Neutral Density Filters

ND Filters are necessary even with manual aperture control if you want to use a lens wide open (or at big aperture) in a bright scene.

Remember that filming is different than taking photographs where you have more shutter speed options.

To record video with a nice blur you can not set the shutter speed to 1/250 (for instance); you have to set it from 1/24 to 1/60, 1/80 or so. (not possible to set a shutter speed slower than the frame rate, obviously). Please do not confuse frame rate with shutter speed.

So, in a bright scene, to keep a nice blur effect (keeping the shutter speed between those ranges), you must either:

  1. Close the Iris (aperture ring), thus loosing the narrow Depth-of-Field we want…
  2. Use ND Filters to decrease the light reaching the sensor
  3. Set a lower ISO on a digital movie camera

Or of course, use a combination of these actions.

(thanks to Photographer/Videographer who posted this in the comments)


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