Monday, March 26, 2007
Toolbox: Photo Filters
They may seem like old tech for the digital photographer, but traditional photo filters are still important photography tools
Sunpak Cross Star
Available in four-, six- or eight-pointed refractions, the Cross Star filter extends shimmering refractions of light from candles, light bulbs or reflections. Rotate the filter for a variety of angles. Estimated Street Price: $30 to $100.
Lee Neutral-Density Soft Grad Set
This collection of grad ND filters provides you with basic light loss for scenes with uneven exposure. Stepping down exposure one stop each, they use a soft gradation for light to diffuse subtly from one area to the next; 4x6-inch rectangular slides mount for easy placement of the diffusion line. Estimated Street Price: $95.
Sunpak Circular Polarizer
Sunpak's Circular Polarizer will deepen skies, saturate color and intensify contrast by reducing nonmetallic reflections and haze. The filter can be rotated to find the best angle of incidence. Estimated Street Price: $12 to $50.
This all-in-one neutral-density filter can filter light levels without ruining color quality. Twist the filter ring to vary the strength from two to eight stops and everything in between. Available in 77mm, it's likely to be the only solid ND that you'll ever need. List Price: $340 (77mm ring mount); $390 (wide-angle ring mount).
Lee Infrared 87
This nearly opaque rectangular mount blocks out almost all visible light, making photographs of infrared possible. Most effective for black-and-white images, the pictures produced are ghostly and unnatural and sometimes hauntingly beautiful. List Price: $17 (75x75mm); $30 (100x100mm).
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