Beginner 6 stop or 10 stop?

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278
Name
Simon
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#1
Good evening all,

I would like to delve into the world on long exposure, what are peoples thoughts, should I get a 6 stop or 10 stop filter and why?
Thank you in advance

Simon
 
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Name
Graham
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#4
No right answer I'm afraid. 10 stops can be too long at times depending on the scene, especially in lower light. 6 stop requires less patience but might not give you the full movement effect especially in the clouds.
 
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Ian
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#5
As the previous posters suggest, there isn't a right answer. I'd choose dependant upon the time of day you'll be shooting.

Dawn and dusk; 6 stops.
Mid-day / bright light; 10 stops.

You can also stack them so if you bought a 6 but wanted longer, can add another. You can't dissect a 10 stopper (though you may run into vignetting if you do stack filters)
 
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27
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#6
When I started out I bought a 10 stop filter and honestly, I found it to be over the top. Even now, my ND1000 from B+W gets very little use. Most of the good light for landscapes is not strong mid-day light, so a 1000x shutter speed decrease is often too long.

If you're just starting out, I would recommend a Hoya ND400. Its not the best filter around, but its cheap, and its just under 9 stops, which is a very good compromise.
 
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781
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#8
Good evening all,

I would like to delve into the world on long exposure, what are peoples thoughts, should I get a 6 stop or 10 stop filter and why?
Thank you in advance

Simon


My suggestion: Buy both of them, get both the 6-stop and the 10-stop, keep them both in your camera bag. Do your long exposure photography with both of them, one at a time, better to have a handful of photos with different light levels, by using both of the filters, and compare the photos to pick the best one, rather than pick one filter, take one photo, and hope for the best.

We've done things like that. Take three photos, one under-exposed, one normal, one over-exposed. Take a few photos at different settings or adjustments, like for example using different aperture, say one at f2.8, one at f4, and the other at f5.6. Different settings, different adjustments, different this and that, and compare the photos to pick the best.

After all, I have to agree with some of the members who already told you that there is no right answer, specially as it depends on the light levels, the type of subject you want to shoot, and the conditions.

Beside, if you chose to buy only one filter, there would be a moment when you do your shooting, you would wish you picked the other filter.

So buy both and keep them in your camera bag, use them both, and over time you will become more experienced at picking which one to take out of your bag.
 
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Name
Tom
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#11
It all depends what you want.

When are you shooting?

If you just want water to look like it's 'moving' I often find that a CPL is enough.

For long exposures with cloud movement, I find I use my 10 stopper much more than my 6 stop filter. But sometimes, a 10 stopper can be too much (in low light for example).

As example - this shot I even used a 16 stop filter because it was in the middle of the day - a 10 stopper would have only given me a few seconds exposure time, with a 16 stopper I got a few minutes.

Humber Bridge.
by Thomas Green, on Flickr
 
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sparker
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278
Name
Simon
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#12
I live near the coast and really fancy trying "smoothing out the water", so, time of day would be whenever the tide is in!
Thank you, again, for all the replies.
 
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