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Thread: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

  1. #1

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    ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    hello,

    I just been given a Kodak Specialist No3 with a rollerblind shutter and a 1900's barrel lens.

    I had some good results using paper negs with 20 second exposures. I would like to shoot some film negative, however I cannot trust the rollerblind shutter and the higher iso of the film means I cannot 'remove and replace' the lens cap (my 'shutter) quick enough for the metered exposure.

    Would it be possible to use a ND filter to reduce the shutter speeds to say 1-3 seconds and use the lens cap as the shutter? would this affect the quality of the image.

    thanks in advance for any help or suggestions..

    Neill

  2. #2

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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    You would want to increase rather than reduce. And yes, that is the main purpose of ND filters.

  3. #3

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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    Yes. ND filters are marked by density rather than stops. A 0.3 ND filter will require one more stop of light, it will double the exposure time.

    A 0.6 is 2stops, and will increase exposure by 4 times, a 0.9 is 3 stops and will increase required exposure by 8x.

    A 1.2 ND is 16x, etc.

  4. #4

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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    Thanks for the quick replies.

    much appreciated, this will really open up the where and when I can shoot.

    Neill

  5. #5
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    I use nd(both graduated 4x6 and solid 4x4) in the field, sometimes combined with each other. Sometimes, when I want to photograph flowing water(such as in a stream or river, or the ocean), and I want it smooth and velvety, I put a 2 or 3 stop ND filter on the lens. I don't like to stop down more than I absolutely have too, and with 4x5 or 8x10 this usually means no more far down than F/22 or 32, sometimes more... 1/15 can show too much texture sometimes FOR ME, so I put a filter on it to take it down to 1/4 sec, or 1/2 second, which smooths out the water.

    Testing out filters on a DSLR before implementing them in the field with film can help you understand their actual trasmissive change(how much light they actually take out), and allow you to "experiment" w/o having to commit film to a shot, and it can help you learn faster that way.

    happy shooting!

    -Dan

  6. #6

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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    Thanks for the advice Dan, I've got a canon400d so I'll have a play with that.

    Am I Ok to focus without the nd filter on and then attach when I'm fitting the film holder..

    Neill

  7. #7
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    Neill,

    You'll want to make sure that you ND filter(s) doesn't cause any focus shift. Good filters SHOULD NOT, so you can focus, then install the filter on the lens before photographing. If it causes focus shift, you'll need to focus with the filter in place, this can be a pain with heavy ND filters(especially a 3 stop or more)

    -Dan

  8. #8

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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    Dan,

    How does adding an ND filter alter the point of focus?

    Just curious.

  9. #9
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    Dan,

    How does adding an ND filter alter the point of focus?

    Just curious.
    If you add a poor/lower quality filter after manually focusing you effectively change the focal distance of the lens. I can't really explain it in "technical" terms, just what I've experienced w/ poor quality filters. Good quality filters SHOULD NOT affect focal distance. I've just made it a habit after shooting 5 negs w/ a chinese yellow filter(ebay "freebie"), only to find that the filter caused focus shift. I now only use a high quality(B+W) polarizer and occasionally a GND filter kit, and final focus WITH the filters IN PLACE.

    -Dan

  10. #10

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    Re: ND filter to reduce shutter time?

    I sincerely believe that image quality degradation was noticed when using a lower quality filter, but I doubt it was a noticable focus shift.

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