A question for the landscape photographers or anyone using Flters


stub

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 14:15
Hi All, I have been invited on a Landscape photography weekend, with some camera club friends. Now landscapes are not my bag really. I am deciding what I need to take along on the trip. Alongside my trusty Sigma 10-20. I came to the conclusion that a set of filters would be a good idea. But I have no idea which ones to purchase. The Lee system I know is top of the tree. But frankly they are out of my price range as an infrequent landscaper. So that leaves the other brands for me to choose from. Can anyone offer me advice.recommendations on what they are using ? The plus points and the drawbacks so to speak from users who have actually used them....
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..
Last Edited by stub on 30/01/2015 - 14:17

johnriley

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 14:44
The only filters that will be useful are the polariser (but not on ultra-wide lenses), and ND Grads. If this is your first time out, then just take a variety of kit that you already have and enjoy learning about landscape photography in general. If you find something is needed, then the second trip out can be used to try more things.

As well as the 10-20mm you will need standard and telephoto lenses and a tripod. Telephoto landscapes can be highly effective and it helps the background (such as mountains) retain some of their majesty and drama. Wide angles lead to small, insignificant mountains if we're not careful.
Best regards, John

stub

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 15:30
Thanks John, Yes I have other lenses and a tripod. Perhaps I didn't explain myself very well. Im looking to get some Nd filters Probably graduated possibly hard grad. Along with Full ND (Fluffy water waterfalls) But there are so many brands around. Some of my colleagues at the club have the cheaper imported ones. But these seem to leave a cast on the image which later has to be removed in processing. So I was hopefully looking to purchase something slightly better. But I want to get the right ones So Im I wanted the views of the more experienced landscapers as to what they were using an how they found them. Before I take the plunge. At present probably edging towards a Cokin P type sysem/
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

McGregNi

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 15:35
Agreed on those above points, plus I would recommend to get a remote control and practise it's use before you go ... This really works in tandem with the tripod to ensure there's no camera movement. Also I'd brush up on and practise using live view with manual focussing taking advantage of the magnification view (info button) to zoom in on an object or area that will be best for DOF .

This focussing approach with the right aperture and remote control and tripod will together give you the best chance of sharp and quality landscape captures. And it can all be practised at home.

For filters, the Cokin brand of holder and filters is a popular and flexible choice . It depends entirely on the weather conditions and lighting on the scene, and it may be one extra aspect too much to worry about, unless of course filters are going to be a specific area covered.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 30/01/2015 - 15:50

johnriley

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 15:47
Like everything else, you get what you pay for to a large extent. Now about some Lee filters on eBay? You might be lucky?
Best regards, John

jules

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 15:50
Soft ND grads for FF, so not you since your here!
Hard grads do not cause as noticeable line on APSC as they do on FF So you will find a lot of people will tell you that you can get away with them, I chickened out and bought soft ones anyway!
If you do intend to use them on the wide lens buy 100mm filters "Z" size not "P" or you will get masses of vignetting at the 10-18mm part of your zoom or in other words most of it!
Buy decent but don't go daft, they get scratched and in my experience the filter holders last about a year before you have to replace the guides, I've had Lee, Cokin and Hi Tech and they all wear pretty much the same, so feel free to cheap out there if you want, it really does not have to be made out of aircraft aluminium to be any good!
For a one stop I just use a screw in soft ND Grad as there is never going to be a line and the difference between the top and the bottom is not that much, it's useful for keeping the clouds within the DR of the sensor, Two stop ND is probably the most useful and better being a square one 150x100mm, that way you do not always have to have the top of the frame really dark, which gives you black dark clouds that Nigel (McGregNi) does not like!
Three stop is obviously more of a change than the two so use with caution you can make a sunny day look like a storm of biblical proportions if you are not careful! The square filters have the advantage here as you have 50mm of room to place the darkest part of your filter where you want, and like the screw ins you can turn them to match your horizons too. I bought a ten stop ND from SRB Griturn which works as it should and cost me about twenty quid, I'm tempted to buy a four stop as well as sometimes if you are photographing in trees there is a lot of movement in the time it takes to get a decent (blurry) water exposure from a ten stop. You could always buy a fader but don't cheap out on that if you do, most of the cheapo ones will end up with a large dark "X" in the frame rather than a smooth fade, caveat emptor!
And lastly, don't try to over do it, because you've got em, in the bag, doesn't mean you need them in every shot! It gets old very quickly, a lot of folks sicken themselves very quickly of using them and thats where Johns eBay bargains appear, They lie around a few months and get sold on, be disciplined and you'll get the best use out of them.
Cheers Jules...
tri-elmar-fudd

Back in the room!
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”...Ansel Adams
www.exaggeratedperspectives.com
Last Edited by jules on 30/01/2015 - 16:14

McGregNi

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 15:56
Excellent advice Jules avoid those too dark overly filtered storm clouds!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 30/01/2015 - 15:57

CMW

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 16:54
I use hard grads mainly, but with soft on standby if really needed. Hi-Tech are cheaper than Lee (or were when I bought them) and just as effective. They are less common than 1, 2, or 3-stop grads but a 1.5-stop grad can come in handy. For wide-angle shots using filters, take care to use wide-angle rather than standard adapters. You may find yourself using your 10-20 less than you expect, and as pointed out above don't neglect the occasional possibilities offered by a telephoto.

A remote control is, I agree, a good idea - and not simply because I happen to be selling one right now. But you can get away with setting the timer instead.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

McGregNi

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 17:12
You can use the timer, yes, bit there's something more satisfying about having the control in your hand, something physically connecting you at the moment of capture.

Even though I might fine focus using live view, I tend to switch back to viewfinder mode to take the actual shots (don't need to actually look into the viewfinder then of course, I look over the camera into the scene). This is a good approach if shooting a number of exposures as it saves battery power ... Once focused up you don't need live view any more. Then I use the first press of the remote to raise the mirror (mirror up mode) , pause, deep breath , then another press to capture.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 30/01/2015 - 17:14

fritzthedog

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 18:31
I never take the camera out without the Lee soft ND grad set + a CPL . Before that - I never went out without my hi-techs and before that - Cokin P. As Jules says - use them when they are needed - not all of the time - although I have to say that I rarely take the CPL off the 10-20

I managed landscapes with just a CPL for a very long time and if you were to buy only one filter - this would be my suggestion.

Since upgrading from hi-tech to Lee - I have a spare set of hi-tech soft ND grads + holder + an original 77mm wide angle adapter that would fit your 10-20 + a 67mm adapter and a 55mm. If these are of interest - pm me.

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

Stuey

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 21:11
My favourite landscape focal length is 28mm, either my Pentax 28mm f3.5 or my Vivitar 28mm f2.8

My Sigma 10-20 tends to get less landscape use but that it just my choice

Just out of interest where is your landscape weekend Just vaguely - I'm not after a post code
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link

Gwyn

Link Posted 30/01/2015 - 22:17
Stuey wrote:
My favourite landscape focal length is 28mm, either my Pentax 28mm f3.5 or my Vivitar 28mm f2.8

My Sigma 10-20 tends to get less landscape use but that it just my choice

Just out of interest where is your landscape weekend Just vaguely - I'm not after a post code

That is about my favourite landscape focal length too, sometimes much longer, very rarely much wider.

I only have a CPL which I use for landscapes. It works for milky waterfalls too, but won't give full on fluffy cotton wool ones, which is just as well as I personally don't like that effect.

I did have an ND grad but I found myself never suing it so I gave it to my now ex-daughter-in-law together with the Cokin holder.

Since you aren't really into landscapes I wouldn't invest a lot of money in filters you may never use again, if at all. Do take a longer lens than the 10-20 too. You won't get sweeping landscapes with it, just squashed up ones with things looking way too small.

jules

Link Posted 31/01/2015 - 06:32
Gwyn wrote:
Stuey wrote:
My favourite landscape focal length is 28mm, either my Pentax 28mm f3.5 or my Vivitar 28mm f2.8

My Sigma 10-20 tends to get less landscape use but that it just my choice

Just out of interest where is your landscape weekend Just vaguely - I'm not after a post code

That is about my favourite landscape focal length too, sometimes much longer, very rarely much wider.

I only have a CPL which I use for landscapes. It works for milky waterfalls too, but won't give full on fluffy cotton wool ones, which is just as well as I personally don't like that effect.

I did have an ND grad but I found myself never suing it so I gave it to my now ex-daughter-in-law together with the Cokin holder.

Since you aren't really into landscapes I wouldn't invest a lot of money in filters you may never use again, if at all. Do take a longer lens than the 10-20 too. You won't get sweeping landscapes with it, just squashed up ones with things looking way too small.

Gwyn's bang on there Stub!
If you really get into it, it's worth spending on the basic kit but decent quality, I'm a bit ham fisted I'll admit but having scratched a big stopper inadvertantly I was reluctant to spend a hundred quid on another 6"x4" bit of glass, the resin ones fair worse, they are easily scratched and it's a sod to clone it out! Whilst I wouldnt leave the 10-20 at home, I have found in my photography I rarely use my Pentax 12-24, and end up using the 17-70 by far the most followed by my 60-250. Even mountains like Blencathra and Skiddaw fall to little pinpricks of hillocks in the background with an ultrawide. It's great for emphasising desolate moorland or say a long sweeping beach but why in the end I gave up on my siggy 8-16, brilliant optically though it was, for 90% of landscapes, it's just too wide. The problem with a wide zoom is that they are just that...Wide. The tendency is to crank the zoom to 10mm and shoot, thinking your going to get a sweeping vista which you do, and it can work in say somewhere like Torres del Paine but not so well on Sca fell or Harrison stickle. When you shoot landscapes a lot of beginners automatically reach for the ultrawide but seldom use it right and come away disappointed, or with tons of 2x1 crops! If you remeber to think about not just what you've got going on in the foreground, which is vast with ultrawides but also what is happening in the background, you'll do fine with whatever lens you are using...
Cheers Jules...
tri-elmar-fudd

Back in the room!
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”...Ansel Adams
www.exaggeratedperspectives.com

stub

Link Posted 31/01/2015 - 12:52
Thanks for all the great advice.. Stuey the trip is over into the Lake district. Easily accessible from Manchester. I will be taking a 28mm Lens as like has been stated the 10-20 can seem a bit too wide at times Also 16-45 and 24-75 and possibly 70-200.. Usually I photograph in near darkness with my gig photography or the bright lights of a studio. But I would like to try a few landscapes this year. So I thought camera's OK Lenses are ok ish... So to make the job complete Il get some ND filters. Now Im a bit confused as to the market here. In all honesty, I only really considered graduated filters )not sure if I should go hard or soft.) as I imagined toning skies above hills. I believe the Lee system to be glass and top of the pile but this system is too expensive for me. As a weekend tog. Which leaves Cokin Hitec or Kood that I have become aware of. My dilemma is that I have read that all these systems leave a colour cast of some description on the final image. This being the case should I just purchase the cheapest ? I was looking for some feedback from landscapers who had experience of any of these systems.
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..
Last Edited by stub on 31/01/2015 - 12:58

McGregNi

Link Posted 31/01/2015 - 13:04
I have never found colour cast issues with the Cokin P system, so I'd be happy to recommend it for a good value ND grad and CP solution. Not sure if you'll get big enough for the ultra-wide with Cokin though ....

In my most recent landscape experience with the 14mm Samyang (which can't take filters) I have found I manage fine with a software polariser effect (Sagelight 4.0) and shooting exposures for sky and ground to be blended in Photoshop. But I accept for longer focal lengths that glass filters would offer a high quality solution.

The issue with polarisers at very wide angles is uneven brightness across a big sky which is very tricky to balance in processing. I find my software filter effect very easy and precisely adjustable.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 31/01/2015 - 13:09
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