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
Fake Name's user avatar
  • 3,350
18 votes
2 answers
6k 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?
rmart's user avatar
  • 305
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How are neutral density filters in compact cameras implemented?

I've read here on this very site that some compact cameras don't use aperture blades to stop down the lens and limit the amount of light hitting the sensor. Stopping down increases diffraction. ...
gerikson's user avatar
  • 4,270
6 votes
4 answers
8k views

How does a variable ND filter work?

If you simply take two polarizers (the old fashond pre-autofocus kind or simple polarizing media, at least for the front one) and use an angle between them, you get the effects of polarizing filters, ...
JDługosz's user avatar
  • 4,382
1 vote
4 answers
6k views

What ND Grad to buy first?

What would you recommend for the first ND Grad to buy, in terms of F-Stops intensity? 2, 3, 4? I live near the shore, so I'll mostly be taking photos of seascapes in the golden hours. I already have ...
Vítor Sousa's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers
42k views

Will stacked ND filters perform as well as a single 10 stop ND filter?

I have the Tiffen 0.9 ND filter which gives me approximately 3f stops reduction. I like to really slow things down and although it's sufficient in low light it just won't do in daylight. Should I get ...
Jakub Sisak GeoGraphics's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
dpollitt's user avatar
  • 46.5k
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why did my ND filter produce washed out exposures?

So I bought a set of (pretty cheap) ND filters a couple of years ago and took them on holiday to Canada with me last year. I managed to get a couple of OK shots but most of them looked something like ...
Andy Furniss's user avatar
14 votes
0 answers
645 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 anyone ...
Julien Gagnet's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
25k views

Can I stack ND Filter and Polarizer together?

I've seen some images of long exposure photography with a polarizing filter. I was wondering if I could use an ND and a polarizer together. Will the polarizer have the same effect? Will the image ...
Alec Attie's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
ChrisF's user avatar
  • 1,408
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it possible to use a polarizer and a ND filter at the same time?

Is is possible to use two filters (one polarizing and one ND) at the same time on a 18-55 kit lens from Canon. I am new to photography and wanted to work with filters. Do you suggest me buy these ...
sul4bh's user avatar
  • 183
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are the uses of Neutral Density (ND) filters?

Apart from silky water effects and pics of crowded places what are other uses of ND filters? Almost every blog I have read mentions only these two situations. What other uses are their for ND ...
GoodSp33d's user avatar
  • 821
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why are my long-exposure photos (with ND filter) overexposed?

I am using a Nikon D90 and this is my first time trying to take long exposure photos. I have set the camera to Manual mode, exposure compensation to -5, Bulb mode, f/22 aperture, ISO 100, 6-stop ND ...
Natalie's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can I use a 10 stop + 8 stop ND filter to photograph a solar eclipse? [duplicate]

I don't have a solar filter but I have a 10 stop, 8 stop, 4 stop and a 2 stop ND filters can I take the 10 stop + 8 stop and combine them to make a 18 stop filter or the 10 stop + 4 stop + 2 stop to ...
user67251's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
901 views

Any recommendations for square/rectangle filter starter kit?

Context I've been using circular polarizes and related filters for my pictures using the screw in system. I've used the step up filter ring to fit larger filters on my smaller thread lens. I'm ...
unsignedzero's user avatar
  • 2,063
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to mount a circular ND filter in front of the ND graduated filter?

Recently I'm into landscape photography and trying to build a convenient and practical setup. I have the Cokin Z-Pro filter holder, Lee ND Grad filters and as solid Hoya ND16 filter. However, to set ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 865
1 vote
4 answers
434 views

What type of ND filters should I buy for landscape photography?

I am looking to get some ND filters for landscape photography but am totally confused on what is best to get. I have a budget of around £100 but am firstly confused whether I would be better off with ...
George's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
699 views

Are neutral density ratings in 1/3 stops or are they really in 0.3 stops? [duplicate]

I have a set of neutral density filters that are rated as .3, .6, and .9 stops. Are they actually multiples of 0.3, or are they really multiples of 1/3? For example 1/3, 2/3, and 1 stop? If I stack ...
user1118321's user avatar
  • 2,893
15 votes
5 answers
21k views

How do welder's glass shades translate to stops when used as an ND filter?

I've been inspired by this to try using Welder's glass as an ND filter. For welders' glass, they use values of "shade" from about 4 up to 11 or so. I know 11 is really dark. Does anybody know if ...
Octopus's user avatar
  • 1,888
11 votes
10 answers
31k views

If I'm buying a single ND filter, which stop is most versatile?

I'm going on holiday to Hawaii in November and would like to take some photography that will require an ND filter. Following the holiday it'll mostly be used for photography around the UK with maybe a ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 457
5 votes
1 answer
557 views

What's the history of neutral density filters instead of aperture diaphragms in compact cameras?

Some compact cameras use neutral density filters to control light rather than aperture blades, to avoid the effects of diffraction in tiny sizes. I first heard of this as a feature of the Nokia N8 ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
4 votes
2 answers
391 views

For a given lens/camera, will a ND filter always need same WB correction in all conditions?

I've taken a few photos with a new B+W ND 6-stop filter and found that it leaves them quite warm. I'm able to correct this in ACR using temperature/tint sliders. For the few photos I've taken so far, ...
The111's user avatar
  • 205
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do I still need filters for photographing landscape under an eclipse, if I'm not zooming in on the sun itself?

Context: I find myself due to be in the path of the upcoming annular solar eclipse. This was unplanned and I am unable to get a proper filter delivered on time. The general consensus on the internet ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Choosing between 9-stop and 10-stop ND filter for flowing water long exposures

I'm planning to photograph flowing river water with long exposures for a blurry effect. I currently have a 4-stop ND filter which may be good for shooting wide open in sunlight, but is probably not ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 6,760
2 votes
3 answers
396 views

How do I practice with a ND filter?

I am headed out soon (a few weeks) on a trip that will include waterfalls, beaches, and a volcano. I've read about neutral density filters and got a set for my camera. But I'm sure there's a ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
135 views

is using a screw on ND filter along with GND filers which require a holder possible?

I have a screw on 3 - 7 stop variable ND filter which screws on to the lens. I want to buy some GND soft grads which require a filter holder (This holder needs to screw on to the lens). Am I right ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
4k views

How do I chose a vari-ND fader filter without color cast?

I would like to buy a vari-ND fader. I have maximum $70 for it so i can't buy the high end faders. I try to get every information about: Polariod 67MM Neutral Density Variable Fader Nature 67mm ...
Holian's user avatar
  • 53
2 votes
2 answers
609 views

How bad will the vignetting be if I use a 67mm ND filter on a 82mm lens?

I'm currently looking at the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens for my Canon EOS 80D (APS-C). However, one potential problem I see is that my ND-filter set is for 67mm while the Sigma lens has a diameter of ...
MoritzLost's user avatar
  • 1,002
1 vote
1 answer
127 views

Which of these ND filtered images do you think is more accurate? (sample images included)

As a followup to my previous question; there has been interest expressed in the results of my ND filter tests. First, I should clarify that the heavy color cast shown in that post was from a single ...
The111's user avatar
  • 205
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Which filter would I use for daytime lightning long exposure? [duplicate]

I'm new to the photography scene and although I managed to take a reasonable night time lightning strike on long exposure, during the daytime, I can't seem to get it right (too bright) and a friend ...
Steve Morgan's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
300 views

Effective filters for daytime landscape photography?

I do landscape photography, mostly shooting at dawn or dusk, but I never shoot during the day, the light is just too harsh. I've got a single polarizer and a few ND grads, but nothing else. What ...
SAFX's user avatar
  • 443