Experimenting

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I wanted to see what two images of the same shot with different exposures would look like together. I wanted to use Photomatix’s exposure fusion setting to see if I could bring back an overexposed shot. I know that my highlights are awful. But I think it was worth posting what I did.

I don’t have an ND filter. It would helpful with the long exposures that I desperately want to take. So I just took a long exposure at .5sec. That blew out the highlights too much. So I heavy-handedly brought the highlights down. That’s why the sky has such a muted look.

This was all done really for the sake of what the water might look like.

Anyone have any recommendations for a solid, preferably cheap, ND filter? ย I know that quality=price. But are there any out there that would go well with a Canon 17-40mm lens?ย 

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7 thoughts on “Experimenting

    johnpfinch said:
    14/12/2013 at 1:47 am

    Hi Jack,
    I quite like the high contrast look of the foreground, but as you say the sky is completely devoid of any detail. You don’t necessarily need filters to create a good HDR result in Photomatix, in fact most people that use Photomatix do so to ensure that they don’t have to use filters which can potentially degrade the image quality. In this case you just needed more than two shots. At your chosen aperture setting take to exposure readings – one for the brightest part of the image and one for the darkest part of the scene. Then, using a tripod take a series of shots one stop apart between the two extremes. For example if the dark part metered at 1/4 sec and the bright part at 1/125 you would take shots at 1/4, 1/8th, 1/16th, 1/30th, 1/60th, and 1/125th. You can then load these into Photomatix and process away. The trick is to keep the result looking natural.
    That said, I prefer to get the result right in camera not on the computer, that’s where the craft of photography lies. Lee filters are the best, but are furiously expensive and often have wait lists, so I swear by HiTech filters made by Formatt. Their 100mm range will fit the 17-40mm with the right holder and adapter. Once you start using ND graduated filters you will not look back!
    https://www.formatt-hitech.com/

    Hope this helps.
    p.s. – have you made a decision yet on a new camera/lens combo?!

      Jack Viere said:
      14/12/2013 at 11:48 am

      Thanks for explaining the step by step there. I too prefer in-camera captures. In this case, virtual copies may help but I think had I actually caught the subject at those exposure intervals, the image would have looked smoother and more natural.
      While in Ireland, I don’t think I will have access to Photomatix–I only have it on my desktop, which will be left home. (I probably will have access to Photoshop’s HDR Photomerge, though I am not as familiar with that). So I do want one of those ND filters to get everything in-camera.
      I don’t know if I should be happy, sad, excited or what in terms of my lens/camera combo…After reading what you said, more research, and more thinking, I ended up purchasing a used Canon 5D last night. Then I lost sleep thinking about the lens…The reason I purchased the 5D is that I wanted the 17mm to have its effects captured on a full frame rather than a cropped sensor. I admit that further down the road, I’ll need the higher megapixels because I print 13-19in (weird dimension) on a Canon Pro-1 printer. But having the 18-55mm kit lens, which has been really sharp for me, I wanted the 18mm to appear as a WA.
      All of that being said, the lens dilemma continues. Do I need the 17-40mm? It seems that some people’s opinions on that Canon L lens is that its not rightfully part of the L series…So that had me wondering about third party lenses. Getting into those forums on which is better (Tokina, Tamron, and Sigma) is a mess…What I have gathered is that the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 would suit my needs over the Sigma equivalent because of the sharpness at certain apertures is higher. I do want to invest in a good piece of glass, but these UWA zoom lenses don’t seem to be where the L series dominates (f/4 at 17mm vs f/2.8 at 17mm).
      I don’t know if I just read one person’s anti-Canon rant and was somehow persuaded into considering these other lenses or what. But any further guidance would be great and much appreciated!

    johnpfinch said:
    14/12/2013 at 1:06 pm

    All the way to full frame in one go! The 5D will do you proud! I have to admit that I don’t know a huge amount about the L series, but I have heard that the optical quality can vary. Sometimes you’re paying more for the pro rugged build and weatherproofing rather than the glass itself. That said, it’s all relative I’m sure there won’t be any real duds in the line up. One thing for sure is that you will definitely need to buy something because the 18-55mm is APS-C only and won’t cover the full extent of a the full frame sensor. The third party equivalents to the 17-40mm will be fine I’ve used both tamron and sigma in the past and been very happy. They are slightly more versatile as well being a stop faster, so you’ll be able to use them in slightly lower light handheld. Not that that is relevant to landscape work when you will be working off a tripod!
    I’d generally prefer to stick with the branded lenses though if you can stretch to it.

      Jack Viere said:
      14/12/2013 at 2:02 pm

      Phew! Glad to know that the 5D was a good choice. I really wanted a full frame body; it’s selfish, I know. But I didn’t see the point in jumping to a Canon 50D over my T3…So I guess my question now is, being that the lenses are not going to be APS-C, what would you recommend? Do I need to go 17-40mm? I want to have wide shots, and having not shot with a full frame, I’m assuming I’ll get wide, regardless of the difference between 17mm and 24mm.
      Admittedly, I’m out of my knowledge zone now, having shot only with a cropped sensor. So what should I be looking at then?

        johnpfinch said:
        15/12/2013 at 1:20 am

        Sigma and Tamron both offer 24-70mm f2.8 standard zooms, I’m sure both are fine. The Canon version will cost at least twice as much as these. If you’re looking for a single lens solution one of these three will be the most versatile option. 24mm is still wide angle and will offer a slightly wider field of view than you’re used to on the 18-55mm on a crop sensor. Anything wider than 20mm is super wide so the 17-40mm will open up exciting new alternatives. The 16-35mm is better optically but you will pay twice as much. You could also look at the Tokina 17-35mm. I love wide so I’d go for one of these and look to build a three lens set. The 17-40mm, 50mm 1.4, and 70-200mm f4 L would make a killer three lens set up in my opinion. Or you could substitute the 70-200mm for something like the Tamron 90mm macro which would still offer a mild tele but also offer 1:1 macro if you like doing close-ups!
        Hope this helps.

        Jack Viere said:
        15/12/2013 at 5:19 pm

        I have the plastic fantastic (50mm 1.8), and the Canon 75-300mm. They were given to me awhile ago. So they take care of those areas for the time being in a cheap way. But I think I am going to stick it out for the UWA if I can get it. I want to have some new perspectives to play with while over in Galway.

    johnpfinch said:
    14/12/2013 at 1:44 pm

    Sorry, I’m back again! It’s just occurred to me, but I’m pretty sure the Tamron 17-50mm is made for cropped sensor cameras only, so it won’t be much use on your 5D. From memory I think the Canon 17-40mm is one of the few options you’ll have that will work on full frame and also provide a reasonable zoom range in conjunction with a super wide field of view. The ‘standard’ zoom lenses on full frame cameras tend to be the 24-70mm variants.

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