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ND filters and Polarized ND filters

Vincleton

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Hello everyone,

I have bought myself a Mavic Air, and now in October I’m going to Guyana, where I’m going to film the jungle and especially the Kaieteur Falls.
Now I’ve looked at a myriad of videos about the differences between no filters vs nd filters and polarised filters, but I still think it’s rather difficult to determine what to use.
I looked at a video where they showed water in a pond without nd filter and one with nd32, and I personally think no filter looked better, as you could see ripples and movement. With 32 the water looked oily.
What would you recommend for a place like Kaieteur Falls?
This is what it looks like
Kaieteur Falls Facts, Information & Tours - Guyana, South America Guide
There will be a lot of water, but I don’t think it will be too glaring.
If I both want to take pictures and film with the Mavic Air, should I skip ND filters to get better pictures, or use ND filters to get better videos?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Vincent
 
ND filters are not needed for pictures, except if you want the effects of polarization. An ND filter is needed for video to slow down the shutter speed. Without it your video will appear "jittery".
 
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ND filters are not needed for pictures, except if you want the effects of polarization. An ND filter is needed for video to slow down the shutter speed. Without it your video will appear "jittery".

I beg to differ. If shooting in bright light or reflective areas, such as water, NDPL filters are a necessity. Better than just ND. Otherwise you risk too much over exposure.
 
I beg to differ. If shooting in bright light or reflective areas, such as water, NDPL filters are a necessity. Better than just ND. Otherwise you risk too much over exposure.
I agree. That's why I posted that they are not needed "except if you want the effects of polarization". I use a polarizer on my DSLR all the time to enrich colors and cut reflections. It is more difficult on the Mavic, since you need to have the lens at the correct angle to the sun for maximum effect.
 
After doing a bunch of research I chose to get a set of ND/PL filters as opposed to ND. After owning said filters I will say that I often don't feel like tuning the polarizer and would have probably been fine, if not better off for my needs going with the standard NDs. It can be a 2 person job for someone to turn the filter while the other watches the screen looking for that sweet spot. Also note that you're supposed to tune the polarizer 90 degrees for the sun and it is only optimal to shoot in that same direction (although still OK to shoot the others, just not as effective so it can be a hassle). Everything on my channel is shot using Polar Pro ND 4 through 32PL if you haven't already seen enough footage.
 
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Thanks, everyone, for taking your time to reply and help me.
I won't have a terrible amount of time at the falls, so tuning the polizers might be a bit overkill for me.
Do you think I will get a good video anyway using say ND 8 or ND 16 filters?

Because of the time pressure, do you think it is wise to also take the pictures with the ND filters on? It feels like I will lose both time at the falls and also battery time if I have to fly back everytime I want to switch between filming and taking photographs.

One last question:
I have seen this video, in the link below, and I think the picture is so incredibly crisp (on my TV at home, less crisp on my computer).
After reading on forums and looking at youtube channels with advise for filming, people often say that videos shouldn't be so clear, that the bottom should be a bit blurry and sort of "melt together" to get a realistic effect.
I personally think the video looks great, but perhaps that is because I'm a noob when it comes to filming?
What do you think?
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Vincent
 
I agree. That's why I posted that they are not needed "except if you want the effects of polarization". I use a polarizer on my DSLR all the time to enrich colors and cut reflections. It is more difficult on the Mavic, since you need to have the lens at the correct angle to the sun for maximum effect.
One thing to be aware of:
If you shoot panoramas, a polarizing filter will hurt. The reason is that the effect of the filter depends on the direction of the lens. Thus the colors/brightness varies more between the shots and the stitching algorithm won't be able to compensate for it.
 
...Because of the time pressure, do you think it is wise to also take the pictures with the ND filters on?...
You can leave the filter on as long as the shutter speed is fast enough for the effect you want to achieve. Since the Mavic camera is somewhat limited in low light and the Mavic itself may move a little during the shot, a fast shutter speed at ISO 100 would be best for crisp, low-noise pictures. If you are trying to get some water blur then a slower shutter speed is needed. Depending on conditions the Mavic may be still enough for longer shutter speeds.
One thing to be aware of:
If you shoot panoramas, a polarizing filter will hurt. The reason is that the effect of the filter depends on the direction of the lens. Thus the colors/brightness varies more between the shots and the stitching algorithm won't be able to compensate for it.
I agree. The effect is also noticeable in videos (especially in the sky) which makes it harder to edit clips together taken at different angles to the sun.
 
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Ok, thanks!
What would be a high shutter speed in your opinion to get a crisp picture with the ND filter on? 1/2000?
 
For pictures, the faster the better if you are trying to freeze the motion but in most cases 1/60th of a second is fast enough for handheld. Just try to keep the ISO at 100 to get the least amount of noise.
 
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Hello everyone,

I have bought myself a Mavic Air, and now in October I’m going to Guyana, where I’m going to film the jungle and especially the Kaieteur Falls.
Now I’ve looked at a myriad of videos about the differences between no filters vs nd filters and polarised filters, but I still think it’s rather difficult to determine what to use.
I looked at a video where they showed water in a pond without nd filter and one with nd32, and I personally think no filter looked better, as you could see ripples and movement. With 32 the water looked oily.
What would you recommend for a place like Kaieteur Falls?
This is what it looks like
Kaieteur Falls Facts, Information & Tours - Guyana, South America Guide
There will be a lot of water, but I don’t think it will be too glaring.
If I both want to take pictures and film with the Mavic Air, should I skip ND filters to get better pictures, or use ND filters to get better videos?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Vincent
Waterfalls blow out very easily. ND filters will be required. If you’re shooting those falls at midday, you’ll need at least a ND 16. Maybe even a 32.

Then, once you import your video to your PC, you’ll have to lift the shadows and adjust contrast.

The oily effect you’re talking about happens with slower shutter speeds. You may not like that on the water surface of a lake, but it’s very cool on waterfalls.

Photos will be fine with the ND on, but not needed. Instead of using an ND, you can just crank up the shutter speed to darken the overall image.

ND/PLs are great, but polarization can causing noticeable banding in the sky, and weird colors on water surfaces if you are yawing around changing your heading. It’s best to start with plain NDs. You can add some ND/PLs later once your comfortable with plain NDs.
 
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