My thoughts on using Polarising filters, ND Grads and ND filters with all that digital technology offers these days. I discuss Hi-tech, Nisi and Lee filters.
My 2017 Calendar:
Here are some links to some of the kit shown in this video.
These are affiliation links, I get a small commission if you buy. This has nothing to do with why I made this video 🙂
LowePro Filter Pouch –
Lee Lens Caps:
Lee Foundation Holder –
Heliopan Polariser –
This Attches my Polariser to my Filter Holder –
Lee Soft Grads:
Lee Hard Grads:
Lee Super Stopper:
okay let's talk about filters now one of the most common questions I get asked is about filters what do I use why do we use them and are they even necessary so I thought I would do a very quick video and give my two pennies worth on filters so I'll start off with what do I use I use a polarizing filter I use an ND graduated filter and use an ND filter now the next question do I need these filters let's start with the polarizing filter do I need this yes in my opinion you absolutely do need this filter and the effects of this cannot be replicated in post-production I'm just gonna spin the polarizer look how bright and burn out the background this the slate has water running down it and that is completely burnt out with I spin the polarizer there's the polarizer and quite weak and then if I spin the polarizer see how it just makes those clouds pop in the sky I think I could turn the polarizer all it does is it takes the glare off of the sound so this filter is my number one filter and if I could only have one out of all of these it would always always be this polarizer which is a Helio pan absolutely top-drawer what about the ND filter do you need an ND filter no no you don't with digital technology you do not need an ND filter it's as simple as that you can actually take the same image you know 10 15 20 30 50 times and then you stack them all on top of each other take them like in Photoshop stack them all on top of each other do some magic and then but I have enjoyed averaging them or something like that you end up with a long exposure so it can be done and the other one which is even more obvious do you need an ND graduated filter of course not with digital technology you do not need one of these filters you can bracket your exposures and with dynamic range being stretched more and more these days you know you genuinely don't need one of these I don't always use one I bracket images myself with uneven horizons where an ND filter will not do the job so why do I use all of these filters then for me for me the love of landscape photography comes from my love of the outdoors now I want to spend as much of my time in the outdoors as possible and not sign front of a computer and it's it's the craft I love the craft of photography pulling out an ND filter dropping it in front of my lens and seeing an image come to life in front of me and get an instant gratification that is why I use these filters I love to create an image and to create an image in the field there and then when I'm surrounded by the atmosphere and the wind and the rain that is where I get the love of photography okay not from being sat in front of a computer but actually being out in the field in the wilderness hiking sweating getting dirty getting really stuck into photography so I really want to get as much of that done in camera as possible now I'm not having a go at people who don't use nd filters it's a personal choice different strokes for different folks I'm not very technically minded again my my skill comes from being in the outdoors some people are incredibly technically minded and to be able to process the images like I've seen some people process images with luminosity masks and different layers and everything and that is a proper skill but unfortunately it's a skill that I lack and as well as lacking the skill I don't really have the drive or the ambition to learn like I say my love comes from being out in the fresh air so yeah I'm certainly not having to go each to their own so that's why I use filters now I've recently bought some new filters and I'd like to very quickly discuss what I've used in the past and what I'm going to use now so on and so forth so for the past year I've been using Nissi filters the reason I've been using Nissi filters is because they emailed me and they said hey Tom can we send you some filters you can use them so at that point my previous filter collection was getting a bit scratched and a bit damaged so I jumped at the chance I said yes please send me some filters and so I've been using this filters for about a year now and they're okay they're not bad there's two problems I have with them one problem is they scratch too easily because of at the anti-reflective coating the second problem I have with my Nissi filters is I don't believe there is dents as they say they are so for example I don't think a two-top filter by Nissi actually stops two stops of light for example I'll show you very quickly here I've got li filter to stop grad and I've got an EC to stop grad if I put them side by side you can clearly see that the filter on the left is a lot darker than the Missi filter on the right basically after a year of use all except one filter is either scratched or damaged I don't know how this happened I must have sat on it or something and but this is a ten stop filter that is no more unfortunately so and I'm not going to assume that Nissi you're going to send me more filters free of charge and so when it comes to replacing them I've got to think what do I want what do I want to buy this that and the other so the decision came down to a choice of three neesee lee high-tech I use have used high-tech filters in the past and they are not bad they are quite good value they are cheaper than Lee not as expensive as you see there's this above coke in below Lee the problem with the high tech filters is they do give a magenta color cast which you can get rid of in like room but it's just it becomes a bit irritating after a while and all your images have a weird hue to them and so all beginning the high tech filters but I'll keep these espares so Lee vs. Nissi unfortunately for me it was a very very simple choice and Lee filters are cheaper and I believe they are also better quality and so I shall be buying any Nissi filters I mean they were great they really were good quality but I have decided to go for the Lee's instead cuz I've used them in the past and I know that they're good I'm not sponsored by Lee just in case you're thinking I didn't mail them but I didn't get back to me so all of these filters have been bought with my own money so let me get rid of these which are all of my scratched and this filters the reason the scratch probably is because I do a lot of shooting on the beach in a dusty outdoor environments and you know I don't baby things that I own like generally or genuinely try to use them so the best of use them to the most basically or get the most use out of them so one forgot now very very quickly here that broken ten stop filter this okay this has been replaced but not with another ten stop filter no I replaced it with a fifteen stop filter now I don't know why I did this I can't give any real answer as to why I decided to go for 15 stops instead of ten but I do quite like the idea of using it on a really gray orrible day at one o'clock in the afternoon and getting some crazy long exposure and get some real mood in a black and white bitch so I'm really interested to use this I just don't know when that will be and I also replaced my nice e6 top with Ali sixth up it did have another Li six top that scratched as well so six top filter I have a lead to stock soft edged graduated filter to stop hard edged graduated filter three stops soft edged graduated filter and this which is – III stopped hard edged graduated reverse I am keeping this – it's not scratching it's a perfectly good filter so we'll be keeping that and obviously keeping my polarizer no need to change that as a solid piece of glass that is not damaged at all high-tech ski panda spares and I also have Li to stop and three stop nd filters which I've had few years they're perfectly fine not scratched and so yet my main reason for going for lis is I do believe they are the highest quality filters on the market and they're cheaper than Missy nothing against Missy but you know other than they scratched too easily and I also bought a little lens cloth because I don't know I haven't even googled it but you could probably wash lend cloths I don't know but all my lens costs at the minute or at the point where you try and clean your lens or your filters and they actually end up dirtier than when you started cleaning them so I've just gone for a new little lens cloth fits in a handy little pouch and these as well Lee lens caps if you've seen my videos you'll see me bang on about these really handy two seconds so basically when you have your filter holder it goes in the front of your lens okay so I found it a real pain that every time I wanted to change lenses and put the filters on it to get the lens out get the adapter ring screw it on and then put the filter holder on what I discovered was you can buy these lens caps that just go over the filter holder like so and it just saves so much time because you can keep your adapter rings on all lenses and then you just faff it about a lot less and the final thing well there's a suppose this is my filter pouch I keep all of my filters in this it's really handy because it clips onto my belt so I can just get the filters out and I'm faffing around taking different exposures and that's it that's that's my thoughts on filters really I just I just wanted to address the question of really do I think they're necessary because yes for me they are necessary for a lot of people they may not be and I have no magic bullet no no answer that will trump all questions about the debate on nd filters and if you really need them so that's it hope you've enjoyed the video and thank you for watching until next time bye-bye