Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Fantastic ND filter

In my little studio I use a twenty year old Bowens Traveller 3000G flash unit. A power pack and three heads. Unfortunately, the lowest I can go per head is 1000 joules, which can be a right nuisance at times when you have to use diffusers to reduce the strength, thereby impairing the effect you wanted the lighting to give.
I receive regular emails from suppliers of equipment and bits and pieces that I have bought from previously, as everyone does. I always like to check them, just in case. One such email came from which I use for paper and inks, with an offer of a variable neutral density filter with a range of ND2(ND0.3) to ND1000(ND3.0) at a very cheap price.
 Having used filters extensively during my professional career as an architectural photographer, I know just how damaging they can be to the quality of an image. Nowadays, apart from polarising, Photoshop can emulate the effect of most filters, and of course, now that we're pixel-peeping, I don't like to put anything between the lens and subject. However, this filter, which is not branded, was so cheap I thought I would give it a go and if it wasn't any good, just chuck it away. Surprise, surprise, the tests I did showed no degradation and no colour shift. I am now delightfully playing around with my lights like never before, using this filter to allow me to stick to the lens' "sweet spot" as much as I want to.

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