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Suggestions on filters and others



I am buying some new filters other than the polarizer I have right now. Here is a list on my mind:
- ND 0.6 ($29.50, $44.95 with MRC)
- Graduated ND (2 stops $57.50)
- Close-up Lens +3 ($30.95)
(all B+W filters in US dollars)

I take outdoor photos most of the time (with people in them sometimes) and I am going to have a phototrip to the northeast coast of the US (Boston, MA and Acadia National Park, Maine). The lenses I have right now are
- 25mm Distagon
- 85mm Planar

Here are some questions I have
1. Is MRC really a necessity to spend $15 more on it?
2. I plan to use +3 diopter lens with my 85mm Planar, is it the correct combination to shoot ordinary flower?
3. Does polarizer have approximately the same effect as medium yellow filter when shooting on B/W negatives?
4. Any suggestions or modifications to the list, or to the phototrip?

Thanks a lot!



Well-Known Member
Posted by Tien-Chien Chen on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 7:36 am: 1. What is MRC?

> 2. I plan to use +3 diopter lens with my 85mm Planar, is it the > correct combination to shoot ordinary flower? Most closeup lenses work OK, but you usually will not have as good edge sharpness as using an extension tube. Of course, there are good ones out there that are $$$. Sometimes, you can find a used ext tube cheap. They are a little more bother to use. But on the other hand, you might like just the center (flowers) sharp and the distracting backgrounds not sharp. You will probably find higher speed film more to your liking, as you will get more depth of field AND you will not be as bothered by wind, etc. on the flowers. The easiest solution is a macro lens giving continuous focus down to 1:2 or so, and will give better results. The zoom macros work, but of course their quality is not as high, generally. But that's probably more than you have budgeted!

2 stop graduated ND. Keep in mind that the separation is hard to see, and it varies with your f/stop. When you look at the filter, it looks like the gradation shows on the light side of the change, but on film, the DARK side is where the gradation will be. On some f/stops, you may think that you have about 1/3 darkened, but it may be as low as 10%.

For scenery, use a tripod so you can study the effect. You can't adjust the separation line on a grad-ND's in a filter mount to match the horizon, and you don't always put the horizon in the middle of the picture. I went with a couple of Singh-Ray filters that I think he made originally for Galen Rowell, whose name he uses. They are Cokin P-sized so you can adjust them easily. There may be other competitive makes out. Some of the cheaper ones are tinted and change the color balance.

You would be well advised to test first to know the result.

Best wishes on your picture taking in Maine. Tom Chin