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ND filters - confused

billem16

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so I’m new to drones, want some ND filters to film at a better video quality in bright daylight. Probably going to buy PolarPro 3 pack ND4,8,16. Can someone explain the twisting aspect of using ND filters? I’m so confused. On YouTube, people twist them and they get darker... I thought each ND filter has a set amount of light it lets through. Why does twisting it change that? As a newb, I just want to snap it on and now go. I don’t know how to twist it for the best effect. ALso before I buy, do you recommend I get ND Polarized filters? And can you explain why. Thanks
 
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Koelkop

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I am not an expert on filters but I can share what I have learned so far.

If you are going to film very reflective surfaces then you need a ND/PL to reduce glare along with the shutter speed

Plain ND filters are just that, you put them on to reduce shutter speed.

The ND/PL filters do need to be turned a certain way to increase or decrease their effectivenes. On the mavic air for instance its easy as there is a seperate ring you can turn to adjust.
On the mavic pro you need to turn the whole filter, I made a little mark on the filter which I install towards the bottom.
 
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msinger

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Can someone explain the twisting aspect of using ND filters?
You don't need to twist ND filters. If you're using a PL (polarized) filter (also commonly listed as ND/PL), then you'll need to rotate the filter until it's in the right position. This video shows what a polarizing filter can do when it's in the correct position:


do you recommend I get ND Polarized filters?
It depends on what you're shooting. They can cut the glare on shiny surfaces like water, glass, and leaves. And they can make the sky appear as a darker shade of blue (like when you wear polarized sunglasses). If you prefer that look, then polarized filters will be a good fit for you. This article digs into those pros a little deeper.
 
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Mossiback

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ND filters do not need any special orientation to use - just attach and fly.

Polarized ND filters do normally need to be properly oriented for maximum effect. Screw-on camera filters have a dot on the rim so you can set it properly. The effect is easy to see using some polarized sunglasses. Look through them at a reflective surface toward the sun and then rotate them. You will see the reflection reduced as you rotate them.

I looked through them while wearing polarized sunglasses and when I rotate them they got darker and lighter. At the darkest, I marked the rim at the 3 o'clock position so I know how to mount them for the shot. Most times I just have the mark straight down for the maximum effect while pointed toward the sun.

Perhaps the Polar Pro dealer can weigh in with more information.
 
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billem16

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Very good information thank you all! I’ll just go with regular ND and get ND/PLs down the road once I recognize my need for them
 

Arley

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so I’m new to drones, want some ND filters to film at a better video quality in bright daylight. Probably going to buy PolarPro 3 pack ND4,8,16. Can someone explain the twisting aspect of using ND filters? I’m so confused. On YouTube, people twist them and they get darker... I thought each ND filter has a set amount of light it lets through. Why does twisting it change that? As a newb, I just want to snap it on and now go. I don’t know how to twist it for the best effect. ALso before I buy, do you recommend I get ND Polarized filters? And can you explain why. Thanks
Don't know about twisting to apply, buy from my background with DSLR I can tell you that polarising filters (CPL) must be turned once on the lense & prior to taking a photo as they are specific to angle of the sun/light.
 

gnirtS

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PLs are of limited use on a mavic (and even less for video) because after precise adjustment pre flight they will ONLY polarise at that exact light source to subject angle in the air. Rotate the drone, alter the angle, go somewhere else they're unlikely to do anything. You will also get light/dark patches of sky in 360s and panoramas (and exposure changing by a lot as you pan on video).

Most people with drones don't seem to understand filters in general and PLs even more so.

Circular polarising needs adjustment and despite the claims above dont have a specific right-every-time angle so marking them is worthless. It varies in every single situation and has to be adjusted by eye.
 
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