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Using neutral density filters

From: Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking

Video: Using neutral density filters

Brian Liepe: Neutral density filters, commonly referred to as NDs, are just another set of tools you can use to adjust your exposure. They are usually used when shooting outdoors. If it's just too bright to open up your aperture for shallow depth of field, place an ND filter in front of your lens either by threading one on or by using a matte box that can holds neutral density filters. Just as a side note, different lenses have different filter diameters or sizes, so you can buy a filter that matches your lens.

Using neutral density filters

Brian Liepe: Neutral density filters, commonly referred to as NDs, are just another set of tools you can use to adjust your exposure. They are usually used when shooting outdoors. If it's just too bright to open up your aperture for shallow depth of field, place an ND filter in front of your lens either by threading one on or by using a matte box that can holds neutral density filters. Just as a side note, different lenses have different filter diameters or sizes, so you can buy a filter that matches your lens.

Some lenses have a symbol called a ligature that indicates the diameter of your filter size. The density or the amount of light NDs filter out are usually fixed to one stop increments. So if you're shooting on set and you have too much light, you put an ND in front of your lens and it's not quite the amount of reduction you need, you've got to go grab another one or just adjust your camera settings, which you may not want to do. So if you're wasting time by swapping out different NDs, you can use something called a variable ND. These are so cool and super valuable.

Variable NDs are great for DSLRs because they allow you to adjust your exposure without changing your aperture or your shutter speed or your ISO. You have the ability to change your exposure without fixed increments. You can just spin the ring and easily achieve the amount of exposure you need. You can see here that the exposure changes and nothing else does, my aperture, my shallow depth of field all remain the same by me just spinning that ring.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking
Up and Running with DSLR Filmmaking

43 video lessons · 24409 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
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  1. 2m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. About the camera used in this course
      45s
  2. 11m 35s
    1. Understanding photography
      44s
    2. Understanding aperture
      1m 51s
    3. Trade-offs with aperture adjustment
      2m 32s
    4. Understanding shutter speed
      1m 26s
    5. Trade-offs with shutter adjustment
      2m 41s
    6. Understanding ISO
      44s
    7. Trade-offs with ISO adjustment
      1m 37s
  3. 6m 37s
    1. Understanding sensor size
      1m 19s
    2. Protecting highlights and native ISO
      1m 24s
    3. Getting a custom white balance
      2m 27s
    4. Focusing for video
      1m 27s
  4. 9m 24s
    1. Using lenses
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding wide lenses
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding long lenses
      2m 32s
    4. Getting shallow depth of field
      2m 22s
  5. 12m 34s
    1. Using graphs to gauge exposure
      2m 1s
    2. Recording audio
      2m 42s
    3. Using a clapperboard
      1m 13s
    4. Shooting a "flat" image
      51s
    5. Using custom color profiles
      54s
    6. Shooting slow motion
      1m 19s
    7. Getting a beautiful shot
      3m 34s
  6. 13m 33s
    1. Why use Premiere Pro for editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Transcoding video
      2m 29s
    3. Combining video and audio streams
      2m 7s
    4. Cleaning up noise and adding grain
      3m 26s
    5. Color correcting footage
      4m 10s
  7. 6m 1s
    1. About DSLR pitfalls
      30s
    2. Avoiding rolling shutter
      51s
    3. Avoiding moiré
      1m 6s
    4. About limited latitude
      1m 56s
    5. About extreme compression
      1m 38s
  8. 7m 27s
    1. Why you need a monitor
      58s
    2. Using a viewfinder
      52s
    3. Stabilizing your camera
      1m 43s
    4. Moving your camera
      35s
    5. Using a follow focus
      37s
    6. Using a matte box
      1m 8s
    7. Using neutral density filters
      1m 34s
  9. 1m 17s
    1. The future of DSLR video
      54s
    2. Final thoughts
      23s

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