Tapping Your Built-In ND Filter for Motion Images

We took a stroll on the Santa Monica Pier at twilight hoping for some colorful night shots. I was packing the Fujifilm X100V and a MeFOTO Backpacker tripod. I wanted color in the sky, so we were shooting before it got completely dark.

Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier - Fujifilm X100V, 15 seconds, f/16, ISO 160, built-in ND Filter - Photo by Derrick Story.

The ferris wheel was the main attraction. I wanted lots of motion the in the shot, so I was hoping for a shutter speed of 15 seconds or longer. Theses are the moments that I appreciate the built-in ND filter. In the case of the X100V, it provided me 3 stops of density.

By setting the ISO to 160 and stopping down the aperture to f/16, I was able to get my 15 seconds with the aid of the built-in ND filter. I used the 2-second self-timer to trip the shutter.

Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica Pier - Fujifilm X100V, 30 seconds, f/16, ISO 160, built-in ND Filter - Photo by Derrick Story.

As night began to settle in, I was able to go for even longer shutter speeds. My next series reached the 30 second mark. The colorful wheel against the steely blue sky was exactly what I was looking for.


The built-in ND filter has many advantages: First, you always have it with you. Second, it's very easy to use, with the viewfinder remaining bright and clear. And third, the camera does all the work for you. No crazy calculations are necessary. You just have to enable it and enjoy.

Dig around in your camera menus now and find the setting for the ND filter. Hopefully you have it in your model. Become familiar with it now, so you can tap it when that perfect situation presents itself. Then get that shot!

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