Number of stops for ND filter used for Strobist Portraits

Started Jan 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Russell Denney
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Number of stops for ND filter used for Strobist Portraits
Jan 20, 2012

Hello all,

I am shooting outdoor portraits using a D3S with 85mm f1.4g lens. I am syncing a manual flash through a softbox using Pocketwizard Plus II's, which of course, limits my max flash sync speed to 1/250th.

Oftentimes, I would like to be able to open this beautiful piece of glass up to f2.8 or larger when shooting outdoors, but the ambient light outdoors during the day precludes me from doing so.

Therefore, I am investigating the use of a ND filter to bring the ambient down to a point where I can open up the f-stop and get the narrow DOF I am looking for.

What recommendations do you guys have for the # of stops I should look to add? I don't want to darken the background that much in relation to the subject.

Also, do you know of any makers of high quality variable ND filters that would attach to my 77mm lens front and still preserve the image quality?

Thank,

Russ

Nikon D3S
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