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ND Filters and Lens/Filter Flares Clarification
  • Hey, all. I'm not entirely clear on how an ND filter changes the amount of flare in a lens system. (i.e. how much lens flare do you get with an ND in front of the lens versus with an ND in the camera body).

    Also, how an ND changes flare from a flare filter (star, streak, etc.) i.e. would and ND in front of a flare filter reduce the amount of flare from the filter just the same as if the ND was behind the filter, or would the flare filter flare more with the ND behind it?

    Perhaps some more experienced DPs could clear all this up for me, Thanks.

    Always learning-

    B3 Guy

  • 5 Replies sorted by
  • Flares are caused by reflections between the glass elements. Adding more glass creates more bounce, hence more flaring.

    But it isn't that simple. Filters, like lenses are often coated. A higher quality filter (like a Tiffen) will have much more and better coating and are more flare resistant, while cheaper NDs will have worse coating and being more prone to flare, but will also affect the image negatively (like color shifts or decreased resolution).

    I would probably place the ND after the flare filter. Usually it's placed last in the order (after pola for example) and it could possibly affect the flare filter (as flares could be decreased).

  • Ok. I may be biting the bullet and ordering an Optefex blue streak filter. I already have a Fader ND MKII. If I get the Optefex, I will do some tests.

  • Thinking of it, placing the Fader ND after the Optefex flare filter makes sense, as placing it before might take down light levels, meaning the amount of flares seen through the filter could be less.

  • I missed it by 5 minutes . . . stupid internetz! It went for $250. Someone got a steal, thats for sure.