Cheap camera filter recommendations?

1 year 9 months ago #705567 by Liem Stailey
I always see people recommending filters that are SO expensive.  Are there any filters (polarized, ND, grad, etc.) that are under $30 bucks and worth getting?  

Please let me know your suggestions.  Thank you


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1 year 9 months ago - 1 year 9 months ago #705578 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Liem

Regrettaby for us as buyers, there are plenty of others out there who will sell the unsuspecting public 'factory seconds' claiming that they are 'best quality'.  I had a student some time back whose CPL images were always fuzzy.  It turned out that she had bought an eBay cheapie.  It was replaced and she gave me the old filter for display purposes.

Here's the comparison ...... a $25 CPL filter vs a $75 CPL filter


Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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1 year 9 months ago #705600 by Nikon Shooter
What is the purpose of getting high end gear
if one ends up sticking cheap filters on it?

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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1 year 9 months ago #705824 by fmw
What is the point in using filters in the digital edge.  I can imagine how an ND filter can be useful in very rare circumstance but I can't imagine spending money on any other kind of filter.  The money would be better spent on better editing software.


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1 year 9 months ago #705827 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day fmw

There are some occasions where an on-camera filter can achieve things that PP cannot - either cannot at all, or cannot easily achieve the result that a filter can create

The ND filter is mentioned - and 'yes' it does play a very useful role in reducing light throughput and forcing longer exposure times

The Graduated filter is very useful for many landscape photographers - and 'yes' in PP you might be able to apply a grad layer across the image to create a similar result -but if you can do it easily during exposure, why not do so?

Here's a sample (hand held so that you can see what it is doing)


The CPL filter can do things that PP cannot achieve.  As well as darkening skies, it also cuts through reflections very easily - and this cannot be fixed in PP

Here's a sample ... no CPL filter in use


versus 'yes' CPL filter in use and reflections now substantially removed


Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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1 year 9 months ago #705842 by Piechura

fmw wrote: What is the point in using filters in the digital edge.  I can imagine how an ND filter can be useful in very rare circumstance but I can't imagine spending money on any other kind of filter.  The money would be better spent on better editing software.

So many reasons. Firstly, what if you want to shoot wide open on a sunny day? There have been many times where I've reached the limit of my shutter speed and the only way to do it is by adding an ND filter. Any sort of long exposure shot (light trails, waterfalls, removing people in a busy area, etc). For video, since you only typically change aperture and ISO in video, the shutter speed is usually fixed at double the frame rate. So the only way to change the exposure is by using an ND filter (which is why all proper video cameras have them built in). And of course polarizing filters, which can't be replicated with software.


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1 year 9 months ago - 1 year 9 months ago #705843 by Piechura

Liem Stailey wrote: I always see people recommending filters that are SO expensive.  Are there any filters (polarized, ND, grad, etc.) that are under $30 bucks and worth getting?  

Please let me know your suggestions.  Thank you

The really cheap ones will result in both a reduction in sharpness and a colour cast. At that price there are going to be compromises, so personally I'd focus on sharpness rather than colour, because if you're shooting RAW, you should be able to correct the colour afterwards, but you can't add detail back into your shot (maybe someone with more experience can confirm or deny this).

Here's a video comparing some budget ones and more expensive ones:



Matt Grainger also did a couple of good videos on the topic with sample photos:





Having said that, your profile says that you're using a Canon 5D, which suggests you're already pretty invested. If you're using expensive lenses, then I'd personally invest in some decent filters too.


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1 year 9 months ago #705844 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day mate

Looked at the 3-stop ND video .... what an extraordinary difference between the filters examined
Thanks for listing them for us

Phil

Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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1 year 9 months ago #705913 by fmw

Piechura wrote:

fmw wrote: What is the point in using filters in the digital edge.  I can imagine how an ND filter can be useful in very rare circumstance but I can't imagine spending money on any other kind of filter.  The money would be better spent on better editing software.

So many reasons. Firstly, what if you want to shoot wide open on a sunny day? There have been many times where I've reached the limit of my shutter speed and the only way to do it is by adding an ND filter. Any sort of long exposure shot (light trails, waterfalls, removing people in a busy area, etc). For video, since you only typically change aperture and ISO in video, the shutter speed is usually fixed at double the frame rate. So the only way to change the exposure is by using an ND filter (which is why all proper video cameras have them built in). And of course polarizing filters, which can't be replicated with software.


I'm not sure why you think I disagree with you.  I'm aware of the uses for the ND filter.  I only said they were rare.  If you use them then you should have them.


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1 year 9 months ago #706323 by Patrick G
Check out Gobe Filters.  They are pretty decent and they do good things for the environment when you buy a filter.  


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