For Valentine’s Day, Mr. Mess Maker gifted me some filters for my Nikon D7200 and a reflector and I took some time to play with them today. Oh, and bonus, filters are probably one of the cheapest pieces of photography equipment out there!
I got diopters (marketed macro lens filters but are not). One I was able to get something with through manual focus. The other one does a really good job of blurring my entire photo. I didn’t try the remaining two… because I am easily annoyed and that first one being so blurry and the second only working on manual focus… pass.
So don’t waste money on diopters or “macro lens filters.”
But it was a set that came with the filters I really DID want: UV, CPL (Polarizing), and ND, neutral density.
I use the UV always to kind of protect my lens and filter some UV light out that can harsh up your photos. I wanted the CPL because we live near a really awesome zoo and Mess Maker J. loves the aquarium, so I wanted to be able to get past some glare from glass in those situations. Both are great filters to have, I suggest investing in them both.
The ND, I’d seen some picture with/without type of thing and thought I would like to test them out.
While doing some shots of props for my St. Patrick’s Day minis starting this weekend (EEK!), I decided to try the ND filter out on the sky outside.
Here’s what I got WITH the ND Filter:
This was ISO 100, f2.2, 1/125. I did nothing but convert to JPG in Lightroom.
Without the ND filter, exact SAME EXIF:
Again, nothing done in Lightroom but the conversion.
AND that same image, with -3.54 Exposure (similar exposure to the photo with the filter based on the trees):
SO, what does all of this MEAN other than clearly the ND filter did something.
Here’s the big thing: you can take pictures in full snow without making your shutter speed 1/5000 (which is what I had to do to get a few photos of Mess Maker J. this winter in Pennsylvania. You can also get better photos in full sun regardless of snow. Basically it dims the light without losing the color, so no more blown out portions of sky.
So get the ND filter for just those situations, when there is just too much light but you still want to get a good picture. I really could’ve used it when I was trying to get pictures of my brother’s family this fall in full sun.