As part of my Christmas present, my husband helped me learn to use my new ND filter (Zomei Ultra Slim Adjustable Variable Neutral Density ND2-400 Camera Lens Filter-82mm). It is tricky. We figured out there are 2 dots (which represent darkness in the filter) on the ring that don’t work and one that mostly doesn’t work. Knowing that made things a lot easier and we began to get systematic after that. We tried each of the dots at varying shutter speeds and took notes. I also know to put it on the lightest filter (so I can see) on auto focus then turn off auto focus and turn the filter to one of the dark places on the dial. It looks pretty black through the lens at that point but I can set the camera speed and then let it set the f-stop. I also discovered I don’t have to slow down the  shutter as much as I thought to get a nice blurring effect.


When I go to a beach situation or waterfalls, which are why I bought this filter, I know to work through the settings to make sure I come home with something. I also won’t be trying it when it’s really windy! But every light situation is different, as is every subject. Oh…also figured out that the sun has to be behind me so as not to get sun spots and streaks. I’ll need to plan for the sun position when I go out to do this.

Oh one other detail that was kind of funny — I managed to smudge the filter. The second time we went out we couldn’t figure out why it was all smeary black on the right side then realized it was smudge on the lens. Whew.

I fooled around a bit with bokeh for this lemon but a wide angle lens isn’t really the right one for bokeh. I’m really using it for landscape. Nonetheless, I thought you might like a pretty lemon.


Here’s one more showing the vacuum hose zooming around.


I need to see if I can get out to the beach again this week. I’d like to try the tide pools early in the morning.

Have a great week!

2 thoughts on “Learning to use my ND filter

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