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Remove your filter before flying?

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by neoben, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. neoben

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    Howdy.

    As a professional videographer, I've always been amazed at folks who buy $10K cameras, and then proceed to put a $50 UV filter on the front. Talk about lowering the quality of your glass....

    With than in mind, I'm thinking about removing altogether the filter on my Inspire. My Phantom didn't have one, and I don't know why the Inspire needs it. Any extra glass between the lens and subject can introduce chromatic distortions and artifacts. I've seen noticeable drops in sharpness on other cameras with cheap filters on the front.

    So... Haven't tried it yet, but on my next flight, I think I'll remove the filter and see if that improves the sharpness of the lens...

    Thoughts?

    Best,

    Ben
     
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  2. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Clear/UV filter or ND?
    Obviously ND serves a very real purpose!
     
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  3. neoben

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    Obviously... talking about the UV here...
     
  4. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Ahhh... that's ok then :D

    Obviously there is the fact of front element protection to consider - 25-35mph and hitting a gooey fat insect etc could actually damage the lens.
    Maybe go for a decent UV/protection like Heliopan?
     
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  5. neoben

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    Yup... Camera protection vs. image quality... And of course, you may not need the protection, but you also may not see the difference in the image quality... So, YMMV, as they say... :)

    Best,

    Ben
     
  6. keltron

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    I know the weight seems minute but my fear would be in wether this affects the gimbal. People debated for a long time over the Phantom 2 and whether it was damaging the motors to add a 3rd party ND filter or not . People went as far as glueing quarters to the back of the gimbal to counterbalance the weight. Those even more particular would actually arm out a a penny using a paperclip from on of the motors to correct for the x and y offset. Just food for thought.
     
  7. neoben

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    I doubt if the weight would affect the gimbal balance.... Do we even know if it's balanced with the filter on? or off? I guess we could test to see which way the motor 'flops' when powered down?

    Ben
     
  8. keltron

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    You make a good point. I don't know for certain but I assumed we were given the UV filter soley to keep it balanced without ND. But I haven't found anything concrete about the balance.
     
  9. mem_ny

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    Asked this question on the DJI forum without answer, maybe because it's a stupid question. For us non-photographers, when would we use the ND filter?
     
  10. keltron

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    Think of ND as sunglasses for your lense. If it is so bright outside that your image seems like it may be overexposed. Aka whites too bright. Usually more of an issue if you are looking towards the sun.

    You can bring down your ISO to darken the image but if you've reached your lSO's limit ND is your answer. You normally want to have ND on before you get to your limit so you have some wiggle room in you ISO, incase your light source becomes brighter.

    You can also adjust shutter speed to allow more or less light in however the rule of thumb is usually double your frame rate. So I tend to try and adjust ISO first. The only time I really stray from this is low light situations if it is still ridulously dark and then I crank the shutter speed to allow as much light as possible.
     
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  11. neoben

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    Howdy....

    Forgive my contradiction, Keltron.... but the primary purpose of the ND filter is to reduce the "Jello" effect than can happen when shooting video in high light environments, especially when panning...

    Jello happens because the "shutter" is so fast that the entire frame is not scanned before the shutter has finished and the craft has moved by the time the next part of the frame is caught. This can offset the image, and cause a wobble, or 'jello' effect... (hope I have that right)...

    By adding the ND filter, you're reducing the brightness of the light entering the lens. The camera responds by slowing the shutter speed and capturing more of the image on each frame captured. This will reduce the wobble, or 'jello' effect.

    The downside can be the addition of motion blur (which actually can look very nice and be desired, but can also make post-processing more difficult, especially stabilizing, although the Inspire is sooooo rock steady smooth that I haven't had to stabilized any footage so far)...

    Obviously it can also make low-light videography noisier, which is why the ND filter should be removed in less bright situations...

    Hope that helps.

    Best,

    Ben
     
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  12. keltron

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    I don't feel that is a contradiction. I think it's just additional info. But in more traditional videography, like being shouldered up we still use ND and we obviously don't have to worry about jello. And I agree ND was more for jello on the Phantom but I haven't seen any jello on the inspire without ND.
     
  13. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Correct!

    The primary reason for an ND filter in traditional (non aerial) photography/vidography is to allow for wider apertures in bright conditions so as to achieve a shallow depth of field. Additionally, since all lenses are a compromise and have a 'sweet spot' it will keep the F values away from F16 or F22 and above which can cause loss of sharpness and allow an exposure range to be brought into your lenses sweet spot.
    It also allows you to maintain a shutter speed/angle which can be paramount in certain shooting conditions.
     
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