A Neutral Density (ND) filter is what we used in photography and video videography to control the light comings into our camera sensor. Usually we use this to control less light into the camera.
Ofcourse we could use the exposure triangle but sometime we need a finer control so we used ND Filter. In photography term we used the ND filter to control the shutter speed. Mainly to make the long exposure photographs.
If you see smooth water in seascape or waterfall photos then you know that the photographer used some sort of ND filter to reduced the light going into the sensor. On the other hand the videographer uses ND to do the same thing but slightly for different purpose.
Videographer if they shoot with consumer grade camera he/she will use ND to control to control the shutter speed. As they can only works with 2 variables in the exposure triangle. The shutter speed is fixed in relation to the frame rate they use. they could play around with the ISO and aperture. As like before in the above example the shutter is sometime too high in relationship to the scene they want to capture like bright sunny day and they could not go any lower with aperture and ISO. So they use ND filter to make the conrect exposure.
The best way to remember what ND filters are used for is the above photo. Yes your ND is like a shade for your lens. If you can get that picture in your head then you are half way there to understand what’s ND filter is used for.
But don’t go out there and buy just any random ND filters out there. there are big quality difference between cheap and waste of money type of products out there. There is a product that I’m really interested in right now is the Revoring Step Up ring. Basically it is one off purchased for your ND filter size where it could fit many lens lower than the maximum step up ring.
Just imagine a funnel from top to bottom. The ND filter you need to buy is the one on top of the funnel. The step up right makes it possible hence I’m really digging it. I have not bought it just yet but once it in production and stocks available. I have my credit card ready baby. check out my video as I explain further regarding this subject.
Gear Used/Demonstrated for Video and Photos: All Links are Affiliated
Galaxy S8 https://amzn.to/2OPhVwQ
Rode Wireless Go https://amzn.to/3vKfkoE
Rode Microphone Videomicro https://amzn.to/3vI0Oh4
Manfrotto tripod https://amzn.to/2OOF0Qh
Panasonic Lumix G7 https://amzn.to/2ONJfvi
Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 https://amzn.to/3cP11Xc
B+W 58mm 10-stop ND Filter https://amzn.to/390OJKg
B+W 58mm Circular Polirizing Filter https://amzn.to/3f1FqNJ