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Why use ND filters?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by fhagan02, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. fhagan02

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    After receiving a few PM's asking about ND's I thought it would be a good idea to explain the importance of using one for aerial videography. Hope this helps some folks.

     
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  2. lm402

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    Thanks. This really helped me a lot
     
    fhagan02 likes this.
  3. 2nd2non

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    Any perspective on quality of new Polar Pro ND/CP8 and 16 vs SRP? Any preference on use?
     
  4. fhagan02

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    I've not yet received the CP versions of the PP NDs. I'll post about it when I receive. That said SRP's glass has proven to be top notch in all my tests to date. Plus SRP offers the Graduated ND16-8 which is perfect for aerial filming.
     
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  5. prostreetcamaro

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    Agreed 100% the graduated filter will be my next filter. I have the ND8-CP and it is fantastic but many times either the ground is dark or the sky is dark depending on how I have the exposure set. The graduated would solve that issue.
     
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  6. Wilfros

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    Found this post most helpful. It does however, raise a question in my mind.

    If you are talking about motion blur being something we are wanting in our video then I would assume that if I wish to grab frames from my video for still photos then not using the ND filter would be the better way to go.

    Is this correct?

    Thanks very much for the time you spent in making this informative video.
     
  7. fhagan02

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    True. If you're using the P3's video footage for still frame photos I'd shoot without an ND. That said, when I want clean screen grabs from a 4K shot I just hover in place for a few seconds or move very slow with the ND on.

    Thanks for the comment.
     
  8. Wilfros

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    Hey, Thanks for the information. I hope you don't mind if I pick your brain just a little further as I would love to understand this. I have just received my Polar Filter 3 pack and would like to use them properly.

    If the ND Filter makes the movie have motion blur how does flying slowly or even stopping help the situation? That just seems to be a little strange to me and I would love to understand it. I am completely confident that your information is correct, it just seems a little difficult for me to grasp.

    I can do one of two things: I can just do as you say and I am sure it will all work out, OR I could try and understand what is happening so that I might apply that knowledge to all or most situations. I am trying to obtain the second situation rather than the first.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  9. fhagan02

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    These are all great questions. When flying or hovering there is no motion to capture or blur. It's only when motion is present that you benefit from the blur of a slower cinematic shutter speed. Hovering perfectly still and shooting with the shutter speed set to 50 or 500 will produce the same clean still frame grab from your footage. Notice the house in my videos. Pause the video on the scenes where there's motion blur on the leaves close to the camera. The house is perfectly clean and sharp while the leaves are blended due to the motion. Hope this answers your question and thanks for asking.
     
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  10. Wilfros

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    It absolutely does answer my question. I thank you very much for taking the time to explain it in such a clear manner. I will put this information to use.
     
    lm402 likes this.
  11. Viral

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    This is the same reason I mentioned in another post why it's usually not helpful to show still photographs in order to highlight an ND filter. Unless you have something like a waterfall that you want blurred, stills don't really benefit from slowing down the shutter speed.
     
  12. fhagan02

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    Ditto this.
     
  13. 2nd2non

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    This is one reason I make a decision to do all video or still photos prior to flying. Once done with one, I'll bring the bird back, add/remove filter, take off and adjust camera settings. I've been burned too many times in the past trying to do both and expecting perfection!
     
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  14. fhagan02

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    Well said. Every word.
     
  15. 2nd2non

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    I can't tell you how many times during my last trip I forgot to re-enable AE lock after taking stills that ended up looking like crap. So in the end, had video (with exposure changing in shots) + crappy photos! Lesson learned x4!!