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Kevin Vazquez
Kevin Vazquez

Which Neutral Density Filter To Buy REPACK

There is of course the option of purchasing an adapter ring, as explained in my previous article, so that you do not have to buy an ND filter for each diameter you use. The idea is to buy an ND filter to fit the largest diameter of all your lenses (current and/or future). You can then buy an adapter ring (step up i this case) which will allow you to attach your ND filter on to your lenses of smaller diameters. For example, if you have a 300mm telephoto lens (with 67mm diameter), a 77mm standard lens, and a 24mm wide angle lens (diameter 67mm), you will only have to buy an ND filter with a 77mm diameter. It should be pointed out, however, that a significant amount of vignetting may appear on your photos and you will no longer be able to use a UV filter with this otherwise very economical option!

which neutral density filter to buy

The second type of ND filter is square (or rectangular) and used with a filter holder. Basically, you will need to buy an adapter ring which is placed in front of your camera lens on to which you will then attach a filter holder. The filter holder contains several slots so you can slide different filters into the holder at the same time.

Yes, choosing an ND filter is now going to get even more complicated! You also have two options for your ND filter depending on the density you desire, which can be fixed or variable (with a gradient).

The fixed density ND filter only has one level of density (obviously) which you will need to choose according to the type of photos you want to take and the time of day in which you want to take them (this is discussed further in the next paragraph). I only use fixed ND filters, which I am quite satisfied with.

The variable Neutral Density filter allows you to adjust the density of the filter according to the scene you want to photograph. On paper, this seems like the ideal solution however, in reality, variable density filters are made up of two equally sized, stacked polarizing filters therefore the thickness of the glass is greater allowing for a higher probability of optical defects in your photos i.e. light and vignetting.

To summarize and simplify it for you, if you plan on usin an ND filter mostly for taking photos in full brightness you will need to buy a filter with a high density. In fact, light is a much bigger problem at midday than it is at 8 am or 5pm. To counter this strong light (and to achieve a long exposure), you will have no other choice than to buy an almost completely opaque (black) ND filter in order to extend your exposure time. In the early morning and evening, the light is weaker so you will be able to use a less opaque ND filter to achieve the same long exposure as at midday.

If you wish to use a graduated ND filter you will need a filter holder. I will discuss these filters, which partially reduce the brightness of a scene (mainly the sky, which is often overexposed compared to the darker foreground) in more detail in other articles.

Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light reaching the camera's imaging sensor.The light reduction is even across the visible spectrum (or it should be).With less light reaching the imaging sensor, a longer exposure or a wider aperture can be used.The wider aperture can be used to avoid the effects of diffraction or to achieve a shallow depth of field under even full sunlight.

My first priority in writing this review was to determine which currently available 10 stop ND filter is the best.While it would be nice to simply pick the brand filter you want or the model with the lowest price, like everything else photographic, there is a lot more to filter selection than brand and price.Even when selecting a filter designed to prevent light from entering it.

It was the announcement of the Hoya PROND neutral density filter line that caught my attention and added a line item on my to-review list.Hoya stated in their announcement that the "Metallic ACCU-ND coating on the PROND filters does not color shift as you move from one density to the next, a common problem with other series of neutral density filters."While this statement does not directly say that there is no color cast with the PROND filters, going from a 2-stop ND to a 10-Stop ND without color shift basically says to me that there is no color shift with the 10-stop filter.

The second row of links shows the results of simple white balance adjustments being performed on each image individually.The custom white balanced was established by using the center of the fifth-brightest gray scale block from within the same image.I need to clarify that this "simple" white balance adjustment requires a gray card image or requires that a neutral color be present in the image to base the custom white balance on.Otherwise, black filter white balance adjustment can quickly become complicated.Shooting a 5 minute white balance photo may be faster than individually adjusting an image or series of images.

From this first test, we prove that we can't always take the marketing department at face value.Singh-Ray claims "Mor-Slo filters are especially adept at maintaining neutral color fidelity and minimizing color casts that are inherent to such strong densities;however, a slight warming of the image can be expected due to the exaggerated exposure length needed to compensate for the 3.0 density."In contrast, Tiffen states "Reduces amount of light passing through camera lens without changing color of scene."Singh-Ray's marketing is being very-analytical while Tiffen's statement was more likely theoretical (or hopeful).The late-arriving X4 (formerly X3) was not included in this test.

From a color perspective, the Hoya is looking amazing and the Singh-Ray filter is again only slightly behind the Hoya in its neutral color rendition.The later-tested Breakthrough X4 is looking great in the second set of tests.

Not noticeable in cropped images above is that most of the 10-stop ND filters cause peripheral shading.This shading is not caused by the filter ring blocking light, but from the filter density design itself.The test below was again carried out by a 5D Mark III and a TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Lens.With the TS-E lens' extra-large image circle, filter rings can be ruled out as having any effect on the results, leaving any vignetting beyond the control sample to be caused by the filter itself.

Even if vignetting is not a problem with a standard thickness filter mounted on your lens, you may want to stack filters.The stacking of course increases the overall filter ring thickness which increases likelihood of physical vignetting becoming a problem.

I recommend stacking a black filter on a circular polarizer filter to combine the effects of both.I have been using the Singh-Ray mounted to my B+W XS-PRO CP filter, a slim filter with front threads.I rotate the CP filter for the desired effect and then make sure that the outer CP filter ring retains its position while the black filter is threaded on.A CP filter reduces the light transmission by another stop or two, which you will probably consider a welcome effect in most situations.

Below I list the reviewed 10-stop neutral density filters in ascending order of my recommendation.Note that the popular and reasonably-priced Lee Big Stopper 10-Stop ND Filter was not included in this comparison review.I needed a threaded round filter, but the Big Stopper is only available in flat rectangular sizes.I will consider the addition of Big Stopper results to this page at some point in the future.

Turns out they were arguably right.While I have a hard time discerning any sharpness difference between the Singh-Ray and the X4 and the two are similar in color-neutralness, the X4 has far less vignetting,provides at least the 10-rated stops of neutral density and has a very significantly lower price tag.Other X4 advantages include a CNC machined brass "traction" ring (for a better grip including with gloves, avoiding stuck filters) and front threads that play well with standard lens caps and allow filter stacking.

Filter models selection can make a huge difference in the results you obtain when using a 10 stop neutral density filter and using a 10-stop ND filter can make a huge difference in your results.A black filter is a tool that can take your images from mundane to amazing, even in the middle of the day.

These days I primarily use Kolari vision neutral density filters, and I also use their UV filters. The reason for this is that they are designed to be tough, using gorilla glass, meaning they are less susceptible to damage from drops or scratches.

Thanks Lawrence on your above article,Would it please be possible to email a data sheet detailing your article, I am an intermediate photographer and never used any type of filters but I am interested in purchasing the Lee 100 filter system.Please noteI cannot receive emails on my phone but would appreciate your response via email which I can read on my laptop.Thanks and happy new year to you.Paul Todd

Shopping for a neutral density filter can be confusing. Many models, different brands, sold at prices ranging from cheap to super expensive. But when you boil it all down, there are two basic types to choose from: solid and variable.

Variable neutral density filters reduce light using a range of densities. For example, two-to-five stops, three-to-eleven stops, etc. Again borrowing the lens analogy, variable NDs are similar to zoom lenses supporting a range of focal lengths.

Solid neutral density filters use a single pane of glass, not two panes of polarized glass like a VND, so solid neutral density filters are not affected by cross-polarization. You never have to worry about.

The filters are made of glass and are multi coated (for higher quality optics and removing lens flare). Each filter has an aluminium frame as well. The ND filters are also stackable, which means you can interchangeably stack them in different combinations for getting the effect you desire.

Neutral density filters exhibit nearly constant spectral transmittance in the range of the visible light, for example from 400 nm to 800 nm, and are therefore only slightly wavelength dependent. Neutral density filters are therefore perfectly grey in color. 041b061a72


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