What’s an ND Filter?

What’s an ND filter? Sunglasses for your camera.

“ND” stands for “neutral density”. Neutral density, what does that do? It reduces the amount of light that’s going into your camera, which controls your exposure. There’s two main applications:

1. In video, if you’re outside in broad daylight and you wanna have a shallow depth of field, it’s gonna be next to impossible to achieve that if you don’t have an ND filter. So you have your aperture at f/1.4, you bring your ISO down as low as you can go. And your only option left is to increase your shutter, but if you increase your shutter, the motion’s gonna look not right. So what else do you do? You add an ND filter. It allows you to have a shallow depth of field while controlling your exposure.

2. If you’re shooting photography, you might thinking, well, can I just increase my shutter? Sure, of course you can, unless you wanna have a lot of motion blur. Why would you wanna have a lot of motion blur? Let’s say you’re shooting water, maybe specifically a waterfall and you don’t wanna see each drop of water. You want to have a nice smooth flow. Then you need to drag your shutter, slow your shutter down. And to do that, you’ll need to put on an ND filter.

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