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Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters on Field Camera


jim_norman2
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Does anyone have a good method of using graduated ND filters on folding field

cameras like the Ebony, Linhof MT, Wisner, etc? It seems that the camera bed

gets in the way of sliding these longish filters, unless you use a lens long

enough that the front of the lens is extended over the end of the flat bed. Is

there a filter system that works better than others for this? Thanks.

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When I used a Technika IV with grad neutral filters and I could not slide the filter down far enough I put the camera on the tripod upside down. There was a tripod socket provided just for this purpose. One way or another, upside down or right way up, I seemed to manage. I used Cokin neutral grads.
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First of all, are you using a black piece of paper or card with the edge placed on the gradation line of the filter as you are lining it up? The hard black line makes it much easier to see.

Secondly, are you positioning the filter with the lens stopped down?

I say this because it's difficult to get good placement w/o doing so and you may be pushing the filter down too far when it isn't needed.

good luck

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Err, why not tip the camera on its side and use the rotating back to change between portrait and landscape formats? Then you can slide the grad filter "across" the lens, where there's no bed to get in the way.

 

The whole design philosophy of technical and field cameras is that there's nearly always two or three ways to do the same thing and get around their apparent limitations.

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This is another reason I picked up a Canham DLC back in '98 and have been happy with it

ever since. You can put the standards wherever you want. I have never felt limited in any way

by the design of the DLC.

 

By the way, when I am running an exposure of two seconds or more, I will often just dodge

the lens with a black card. It works great, and the longer the exposure, the easier it is.

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Jim,

 

Sorry to answer late. I use Lee grad NDs on almost every shot I take, using Ebony folding and non-folding cameras (45S, SW45, SV45Ti, etc) and with a variety of focal lengths. I've never had the problem of having too little space. Of course, on Ebony's cameras you can usually get away with positioning the front standard at the end of the rail and focusing with the back, but the real reason for a lack of problem is provided by Vinnie's answer. The filters invariably end up more centered than you might expect when you use them correctly.

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