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ND Filters for Timelapse

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Just trying to get some ideas for ND filter usage. I know the VIEW isn’t quite ready for it, but seems that is a feature that is in the works.

So ahead of this, what are some standard rule of thumbs you all use when reaching for the filters?

And beyond those, how do you guys deal with avoiding movement when attaching or detaching?

How do we all feel about variable ND filters? I had frustrations with crosses when pointed directly at the sun so actually threw it off the cliff haha

And lastly, post production…ND filter addition or removal makes bigger than usual shutter or ISO adjustments so what’s a good way of dealing with this?

i have tried them once or twice, but because of the issues above I’ve found them more useful for individual still images rather than time lapse.

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It would help if the user could set the f-stop reduction rating for a filter in the VIEW, and let the VIEW compensate the exposure automatically when a filter is added or removed. The original Timelapse+ had this feature.

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I’ve experimented with ND filters and the view to control shutter drag. My understanding of the view is that it bases its exposure calculations on looking at the actual images rather than reading the ambient light conditions so it doesn’t need to know the ND is there. I’ve successfully used an ND4 and ND8 for day to night. I found it gives a little more shutter drag to the day part and, with a careful choice of aperture, the night part isn’t compromised. I should also add that I’m using fully manual lenses and stop down metering so I can set any aperture without flicker being an issue. It would be interesting to see if there would be a way to remove the ND part way through and let the view know but I’m skeptical that the transistion could be made seamless.

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Hi Bryan,

I suppose the another thing to consider if using motion control (which I don’t have), a Grad ND filter might cause ‘banding’ through your video unless the control system tracked parallel to the actual axis of the filtration (line) – but then there would be the risk of darkening other objects within the frame being darkened. I’m only speculating here!

Cheers

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Hi Bryan,

Just for clarification, when you say “ND filters” are you referring to “Graduated” or “Full” ND Filters?

At the moment I haven’t had the need to actually use ND Filters (grad or full) when shooting a timelapse with the View. I’ve just ensured that I don’t overexpose/clip the highlights and during post-processing pull details out of the shadows/darks that I need by using a ‘mask’ and adjust up the exposure as required. I think if you start to putting the grad-filters on/off during the shooting of the timelapse, I think you would introduce extra flicker (but I have no experienced, just my thought!), as there would be a noticeable exposure jump between the two images. Not to mention shake to the camera.

I personally don’t use variable grads but I have read about the ‘X’ that can occur especially when used near their max strength. If you are using the Grad Filter to induce some shutter lag, I personally would stop the timelapse to add/remove the filter and then begin the timelapse workflow again, using a different angle etc to show a different break etc.

Hopefully someone else has actually experience in this.

Cheers

Andrew

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i recall there being a feature in the set up which allowed for the inclusion of ND filter usage. I’d guess it has something to do with compensating the algorithm calcs between what the camera is seeing and what the external light sensor is reading and assuming that the camera should be seeing…if it knows there is an ND filter on it, it will adjust the timing accordingly.

Indeed the Ramper Pro has that function but if I’m not mistaken, it works because the main metering is done via its light sensor rather than the camera’s exposure.

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