Haida ND 3.0 Review: A Great 10-Stop ND Filter For Under $50

ijm5012

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I started really getting in to photography about a year ago. I started out with an NEX-6 and the 18-55 kit lens, and the 55-210. I really liked the photos that the camera produced, but there were some inherent issues that I didn't like (menus, camera customization, lacking lens line-up), so I sold off my NEX gear, and bought in the m43. Since then, I've aquired quite the collection of gear (2 G6 bodies, FL-360L flash, 5 lenses, etc.), as well as accessories. One thing I've really come to appreciate here recently is long exposure photography, no only at night, but also during the day. The problem with long exposure photography during the day is you either need to stack filters, which leads to vignetting and loss of image quality, or you need to pony up for a 10 stop ND filter.

I had been looking at a number of ND 3.0 filters from a variety of manufacturers (Hoya, Tiffen, B+W), and managed to stumble across a 10 stop filter made by Haida, a company I had never heard of. I did a bit of research, and found a number of positive reviews for their 10 stop filter. I bit the bullet, and ordered one from ebay for under $40, shipped from China (I got a 58mm diameter filter, as it'll fit on my 14-140 II, 12-35, and both primes with a step up ring). The filter came packaged very well. It has a Polypropylene carrying case with foam inside to protect the filter. The carrying case has "Haida" molded in on the front of it. It looks to be exactly like the filter cases you get with a B+W filter.

Below you can see three photos, one without the filter, one with the filter without WB adjustment, and one with the filter with the correct WB adjustment. I didn't do ANYTHING to the photos other than import them in the LR5, and adjust the WB. As the images show, the natural color cast is very mild. It might not even be noticed if it weren't for having a "control" to compare it against. The images were focussed to the right side of concrete walk, where the mulch bed meets the grass. Looking at 100% crops from the images, the filter doesn't seen to affect sharpness at all (look at the detail in the grass and mulch). One thing that is interesting is that it appears to be about 10.5 stops, not 10.0. The initial image was shot at 1/320s, where as with the filter it shot it at 4s. If the initial image was at 1/250s, that would be 10 stops of exposure, but I seem to be getting slightly more than 10 stops (which doesn't both me).

Overall, I am VERY happy with this filter. It'll allow me to take the great, smooth water photos I see all the time, all while saving me at least $40-50 over a similar filter from B+W or Hoya. I would not hesitate to recommend this filter to anyone looking to get a 10 stop ND filter, but doesn't want to pay the price for a Hoya Pro or B+W MRC filter.

Original image, shot without the filter. Focal point is where the gray card is located
View attachment 371156

Image shot with the filter, but with no WB adjustment
View attachment 371157

Image shot with the filter, with WB adjustment taken from the first photo
View attachment 371158
 

jrsilva

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After using a Hoya ND400 (9 stop), I was looking for an extra stop filter and came across the Haida Slim Pro II 10 Stop.
I've also read a few good reviews and so samples, so I've pulled the trigger.
I'm very happy with it. It is sold on a good package (kind of luxury and surprisingly good presentation for the price of the filter compared with other filters).
This is the most thin filter I've ever seen and used, allowing me to use it on the 12mm end of the Olympus 12-50mm zoom + Cokin series A filter older and Grad ND (over the Haida filter).
It produces a slight blue cast, but nothing serious bad, and easy to correct on PP.
 

ijm5012

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jrsilva, yeah it's amazing the difference 1 stop can make in terms of a long exposure photography. The filter I got (Haida Slim Pro II ND 3.0 MRC) is an incredibly thin filter, with no vignetting at 12mm on my 12-35. I bet that I could mount my Panasonic slim CPL on the front of the Haida filter, and give me about a 13 stop reduction in exposure, along with the polarizing effect (which would be fantastic for shooting scenes with water in them). I was quite surprised with it's performance, as the color cast was minimal, and sharpness doesn't appear to be affected at all.

Like you said, the color cast is easily fixable in post (it took me all of 5 seconds), but you just can't beat this filter for the price. It's about $10 cheaper than B+W uncoated filter, and $30 cheaper than the coated one. I've also heard that the B+W filter has a much worse color cast than the one produced by either the Haida or Hoya filters.
 

Wisertime

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Thanks for posting this. I've been wanting to get into a 10stop, but was alarmed at the price for a decent one and read about bad color casting on some brands....I'll have to get one. Have any samples from other scenes in lower light?
 

Etude

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jrsilva, yeah it's amazing the difference 1 stop can make in terms of a long exposure photography. The filter I got (Haida Slim Pro II ND 3.0 MRC) is an incredibly thin filter, with no vignetting at 12mm on my 12-35. I bet that I could mount my Panasonic slim CPL on the front of the Haida filter, and give me about a 13 stop reduction in exposure, along with the polarizing effect (which would be fantastic for shooting scenes with water in them). I was quite surprised with it's performance, as the color cast was minimal, and sharpness doesn't appear to be affected at all.

Like you said, the color cast is easily fixable in post (it took me all of 5 seconds), but you just can't beat this filter for the price. It's about $10 cheaper than B+W uncoated filter, and $30 cheaper than the coated one. I've also heard that the B+W filter has a much worse color cast than the one produced by either the Haida or Hoya filters.
I am currently using the Haida 83mm slot glass filters. Very please with the quality of the filters and the images taken with them.
I also have B+W 10stop ND filter and I find the color cast of B+W warmer compared to Haida 10 stop.
 

darosk

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Sounds like a good deal. I've honestly never dabbled in real long exposures or anything that might require such a strong ND - might get one of these to encourage some inspiration.
 

ijm5012

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Sounds like a good deal. I've honestly never dabbled in real long exposures or anything that might require such a strong ND - might get one of these to encourage some inspiration.
Just go on Flickr, search something along the lines of "10 stop ND", and check out the pictures. Obviously you need to have the eye and framing to capture images like those, but a 10 stop (or more) filter is necessary. I just love the look of a completely smooth lake with a shot taken from a dock.

I'm definitely looking forward to using my Haida filter this summer. For the price, you simply can't beat it.
 

Wisertime

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jrsilva, yeah it's amazing the difference 1 stop can make in terms of a long exposure photography. The filter I got (Haida Slim Pro II ND 3.0 MRC) is an incredibly thin filter, with no vignetting at 12mm on my 12-35..
What's the main difference between the Pro II and the one the OP has?
 

ijm5012

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What's the main difference between the Pro II and the one the OP has?
The Pro II is the one that the OP has (I'm the OP). It's just such a long, drawn out name that I didn't write it all out. They supposedly made some improvements with the glass for the Pro II. If you're interested, make sure you get the slim one, as well as one with MRC.
 

Wisertime

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arggh...I got the regular...looked like the Pro II has Multi coatings as the main difference...but I thought I read somewhere else that gives off more color cast than the coated version?..The slim version seems to only offer 1mm more angle availability...can always crop if it's an issue with stacking. The 52mm was only $24 shipped though..the Pro II was about $38....I'll get a square one probably if this pans out to use with my cokin P sized filter kit, since I have a zillion rings for it.

Decent review here.

http://text.flowtographyberlin.de/neutral-density-filters-are-haida-nd-filters-as-good-as-bw/

As you can see, the B+W doesn’t add any flare at all, while the Haidas do. In fact, there is no difference between the coated and non-coated version. The non-coated version does add a little more haze, though. I misread this in a rush...didn't see the haze part. Not too concerned w/flare.

Even if it’s harder to remove, I don’t really have a problem with the B+W’s color cast. Again, a matter of taste. But if you want neutral, the non-coated Haida is the winner.

SUMMARY


The Haida filters perform excellent otherwise and offer very good value for money.
What’s more, you don’t really need to spend the extra money for the coated version of the Haida. The coating will provide a more difficult sepia color cast, while the flare isn’t really reduced, only a slight amount of haze (see section 3). Then again, this isn’t noticeable at all in standard practical application, as you can see above.
In case you don’t plan on stacking filters, you don’t need the slim version. Even with the standard (non-slim) versions of Haida and B+W, you can get down to 16 mm without the filter frame getting in the image. At that focal length, you’re more bugged by the vignetting of the ND filters, which is pure physics and not a lack of quality (see section 5).
When stacking filters, the slim version gives you only 1 mm more focal length than the standard version. Since B+W and Haida have the same frame dimensions, this will also be valid should B+W ever release an XS-Pro (=slim) version of their ND 3.0 filter.
 

sgt08

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I'm torn between just getting one round filter at a large size (maybe 62mm in case I ever get the Oly 12-40), or getting the even larger Cokin P compatible square ones in case I want to also use a graduated filter... Either way these sound like a good price/performance option.
 

zippo88

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Do these Haida filters have female threads on the front. Online shopping images are difficult to see.
 

ahinesdesign

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I've used the Haida Slim Pro II MRC, B+W XS-Pro, and Formatt Hitech Firecrest 10-stop ND filters. The differences between them are very minor, yet the price difference is drastic. Haida is by far the best value. There doesn't seem to be a truly neutral 10-stop filter available, as they all have slight (or in some cases not so slight) color cast.
 

jyc860923

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Haida is a quite decent Chinese brand and I have the ND 1.8 58mm, which is a 6 stop ND. It's sold in China for about 27 Dollars, but I can see some colour shift with my ND6 attached.
 
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