Thread: Do I need to buy some GRAD ND?

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  1. #1 Do I need to buy some GRAD ND? 
    Member Mario Gonsalves's Avatar
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    I'm currently preparing to shoot some landscape scenes in the Caribbean early next year.

    Now, I've shot there before. Especially with sunset and sunrise I have to either expose for the sky or the ground.

    I usually try and stay in between the post but I want to ask if anyone knows if a grad ND is really needed in these situations, or since we have budget for a good colorist for this project it would be okay cause he can pull some info back? (As long as we stay in between the goal posts)

    Would love some feedback from people who use GRAD ND's, sunrise/sunset & landscape cinematographers.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Owen Rennie's Avatar
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    I personally love them, I use a 2 & 3 stop Schneider soft edge grad ND all the time (sometimes even stacked, 5 stops) however I dont have a colourist or am very good in post so I try nail everything in camera. Have fun
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Brendan_H_Banks's Avatar
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    Grads are really fun and a great tool, especially for landscape shots. Make sure you have a mattebox with a tray system you can rotate and slide up/down. You'll want to ability to match your grad line against the horizon or other important part of the frame.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Russ Fill's Avatar
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    Grads use is not limited to landscapes or getting rid of a pesky hotspot. Using them for portrait and interview setups really helps draw your eye where you want it to go.
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  5. #5  
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    My advice is expose for the highlights and apply the grad in post. You'll have a lot more control over it, and you can precisely put the grad only where you need it with a custom shape.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Ben Scott's Avatar
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    Surely if you did that in the Caribbean like the OP without wrangling the super bright skies you're going to have a lot of silhouettes in the foreground!
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member DC Chavez's Avatar
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    I think grad NDs are a great tool- especially for landscapes. The difference in exposure for clouds and sky compared to foreground elements can be massive. A grad ND can balance out the two to retain some detail in foreground that you will lose. The sensor can only see so much... That being said, another great tool for preserving detail in shadows and highlights is shooting in HDRx. You have up to 7 stops difference you can capture between your A and X track. This also helps with sunset timelapses...

    My vote is to get the ND's and get as close to the look you want in camera. You can clean it up in post instead of relying on post to get your shot.
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  8. #8  
    Member Mario Gonsalves's Avatar
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    Thank you all! I'm looking towards formatt hitech firecrest! :) If I get a chance I'll post the results next year before summer when the project is dates to release!

    If any of you have examples to show it would be really great as well!
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  9. #9  
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    Hurry up. Formatt Hitech has still a 25% discount running...
    Norbert Niederacher
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  10. #10  
    Member Mario Gonsalves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norbert Niederacher View Post
    Hurry up. Formatt Hitech has still a 25% discount running...
    Yes, I have a quote with them with the 25% discount. Will complete order early next week :D
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