Alberta landscapes, but need recommendations for a polarizer/landscape kit.

MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 37Registered Users Big grins

Hi, I'm primarily a wildlife photographer, but sometimes your eye catches the bigger picture and I would like to get better at landscape photography. I'm looking to purchase some kind of polarizer/gradient filter kit and would like your recommendations and/or advice on what you like. I have a Tokina AT X 116 PRO DX II Wide-Angle Zoom Lens 11mm-16mm - F/2.8. Here are a few shots I took on my last trip up to Banff and Jasper. Please critique them openly as I will only get better from your feedback...thanks!

Kyle C. Moon
Gallery: Moonman.Photography

Comments

  • CornflakeCornflake Major grins Posts: 2,254Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 28, 2018

    I think these are quite well done, MoonMan. Beautiful area. The third shot is a little too contrasty for my taste but that's just taste.

    As for filters, I've never thought that brands mattered much, but I think the significance of gear tends to be overrated in general. Others will disagree, I suspect.

  • MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 37Registered Users Big grins

    @Cornflake said:
    I think these are quite well done, MoonMan. Beautiful area. The third shot is a little too contrasty for my taste but that's just taste.

    As for filters, I've never thought that brands mattered much, but I think the significance of gear tends to be overrated in general. Others will disagree, I suspect.

    No, I think you're on to something. Obviously having a neutral-density filter would have made that last shot significantly better, but I just noticed that blurb of light that highlights part of the forest in the center of the frame which kind of throws that contrast off. I appreciate your feedback! thanks

    Kyle C. Moon
    Gallery: Moonman.Photography

  • CornflakeCornflake Major grins Posts: 2,254Registered Users Major grins

    You're welcome. "Obviously having a neutral-density filter would have made that last shot significantly better,_" That's shot I would deem unsuitable for a ND grad. The filter would darken everything above wherever you set it and the line of the sky is too uneven in the third shot for that to work, IMO. I'd probably try an HDR there. They have a bad reputation from the early days but Lightroom's photomerge feature makes them largely indistinguishable from any other photo.

  • MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 37Registered Users Big grins

    @Cornflake said:
    You're welcome. "Obviously having a neutral-density filter would have made that last shot significantly better,_" That's shot I would deem unsuitable for a ND grad. The filter would darken everything above wherever you set it and the line of the sky is too uneven in the third shot for that to work, IMO. I'd probably try an HDR there. They have a bad reputation from the early days but Lightroom's photomerge feature makes them largely indistinguishable from any other photo.

    Yeah, see this is why I'm bringing this up here haha I'm not very familiar using any kind of filter on my lens. I don't even use a polarizer lol Anyways, thanks for your comments.

    Kyle C. Moon
    Gallery: Moonman.Photography

  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAPosts: 11,317Administrators moderator

    Nice shots, Kyle. I agree with Don that an ND is not the filter you want for the last shot. However, a circular polarizer may have helped. CPs reduce glare which often also has the happy effect of intensifying colors. Not that there's much color to be had in that last shot, but it may have reduced the glare off the snow allowing you to see the details better. The element in the CP rotates allowing you to adjust the polarizing effect for different light angles. You can watch the scene through the lens as you rotate the element and see what it's doing. They are by far my most-used filters. ND's are used when you want to slow down your shutterspeed to show cloud motion or to blur moving water for that silky water effect I'm sure you've seen.

  • MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 37Registered Users Big grins

    @kdog said:
    Nice shots, Kyle. I agree with Don that an ND is not the filter you want for the last shot. However, a circular polarizer may have helped. CPs reduce glare which often also has the happy effect of intensifying colors. Not that there's much color to be had in that last shot, but it may have reduced the glare off the snow allowing you to see the details better. The element in the CP rotates allowing you to adjust the polarizing effect for different light angles. You can watch the scene through the lens as you rotate the element and see what it's doing. They are by far my most-used filters. ND's are used when you want to slow down your shutterspeed to show cloud motion or to blur moving water for that silky water effect I'm sure you've seen.

    Yeah, and that's why I want those filters. I have some shots where I slowed the shutter, but have only been able to do that when its dark enough. Also, thanks for the tip on reducing the snow with the CP. I'll certainly look into getting one of those as well. Do you happen to know of an affordable kit that sells a CP and ND's?

    Kyle C. Moon
    Gallery: Moonman.Photography

  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLPosts: 6,346Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 29, 2018

    Hi, Kyle. I happen to have and use, on occasion, the very Tokina lens you have. A CP is a real staple in my shooting. When it comes to filters...any kind.... spend the most you can afford. I personally use both Nikon and B&W filters. There are a few good ones from other sources as well. Any time you put additional glass....filters....into the mix, you want the highest quality you can get your hands on. It's not an area where you want to base your choice on pricing alone.

    If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
  • MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 37Registered Users Big grins

    @black mamba said:
    Hi, Kyle. I happen to use, on occasion, the very Tokina lens you have. A CP is a real staple in my shooting. When it comes to filters...any kind.... spend the most you can afford. I personally use both Nikon and B&W filters. There are a few good ones from other sources as well. Any time you put additional glass....filters....into the mix, you want the highest quality you can get your hands on. It's not an area you want to base your choice on pricing alone.

    Good to know! Like I mentioned before I'm looking into getting a kit. I've seen some folks that have an attachment at the end of their lens where they can add multiple different filters. Do you know anything about those kits. I feel like it makes more sense to buy one of those kits where I'm not limited to only one option. For instance, what if I wanted to use a CP, but also a ND filter?

    Kyle C. Moon
    Gallery: Moonman.Photography

  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLPosts: 6,346Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 29, 2018

    @MoonMan04 said:

    @black mamba said:
    Hi, Kyle. I happen to use, on occasion, the very Tokina lens you have. A CP is a real staple in my shooting. When it comes to filters...any kind.... spend the most you can afford. I personally use both Nikon and B&W filters. There are a few good ones from other sources as well. Any time you put additional glass....filters....into the mix, you want the highest quality you can get your hands on. It's not an area you want to base your choice on pricing alone.

    Good to know! Like I mentioned before I'm looking into getting a kit. I've seen some folks that have an attachment at the end of their lens where they can add multiple different filters. Do you know anything about those kits. I feel like it makes more sense to buy one of those kits where I'm not limited to only one option. For instance, what if I wanted to use a CP, but also a ND filter?

    I bought one of those type of kits you're referring to. I think there are several variations of this concept around; mine was based on the Cokin system, but it could accommodate other manufacturer's filters. I didn't like using it. I found it to be somewhat of a pain to fool with. If I did only tripod work, I might feel a little different on that point. If I left the thing attached to the camera, and I was moving around a bit, it was just ungainly. And, if you're a stickler for the highest quality work you can put out there, I think the superior glass in the screw-in stuff is a far better option. Each option, though, has strong points.

    If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
  • MoonMan04MoonMan04 MontanaPosts: 37Registered Users Big grins

    @black mamba said:

    @MoonMan04 said:

    @black mamba said:
    Hi, Kyle. I happen to use, on occasion, the very Tokina lens you have. A CP is a real staple in my shooting. When it comes to filters...any kind.... spend the most you can afford. I personally use both Nikon and B&W filters. There are a few good ones from other sources as well. Any time you put additional glass....filters....into the mix, you want the highest quality you can get your hands on. It's not an area you want to base your choice on pricing alone.

    Good to know! Like I mentioned before I'm looking into getting a kit. I've seen some folks that have an attachment at the end of their lens where they can add multiple different filters. Do you know anything about those kits. I feel like it makes more sense to buy one of those kits where I'm not limited to only one option. For instance, what if I wanted to use a CP, but also a ND filter?

    I bought one of those type of kits you're referring to. I think there are several variations of this concept around; mine was based on the Cokin system, but it could accommodate other manufacturer's filters. I didn't like using it. I found it to be somewhat of a pain to fool with. If I did only tripod work, I might feel a little different on that point. If I left the thing attached to the camera, and I was moving around a bit, it was just ungainly. And, if you're a stickler for the highest quality work you can put out there, I think the superior glass in the screw-in stuff is a far better option. Each option, though, has strong points.

    I got yuh. Well, thanks for your advice!

    Kyle C. Moon
    Gallery: Moonman.Photography

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,365Registered Users Major grins

    Like #1

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