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Author Topic: Using Filters with high rez cameras  (Read 1135 times)
Andrew Makiejewski
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« on: March 20, 2013, 10:14:18 PM »
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I am still researching which FF camera to purchase and have stumbled upon another question.

On 24+ MP FF sensor cameras, will using a 4" x 6" filters like ND grad reduce the image quality? The filters add up once you get soft and hard edge version. Would not want to spend the money to find out that I loose too much sharpness or other image quality issue.

Have tried looking for info, but haven't found anything on this as of yet.

Thanks.

Andrew
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 10:29:37 PM »
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If sharpness is what you spend money for, you are probably in the wrong business (or hobby).

You use a filter for a reason. if you can solve the problem otherwise, don't use the filter. I you can't, then you use it, as the pros outweigh the cons (if any).

Large format photographers have been using filters for ages (stacked as well). If it was good for them, should be good for a lowly 24 MP.
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jecxz
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 10:32:30 PM »
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On 24+ MP FF sensor cameras, will using a 4" x 6" filters like ND grad reduce the image quality? The filters add up once you get soft and hard edge version. Would not want to spend the money to find out that I loose too much sharpness or other image quality issue.

Sometimes I use three to four 4x6 filters on front of my 39mp MF camera and there is no reduction in quality or softness that I notice or my clients notice (of course I use high quality filters that are not scratched up). For instance, this image used 3 filters:



Kind regards,
Derek Jecxz
www.jecxz.com
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 11:11:34 PM »
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I have stacked ND filters on 24MP 35mm sensors and 33x44 sensors--they both have the same pixel pitch--never seen a soft image caused by the filters.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 04:04:34 AM »
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If sharpness is what you spend money for, you are probably in the wrong business (or hobby).

Hi,

I agree with Slobodan, since filters were not part of the optical design of the lens, they will have adverse effects on sharpness/glare/distortion. Whether the adverse effects are significant enough, depends on the total optical chain and quality of the filter.

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You use a filter for a reason. if you can solve the problem otherwise, don't use the filter. I you can't, then you use it, as the pros outweigh the cons (if any).

Indeed. When the filter solves an issue that outweighs the potential downsides, then it is an easy choice.

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Large format photographers have been using filters for ages (stacked as well). If it was good for them, should be good for a lowly 24 MP.

Not necessarily. Since a larger capture format requires less output magnification, some filter defects will also be harder to see.

Cheers,
Bart
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torger
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 06:53:29 AM »
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ND grads *can* reduce image quality. Those are nearly always uncoated resin filters somewhat handmade and quality control may not be the best. If you are paranoid you should get Schneider MPTV glass filters, which are multicoated, perfectly neutral and flat.

I use formatt hitech resin grad filters and while most of them does not produce any visible sharpness reduction with my 33 megapixel digital back one of my filters did have an issue (0.6 SE), as shown in the attached image. Not sure what the quality control of Lee filters are, probably better. From my experience I'd recommend to test the resin filters thoroughly before using in the field, and replacing if you find a bad one. Or get the much more expensive glass filters from Schneider.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 06:56:12 AM by torger » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 06:03:29 PM »
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... I agree with Slobodan, since filters were not part of the optical design of the lens, they will have adverse effects on sharpness/glare/distortion...

Hi Bart,

You got me chuckle Smiley

Mostly at myself and my clumsy sentence on sharpness. You are absolutely right, whatever you put in front of the lens, it will have some effect on quality. Mostly negligible and practically unnoticeable, unless you use a Coke bottle, cheap knockoffs, uncoated filters, etc.

But that is not what I had in mind. I meant that sharpness is overrated, that we photograph for a myriad other reasons, the least of which should be sharpness. Unless, of course, you are an optical engineer and your employer is DxO or a similar. We do not photograph to demonstrate sharpness (with one exception: proud owners of the new Sigma DP2 Merrill Tongue), thus my concern with the OP sharpness angst.

More and more these days we hear statements like: "I do not want to use filters, or ISO over 400, or f/stop beyond diffraction-optimal, or..., because I might lose sharpness, increase noise, etc." You should shoot with whatever is necessary to get that shot, and worry about the rest later (or not).

What's the point of getting a perfectly sharp shot if you end up with blown skies or too-dense shadows (one of the situations where a GND filter might save the day)?

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markmullen
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 06:25:01 PM »
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My photography relies on the use of ND grads and whilst I'm only using a 5d mk3 I see no noticeable loss of quality using only Lee filters and any loss that there is is actually outweighed by the lack of blown skies etc.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 06:57:32 PM »
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Hi Bart,

You got me chuckle Smiley

Hi Slobodan,

Good Wink

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Mostly at myself and my clumsy sentence on sharpness. You are absolutely right, whatever you put in front of the lens, it will have some effect on quality. Mostly negligible and practically unnoticeable, unless you use a Coke bottle, cheap knockoffs, uncoated filters, etc.

But that is not what I had in mind. I meant that sharpness is overrated, that we photograph for a myriad other reasons, the least of which should be sharpness. Unless, of course, you are an optical engineer and your employer is DxO or a similar. We do not photograph to demonstrate sharpness (with one exception: proud owners of the new Sigma DP2 Merrill Tongue), thus my concern with the OP sharpness angst.

That's a valid concern, but I have another concern to trump yours ...

ND grads produce an artificial look on all subjects that don't have straight horizon outlines. I can understand the requirement to use Grads with film, but with digital capture they are often a worse choice compared to e.g. bracketed exposures and some postprocessing (or proper tonemapping of a high dynamic range image capture).

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More and more these days we hear statements like: "I do not want to use filters, or ISO over 400, or f/stop beyond diffraction-optimal, or..., because I might lose sharpness, increase noise, etc." You should shoot with whatever is necessary to get that shot, and worry about the rest later (or not).

Dogmas are never sensible. However, one can only consciously decide to break a rule when one understands that rule (and its limits). More often, ignorance is at the basis of poor decisions.

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What's the point of getting a perfectly sharp shot if you end up with blown skies or too-dense shadows (one of the situations where a GND filter might save the day)?

No point at all, unless there is a better alternative. That's what I try to promote, master your equipment with good technique, instead of having your equipment master you. I hate it when poor technique distracts from enjoying an otherwise great image.

Cheers,
Bart
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Andrew Makiejewski
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 07:46:37 PM »
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I am just getting over a bad headache.

Want to thank everyone very much for the replies. Just wanted to be sure that there would not be (too) much loss in quality of the image. To spend several hundred dollars for the filters and find that the image quality suffers. I have used ND, vari-ND and polarizers on my crop sensor bodies and all was good. Don't mind too much spending the money, just want to be sure it is well spent.

As some of you have pointed out, get it right out in the field in the camera as much as possible so less PP is required.

The needle is pointing heavily to the Nikon D800E side, so most likely it will be the camera I purchase.

Again, thanks for your help on this matter and it is greatly appreciated. LuLa forums have many fantastic and professional members that are always willing to help. Have learned a lot since being a member of the forum(about a year now). Put in my 2 cents when I have an answer to something I know about.

Now off to create my filter shopping list.

Andrew
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 07:55:09 PM »
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Just a quick note on my personal preferences: I buy Kenko filters. As far as I know, they are identical to their more expensive Hoya brethren, made by the same company, to the same standards, just marketed under different brand names and for different markets.

In all fairness, the last time I bough a filter was years ago, and in the meantime I noticed ads for the latest generation of made-for-digital filters, so take my words with the proverbial pinch of salt.

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Slobodan

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