The Formatt 4 x 4" Deluxe Starter Filter Kit contains several filters that will help you with both outdoor shooting and some portraits.
Neutral Density Filter
Neutral Density filters have several uses and offer the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. They enable the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. ND filters appear gray and reduce the amount of light reaching the film.
Graduated Neutral Density Filter
Graduated Neutral Density filters enable the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. Exposure can be increased by 1, 2, 3 or 4 stops to suit individual situations. This filter has been specifically designed for today's High Definition cameras which tend to be ultra sharp and somewhat unforgiving when it comes to skin tones.
Often it is necessary or desirable to balance the light intensity in one part of a scene with another. This is especially true in situations where you don't have total light control, as in bright contrasty landscapes. Exposing for the foreground will produce a washed-out, over-exposed sky while exposing for the sky will leave the foreground dark and under-exposed. This filter enables cloud detail to be kept correctly exposed in the picture.
Determining which graduated neutral density filter yields ideal results for any given lighting situation takes knowledge, experience and a collection of such filters. Choose the filter strength which adjusts the lighting to stay within the exposure latitude (greatest difference between bright/dark values) which still shows details in both of the digital or film medium in use.
Speaking generally, the 2-stop value (ND 0.6 - the filter's clear portion allows 4x more light to pass vs. darkest portion) effectively compensates average bright sky-to-foreground situations, and the soft transition is applicable more often to a scene than the hard transition.
Determining which neutral density filter yields ideal results for any given lighting situation takes knowledge, experience and a collection of such filters. Speaking generally, the 2-stop value (ND 0.6) effectively compensates average situations.
The Soft or Hard label indicates the degree of color graduation. Horizontal/Vertical indicates the direction of the graduation.
Light rays which are reflected become polarized. Polarizing filters are used to select which light rays enter your camera lens. They can remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water or glass and also saturate colors providing better contrast. The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter. The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun.
If you're out walking on a lovely day - in the mountains or at the beach - and you want to get a fabulous shot of a cloud-filled sky or make the water seem more saturated, then a polarizer is the way to go. This filter is the best way to make the clouds stand out, increase or decrease the saturation of the ocean or increase or decrease the reflection off the water. You can also use this filter when shooting into glass or windows since it will, again, either increase or decrease reflections.
If you're shooting black and white and want to simulate a threatening storm, try throwing on a #25 Red filter. The vista will take on the appearance of an imminent, ominous storm.
Along with a UV or Skylight Filter, a polarizing filter should be a part of everyone's gear bag. It can turn a run-of-the-mill image into a stunning, creative photo by increasing color saturation.
Full Frame Contrast
The Full Frame Contrast filter is a valuable tool to have when you are shooting under very bright light i.e. mid-day, beach, etc. With the explosion of HD technology, using this filter will help when shooting on location (or studio) when a more balanced tone to the image is desired.
This filter distributes the ambient light all over the image area yielding a more even appearance. Shadows will be opened revealing more detail. However, the real benefit is that the highlights will not display any flair or halation.
The Skintone Enhancing filter provides a way to bring more snap to a photo where the skin tones are overly bluish - perhaps from open shade or a gray sky. This slight warming filter brings skin color back to a normal level and can change a dull image into a good one. It can also be used in conjunction with Schneider softening filters to create great portraits.
Formatt, a company with three generations of professional filter-making experience produces every filter to the highest technical standards. The finest materials, together with state of-the-art production technology have resulted in a standard of optical excellence unmatched anywhere else.