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ND Filter Advice Needed

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trainerKEN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote trainerKEN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ND Filter Advice Needed
    Posted: 07 April 2020 at 07:42
So, I've had my Canon 17mm F4 L TS-E for quite a while now, and all this time I've been wanting to do daylight long exposures with it. But with the bulging front element of this lens, it requires a "LEE" style filter holder system. Well, for my birthday, I asked for it and I got it (last month). My wife got me the 10 Stop and I bought myself the 15 Stop. I got to use the 15 twice. Please see below.

5.5 minutes exposure

Ghost Town (Gastown/Downtown Vancouver)
by Ken Cheng Photography, on Flickr

4.5 minutes exposure

Vancouver House
by Ken Cheng Photography, on Flickr

I've come to realize, for what I want to do, the 15 stop filter might be used more because I can get a lot longer exposure captures vs the 10 (unless it's a really overcast/cloudy day).





Here's the dilema

So... I DROPPED the 15 Stop filter and it shattered!!

I tried using the 10 Stop filter the other day, and in order to get what I wanted, which was... at least a 60 second exposure, I had to stop down to F22 AND put the ISO at 50. And to be honest, I would have liked it another stop longer, perhaps a 2 minute exposure.

Here's what I got with the 1 minute exposure

This IS Vancouver
by Ken Cheng Photography, on Flickr

I would rather NOT have to stop down to F22 because of lens diffraction (and even there, 10 stops might not be long enough at times, even at F22), so I've decided to order another filter , but should I order the 6 Stop or get the 15 again? On one hand, I don't like having to sliding the filter into the holder, I get paranoid about dropping it (again) when I'm on location. So, if it's one less filter I have to deal with, I much prefer it. However, on the other hand, having a 6 and 10, I'd have the option to go either 6, 10 OR 16, which is a lot more useful... where as if I got the 15, I would really only have either 10 or 15, and there's no way I would ever need to go 25 stops (that's literally like days long exposures!)... but I like NOT having to deal with sliding two filters into the holder (it's a bit of an effort actually)... And also, a friend of mine thinks there would be more degrading of image quality with more filters involved.

not a big deal, but the 6 Stop is actually a little more expensive vs the 15
What would you guys do? I'm leaning more towards the 6 at the moment.


Also, how da heck do I keep these filters debris-free when I'm using it?

Edited by trainerKEN - 07 April 2020 at 08:13
 



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Michael Johansson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michael Johansson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 08:30
Maybe you should go for the 15 stop. In that way you can combine it with a graduate ND filter to even out a bright sky over a darker foreground or capture long exposure sunsets/sunrises.
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horizon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 08:40
G'day Ken,

I have been using the Lee Filter system for more than 10 years now. Last year I purchased the 10stop to also do some daytime long exposures, however, with the extremely harsh lighting in Australia, I am looking at getting a 15stop and a 20stop to go with the 10stop.

As I currently dont have a lens that has the budge at the front element, it does make things easier for me and possibly even a little cheaper.

I figure that if I only get the 15stop in addition, I can stack the 10 + 15 stops to give me a 25stop filter.

If you are finding that the 10stop is too short of an exposure, then a 6stop will probably find little use, unless you plan on using it at times when you find the 10stop a little long. And, in fact if you want to reduce the 10stop exposure down a little, you could just bump up the iso a smidge and open the aperture a little to compensate and all would be achieved probably the same as a 6stop without the expense.

So in effect its much easier to reduce the exposure time than it is to increase the exposure time.

Hope it helps you sorting out your problem.

Regards,
Craig
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trainerKEN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote trainerKEN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 09:00
Originally posted by horizon horizon wrote:

G'day Ken,

I have been using the Lee Filter system for more than 10 years now. Last year I purchased the 10stop to also do some daytime long exposures, however, with the extremely harsh lighting in Australia, I am looking at getting a 15stop and a 20stop to go with the 10stop.

As I currently dont have a lens that has the budge at the front element, it does make things easier for me and possibly even a little cheaper.

I figure that if I only get the 15stop in addition, I can stack the 10 + 15 stops to give me a 25stop filter.

If you are finding that the 10stop is too short of an exposure, then a 6stop will probably find little use, unless you plan on using it at times when you find the 10stop a little long. And, in fact if you want to reduce the 10stop exposure down a little, you could just bump up the iso a smidge and open the aperture a little to compensate and all would be achieved probably the same as a 6stop without the expense.

So in effect its much easier to reduce the exposure time than it is to increase the exposure time.

Hope it helps you sorting out your problem.

Regards,
Craig


isn't 25 Stops a LOT? I use an app that tells me how long exposure should be accordingly to how many stops I enter into the calculation and at 25 stops, it tells me something crazy like 29 hours or something like that.   
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trainerKEN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote trainerKEN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 09:01
Originally posted by Michael Johansson Michael Johansson wrote:

Maybe you should go for the 15 stop. In that way you can combine it with a graduate ND filter to even out a bright sky over a darker foreground or capture long exposure sunsets/sunrises.


that's a good point
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horizon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 09:36
G'day Ken,

Yes, 25 stops is alot.
However, here in Australia, its not uncommon to be using ISO100, 1/4000 - 1/8000, F11 so when you calculate those figures down to 25stops, the exposure time is probably in the minutes, not in days or hours.

I did a long exposure last year where the camera setting were ISO100, F32 and 10stop filter and it was 2 minutes exposure.

So when making those comparisons, a 25stop isnt all that long, especially if the aperture is around F11.

I also have ND Filter Calc on my phone, but when they did the update some time ago, it became unusable for me due to lack of functionality.

Regards,
Craig
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Wildlife Horizons
 



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Michael Johansson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Michael Johansson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 09:55
If we take 1/4000s and 25 stops will give the following steps and times:

1 1/2000s
2 1/1000s
3 1/500s
4 1/250s
5 1/125s
6 1/60s
7 1/30s
8 1/15s
9 1/8s
10 1/4s
11 1/2s
12 1s
13 2s
14 4s
15 8s
16 16s
17 32s
18 1m
19 2m
20 4m
21 8m
22 16m
23 32m
24 1h4m
25 2h8m
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 10:29
Hi Ken,

I don't 'do' long exposure like this (keep on wanting to try looking at the wonderful images these produce!) but, from a handling/logistic point of view, then I suspect I'd go back to a 15 stop and also save some extra money for a ND Grad to add some additional flexibility into your system - okay, there is the fact that you've dropped one already (I dropped an 82mm CPL whilst in Utah a couple of years ago - not the same degree of cost but I too share your pain!) but once bitten and all that; you'll be much more aware of the issue now than before!

If a 6 stop is almost the same price then I'd be tempted to go along with what have been mentioned above - you can balance exposure out in camera with ISO etc. up to a point but I think only having a single element with a 15 stop rather than stacking a 10 and a 6 is likely to be a more 'pure' optical route as well?

Good luck with the deliberations and let us know what you go for!

Best regards, Neil.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 10:30
learning something new every day... that 15 stop ND filters exist for instance...   
I can't be your friend here, Ken. my ND filters are on the wishlist only. (stumbling block is the fact that I simply refuse to pay (such) a fortune for something 'you can't even see', such as a Lee / Singh Ray or NiSi filter holder).
rumour went that a Cokin P filter holder takes Lee filters as well (and Lee filter holders take NiSi filters). know nothing about the CONS though nor any of the details.
(in fave -UK- mag 'Practical Photography', they used rubber bands to attach Lee filters. and welding glass as a poor people's filter ;-)).

my 1 cent... attached to the strap of my Minolta SLR (8000i) is a rubber thingie, meant to cover the viewfinder with. IMHO that could come in very handy, but still haven't tried if it fits the A99 as well. (or an A9 for that matter, do view finders differ in size?).

-I for one would love to shoot 'moving' swirling clouds, but still foreseeing lots of blending in PS. can it be done in 1 pic?-

Originally posted by horizon horizon wrote:

G'day Ken, Yes, 25 stops is alot.
However, here in Australia, its not uncommon to be using ISO100, 1/4000 - 1/8000, F11 so when you calculate those figures down to 25stops, the exposure time is probably in the minutes, not in days or hours.

how about ISO 50? a lot to gain?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 11:20
ISO50 is more or less a "faked" situation, all it does is take the sensors base ISO of 100 and overexpose the frame by a stop. So might be a tad cleaner in the shadow but you loose a stop of overhead in the highlights, risking blowing them out past what can be recovered in post.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 12:02
Thanks Michael, if it works out that I dont want to use such a long exposure on my A900 and risk damage, I have a stack of Medium Format film and 35mm film that will last me the next 20 years or longer if I dont use it, so it will give me a reason to use it, instead of it just waiting in the freezer to be used.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 13:09
Hi Ken - I can feel with you as the breaking of the filter is concerned. I broke my CPOL filter when photographing Shi Shi Beach in the Olympic National Park - a 150x150mm filter for the Tamron 15-30mm UWA zoom lens. It's been a Haida filter in a special holder system for that lens (I assume you are talking about 150x150mm filters for the Canon lens).

My personal experience is that I do not need a 10-stop, but I need the 15-stop. 25 stops are too much - if any combination makes sense for me it is 15 + 6 stops. Yes, to put two filters into the holder is a hassle. The combination with CPOL worked well (if only for a short time!). The combination with a GRAD filter is what I use most frequently.

I would sell the 10-stop, get a 6-stop, a 15-stop and a GRAD filter. A CPOL might be another option (but it cannot be combined with a GRAD filter since you want to turn it in the holder for the best effect).

The best solution would be a Canon EF to Sony FE adapter that houses interchangeable filters. There is the Fotodiox Vizelex adapter - but I think it doesn't give you enough stops. The same holds for Canon's EF to EOS-R adapter that holds an interchangeable ND filter (Canon offers a clear filter, a CPOL and a variable ND 8-stops for it). Maybe there is already some crowd-funded project on what would be the smartest solution IMO.


Edited by waldo_posth - 07 April 2020 at 13:13
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Macca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 20:55
I have a relatively cheap workaround which lets me use 100mm by 150mm filters on my Zeiss 15mm and make sure I don`t drop anything. These magnetic filter holders from H and Y work perfectly,come in differing sizes and are on sale.I`ve stacked two without issue on the 15mm maybe 3 would be a push but fine on other wides...I tried a 100mm by 100mm ND but there was some light leak this wide and have since replaced it with a Kase 100 by 150

https://handyfilters.com/product/k-series-100-x-150mm-magnetic-filter-frame/

My zeiss has the hood factory removed and the outer rim fits a cheap lee copy filter holder without insert t owhich i `v attached the magnetic filter holder strips for the Lee system,
https://handyfilters.com/product/k-series-filter-holder-adapter-strips-lee/

I hold it in place with a couple of elastic bungees and have no issues with it staying there, obviously if you have the Lee system already fitting your lens then all you would need are th magnetic holders and strips for your system.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2020 at 21:20
Adding the 6 stop would give a little more flexibility than the 15 alone. You can stack it with the 10 stop and not see very much image degradation. If you can notice any, your eyes are better than mine. My question is this: how long before we see you use that tilt/shift lens to capture a bird in flight?
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