Help me out with dSLR accessories, filters etc

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris14, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Chris14 macrumors regular


    Aug 13, 2006
    Hamilton, NZ
    Needing some advice, :eek:

    I currently have a Canon EOS 400D (XTi) along with the kit lens and an EF 75-300 III USM lens. I have been reading a lot about photography recently, and have decided that now would be a good time to invest in some filters and polarizers to make my pictures that much better. Unfortunately, I have only a vague idea of how they work and no idea which ones to buy. Could someone please elaborate on how filters and polarizers work and perhaps make some recommendations for me? I enjoy Landscape photography if that helps at all.

    I am also interested into getting into Macro photography. Would my current lenses suit for this? What accessories, if any, could make this better if possible.

  2. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    For landscapes all you need is a grey grad... :)
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Many people would argue that a polarized filter is more useful. But if you had both you would have all you would ever need. You only need one of each get adaptors if the filter rings on your lenses are different. Well, I do own two ND gradient filters. Both a square glass that fit in a holder that allow me to move the "line" up and down. One filter has a softer "line" and the other harder. which to use depends on the scene. But many people working today with digital camera will prefer to take multiple exposures and compose them in Photoshop. The filters are not cheap and compositing works well enough. I prefer to "get it right" in the camera. If you go the Potoshop route you don't need the gradient filter but Photoshop can not duplicate the effect of a polerizer I bough my ND filters before the "digital age"

    I would get a tripod first. Nothing can help more then that and you can't really use a graduated filter without a tripod. Not only does the tripod hold the camera stedy but it also forces you to slow down. Set up the shot then walk away. Come back and look again. Is it still something you's want to make a large size print of? If so trip the shutter, if not move the tripod and or reframe then walk away again. Another good tool is a 6 inch bubble level. Helps to get the camera level even if there is not clear horizon line

    One more thing. Some big picture books. Look at the pictures and find which you like. It is OK for a student or beginner to copy the work of masters. Find what you like and set out to make some images just like those.
  4. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 13, 2006
    Hamilton, NZ
    Excuse my naivety, but what exactly is a grey grad? A filter of some sort I presume. and BTW, where do you guys buy your equipment? I am in New Zealand but can't seem to find any speciality photography stores nearby. Might have to resort to online shopping.
    Oh and, I do have tripod, just forgot to mention it :D It's a very nice one infact that my dad lets me borrow.
  5. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    your currently lens aren't so great for macro. you'd need extension tubes (between the lens and the body) or a close up filter, but I'd suggest a macro lens. there are several cheap options -- like the Sigma 50. Noisy and slow to focus, but very sharp, and gives you 1:1 in a very small body. The canon 50 2.5 compact macro is nice, but it's not 1:1. Of course, there are more expensive options as well.
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I'd really like to hear you explain this statement - I don't think it's true at all. How do you use Photoshop to create 30 second shot of a waterfall or river, for instance?

    If you were talking about warming/cooling/fluorescent filters, then yeah - those are relics now (especially if you shoot RAW as opposed to JPEG).

    Edit: I misread ChrisA's post, but I still disagree with the statement that gradient ND filters aren't needed. HDR has significant limitations (plus it usually looks funky IMHO). I think NDs and gradient NDs both have their place in the digital world.
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I only own three kinds of filters: circular polarizers, neutral density and gradient neutral density. Some people put UV or skylight filters on their lenses for protection, but I don't. Your lens is only as good as its worst element, and unless you buy a high-dollar filter (as in more than US$100), you're compromising your optics. A hood is much better, IMO.

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