Need help with camera filters
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  1. #1
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    Need help with camera filters

    I have taken photos for 2 years now but the images quality dont satisfy me much. I had rejected to use filters before anf now i change my mind because I want to discover new things. There are tons of different lens filter out there, and I have known the types but not sure which brand or something I should invest in. My budget is not high but with reasonable quality I can still manage to have it. Please tell me what are your thought and experiences.
    Thanks a lot!!!
    This is Hai

  2. #2
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    Filters, for the most part, won't increase your image quality. There are a lot of things that affect image quality such as the type of camera, quality of lens and technique. Glass, for the most part, is everything!Then again, used properly even plastic kit lenses can produce some wonderful results!For my digital, I use mostly a circular polarizer when shooting during the day. I have a 77mm B+W Kaeseman which set me back some coin and a 77mm Marumi which was fairly inexpensive.I use a 77mm for with appropriate adapter ring it can fit all my lenses. The polarizer will increase contrast and cut glare, but again, it won't increase image quality. Over water I almost always use a polarizer. I also have a bunch of Cokin filters that I'll use occasionally.Marumi, I think, is a good buy for quality vs. cost. So is Tiffen. B+W I think only if you're making money on your shots!I also use yellow, red and orange filters when I'm shooting film, also to increase contrast. Oh and also a deep red for infrared shooting.I got a bunch of different filters for different occasions and special purpose shots, but I rarely used them.Perhaps you should further explain what you think is wrong with your images (and post an example) and others can chime in and offer some advice.
    Last edited by jideta; March 1st, 2016 at 03:48.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    I am sorry about the "quality" phrase, in my langue quality can be how good is the image. I am really in with landscape photography and really want to create more beautiful colour but the sky is too bright to compare with the land. I've read that I may have needed the GND filter to manage the light. However, I'm confusing between which brand I should buy....
    This is Hai

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  5. #4
    Member ShaggyDog's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    Buy a graduated filter kit. Lee make the best but you also have Tiffin and Cokin on a budget (which should be fine for your needs). Also a good circular polariser is an essential in any kit bag. By the way what camera are you using and how are you shooting? Personally I always shoot in RAW and then tweak my colours, temperatures, and saturation levels etc in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) though some people will prefer to do everything in camera at a shooting level.
    Last edited by ShaggyDog; March 1st, 2016 at 18:11.

  6. #5
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    What Shaggydog said.
    I have a Cokin graduated ND set. Fairly inexpensive. Cokin also makes a blue yellow polarizer which I use sometimes for some interesting effects.
    Sing Ray also makes one but more expensive.

    For the square filters, Cokin and HiTech are the inexpensive way to go. Lee if you want to step up.
    Last edited by jideta; March 1st, 2016 at 18:10.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    With digital, the only filters you can't really reproduce are polarizers and graduated neutral density filters. The digital work around for ND filters is to try HDR. If you are using a tripod, compose your shot and set up automatic exposure bracketing to change your shutter speed automatically over a series of shots. Software will combine all the shots for you so you have an image with lots of dynamic range. You could do this with film too, but trust me stacking negs is a PAIN and for the most part you don't need to if you expose correctly.
    Anyway. My point is you only really NEED a polarizer these days. Keep in mind that if you have spent thousands on a lens and then thousands on a camera and you stick a cheap filter on the front you are wasting money. Your images will only be as sharp as the crappy, cheap filter will allow. Sure 150GBP might sound like a lot for a filter, but at the end of the day it's not.
    I personally always have a good haze filter on my lenses because I don't use lens caps. It's for protection.
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    I'm using the 70D and mainly I use it for shooting short-films, landscape photography. I just take pictures when I feel it is in the right moment to take. These are my works, please give me some feedback to improve. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    Quote Originally Posted by ngohai220497 View Post
    I'm using the 70D and mainly I use it for shooting short-films, landscape photography. I just take pictures when I feel it is in the right moment to take. These are my works, please give me some feedback to improve. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Ok, you should definitely give filters a go to give your pictures some more punch and 'oomph'. You see in some of your pictures where you have a blank white sky? Try using a circular polarizer at least to play around with the contrast and put something back in there, also check your exposure and highlights, don't be afraid to dial in a little exposure compensation to deepen your colours a tiny bit if need be. A graduated ND filter kit can definitely help here as well to bring balance to your pictures and avoid those big old areas that are devoid of detail. Just get a Cokin kit if you don't know where to start and one of their graduated ND filters. You might also want to look at how you are framing and composing your pictures, an instant way to get your pictures looking a little more professional is to always get your lines straight. Give the filters a go and enjoy experimenting with them to see how much impact you can add to your pictures, you've got the basics right, it's just a case of going a little further and asking yourself how you could improve every shot you take.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    straighten the horizon
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  11. #10
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    Re: Need help with camera filters

    Graduated neutral density in various grades, polarizer, skylight. That's about all you need unless you're doing black and white. The Cokin system is very good if you purchase the higher quality glass. You won't notice image degradation unless it's extremely cheap filters. Post processing will fix that. Let's say you wanted to blur a water fall during the day. That would need neutral density filters because of the amount of daylight involved and to allow very slow shutter speeds in bright light. Landscape photography really needs GND and polarizing filters, even a skylight filter will help. I do this for a living and have been doing it for years. Some of my shots with filters:


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    Last edited by mharris660; March 3rd, 2016 at 21:22.
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