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good and cheap ND filters for Canon FD+GH2


Mirrorkisser

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I wanted a cheap introduction to ND filters before I took the plunge to the more expensive variable ND filters. I purchased a 52mm Marumi ND8 for $23 and a 52mm Marumi ND4 for $16. My largest lens is 52mm so I also bought step down rings for approx. $5.

I'm a complete noob too but the concept of "sunglasses for your camera" made sense to me and I've used these both for the past 2-3 weeks with great results. Mainly mid-morning soccer game pictures where, prior to having the ND filters, I was getting "glowing" grass and also any white clothing.

Using these filters over the past weeks has convinced me of two things:

1. ND filters are vital to maintain flexibility. For basically the same reason you wanted to buy a camera that had manual adjustments, you want to be able to have more range in your lighting (don't know if that's the right way to put it but that's the way I think of it). Maybe a more apt comparison is why you care that your camera has good low light capabilities.
2. Francisco has the right of it (as well as others that have said the same thing). If you haven't already exhausted your WAF (Wife Acceptability Factor) like I did, which is another reason why I went the cheap first, you're much better off buying a decent variable ND filter.

I've used my ND4 about 80% of the time because it just hasn't been that bright here yet. However, this past weekend was the brightest day I've shot so far and when I switched to video, I _really_ needed the ND8. The ND8 was overkill for photos (no idea why the difference but I assume shutter speed). It was the first time I tried to juggle ND4, ND8, ND4, etc. I missed at least 2 great shots (1 goal and 1 awesome ball handling) that I'm sure I wouldn't have missed if I hadn't been doing the filter dance.

My next purchase will be a decent variable ND filter.

HTH
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thanks a lot for your post tech  :)

I have the same problem with a girlfriend, i need to watch the budget. I ordered another old Canon FD lens which comes with 2 filters and will try my look with those for the start. Then later on i can still switch!

good luck with your football games  :)
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An ND 2-4-6 needs the exact same time to be screwed on as a Vari-ND, and it never causes vignettes (asymmetric ones too). You will quickly learn to know the right strength for the situation, and a slightly too strong or too weak ND is anyway better than none.

Your wife and your girlfriend may be right again. Personally I find it a sad situation if you have to bargain about the purchase of a filter, no matter how wise it is to control your budget.
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Axel: I don't think it's a matter of bargaining. It's a matter of priorities, at least for me. I'm not a professional photographer, this is just a hobby. Granted a hobby that lets me capture our family memories, but still.

In my case, it's not about the $23 dollars for a filter, it's the $849 for the GH2, $800 worth of lenses, $300 for tri-pods, etc. etc.

So when I started looking at needing an ND filter _in addition to_ all my other expenditures, I decided to go the cheap route until I could convince _myself_ of the value. I mentioned WAF a bit tongue-in-cheekishly.

However, a good variable ND filter is going to run you in the $150 range and I make it a habit to at least mention anything over $100 to my wife as a matter of respect.
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Being in the same financial neighborhood as you it seems, I admit to owning, and using extensively, a very cheap chinese variable ND filter. It works extremely well for my needs at least... And the possible slight decrease in image quality should be weighed against the lessening of image quality using f-stops above 11 or so...
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