If I had to get just one ND filter, what should it be?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by travelbug, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2014
    I plan on doing some landscape, waterfall and seascape shots and I really just want to bring minimalist gear when I travel. I also know how to fake long exposures and water/sky movement is photoshop bit I want to give using an actual ND filter a try.
    I'll be shooting mostly in tropical areas, where I live and I'll be using an em5 ii for the most part.
    I was thinking of getting a lee 7 stop filter but I'd like to see some suggestions or confirmation if the Lee is indeed the best for a single filter set up.

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  2. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 28, 2013
    This totally depends when when you want to shoot. Towards dusk and dawn you could get away with medium strength ND filters say 3-6 stops while you will need a 10 stop or higher to slow down things in bright sunlight or for dramatic effects. Take a look at a nice Variable ND filter instead from a good company like Heliopan or Marumi if you need a jack of all trades. It can give you about 6-7 stops easily.
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  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I personally ended up with a 6 stop and a 10 stop, but I end up using the 10 stop more often. I think a 6 stop is easily workable though, you can take multiple exposures using the 6 stop and just stack them together to smooth it out even more, as long as you don't have something in the frame that would cause a discontinuity (e.g. a moving vehicle trail).
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  4. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Save some money and look at Haida. Myself, I use a 10 stop.
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  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Ah yip, I got Haida ones...
  6. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2014
    I'll mostly be shooting with the rokinon 12/2 which takes a 67 filter. I read somewhere that ND filters can cause some vignetting. Is it better if I get a bigger size and just use step down rings? If so, what size should I get?
  7. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I know you want to minimize the gear you bring with you, but would one of those velcro 3-filter pouches really add that much to your pack? I ask it because it's extremely difficult to use 1 filter for all types of situations. Personally, I would suggestions picking up a 3, 6, and 10 stop filter. With you, you get 3,6,9,10,13,and 16 stops of ND (when stacking up to two filters).

    A 3-stop filter is very hand for long exposures during blue hour or at night, or for mid-day shoots with a wide aperture. A 6-stop filter is handy for golden hour long exposures. A 10-stop filter is great for mid-day long exposures of waterfalls, or for erasing people from a crowded scene.

    Realistically, there isn't one filter that does everything. And bringing 3 filters over one makes a minimal impact to the size of your kit (we're talking about maybe 1/2 inch of depth).
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  8. Troiks

    Troiks Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Nov 28, 2012

    I have a Nisi filter holder and adapter (for the 7-14) + 3 stop hard graduated ND filter on the way. I am also thinking of getting a 3 stop reverse ND for sunset / sunrise shots. The filter holder has a built in polariser.

    Is it worth having both? I would also like a 'full' ND filter for long exposure shots however at about $250 each i need to choose wisely

    This is my first filter setup so would appreciate any advice / feedback.