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ND Filters degrading image?

pommy

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Hey all,

I wondered if the included DJI ND filters in my Air 2S fly more kit could be negatively affecting my still shots? That extra layer of glass maybe?

I leave an ND4 on all the time to protect the lens - but whatever filter I use, the pics just don’t seem to be a crisp/define/detailed as they were when I first got it.

Thing is, I don’t want to fly it without lens protection as my Mavic Air got scratched right across it.
 
I leave an ND4 on all the time to protect the lens - but whatever filter I use, the pics just don’t seem to be a crisp/define/detailed as they were when I first got it.
As well as protecting the lens, your ND filter prevents 75% of the light getting through.
That's not helping your photography.

There's no good reason to use an ND filter for still photography with your drone, unless you specifically want to force a slower shutter speed.

Post some examples to show what you are concerned about (full size original jpg files).
 
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As well as protecting the lens, your ND filter prevents 75% of the light getting through.
That's not helping your photography.

There's no good reason to use an ND filter for still photography with your drone, unless you specifically want to force a slower shutter speed.

Post some examples to show what you are concerned about (full size original jpg files).
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate your time.

I’ve never used ND filters before with any of my other drones - it’s only that they came free (so to speak) with the Fly More kit that I’ve been using them.

I have the ND1000 which is good for certain instances (stills) and I get that for video ND filters give motion blur (if that’s the look you want).

But for stills, adding another layer of glass and the reducing light must be having an affect I think? They just don’t seem to capture the detail or have the wow factor it had before I started using them.

…I’ll do a before and after shot with and without the ND on next time I take it out.

I really dislike the idea of having the lens glass exposed to the elements though - but that’s the way it’s looking as far as a solution goes :(
 
I really dislike the idea of having the lens glass exposed to the elements though - but that’s the way it’s looking as far as a solution goes :(
DJI used to provide a clear UV filter with their drones until some recent models.
I fly over the ocean, as you do and it's a lot easier to clean salt spray from a filter than the lens element.
Yhis looks like the solution you are looking for.
 
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DJI used to provide a clear UV filter with their drones until some recent models.
I fly over the ocean, as you do and it's a lot easier to clean salt spray from a filter than the lens element.
Yhis looks like the solution you are looking for.
Whoa ? that will do the trick! Thanks mate.

I might go ahead and order that now - is that a good brand?
 
I was tempted to buy a CPL after researching the UV one you posted as it’s the same price. I LOVE the glare reduction on water, wow!

However, its finicky to use and not really something that can be left on.

For anyone else who is interested in this thread…

“If you’re looking for lens protection, a UV filter is the one to choose, whilst altering colour and reducing reflections and glare is better suited to the CPL filter”.

Your advice was/is spot on @Meta4
 
“If you’re looking for lens protection, a UV filter is the one to choose, whilst altering colour and reducing reflections and glare is better suited to the CPL filter”
The polarising filter isn't as useful as people imagine for a drone.
It's fine on a handheld camera because you can easily adjust it to keep the alignment right relative to the sun and the direction the camera is facing.
But on a drone, you would have to bring it back to realign every time you want to turn the drone to shoot in a different direction.

It's not terribly important for glare reduction with a drone, because it's so easy to move the drone to a position to avoid glare. Like this:
Problem glare
DJI_0299a-L.jpg


Problem solved by moving the drone/camera only a little
DJI_0308a-L.jpg
 
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The polarising filter isn't as useful as people imagine for a drone.
It's fine on a handheld camera because you can easily adjust it to keep the alignment right relative to the sun and the direction the camera is facing.
But on a drone, you would have to bring it back to realign every time you want to turn the drone to shoot in a different direction.

It's not terribly important for glare reduction with a drone, because it's so easy to move the drone to a position to avoid glare. Like this:
Problem glare
DJI_0299a-L.jpg


Problem solved by moving the drone/camera only a little
DJI_0308a-L.jpg
That was my conclusion after researching briefly.

I’ve always been happy with my shots until this ND filter situation. ND4/ND8/ND16/ND32/ND1000 too many options! Back to basics ?

…lens protection is all I need (UV lens ordered) ??
 
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Hey all,

I wondered if the included DJI ND filters in my Air 2S fly more kit could be negatively affecting my still shots? That extra layer of glass maybe?

I leave an ND4 on all the time to protect the lens - but whatever filter I use, the pics just don’t seem to be a crisp/define/detailed as they were when I first got it.

Thing is, I don’t want to fly it without lens protection as my Mavic Air got scratched right across it.
I fly my Air2 (smaller sensor) with a ND filter and no issues. It's the lowest one in the 3 pack that came with my FlyMore kit. Not even tried any of the others.

Meta4 does not like ND filters and he's very vocal about it - so take that with a grain of salt. Some people hate ND's and talk trash, while others like them for many picture purposes. It's an OPINE and everyone has one,

Many drone pilots DO FLY with an ND filter and have zero issues. As suggested, if you have an issue with the ND, then simply get a UV filter to protect the camera lens. It's what most photographers do simply to protect a typical expensive lens. Easier to replace a $25 filter than a $1k lens.
 
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Meta4 does not like ND filters and he's very vocal about it - so take that with a grain of salt. Some people hate ND's and talk trash, while others like them for many picture purposes. It's an OPINE and everyone has one,
Meta4 has been involved in quality photography for over 40 years and understands a what an ND filter does to your photography.
That's why he says that there is no reason at all to use an ND filter for drone stills, unless you have a specific reason to force a slower shutter speed, he does it for good reason.

I'd be most interested to learn some of those many picture purposes.
Many drone pilots DO FLY with an ND filter and have zero issues.
If you are throwing away 75% (or more) of the available light before you start shooting, you don't have "no issues".
 
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Meta4 has been involved in quality photography for over 40 years and understands a what an ND filter does to your photography.
That's why he says that there is no reason at all to use an ND filter for drone stills, unless you have a specific reason to force a slower shutter speed, he does it for good reason.

I'd be most interested to learn some of those many picture purposes.

If you are throwing away 75% (or more) of the available light before you start shooting, you don't have "no issues".
Heard your "OPINE" many times Meta. Your OPINE ONLY for sure. Been doing photography a long time too and ND's have applications - yet if you don't like / use them - that is YOUR CHOICE.

Reading / comprehension seem to be on your decline. I use a LOW ND filter and no way its throwing away 75% of light. Give me a break.

So Bro - STAY IN YOUR LANE!
 
Hey guys, I appreciate the help, but this thread might be going off-track a bit ?

It’s true some people see no issues, but after properly researching what an ND filter does (and more importantly, what it doesn’t do) it serves no purpose for my still photography.

(Unless it’s a specific shot I need, like long exposure).

I like to work with the facts, so I’ve ordered a UV filter to protect my camera lens.

(I didn’t just swallow what he said by the way. I couldn’t find anything that disputed what Meta4 said)

Cheers guys!
 
Just in case anyone was persuaded that using the lowest ND filter in the flymore kit would have no detrimental effect on their still photography ....
It's an ND16 filter
So it stops 94% of the light and only allows 6% to get through to the sensor.
If you think wearing extra dark glasses for night driving is a good idea, then go ahead.

For the benefit of anyone who thinks I don't know what I'm talking about look at the table here:
 
Heard your "OPINE" many times Meta. Your OPINE ONLY for sure.
It's not only his 'OPINE' (whatever that is), it's a FACT.
(btw... opine is a verb, not a noun.)

The only thing an ND filter does is reduce the amount of light going through the lens... period... which then slows down the shutter on 'auto' mode. That's not my 'OPINION', it's a FACT.

To the OP - My first thought after reading your post #1 was that the reason your photos with the ND may not appear as 'crisp/define/detailed' is that the shutter speed was reduced to the point that a slight blur due to camera shake was being introduced.

Glad you got a plain UV to protect your lens.
 
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