Filter advice - alpha DSLR 200
Have just ordered my new Sony alpha DSLR 200; I'm a keen 'amateur' photographer although my interest has slipped a bit in recent years - when I was younger I used to be a bit obsessive, although I never had the best kit I think I did pretty good; I used to have a second hand Olympus film SLR which I absolutely loved, since that finally gave up the ghost and I lost a bit of interest/time, I've been making do with various entry-levelish digital cameras, most recently the Exilim 100 which I have to admit was fantastic, and did me proud for some wonderful photos, most recently of last year's Venice carnival (hard to go wrong there, I admit).
Unfortunately that too is now out of commision and so I have decided to spend the bit extra in replacing it and try to recapture my past interest; I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to getting my hands on an SLR again!
Anyway - I know most of you on here are WAY above my level, and I have read with interest the 'sticky' thread on replacement lenses; I am sure I will end up agreeing with you all about the kit lens in time but for the moment it will do for me (I hope!), and I will leave spending another £200 plus on lenses for another day, with a few more months of getting used to the camera under my belt.
What I AM interested in atm is the stuff I NEED right now - and I'm thinking more of filters? I'm guessing a lot of you will have experience with the 200 or similar cameras, and just to give you a little info I am planning to put the camera through its paces on two very different (in terms of lighting, for current discussion) holidays soon - the Llangollen (Wales) canal, and Cyprus. Do I need a UV filter, and/or a polarisng filter, to get the best out of the camera (and the kit lens!) across this range of conditions, or is the in-camera adjustment good enough?
Any advice appreciated, sorry for the long post - bit of a 'hello' too. So, um, Hello. Too.
Filtering the discussion ...
Welcome 'trevor' ... SONY DSLR forum is a terrific place to get in sync with your photography, concerning these little gems.
As far as a circular polarizer (CP) goes, it is tough (if not just impossible) to do what that particular filter does, AFTER the image is created. You would really have to be an outstanding "after-image-pixel-manipulator" to do that. Believe me, most people are not. The polarizer-filter eliminates reflections and glare by only allowing light to pass through that is coherent (in line with other light waves) ... anything non-coherent or out-of-phase with the main light is attenuated. The result is a reduction in glare, also, making your image look "cleaner" and "sharper"
Most of the time, when you are outdoors, the polarizer will improve the appearance of your skies, by eliminating the overall glare, as you rotate it into proper position. You simply monitor its positioning and then snap the image, when you have it correctly aligned (when your sky is darker or darkest). If you rotate past that point, the sky usually lightens back up, as non-coherent light is allowed back in through the filter.
You can clearly see this effect if you point your camera at the LCD monitor and then rotate the CP filter on the front of your lens. At some point, the entirely display image will disappear (because the LCD is a polarized image, itself. Once the filter is aligned out of phase with the polarized-image of the display ... it gets blocked).
As far as a UV-filter goes ... unlike a SLR film camera, these are effectively useless on a DSLR camera and just add another piece glass to interfere with your image The sensor simply does not respond to UV light like film does. They are mostly deployed in a prophylactic way (much like the lens cap) to prevent physical damage (finger prints, incidental scratches and just plain smacking the lens into something). As far a shooting goes, cheap filters (both UV and CP) can affect lens autofocus performance. Even more noticeably with higher-end lenses, which are more sharply detailed and sensitive to these poor design/performing glass filters.
The average good performing CP under 67mm will end up costing you around $80-100. If you spend anything substantially less, you (more than likely) have a piece of crap in front of your lens. If you are using the "kit" lens, you probably won't notice this, because with or without a filter ... it is just as bad. :mad: Where it will really come into play and give you a "hair-pulling" experience is on a higher end lens, like the 70-200mm f/2.8 or a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 G SSM. It will simply ruin their performance in a way that simply should be avoided.
The rule is: You do not want to RUIN the performance of a top drawer lens by slapping a low-end filter on the front of it. Spend the money. up front, literally ... or your will later, but will have a bunch of "seedy-looking" work out of a great lens ... until you do.
Hope this advice helps ... it is pretty general in nature.
Now, go shoot something. http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j1...amerablink.gif