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First sunset using ND 16 Polar Pro

nevernamed

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#1
Pretty impressed with these filters.. I did virtually nothing to touch up the picture except a little lightening of the darkened areas just to give a wee bit of presense to whats down below instead of black.




 

RayOZ

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#2
I don't think the ND16 filters make a lot of difference for that type of shot. If you have the Mavic settings at Auto, you'd find that all it changes is the shutter speed, which is open for a little longer. Without the ND filter, the shutter speed is a bit quicker, but the outcome is roughly the same.
 
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#3
Are you taking only photos? In which case you shouldn't be using ND filters unless it's a planned long exposure shot during day light. ND filters are primarily used for motion blur in videos.

For high contrast scenes, instead of ND, you could bracket your shots (3 different exposures), so you can combine them in post.

edit: typo
 
Last edited:

wowography

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#4
I have a MPP with an ND32 filter on virtually all the time so far this summer. I try not to shoot into the sun directly like OP, however the majority of my sunsets occur on cloudy days when the sun dips below the horizon illuminating the underside of the clouds, rendering some nice colors. On the bright summer days the ND32 gives the camera more range, by eliminating allot of the overexposure warnings. Hopefully in the upcoming model the camera will feature a variable aperture control on its camera.
IMG_4280.JPG
 

nevernamed

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#5
I was shooting video earlier, I found without the filter it was hard to achieve a clean shot as the shutter had to be so quick. I find like the above post a bit more color is introduced into the image.
 
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RayOZ

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#6
If you are taking videos or photos that require longer exposure time, that fine. You know what you are doing.
There's a lot people who are new to photography drones, and some posts seem to say adding ND filters magically makes their photos look better. A good set of filters aren't cheap, and some people don't do research on how ND filters work. I've seen on FB groups where a new drone owner buys them and went through the trouble of taking the same still photo with different ND filters and asking which one looks better, when they look pretty much the same.
 
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Thwyllo

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#7
I was shooting video earlier, I found without the filter it was hard to achieve a clean shot as the shutter had to be so quick. I find like the above post a bit more color is introduced into the image.
What do you mean by a "clean shot"?

If you just reduce exposure a little you'll have lots more to pull out in post. I don't know what you're processing in but if you pull the highlights right down until it looks a bit too dark, then pull up the middle and deep shadows a bit you'll see a massive difference. ND filters are not for sunsets and don't change colour in any way, they are simply for motion blur when a photographer wants to smooth out sky, water, people etc.. They are also possibly useful if you're filming in extremely bright conditions to prevent over exposure if your Auto mode isn't especially good, but most photographers and videographers don't use them at allnifnthey aren't after the aforementioned motion blur
 

nevernamed

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#8
I don't think the ND16 filters make a lot of difference for that type of shot. If you have the Mavic settings at Auto, you'd find that all it changes is the shutter speed, which is open for a little longer. Without the ND filter, the shutter speed is a bit quicker, but the outcome is roughly the same.
I have toyed with auto, but prefer manual settings. It makes a difference on the color vibrance more than anything, I've done some sunset shots without it over the last few weeks, they're a little more washed out looking, probalby would look similiar with more post edit..
 

nevernamed

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#9
If you are taking videos or photos that require longer exposure time, that fine. You know what you are doing.
There's a lot people who are new to photography drones, and some posts seem to say adding ND filters magically makes their photos look better. A good set of filters aren't cheap, and some people don't do research on how ND filters work. I've seen on FB groups where a new drone owner buys them and went through the trouble of taking the same still photo with different ND filters and asking which one looks better, when they look pretty much the same.
Yeah, I'm not a photography expert, but I did take it back in college. I toy with exposure, I am interested in doing more video.I understand what they do and where they will stand out, some differences like that set of photos a user shared, may be very slight, other times I expect them to make a difference... Just have to know what you're trying to achieve and use the right tools to do it.
 

nevernamed

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#10
What do you mean by a "clean shot"?

If you just reduce exposure a little you'll have lots more to pull out in post. I don't know what you're processing in but if you pull the highlights right down until it looks a bit too dark, then pull up the middle and deep shadows a bit you'll see a massive difference. ND filters are not for sunsets and don't change colour in any way, they are simply for motion blur when a photographer wants to smooth out sky, water, people etc.. They are also possibly useful if you're filming in extremely bright conditions to prevent over exposure if your Auto mode isn't especially good, but most photographers and videographers don't use them at allnifnthey aren't after the aforementioned motion blur
I dunno, I sort of disagree with you. They may not be for sunsets, but they got me the best sunset photos without having to polish them up right out of the gate.. I played with shutter speeds and sunsets before getting the filters, the post filter photos are better.. And the color is more vibrant and less washed out. So... Yeah. I don't think I'm doing it wrong. :)
 

Thwyllo

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#11
I dunno, I sort of disagree with you. They may not be for sunsets, but they got me the best sunset photos without having to polish them up right out of the gate.. I played with shutter speeds and sunsets before getting the filters, the post filter photos are better.. And the color is more vibrant and less washed out. So... Yeah. I don't think I'm doing it wrong. :)
LOL disagree away, it's not a problem, life would be tedious if we were all the same!

But trust me they have zero impact on colour; they do one thing and one thing only and that's reduce the light coming into the camera.

The one thing that digital cameras are still crap at compared to film is contrast, so in auto the camera is often struggling to deliver optimum results, especially when you have major contrast issues present as with a sunset. It will tend to expose for the biggest area of contrast in shot, depending on what your metering area is. You can demonstrate easily with your phone camera...near sunset, fill the frame with mostly sky and the horizon goes black, drop down until it's mostly foreground and the sky whites out.

It's also far easier to pull detail out of an underexposed area than an overexposed one in post, so exposing for the sky is always the best way to go.

You're far better off using the EV adjustment to reduce exposure because all an ND filter does is reduce the amount of light coming into the camera such that, in auto, all the camera can do in response is some combination of (i) increase the aperture (results in less depth of field so more potential for focus issues)), (ii) reduce the shutter speed (more tendency to blur), or (iii) increase the ISO (causing more graininess and 'noise').

So while an ND might appear to show an improvement straight off the card compared to an unprocessed shot with no filter, the latter should produce a better post result. Using manual control makes it even better.

It's harder to do with a wide-angle lens like a drone has but the optimum method is to minimise or remove entirely any foreground, that way the exposure will be correct for the sky.
 
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wowography

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#12
You mentioned aperture, Mavic devices at this point do not have a camera lens type of aperture control whereby a series of blades physically reduces the amount of light. This is why on bright sunny days the ND is used. On my Mavic. I always have the overexposure warnings on. They appear as stripes overlaid on areas that are blown out, overexposed. The ND enables the Exposure Compensation wheel on the back right side on the controller more range. This helps in getting the best results on photo /video or at minimum something you can later tweak in post processing
 
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mad monkey

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#13
So what's the best option if you want your mavic air to have basically "sunglasses" ?

Im not pro so I'm happy with auto mode currently, I just want to take out some of the white wash the sun can do and glares , just like putting on a pair of sunglasses... Would a pl filter be better? ND ok but not used to its full potential ?
New guys need to know! It's information overload sometimes
 

nevernamed

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#14
LOL disagree away, it's not a problem, life would be tedious if we were all the same!

But trust me they have zero impact on colour; they do one thing and one thing only and that's reduce the light coming into the camera.

The one thing that digital cameras are still crap at compared to film is contrast, so in auto the camera is often struggling to deliver optimum results, especially when you have major contrast issues present as with a sunset. It will tend to expose for the biggest area of contrast in shot, depending on what your metering area is. You can demonstrate easily with your phone camera...near sunset, fill the frame with mostly sky and the horizon goes black, drop down until it's mostly foreground and the sky whites out.

It's also far easier to pull detail out of an underexposed area than an overexposed one in post, so exposing for the sky is always the best way to go.

You're far better off using the EV adjustment to reduce exposure because all an ND filter does is reduce the amount of light coming into the camera such that, in auto, all the camera can do in response is some combination of (i) increase the aperture (results in less depth of field so more potential for focus issues)), (ii) reduce the shutter speed (more tendency to blur), or (iii) increase the ISO (causing more graininess and 'noise').

So while an ND might appear to show an improvement straight off the card compared to an unprocessed shot with no filter, the latter should produce a better post result. Using manual control makes it even better.

It's harder to do with a wide-angle lens like a drone has but the optimum method is to minimise or remove entirely any foreground, that way the exposure will be correct for the sky.
LOL you're right. But honestly, I haven't had a sunset look like that yet.. I know its strictly a filter for controlling light, but I seemed to get better results... And yes I agree in regards to film vs digital contrast, digital has come a long way though, and is so practical to use... And yeah in my previous sunset shots, I always exposed for the sky I was aiming for...

I like doing video with this thing too, so ultimately I'm usually going to have a filter on there.

My biggest issue is focus. I am using my S7; not the best screen for fine details during the day..The auto focus is not very good, the manual focus wheel seems to be odd where infinity sits..
 

nevernamed

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#15
So what's the best option if you want your mavic air to have basically "sunglasses" ?

Im not pro so I'm happy with auto mode currently, I just want to take out some of the white wash the sun can do and glares , just like putting on a pair of sunglasses... Would a pl filter be better? ND ok but not used to its full potential ?
New guys need to know! It's information overload sometimes
Like what was suggested above, shutter speed can close down on how much light you let in for snapshot It depends what you want to go for. If you're going to do a lot of post editing (I tend not to).. You'll get what I got with a filter, and won't have to do much/any post.. But like what was also said, you could use a the shutter to get a similar shot, and edit in post to get the vibrance.

as for PL filters, those are great for reflections.. They can make the sky bluer, if you're taking photos with lots of glass or water or reflective surfaces, you can turn the polarized filter to change the light angles to reduce/remove the reflections appearance.
 

Thwyllo

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#16
You mentioned aperture, Mavic devices at this point do not have a camera lens type of aperture control whereby a series of blades physically reduces the amount of light. This is why on bright sunny days the ND is used. On my Mavic. I always have the overexposure warnings on. They appear as stripes overlaid on areas that are blown out, overexposed. The ND enables the Exposure Compensation wheel on the back right side on the controller more range. This helps in getting the best results on photo /video or at minimum something you can later tweak in post processing
My bad..I still had my stills camera hat on!

You're right, the aperture (for the Air anyway) is fixed at 2.8 so the auto function will only change shutter speed or ISO or both. But it has a max shutter speed of 1/8000th of a sec doesn't it? That should be plenty even for desert photography - 1/1000th at f2.8 is perfectly good in such conditions, so I can only assume that, in addition to using Kodak Brownie camera technology, the metering or auto functions are crappy as well.

Otherwise you wouldn't need an ND filter to reduce light levels and bring the EV adjustment back into play (because you can't increase its range in any way, it's just trying to operate in a level of exposure where it makes little difference, the ND filter reduces that exposure, allowing the EV adjustment to work again).

The more I discover about this drone the more I can see what a piece of low tech it is on the camera front and how cheaply it must exit the factory. They are probably making almost as much money from Refresh as they do selling the drone in the first place.
 

andydownunder

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#17
Is there really a big difference in quality and result of an ND filter? I use PGYTECH on my Mavic Pro. Don’t have anything to benchmark test it against. Everyone seems to rave about Polar Pro but is it for good reason? No disrespect intended. Sorry if I have flung this thread off course.
 

nevernamed

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#18
Is there really a big difference in quality and result of an ND filter? I use PGYTECH on my Mavic Pro. Don’t have anything to benchmark test it against. Everyone seems to rave about Polar Pro but is it for good reason? No disrespect intended. Sorry if I have flung this thread off course.
There definitely would be a difference between certain filters. Build quality, weight.. The filter itself. I'm sure the cheap ones would show you the lack of quality.
 

mad monkey

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#19
I've got a 6 piece set of neewer filters.
I've noticed since throwing a nd8 or 16 on my images are just cleaner less wash. Auto settings.. Again I'm no professional so less expensive is ok for me
 
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Thwyllo

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#20
You'd need to be looking at pixel level in most cases. When all's said and done, it's a bit of grey glass, nothing more, so apart from weight being an issue with drones, it's down to two simple things; (1) is it optically correct, in other words if you look through the filter does it distort your view in any way, and (2) is the greyness uniform. There isn't really any other valid test.

Bear in mind that DSLRs often use filter systems comprising mounts that hold nothing more than square sheets of plastic. Made to tolerances obviously but essentially sheets of plastic. I'd defy anyone to spot even modest differences between manufacturers. There's a huge amount of hype been built up around these things for one reason; to sell them. Ask any competent stills photographer how often they use them and what for - the answer is likely to be not very often and only for a few very specific things. Drones are absolutely no different.
 

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