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  1. #1

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    Which three filters would you choose?

    I've often seen the advice that beginners should "for one year use one camera, one lens, and one film". While not exactly a beginner I intend to try this anyway in the hope to become a better photographer. I will use my Pentax LX, my 43/1.9 limited and lots of Delta 3200. I often shoot in low light situations.

    I have a small case attached to the camera strap with room for three filters. Which three filters would you recommend that I should always bring with me, and why?

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    UV for protection. Spare UV. ND so you can use the camera outside at noon.

  3. #3
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Polarizer

    Red

    Yellow

    All for extra pop in contrast
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #4
    zsas's Avatar
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    1)ND
    2)Yellow
    3) -

    Re ND, with 3200, you might find yourself in a bright scene outdoor and need to cut it down a little more and shoot wide

    Re yellow, you might find yourself in a situation where it's rather drab out, put on the yellow and you can get some nicer contrasts.

    Re 3rd, two seems about enough, too many variables and you might lose sight.
    Last edited by zsas; 07-14-2012 at 02:49 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Add more
    Andy

  5. #5
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    Polarizer - Great 1st choice, helps reduce reflection and also works as a mild neutral density filter, around 0.3 I believe.

    0.6 ND Filter - Use this filter whenever you need to slow your shutter speed down to get the wonderful blurring appearance. Use the Polarizer first, if that isn't enough use the 0.6 ND, if you still want more then stack them.

    Yellow or Orange contrast filter - obvious choice for Black and White and helps bring out the clouds in the sky if you do any landscape or scenery shots with black and white. Either one of them are useful for portrait photos as well so they are flexible.

    But, I would hate to limit my filters, at some point or another I use a lot of different filters, but these are probably the most used in my bag.

  6. #6
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    On the lens (always, unless you're using one of the others): UV or similar, transparent in the visible spectrum, for protection.

    Polarizer (if you tend to shoot reflective subjects like glass or water, or if you want to darken blue sky).

    Red or yellow for enhanced sky/cloud contrast. There are different 'strengths' available.

    Neutral Density (as E. suggested) if you insist on using such fast film.

    I strongly recommend against stacking filters. Having two adjacent planar surfaces greatly increases the chance of flare.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh B; 07-14-2012 at 03:19 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added yellow
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  7. #7
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Polarizer - mandatory, especially if you shoot colour.
    Red - if you shoot black and white, to really darken skies.
    Yellow - if you shoot black and white, to make skies a little darker and yet natural.

    If you get a fourth: orange, something in between red and yellow, for dark but not whack-you-on-the-head dark skies.

    If you shoot colour only, then the filter choices will be slightly different, but you'd definitely still want the polarizer.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  8. #8

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    I wouldn't use any.

    The basis of one camera, one lens, one film philosophy is to simplify your gear and concentrate on composition and techniques. Adding a filter complicates this.

    If you must use a filter, I suggest yellow. It renders sky more naturally then without. If you are shooting in low light situations and using Delta 3200, obviously, sky isn't part of the scene. I wouldn't use any filters.

    I know this isn't what you asked, but if I am going to stick to one film, I'd choose something more generic, like ISO 400 films - unless you are going to exclusively shoot low light images.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    RED, YELLOW, GREEN and ORANGE (sorry that's 4)
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  10. #10
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    I've never found a use for a green filter, although I have such for the Nikon and Hasselblad.

    Green will lighten foliage, but if I want that I'll shoot infra-red and get a much more dramatic effect.

    What am I missing?

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

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