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Photography Question 
Carrie Bayless
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/20/2007

Filters for camera...

For those that use filters for your camera, what filters do you use and what effects does the filters give? Do you recommend any filters if so which ones and why?


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5/21/2007 1:43:39 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Hi Carrie,
Lots of people use UV filters to cut harsh sunlight and to protect their lenses. I have a bunch but sometimes I take them off if I want a sharper picture. Adding another optic in front of a nice lens will slightly degrade the quality but when I am out hiking through rough terrain, it is worth the sacrifice to me to protect the lens. I also use ND (neutral density) filters and circular polarizers. ND filters will allow you to use slower shutter speeds (they are rated as 2 stops, 3 stops, etc..) and circular polarizers actually spin so that you can direct the reflection of incoming light (such as reflection off of water) which will cut glare and allow more color and saturation to occur. Most of my waterfall pictures are taken with the circular polarizer. Tripods are necessary when using slower shutter speeds. There are also warming filters & cooling filters but with Photoshop, you can apply these affects as well.
Buy the better quality filters as they are coated to reduce lens flare. B&W is the brand I use.

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5/21/2007 2:24:20 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I'm one who shoots filter-free most of the time because I too feel that they degrade image quality.
I believe that filters should be added only for color correction or to achieve a pre-determined effect.

Color-correction filters are useful if you shoot film (...and even with digital if you want to eliminate corrective actions later).
I have an 80-A filter to balance incandescent light to outdoor slide film.
I also use warming filters (81-B and 81-C) occasionally when shooting early in the day or in deep shade to cut some of the blue-cast prevelant during those conditions.

Polarizing filters are useful tools for darkening blue skies and for accentuating the colors of a rainbow. They can also be used to reduce reflections on glass or water but this effect can usually be achieved without the filter by just changing your position to a 90 degree angle from the light source.

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5/21/2007 5:46:55 PM

Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  I use a polarizer and GND filters. The GND filters I have are rectangular and fit in a holder attached to the front of the lens, The size of the filters allow for them to also be used as a ND filter. You need to be careful when using these filters. Care must be taken when using a polarizer so that you do not end up with an unnatural darker corner than the rest of the sky and with GND filters you need to be careful of the positioning of them or you can end up with a bright line at the transition.

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5/21/2007 6:48:06 PM


BetterPhoto Member
  I use several different filters to enhance my photographs. I use neutral density filters to cut down on light so I can use slower shutter speeds. I have a two point, four point, six point, eight point and 16 point star filters to accentuate lights at night, asoft focus 1, 2, & 3 filters to smooth out portraits, and many, many other filters. I'm a shooter who likes the effects filters.

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5/22/2007 8:08:59 PM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Here is the Hoya site, they will have examples of how filters work.

I love filters and they can be addicting,lol.
and some will say you can get some of the same effects in PS, but for some of us the thrill is creating our shots, in the camera.
I hope this helps,

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5/23/2007 7:06:02 AM


BetterPhoto Member
  Tell me bout the addiction thing there Debby. I got bout a 200 buck a year addiction. It used to be a 200 buck a month addiction till I discovered the Cokin system LOL.

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5/24/2007 7:16:16 AM

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