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Author Topic: 14-24 and lee filters  (Read 5110 times)
Rikard_L
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« on: April 22, 2012, 05:03:26 PM »
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Hi All,

Beginner landscape photographer from Sweden here. Hope to learn a lot from you guys and to be able to contribute to this forum as my experience grows.
 
I've ordered a Lee SW-150 ND Grad for the 14-24 nikon lens. Lee also makes a filter holder for this lens. But since the filter holder is both quite expensive and bulky, I was wondering what peoples experience is regarding handholding these filters. I understand that there will be reflections if the sun is behind you. But in that case, is it usually necessary to use a ND Grad in the first place?
As you probably understand, I'm a beginner when it comes to filters and their usage  Smiley

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David Sutton
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 06:07:13 PM »
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Hello Rikard. As no one has replied yet I'll throw in my 2c worth. I don't know many people who use ND grads anymore. The time it takes to set them up doesn't seem worth it compared to the time it takes to combine exposure-bracketed shots in the software of the user's choice. Plus it's something else to carry around and look after.  Most of the time we are not talking about a flat horizon and a sky that's outside of a digital camera's dynamic range, but a more complex subject that a ND grad won't handle as well anyway as combining exposures later on.
I use a polariser for helping reduce specular highlights and a circular variable ND filter for lengthening exposure times.
Cheers, David
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langier
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 07:58:24 PM »
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I've got a set of grad filters just sitting in my cabinet since digital.

It's simply faster and easier to shoot a bracket and then combine in post and get a superior image without that look...
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Larry Angier
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Rikard_L
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 05:24:17 AM »
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Thanks for your responses David and langier. I see your points, and have been doing exposure blending and shadow pushing in post for a while now with good results. However, I have found that being out in nature making images is what I like best, so any time I can take from post processing and put into photographing might be worth the extra work for me. I also don't mind the imperfections in the image caused by the ND Grad.

All the best
/Rikard
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David Cartwright
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 06:43:22 AM »
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I have both the 14-24 and the Lee Filter kit. The Kit comes with some shades/ears to reduce any reflections. However it is bulky, but this not surprising given the size of the filters.

I choose to use the filter holder, rather than hand held as I believe the filters need to get pretty close to the lens given the field of view of the lens at 14mm. I also like to have my hands free to operate the remote release, tweak the ball head or make any other adjustments, while having the filter in place. Personally I like the system, but it's not to everyone's taste. I also like to make as much of my "image" in the camera, as I enjoy the thought and creative process in the field rather than back sitting in front of a computer, again that is a personal choice.

David.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 07:15:13 PM »
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I have the SW150 as well.
Presently only have the 0.6 hard. Lee is back logged on most of their larger grads.
Will be buying several more as time and money permit.
A great system!
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Paul2660
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 09:08:57 PM »
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I saw this old post, and wanted to add a few more thoughts. 

Many seem to think that Lee filter always means ND grads or something like it. 
Actually Lee makes some excellent solid ND's 0.9, 0.6 and 0.3. and if you are after a slower shutter speed, one of the best ways to achieve it is with a ND filter. 

The 14-24, is an excellent lens, it has some issues, weight, and flare problems, but I would easily put the results from mine up against any of the Zeiss primes on either a D800 or D800E.  My only issue has been the use of traditional filtering with this lens.  As I prefer to work in and around water, I tend to always want a CL-PL on a lens.  This adds yet another issue for the 14-24 as there is nothing in a normal filter that will work.

Lee with the SW-150, allows you to have both a 2mm and 4mm filter slot in mounted on the SW-150.  You can purchase a 4mm CL-PL 6 x 6 that just fits the 4mm slot of the SW-150.  In front of that you can add a 2mm ND filter.  It takes a bit of work to get the 4mm and 2mm to fit, as the normal Lee screws are not long enough.  However you can purchase machine screws that will fit.  You still won't get any vignetting and if you use the back ground reflection guards, you have an excellent solution

Another filter to consider is the Singh-ray reverse Grad setup.   These work a bit different than a normal ND grad as they have the strongest ND in the center and then fade back to the top.  Great for a sunset, sunrise.  The only issue with ND grads I have is that you have to watch foreground objects, trees especially that will be too dark since they are inside the reach of the grad.

One solution that really lets the 14-24 be my main lens on the Nikon's for landscape work. 

Paul Caldwell

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Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
Photography > http://photosofarkansas.com
Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
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