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Why Use ND filters? An explanation.
2653 25 2015-8-15
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fhagan02
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After receiving a few PM's asking about ND's I thought it would be a good idea to explain the importance of using one for aerial videography. Hope this helps some folks.


http://youtu.be/AvBqeoonU88
2015-8-15
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DJI-Dave
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Great job explaining why ND filters are needed!
2015-8-15
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m.friedl
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really great Info Fred - Thank´s Man and very nice House

greetings Mike
2015-8-16
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Bobcat90
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The video is very informative.  Now, I feel I have a real handle on why I need to use filters.  I have one question, though, do I need filters under all conditions, with exception of night videoing?
2015-8-16
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Amber
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That makes so much sense as I not idea what their true purpose was.  Can I ask, what does the number of the filter relate to?
2015-8-16
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innovativethink
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To me, the video without the filter looks better.
2015-8-16
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fhagan02
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Bobcat90 Posted at 2015-8-16 19:43
The video is very informative.  Now, I feel I have a real handle on why I need to use filters.  I ha ...

Thanks for the reply, Bobcat90. Yes in 90% of my shooting conditions I use an ND. In fact I rarely take the ND off. Even when it's overcast it's still incredibly bright. (The only time I don't use an ND is at sundown or sun up.) Go to your location, set your P3 camera to auto mode and check your settings. At 100 ISO if your camera is properly exposed and the shutter speed is around the 50-100 mark... you're good to go without an ND. If your camera's shutter speed is jumping to 500-1000, or more, you need an ND.
2015-8-16
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fhagan02
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Amber Posted at 2015-8-16 20:18
That makes so much sense as I not idea what their true purpose was.  Can I ask, what does the number ...

The number relates to how much light is blocked. e.g. I use the ND8 for overcast skies. But for full midday sun I need the light blocking capability of the ND16 to get my shutter down to the acceptable speed of 50-100. PolarPro also makes an ND32. This was way too dark for my shooting environment BUT I'll bet it would be perfect for midday sun on white sand beaches, desert or snow covered conditions.
2015-8-16
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fhagan02
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innovativethink Posted at 2015-8-16 22:55
To me, the video without the filter looks better.

To me all that matters is if you're happy with the results you're getting. If you like it better without then I say shoot away and have fun!
2015-8-16
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skyeboysteve
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Well done presentation.  However, the jello effect isn't removed by this process--just that the resulting motion-blur masks the effects a little.  I hardly see ND filters as a necessity with the P3P camera, nor do I agree that cinematic 24fps is "natural".  That's as subjective as saying LP vinyl records are more natural/better sounding than 320Kbps MP3.  Yes, you'll notice "strobing" more when recording with a fast shutter at "cinnematic" 24fps, then playing it back at faster frame rates--like 30fps on YouTube--another aspect that motion blur masks a little.

I don't mean to denigrate--just venting my frustration with the popular notion that low frame-rate "cinematics" is the preferred professional way of watching a video--when it's based on old technology that's conditioned people from all the movies they've watched in cinemas, that they're getting a better viewing experience by watching motion at sub-optimal frame rates (for what's necessary to trick most people's retinas without needless flicker).  Not to say there isn't a good use for ND filters, or even "cinematic" purposes--but that's more of an "artistic" style than a necessary better viewing experience; but if you're really going for that effect, don't waste your time on a super cheap [yet great-performance-for-it's-price] Phantom 3 Pro camera.
2015-8-16
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Willie Wonka
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Thank you for a nice video explaining the fine details, what brand of ND filters are you using ?
2015-8-16
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reuben
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innovativethink Posted at 2015-8-16 22:55
To me, the video without the filter looks better.

Me too...
2015-8-16
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reuben
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skyeboysteve Posted at 2015-8-17 02:17
Well done presentation.  However, the jello effect isn't removed by this process--just that the resu ...

Weps, my thoughts exactly! (referring to the whole old cinematics thing and people's impressions)
2015-8-16
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fhagan02
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skyeboysteve Posted at 2015-8-17 02:17
Well done presentation.  However, the jello effect isn't removed by this process--just that the resu ...

You bring up a very valid point, skyeboysteve. Personally I'm glad you have the curage of your convictions to say so! The "rule of thumb" is also starting point for folks brand new to filming. That said, it still stands as the golden rule for traditional cinema "film" 15 years ago as it does digital productions today. The technology has changed but what we see and call exceptable in the final is often the same. That said, all rules are meant to be broken and for good reason sometimes. e.g. With my "land based camera" If i want a scene to have an exciting tension or panic feel I'll shoot with a shutter speed of 250 at 24fps. This higher shutter speed technique is used in a lot of movies during say, fight scenes or racing scenes. The Hobbit was shot at 47fps for a cleaner, crisp look and feel. Reality TV show are often shot at 60fps for ultra clean and "real" looking video. That's the big difference between Video vs Cinema style. So it is very subjective. I think that's what makes film production in general fun as there are 10 ways to shoot the same scene that produce different results or emotional responses. When folks, perhaps like yourself, go against the "norm" and use settings that produce something different and wonderful it's absolutely refreshing. I think if people like the results they're getting, with thier settings.... stick with them! Your videos are your creation therefore no one can say you're "doing it wrong". If you're having fun... you've succeeded. All in my humble opinion of course.
2015-8-16
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fhagan02
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-8-17 02:35
Thank you for a nice video explaining the fine details, what brand of ND filters are you using ?

This test was conducted using the Phantom 3 PolarPro ND filters
2015-8-16
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dlongcamp
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can you do a video explaining the iso settings as well.  Thanks
2015-8-16
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fhagan02
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dlongcamp@aol.c Posted at 2015-8-17 07:48
can you do a video explaining the iso settings as well.  Thanks

That one is pretty straight forward for me. Shoot at the lowest possible ISO to avoid any added noise in your footage. I don't shoot ANYTHING above ISO400 on the Phantom 3 as the noise is unacceptable above 400. All this in my humble opinion of course.
2015-8-16
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DJI-Dave
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I keep my iso as low as posable also.
Great thread!
2015-8-18
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Spankybear
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Now if polar pro would release a graduated ND filter
2015-8-18
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kevinr621
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I just received my filters from TACO and did a little experiment in my backyard. I have a hard time distinguishing the difference between them - ISO was set at 100 - Here is a copy of a video I made - anyone want to help explain why the scene doesn't change much?

Link:


Thanks,

Kevin

2015-9-1
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SpunOne69
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Yes, that does help...a lot! I was trying to figure out some of the camera settings, and you just explained one of them VERY WELL!! Thank you
2015-9-1
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kevinr621
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kevinr621 Posted at 2015-9-1 19:07
I just received my filters from TACO and did a little experiment in my backyard. I have a hard time  ...

No Comment?
2015-9-2
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toddyplex
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Nice explanation thanks.  I largely use my P3 for stills. Wondering if there are any graduated ND filters around for the p3?

Hi Kevin. I think there is not enough high speed motion in your subject to notice the changes that would come from a lower frame rate.  Look at the tips of the tree leaves, but its ahrd to tell much from the res of the linked video.  

Cheers.
2015-9-2
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flyingspanjard
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Thank you so much for your videos. You are always spot on at talking to the right audience. I have a photography background and I´m familiar with ND filters but I´m an absolute video illiterate. Your video has helped me understand a bit better the visual and emotional plasticity that can be obtained by just playing with the fps and shutter speed values. To me the main difference between a photograph and a video is the emotional impact. Depending of what you want to transmit, different rules apply. This is a great thread and I´m learning a lot from all of you guys as I go. Thank you. I just got today a set of TACO filters and will be trying them out over the weekend.
2015-9-3
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cookec2
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dlongcamp@aol.c Posted at 2015-8-17 00:48
can you do a video explaining the iso settings as well.  Thanks

I too am a beginner in photography/videos, and trying to learn what I can. This is a great video on lenses by the way, thanks!
ISO is explained here in a well written article for beginners.
https://photographylife.com/what-is-iso-in-photography
2015-9-3
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paullindqvist
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innovativethink Posted at 2015-8-16 16:55
To me, the video without the filter looks better.

If you'r into video it will indeed look better. But for many we are not after home video look, with harsh transitions. We are after cinematic feel and look, and that's why we use ND filters.
2015-9-3
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