The Humble Filter


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 09:25
Once upon a time, all photographers bought a new lens and then a set of filters with it. If a system used one size predominantly, that was wonderful and saved a fortune.

I felt I needed: Skylight for high altitude. 81A for warming. Polariser for relections control and darkening blue skies. Orange and Red for dramatic BW landscapes. Yellow and Green for outdoor BW portraits.

And then digital photography came along and most of the above found its way to eBay. Still quite a few more in stock to go.

So now I feel I need: Polariser for reflections control and darkening blue skies. But in reality I never use it. R72 for IR effects. Hardly ever use it.

What did you and do you now feel that you need? And what do you actually use?
Best regards, John


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 09:29
I have a polariser, which I do use, and a couple of ND grads and NDs which rarely if ever get used.

I never used filters before I got into digital photography .


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 09:29
Circular polariser, pretty much solely for dark blue skies, and ND filters for daytime long exposures. That's it!
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27, Macbook Pro 17, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr Fluidr PPG Street Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 09:58
I don't use any filters

however photoshop dose have it's limits and cost a lot more than a star burst and polarising filter



Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 10:22
I still use a polariser and ND filters. The polariser is reflection and the darking of skies. The ND for longer daytime exposure. But can't really see the orange, yellow, green, and red filters that I used for mono being dug out anymore.
Armed with a K3, some M, A, FA, DA, and star lens. With an eye open for "just one more lens".

My PPG link


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 10:39
I have followed your path almost to the letter, John.

Now I have, and use, polariser for the blue skies and for reflection control.

I would like to have a graduated ND filter for better landscapes.

Everything else can be done in PSE.
Best regards

K20D, Optio I10, DA 18-55 1:3.5-5.6 AL II, A 1:1.7/50, D FA 1:2.8/100 Macro, Sigma 70-300 1:4-5.6 APO DG Macro, Pentax AF 360FGZ


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 11:19
I have a polariser - though I haven't had a chance to use it in the right conditions so far. A set of ND grads, and 'full ND' filters, seems to have been on my 'to buy' list almost since I bought my camera but something else always comes along.


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 11:24
I have polarisers for my lenses - as yet unused on the 40mmLtd but I have used mine on the other 2 lenses
let the education continue

proud owner of a couple of cameras and a few bits and bobs

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 11:33
Polariser for me, very frequently used, IR too, but very rarely, especially now with the K10D. I've got an ND grad which sees occasional use.

Don't forget the polariser is good for so much more than just darkening blue skies, try it with foliage, even on a cloudy day - it can make colours so much richer. Toadstools too, and lots of macro shots if you're not worried about the shutter speed (i.e. stationary subjects when you're using a tripod).

K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 11:40
I have polarisers and ND Grads for digital but hardly ever use them.

On my assorted film cameras I have a bare minimum of one yellow (Y1) filter for each lens for those times I shoot black and white film. I do have other contrast control filters in various sizes (orange, red, green) and lots of colour balance/special effect filters that never get used, but the humble yellow I see as my one must-have.
Joining the Q


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 12:01
I have polarisers, which I use quite often, ND Grads which I use ocasionally and an ND filter which I have used once. The polariser is great for skies and controlling reflections.

My Website


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 12:31
I have a polariser, which I spent most of my recent holiday in Gran Canaria kicking myself for forgetting to take with me, and an ND 4x for slow shutter speeds in bright conditions (waterfalls, beaches, that sort of thing).
you don't have to be mad to post here

but it does help


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 12:45
polariser is almost always on and besides that I've a GND set and an IR filters but hardly use those.
I've also one ND which I used once.

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55


Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 13:21
ND to get smoky water and on a bright day allow wide aperture. So that's twice.

Polariser near water. Use 20% of the time.

Given up UV as a result of thread here.

For film I tend to have yellow on more often than not.
Lurking is shirking.!
Last Edited by dougf8 on 28/06/2010 - 13:22

Steve Chasey

Link Posted 28/06/2010 - 13:34
As I still shoot film - slide mainly but monochrome from time to time,

red/orange/yellow/green in Cokin P when Im using monochrome film
Polarisers - Cokin P or 49/58/63 & 77 thread for refection control
Grey & Blue Grads,ND 4 - Cokin P for slowing the exposure/improving the sky

All get regular airings, but are not actually used that frequently.

I've hung on to a lot of coloured/warming/cooling threaded filters, probably due to inertia as much as anything else. I'm old school on use of Skylight or UV filters on lenses, so Ive got a several dozen of these.

They're not worth a lot and moving them on via e-bay is too much hastle for the reward imho.

In the Pack - Gripped K5 (SE),K7 & K20, Gripped MZ-S(SE)& MZ-S,DA10-17, DA12-24, DA14, DA*16-50, 50-135, 60-250 & 300mm; FA31mm/43mm/77mm Ltds; Sigma 8-16, 135-400 & 150-500
Half Backs: K10+BG,DA16-45, DA50-200
Backs: LXs,Super As and lots of A, M & K lenses
Impact Subs: 28mm Shift, K 135-600 (the Banahan of Pentax zooms ), 400-600 Reflex
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