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Old    Cal (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       02-08-2010, 1:29 PM Reply   
Somebody on here offered the advice that when it comes to photography gear, "If you don't know that you need it, then you probably don't." Well, I just learned what ND and GND filters do, and now I NEED both. :-) My problem is... there are so many options out there I'm hoping somebody can steer me in the right direction and tell me, "Get this, it's what you need."

GND Filter: Looking for a 0.6 size because that sounds like it is the best for a variety of conditions (unless I'm told otherwise). I will be fitting it to a Canon 40d w/ Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens with a 77mm filter size. Most GND's seem to be the square type filter... though I doubt I would be changing filters often, what are your thoughts on round GND's?

ND Filter: I really want one that will be able to slow down shutter speeds a lot during the daytime... like 20 seconds or longer. I'm thinking a 3.0 will do the trick, and am looking at the B+W 77mm Model #110 circular ND filter.

Any recommendations or advice? Thanks in advance.
Old    Chad Grenier (hkysk8r187)      Join Date: May 2004       02-08-2010, 3:00 PM Reply   
ND filters are great but you wont use it for wakeboarding photography. If you want 20 second exposures during mid day you'll need the 3.0 #100. I have that filter and it's great. You wont get super long exposures with the 0.6 or a 0.9 however these are great around sunset when you want a longer exposure that otherwise isn't possible when you're shooting at small f-stops like f/16 or f/22.

I would just get the round filters that screw onto the lens. If you are using a super wide angle lens you'll need a thin filter. They make them specially for wide angles, however if your lens is greater than about 16mm you should be fine with the B+W brand
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-08-2010, 7:29 PM Reply   
You'll need ND's for shooting video of WBing with a DSLR however if you want to keep your shutter between 60 and 120th.
Old    Cal (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       02-08-2010, 9:28 PM Reply   
Should have mentioned in my first post, looking to use these for landscape and long exposure shots. Thanks guys, any more suggestions?
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-08-2010, 10:01 PM Reply   
I recommend picking up an infinite ND. Works great. It's basically 2 polarizing filters stacked.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Fader-ND-Filter-ND2-to-ND400-77mm-Neutral-Density_W0QQitemZ140361506629QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCa mera_Filters?hash=item20ae329f45
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-08-2010, 10:03 PM Reply   
...and why would you want to shoot wake video at 1/60 or 1/120?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-09-2010, 6:22 AM Reply   
To get good motion blur - smooth footage.

30p - use 1/60th
60p - use 1/120th

What shutter do you usually shoot your vids at? I haven't shot any WBing yet with a DSLR but I'm planning to this spring.

I figured I'd be using 120th like I used to with the DVX - HVX - EX1 and that always meant using ND's at various levels to keep my aperture in the f4-f8 range. If you've had better results at higher speeds please let me know as I'd like start out in the ballpark.
Old    MPB (malibumike)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-09-2010, 1:27 PM Reply   
The best advice I would give you is to check out a Vari ND or a Fader ND. I have a Fader ND and at a fraction of the price of a Vari it's a deal. I use one on my 7D and it works perfect, I'm even considering buying one for my EX1. Instead of having to buy several ND's for various shooting conditions, you only have to buy one and adjust it's adjustable.

Here's a link to the website for Fader http://www.lightcraftworkshop.com/site/page1000.aspx

I bought mine on ebay from an authorized dealer that is here in the states to avoid the high shipping cost.

Good luck
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-09-2010, 6:29 PM Reply   
Thats the same ND filter I was talking about. Its definitely the way to go imo...

As far as shutter speeds go... You are right- you will get motion blur- but not smooth motion. You will get stroby footage shooting that slow. Thats a good rule of thumb when shooting studio stuff (shooting up to double your framerate) but not action- unless you are wanting blur. I always start at 1/1000 or 1/500 depending on the light and expose from there- trying to end up in the sharpest at 4-5.6 or so. Shooting high shutter will give you sharper HD footy and afterall- isnt that what we're after by shooting HD?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-09-2010, 8:37 PM Reply   
OK I'll give the higher speeds a try.
Old    Peter T (deltawake)      Join Date: Sep 2004       02-09-2010, 9:00 PM Reply   
If you shoot at 60 FPS and use a shutter speed of 1/500 or 1/1000, doesn't that give the video a choppy appearance? We are trying to figure out the video on the 7D. Best results so far with 60 FPS and 1/60 -1/125 shutter speed. May try the higher shutter speeds again.
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-09-2010, 9:20 PM Reply   
Let me go back on this... I am talking not talking about DSLR video. I am talking about .what I consider traditional video. Video shot on HVX, HPX, EX1, DVX, etc. Video where the shutter speed really isn't referencing a shutter! I should have read your original post a little closer, Rich.

However, I have been shooting and experimenting with DSLR video alot lately- all studio- no wake unfortunately. It's been a challenge but a fun challenge as it has all been Nikon D90 and D300S stuff that doesnt give you manual control, but allows you to control shutter and ISO w/ AE lock and aperture with manual lenses. I can't wait to try shooting some wake with it- but I think we are a generation or two away from having DSLR video truly where I would want to see it for shooting wake- Nikon OR Canon. From what I have seen, there are a few people shooting it that are doing a decent job controlling thr rolling shutter issue, but it still sucks IMO. So, in the mean time- I will work on mastering the new craft of DSLR video. Fun times.

Sorry for the confusion on the post. I tend to skim through posts sometimes :-)
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-09-2010, 9:24 PM Reply   
But I STILL don't want to see motion blur :-)
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-10-2010, 9:03 AM Reply   
I've read the readouts in the Nikons are slower so that evidently rolling shutter is a bigger problem then with the Canons. I haven't tested my camera enough to tell you it's not a problem but I've seen some pretty good motion video from the 7D and MKIV so I'm not worried.

The CMOS sensors time out the same way as say an EX1 so I'm not sure what you mean when you state the shutter is using a different system and exposure, it's all based on the same theory AFAIC.

As far as shutter speeds go it looks like Pete has beat me to it as far as shooting WBing with a Canon DSLR so I respect his findings. I know with HD there's a trade off between smooth motion blur and sharpness, I saw that with the EX1 as well.

I plan on going prepared though with NDs if necessary. Since I don't get out as much these days I don't want to waste any opportunities.
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-10-2010, 10:06 AM Reply   
At this time Canon IS far better than Nikon for DSLR video and their rolling shutter is less- alot better than Nikon. However, it's still there and I dont wanna see it. I have seen "pretty good" motion video of wake, as well- however I personally don't want "pretty good". I want GREAT :-) So that is why I said I think we are a generation or two away. At this stage of the game for shooting wake, I think DSLR video for wake is awesome for B Roll or locked down- but remember I am looking at this from a professional production standpoint, not a web video.

I think even more than the rolling shutter issue- the even bigger issue I have is focus- or lack thereof! It's very hard to maintain sharp consistent focus on action stuff without someone dedicated to pulling focus.

I've seen Justin shooting some wake stuff on the 7D and Jon @ The Wake Place that looks very promising, but it's still DSLR vid- looks great for lifestyle stuff- but motion isn't up to par yet IMO.

With all that being said, I'm anxious to hear Nikon's product release announcement here on their new DSLR rumored to be the D900. Fingers crossed.
Old    Cal (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       02-10-2010, 10:22 AM Reply   
Holy hijack! I don't mind at all, but would love to hear some more about my original question. :-)

Malibumike and Nebraska, is there any loss of image quality with the adjustable vari ND's or fader ND's? How do they work??
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-10-2010, 11:08 AM Reply   
With the fader ND, the only noticable difference you will see is a very slight color shift- you can take care of that with some CC in post.
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       02-10-2010, 12:52 PM Reply   
Anyone have any experience with the Lee ND 4x6 filters? Is the main advantage being able to use the filters with multiple lenses without having to worry about filter sizes and getting adapter rings?
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-10-2010, 1:33 PM Reply   
With the Z pro system all you need is the different adaptor rings so it's a cheaper way to go if you want to use the same filters on different lenses.

I've got a some 4x4 nd's coming for a z pro adaptor I'm planning on using on a 24L and 24 TSE so I'll let you know.
Old    MPB (malibumike)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-10-2010, 2:53 PM Reply   
Cal,

Nebraska is right, you may see some slight color gradation, but nothing that you can't fix in post. It may take some time getting used to. When I first started using my FaderND I was having trouble hitting my exposure, but after using it for awhile I figured it out and the results were excellent.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-11-2010, 8:03 AM Reply   
A couple more questions about the fader ND. Is that color shift across the whole frame and does it hold the same exposure level across the whole frame? I saw some pictures from a guy using it and it appeared the color shift was only in certain spots and the tonality varied where it shouldn't have in the sky. Is that an adjustment thing? I like the adjustment range of that for the money.

Would you guys say it's idiot proof or do you have to play around with it to get your shots right?
Old    Ronnie Romero (rorowake)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-11-2010, 8:07 AM Reply   
You're gonna play with it to get it dialed- like anything. Seems to hold the same exposure level across the board. Color shift seems to be pretty universal, as well. It's great for what it is- but it's a $100 variable ND. Just don't expect too much from it and you'll be happy.
Old    MPB (malibumike)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-11-2010, 9:17 AM Reply   
Rich,

You have to get used to using it. My experience has been similar to Nebraska's in that it seems to hold the same exposure level across the whole frame. You can get slight vignetting if you don't have the exposure dialed just right, but it's nothing that a little time with it won't fix. I really like mine and I honestly wouldn't spend the extra money just for the VariND.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-11-2010, 10:34 AM Reply   
I think I read it was 2 polarizers back to back which sounded like it would need some tweaking to get just right. thanks for the info. I don't have much patience for anything that I have have to fiddle with so I'll probably stick with the Z pro and solid ND filters/grads.
Old    MPB (malibumike)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-11-2010, 8:04 PM Reply   
You're welcome. I think I made it sound more difficult than it really is.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-12-2010, 8:00 AM Reply   
Naw Mike, that's not it I don't have any patience for a regular circular polarizer let alone that setup and I've already bought a bunch of Z pro stuff so I'll just roll with that for now.
Old    Chris Anthony (russian)      Join Date: Feb 2008       02-12-2010, 11:04 AM Reply   
"Anyone have any experience with the Lee ND 4x6 filters? Is the main advantage being able to use the filters with multiple lenses without having to worry about filter sizes and getting adapter rings?"

Another advantage to this system is the ability to position the filter higher/lower in the frame. A lot of people also hold the filter and move it slightly during exposure to smooth out the fade.
From what I've read, square filters seem to be the better approach for spit nd's. I have one but have not had a chance to really use it yet

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