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  4. Tips for using your ND and GND filters effectively

Tips for using your ND and GND filters effectively

Before You Start

Before you start shooting and after you finish ensure that your filters are stowed away safely and cleanly. This allows them to be used repeatedly without scratches and stains which will degrade the quality of your images. A hard case which protects the filters from breaking and scratches is the best storage solution.

Make sure that you bring the appropriate adapter ring for your lens in order to mount the filter system.

Setting Up

Remove any circular filters before attaching a filter holder. The holders are designed to screw directly into the lens. Leaving the circular filter can cause vignetting and circular filters are not designed to have the weight of a holder and filter attached to it.

If using our V5 or S5 systems ensure that your CPL (if you plan to use one) has been inserted before the filter holder is attached.

When attaching the filter holder, ensure that the fit is secure so that the filter holder will not dislodge while inserting, adjusting or removing filters.

Inserting and Positioning Filters

If your using a DSLR make sure you compose your scene before placing dense ND filters as you will see nothing through the optical viewfinder and even exposure simulation may not cope with the darkness of the denser ND filters.

When using GND filters, ensure that the transition point from dark to light is positioned correctly. Using a ‘live view’ function can help you achieve this. This is most important when using hard-edged or reverses edged GNDs as a wrongly placed filter will darken elements of the scene inappropriately.

Stacking Filters

You can combine ND filters with GND filters in order to capture more dynamic range from a scene.  This is called ‘stacking’ filters. When stacking a GND with an ND, use the outer slots furthest form lens for the GND filters and the back slots closest to the lens for the ND filters.

The ND filters always take priority and the foam is placed towards the back of the holder to create a light seal to avoid light leaks.

Cleaning

Keep your filters clean while shooting in order to maximise image quality. This is especially important when shooting in damp environments such as seascapes and waterfalls.