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    ND single stop filter

    Maybe a little broad and of course it all depends on any given situation, but how many stops of light reduction would you generally recommend for use outside in the bright daylight? I have a cheap variable filter now, but was thinking about getting a good quality single stop ND filter and I would like to be able to keep the aperture close to wide open.

    Thank you.

    #2
    Why not purchase based on how many stops used most with your current Vari-ND.

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      #3
      Would be great if I can see..but I can't even tell on mine...just endless spinning, no marks or anything..

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        #4
        For outside use, the standard is the so called "Sunny 16" rule, meaning that in bright daylight, you would have an aperture of 16 with ISO and shutter at the same value. On most DSLRs (and this is the Canon forum) you can't drop ISO below 100 and with a shutter of 50, one would need f/22 for the aperture. I like my aperture at f/5.6, which is four stops and as such I use an ND 1.2. You want to keep it wide-open, which would be four stops more ND (landing at 2.0), which would be an ND 2.4. The thing is that with NDs above 1.2 (and that is pushing it) you will also need an IR (Hot-Mirror) filter, or you will get a color shift.
        Help support my Lovecraft inspired 80s horror film I'm DPing on 16mm:
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        Gabriel de Bourg Cinematography
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          #5
          Originally posted by NorBro View Post
          Would be great if I can see..but I can't even tell on mine...just endless spinning, no marks or anything..
          Erm...
          1) Shoot a still/measure in the viewfinder/whatever without the filter at a fixed shutter speed (i.e. 1/50s) on a sunny day (or, preferably, under your typical shooting conditions). Note the aperture used.
          2) Open the aperture up as much as you find pleasing. (Optionally put the vari ND on in this step)
          3) Note how many stops you've opened. That's your typical stops of ND needed.

          You don't even need the vari ND filter to find how much ND you need to get your perfered DOF.

          Originally posted by Gabel View Post
          For outside use, the standard is the so called "Sunny 16" rule, meaning that in bright daylight, you would have an aperture of 16 with ISO and shutter at the same value. On most DSLRs (and this is the Canon forum) you can't drop ISO below 100 and with a shutter of 50, one would need f/22 for the aperture. I like my aperture at f/5.6, which is four stops and as such I use an ND 1.2. You want to keep it wide-open, which would be four stops more ND (landing at 2.0), which would be an ND 2.4. The thing is that with NDs above 1.2 (and that is pushing it) you will also need an IR (Hot-Mirror) filter, or you will get a color shift.
          Do you really use IR cut off filters with Canon cameras? The cameras themselves cut IR pretty good.
          Shutter Angle: The science and magic of shooting moving pictures

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            #6
            Originally posted by cpc View Post
            Do you really use IR cut off filters with Canon cameras? The cameras themselves cut IR pretty good.
            I'm not a Canon user anymore, but I know that on an Alexa or RED I definitely want some on.
            Help support my Lovecraft inspired 80s horror film I'm DPing on 16mm:
            http://www.indiegogo.com/insanemadness
            http://www.facebook.com/insanemadness2012

            Gabriel de Bourg Cinematography
            www.gabrieldebourg.se

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              #7
              For shooting in sunlight on a bright day at ISO 100, f/2.8 and 1/50s, I usually need a total of 6 stops of ND filtering. Check the cheap Tiffen set here: http://www.similaar.com/foto/equipme...eo.html#filter And my tests with those here: http://www.similaar.com/foto/lenstests/lenstestsn.html

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                #8
                That much ND (I usually use one or two stops worth to wind up at f11 or so) will give color issues for sure. They can be lessened with other filters as noted, but I would personally just get over the idea of shooting wide open in sunlight.
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                  #9
                  Indeed: my tests (at the end of http://www.similaar.com/foto/lenstests/lenstestsn.html) show how bad the color shift is with my cheap filters and this much ND in front of the lens. But they also show how easy it is to solve those issues with custom white balance... (of course it would be better to use good filters in the first place, but those cost a small fortune, and are usually not perfect either)

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                    #10
                    This is opinion, for what it's worth.

                    I hate shooting wide open. I rarely do it. Most lenses look best at between 5.6 and 8. I only open it up all the way when I have to (which isn't that often). In bright sunlight, 8 is going to look great, that's 3 stops of ND. Shallow DOF in wide shots is silly. Wides, and really mediums as well, look much better with a deeper DOF. When you come in close with an 85 or a 135, the longer focal length is going to give you a decently shallow DOF even at 5.6, maybe even at 8 depending on the lens, or, even better, now you're in close and you can bring silks and other methods into play to cut the light and let you go down to 4 or 2.8 for very shallow DOF.
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                      #11
                      It depends on your lenses and your sensor size. I would aggree that f/2.8 on full frame is too shallow for most situations, but on APS-C it's what I usually go to. And of course, I throughly tested all my lenses to know what I'm losing by going wide open (and it's not much: they're fine at f/2.8, and as good as they get by f/3.5).

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                        #12
                        Absolutely. Every lens is different. Several of mine are very sharp at 2.8
                        More my opinion that, shallow DOF on wide exteriors is just silly and doesn't look very good. I see it a lot online. Shallow DOF has a place, but so does deep DOF.
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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Gabel View Post
                          For outside use, the standard is the so called "Sunny 16" rule, meaning that in bright daylight, you would have an aperture of 16 with ISO and shutter at the same value. On most DSLRs (and this is the Canon forum) you can't drop ISO below 100 and with a shutter of 50, one would need f/22 for the aperture. I like my aperture at f/5.6, which is four stops and as such I use an ND 1.2. You want to keep it wide-open, which would be four stops more ND (landing at 2.0), which would be an ND 2.4. The thing is that with NDs above 1.2 (and that is pushing it) you will also need an IR (Hot-Mirror) filter, or you will get a color shift.
                          Gabriel, do you pretty much see that color shift in all ND filters above 1.2? Even with the more costlier filters like "Formatt"?

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