ND filter question

Started May 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 12,575
Re: ND filter question

Vignetting is most apparent when shooting with wide apertures, especially if you add a filter to the lens.  As you close down the aperture vignetting is reduced.  Shoot RAW and you can do a pretty good job of correcting some vignetting.

Your lens will be sharpest between f/5.6 and f/11.  Even if shooting at f/16 you will be starting to lose a bit of sharpness due to diffraction. It gets worse as the aperture closes down.

You will get your best balance of sharpness and vignetting by shooting at f/8 to f/11 or possibly f/16.  You will need to test to find the best combination with your lens and filter.

Another problem you will encounter with many ND filters is color contamination.  Not too long ago someone posted a 10 stop ND filter shot here that had a strong purple color contamination.  Be sure to shoot a gray card at a minimum and better yet shoot a X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and do a full color calibration of your images.

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