Gradual ND filter

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by quatchi, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Can you recommend good gradual ND filter? I am currently using cheap China filters which fit the Cokin P holders. They are doing the job but quit often I get a purple color shift in a blue sky. I can fix it in post, but would prefer to have filters without the color shift.

    What filters are you using?
     
  2. poisson rouge

    poisson rouge Mu-43 Regular

    104
    Mar 13, 2013
    I'm having the same problem as you do with the cheap filters for the Cokin P system, looking for viable and cheap alternatives as well.
     
  3. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    There is no answer to your question. Lee is good but not cheap. This is a case where quality costs.
     
  4. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Look into HITECH filters...they appear to be somewhere in the upper-middle bracket of price/performance.

    I've done some long exposures with their big 10-stop Lightstopper ($70)....very happy with the results, a slight purple color cast but nothing compared to what I see others are getting with the cheap filters.
    Keep in mind though....I'm talking the 10 stop filter and 30 to 40 exposures, thats pushing the limits....with their 2,3 or 6 stop filters basically no color cast.
    I think SingRay makes ultra high performance optical glass P-type grads...but with a price to match.

    So yeah...look Hitech up....they are a very good compromise i think.
    If you want a few different types....hard, soft, reverse, varying strengths etc...then I'd say look on eBay for a nice Hitech kit. Decent value.

    Good luck.
     
  5. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Thanks Livnius! The HITECH filters do look good. A pair of three soft-grad filters (0.2, 0.3 & 0.6) sell for about 75€ on Amazon and eBay (in Europe). They are listed as 85mm, though, while the CokinP holders are specified to be 84mm. Do the HITECH filter fit, nevertheless?

    A general question about grad filters: Do you ever use hard edge filters? So far I only had a single soft-grad filter. With the soft edge the lineup of the filter isn't as critical as with a hard edge one, isn't it?
     
  6. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Yeah they fit.

    I just measured my Hitech85 filters and they are 83.5mm.

    I have only 1 hard grad but haven't used it yet but would be well suited for when shooting a perfectly flat horizon (ocean for example). Like yourself I use the soft grads most.

    Just another bit of advice based on my experience. I found that 'reverse' grads have been most useful. It's really useful to have especially if shooting into a very low sun since the darkest area of the filter is in the middle where it changes to clear....in high sun a regular grad is perfect. Also, I found that in all reality, the 1 stop does very little....the 2 stop (ND0.6) and 3 stop(ND0.9) do make a real noticeable difference. Try find a kit option that has those...and if you have can, I'd definitely recommend getting a 2 or 3 stop 'reverse' grad.

    Good luck.

    Btw....I'm actually taking my grads with me this week, hoping to go down the coast for a bit of a shoot.


    Here's a shot with a Hitech 3 stop (Nd0.9) reverse grad. (Soft)
    The sun was very low here and super bright and no matter where I metered from the clouds were getting totally blown out, even when I dialled the EV way down and lost all detail in the mountains the clouds were still blown. The reverse grad saved the shot here and let me get the amount of detail I wanted in the foreground and middle ground without losing the low cloud texture and blue sky.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/livnius/8481767166/" title="Cattle farm beneath Mt Buffalo. by Livnius, on Flickr"> 8481767166_fc44839a61_b. "1024" height="732" alt="Cattle farm beneath Mt Buffalo."></a>
     
  7. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    326
    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Thanks again for your feedback! My current soft-grad filter is a 0.6, but sometimes I have the feeling that I would like a bit more. I probably go for a 0.6 & 0.9

    As for the reverse-grad: Do you only have the 0.9 or a 0.6 as well? In case you have both, which one do you use more often? I imagin that the traditionel sunset does not require a three stop one.
     
  8. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    I have both the 2 and 3 stop.....(I purchased the 6 filter kit).

    If I had to choose only 1 reverse grad I'd probably say the 2 stop.
    2 stops of light blocking is pretty handy for most situations.