As a landscape photographer, I find it both a convenience and an inconvenience to use filters. For example, using filters for balancing light in a scene, eliminates the need for bracketed shooting. This saves space on my memory card and on my hard drive. On the other hand, sometimes things happen so fast that mounting filters spoils the moment. There are also instances when using a filter to smooth the water in a waterfall will save me from blending exposures in Photoshop. On the negative side, adding filters to the backpack takes up space and adds weight.
There are so many neutral density filter brands out there that it can be difficult to know which one to choose. The choice becomes even more difficult when you start to look at super strong ones claiming 10 stops of light stopping power. You hear all the time about softness issues, vignetting and colour casts. But which one is the best?
That’s what photographer Christopher Frost wanted to find out. So, he contacted a bunch of 10 stop filter manufacturers to do a straight up side-by-side comparison between them all to see how they stand up.
Dealing with flash sync speeds has traditionally been a bit of a pain if you’re shooting outdoors on location. Until fairly recently, most strobes just can’t handle those high speeds. The instant you go past 1/250th (or whatever your camera’s sync speed is) you start to see black bars. Neutral density lets you lower the outdoor light levels to shoot within sync speed.
But is that still needed in 2018? Flash tech has come a long way, and there are quite a lot of powerful strobes out there now that support high speed sync. Photographer Manny Ortiz explores the topic in this video, and gives his thoughts. I’m not surprised that he seems to edge towards high speed sync.
Since the initial announcement of Irix’s new Edge filter series at PPE last year, the range has grown slowly but steadily. A new 15 stop neutral density filter, the Irix Edge ND32000 was announced just a couple of weeks ago, and today we got to see it in person during The Photography Show in Birmingham, England. We also got the chance to check out their new square filter holder, too.
Some might have you believe that neutral density and polarising filters aren’t required in today’s modern era of digital photography. That you can replicate their effects in post. No problem, just a couple of clicks, right?
Well, no. While many filters aren’t really required any more (unless you just want to save yourself some time in post), neutral density and polariser filters both offer effects that can’t be accurately recreated in post. In this video, Evan Ranft explains why and how each of these different filters work.