Filter for Lightning.

Discussion in 'General Gear Talk' started by Brian, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

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    So I have finally accepted the fact that I have absolutely zero creativity. Pretty much zero imagination. But I really do enjoy taking weather (and especially lightning) photos. Is there a particular filter you all would recommend for taking lightning pictures during the day? I know very little about using filters, so perhaps you could advise a certain "stop" to get. For perhaps a 15 second exposure so it doesn't get blown out. Is there such a thing?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts you guys may have. I suppose I need to look closer at a Strikefinder 2 or something of the sort.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    Hey Brian,

    For daytime lightning shots you probably don't want to shoot longer then a 2 or 3 second exposure. The reason I say that is in a 15 sec day time exposure I think the lightning strikes would get lost from averaging out the exposure for such a long period of daylight.

    So, maybe one of the others will have a better suggestion as I have only gotten to shoot lightning during the day a few times, when I last shot daytime lightning I believe I just used a 3 stop ND stacked with a Polarizer which gave me like 4.5 stops of light.

    Lightning triggers are great, especially if the lightning isn't striking too often. I have one, but still have never used it. I just end up locking in my remote release to continuously take photos. In Colorado there is lot's of lightning you can shoot, so a Lightning Trigger would probably be a good idea. I don't get to see it that often, so the once a year I get to shoot it, I am usually traveling up on to it, so I don't usually have much time to mess around in finding a good location to shoot and getting my camera set up, so the remote release works the quickest for me to get set up.

    I am pretty sure a couple of the guys from Sedona have Lightning Triggers, I think Doug and Guy said they had them and used them, so they might have some better advice on that end.
     
  3. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim. That makes sense about getting washed out. That was one thing I'm concerned about. I guess I'll suck it up and get a trigger.

    I actually don't own a single filter. Perhaps it's time to do a little research.
     
  4. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    I would spend the money first on the filters, maybe buy the trigger down the road?

    Do you have a remote release for your camera? That's the first thing you should get if you don't have one. For now, just locking in the remote release is a very inexpensive way to capture lightning.

    As for filters, the #1 filter you want is a Polarizer, especially for shooting any types of landscapes, the polarizer is awesome since it blocks reflections and sun glare as it reflects off of rocks, leaves, water. It also blocks reflections off of windows, cars, etc. So it's handy to have no matter what.

    My favorite brand is B+W, but Tiffen and Hoya also make good filters. Just expect to pay around $80 for the polarizer no matter what the brand. If you buy one that's too inexpensive, odds are it doesn't have the good optical coatings on it.

    Then you will want to get a 3 stop ND filter for helping to shoot longer shutter speeds during the day. Whether it's for shooting lightning or maybe shooting a waterfall, it will be handy.

    Those two are a great start for you. Obviously there are other filters out there, and especially with ND's, there are ones that are darker and block more light, but the 2 I mentioned are a great place to start, and as you shoot more you can see which other ones would be of benefit to you.
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

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    I do have a cheap trigger. But it works amazingly well. I can also use the Nikon app to take pics. But the remote is so easy to use, I end up using it 99.9% of the time. Thanks for the recommendations on the filters. I may head to Mikes Camera this week and look around.

    Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it.
     
  6. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    No problem Brian.

    I agree. What's great with Nikon is it has some really great features built into the camera in terms of intervalometer, etc. So you don't need an expensive remote. Mine I use is like $14, and it's great.

    I will be in Colorado in about 2 weeks, maybe we can get together and shoot somewhere. I don't have any exact plans yet, waiting to get a better picture of how the fall colors are going to happen this year.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

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    That would be great. I have have Sundays-Wednesdays off this month. Please let me know.
     

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