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Thread: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

  1. #21

    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Would like to add my review of Haida filters here


    Haida is a relative newcomer to the world of neutral density (ND) filters, but they have been receiving rather rave reviews on several forums and in a UK photography magazine. They caught my eye when I noticed that a photographer friend of mine was using them, and upon further research, the images I was seeing really impressed me. For a very reasonable price, I thought I’d give them a try.

    I’ve always been very interested in long exposure photography, and I’ve had and used quite a number of brands and types of filters over the years. I started out with the Cokin P Series in 2008, moving on to the B+W ND110 in 2010 and finally, after switching to fullframe this year, I started using a combination of Lee and Formatt Hitech slot in filters. The Cokin P filters were relatively affordable, but unfortunately had a very strong magenta cast that was rather unacceptable to me. The B+W 10 stop had a slight yellowish cast, but was neutral enough for my taste, and I would have continued using it had I not switched to using the Nikon 14-24 – a behemoth of a lens that doesn’t accept “normal” filters. I eventually acquired the Lee SW150 holder, and have been using the 150mm Lee filters together with a 10 stop made by Hitech (the Prostop IRND 3.0), as Lee unfortunately does not make a Big Stopper for this filter size.

    I was planning on getting Haida screw in filters to use with my Nikon 24-85 VR (when I bought the filters, 100mm slot-in filters were not available, and as far as I know, Haida does not currently make 150mm filters). Although that lens has a 72mm front thread, I decided to get 77mm filters and use them with a step up ring, as I do have some other lenses that I might occasionally use the filters with, and I generally try to standardize my filter sizes.

    Build Quality and Handling

    In addition to my B+W 10 stop, I also have B+W UV filters on almost all my lenses. So while for the price, I was not really expecting the same nicely finished brass that B+W filters have, I was still interested to see how far off Haida filters were.

    The filters are definitely not in the same league as B+W in terms of build quality, and I have noticed a tendency for the filters to get stuck – they get stuck to the front thread of the lens, to each other when I’m stacking them, and to the step up ring as well. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they always get stuck, they do get stuck often enough for it to be mildly irritating. This issue of getting “stuck” never really occurred with my B+W filters, even when stacking or using them with step up rings.

    As compared to B+W filters, Haida filters are also quite obviously lighter, and not as nicely finished. However, I acknowledge that it is unfair to compare the aluminum ringed Haida filters to the brass B+Ws, and also, the Haidas are much cheaper.

    “Stackability”

    The ability to stack at least two filters without significant vignetting is very important to me, as I need more than 10 stops of ND filters in my long exposure photography. The only way to achieve this is to stack, and one of the reasons I was particularly interested in Haida filters was because they were “slim” while maintaining a filter thread on the front, which is essential for stacking.


    As you can see, the Haida filters – the Slim version at least – is quite a bit slimmer than the standard B+W.

    At the moment, the widest focal length I’ll be using these filters with is 24mm on fullframe. I am also currently using 77mm filters on a 72mm lens (the Nikon 24-85 VR)

    At 24mm, as expected, a single filter poses no issue with regards to vignetting. I suspect this will be the same even on wider focal lengths.

    However, when I stack two filters at 24mm, there is some very pronounced vignetting at the corners. I was a little surprised at this, especially as I had hoped that using a larger filter size would combat this problem.


    It must be said that the vignetting quickly disappeared when I applied lens correction to the image, and that it isn’t extreme to the point that some quick cloning wouldn’t be able to fix it, but should an image have important information in the extreme corners, the vignetting produced by stacking two filters would probably be an issue. Image below shows the same photograph, post-lens correction.


  2. #22

    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Colour Cast and Flare Resistance

    One of the big draws of Haida filters is the supposedly neutral colour rendition as compared to other brands, and I was very impressed at how well the colours held out even in somewhat challenging situations.

    In general, in my experience, I found that Haida filters handled shooting front-lit scenes very well (where the sun was at my back and shining nicely on the subject), with almost no discernible cast. Even when stacked, there was only a very slight, very manageable cast, as shown in the next photograph, where 16 stops of filters were used (10 + 6 stops).


    When it comes to back-lit scenes, the filter, like my other high-strength NDs, fares a little worse, with a slight but manageable cast. The following photograph was taken with 16 stops (10 + 6 stacked).


    I also thought I should include a small comparison to the Hitech Prostop IRND 3.0 (10 stops) stacked with the Lee ND 0.9 (3 stops, not Proglass), for a total of 13 stops. These are 150mm filters, and the image below was front lit, and shot with a Nikon D600 and Nikon 14-24. As you can see, there is a very characteristically Hitech blue cast, which while not unpleasant, is not terribly easy to correct either.


    But what was really impressive was how the Haida filters handled shooting straight into the sun – something I know I really shouldn’t do with ND filters, but which I have done on multiple occasions. The flare resistance of Haida filters appears to be very good, and it manages to maintain a very neutral colour despite the challenging circumstances. The image below was shot straight into the sun with 13 stops (10 + 3 stacked), and in my opinion, the Haida filters handled it with aplomb.


    Conclusions

    Despite some handling annoyances, Haida filters are definitely extremely value for money, producing commendably neutral results even when stacked. If you can get past the fact that it’s (for now anyway) a relatively unknown brand, I think they are worth a look at, and should be taken as serious competition to the more established brands in the market.

    Summary

    Pros:
    - Value for money
    - Extremely neutral rendition, even when stacked
    - Good flare resistance

    Cons:
    - Lower build quality than B+W and other well-known brands
    - Has a tendency to get stuck sometimes
    - Relatively unknown brand

    Notes:
    - Filters were obtained from Photosphere SG http://www.photospheresg.com
    - A version of this review is also on my site, at http://blog.ishootscapes.com/archives/20
    - Additional sample photographs can be found on my long exposure thread, http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1292964
    Last edited by rh89; 13th September 2013 at 01:02 AM.

  3. #23
    Senior Member alwaysjerricky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Congratulations Edutilos,

    Your photo taken with the Haida filter was featured on Haida's Taobao website!



    http://haidaphoto.taobao.com/?spm=20...0126.d3.Cznp3T

    Wonder if they have asked permission from you

  4. #24
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysjerricky View Post
    Congratulations Edutilos, Your photo taken with the Haida filter was featured on Haida's Taobao website! http://haidaphoto.taobao.com/?spm=20...0126.d3.Cznp3T Wonder if they have asked permission from you
    They did not.

    Time to drop them a note.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Any cpl filter review?

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    hi im an amateur with interests in landscape photography. Previously, you mention that instead of using gnds, you blend the photographs using only photoshop and nd filters, which is pretty impressive. would you mind sharing some tips and tricks on how to do that please. Any form help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. #27
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ev0lutionz View Post
    Any cpl filter review?
    Sorry, just saw this.

    Most of my work is done with UWA, which CPLs don't play well with (uneven polarization).

  8. #28
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by xjosephtbr View Post
    hi im an amateur with interests in landscape photography. Previously, you mention that instead of using gnds, you blend the photographs using only photoshop and nd filters, which is pretty impressive. would you mind sharing some tips and tricks on how to do that please. Any form help would be greatly appreciated.
    See here:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=3&theater

    Hope it helps.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Very useful. thnks.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    okay so i thought id buy a few of em to play with and used your method of blending with photoshop and here's what i get.

    ISO:100, F11 at 1, 2 & 3 secs

    www[dot]postimg.org/image/o1oj4cbyh/

    My first try at landscape photography & i kinda forgotten about the white balance and composition. had them corrected in ps. Hopefully im doing it correctly.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by xjosephtbr View Post
    okay so i thought id buy a few of em to play with and used your method of blending with photoshop and here's what i get.

    ISO:100, F11 at 1, 2 & 3 secs

    www[dot]postimg.org/image/o1oj4cbyh/

    My first try at landscape photography & i kinda forgotten about the white balance and composition. had them corrected in ps. Hopefully im doing it correctly.
    This section is for reviews you might want to post your image in the Critique Corner for better feedback
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=78

    Took a quick look at your image... dynamic range doesn't seem too high you may be able to get that in 1 shot instead of bracketing

  12. #32

    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    I'm looking to purchase the ND filter for my 18-135mm lens, I'm thinking between the slot in and screw on, if for the screw on i can go with the 83mm ? as for 100mm will be much more expensive ?

    thanks =)

  13. #33
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by nakamoto View Post
    I'm looking to purchase the ND filter for my 18-135mm lens, I'm thinking between the slot in and screw on, if for the screw on i can go with the 83mm ? as for 100mm will be much more expensive ?

    thanks =)

    If you intend to stack the ND with GNDs, then you should go with the slot-in. If your camera's Live View isn't too good (i.e. it doesn't boost the image too well for recomposing - you can attend one of PHotosphere's outings if you are not too sure of this part), then you should go with the slot-in because it allows you to remove the filters quickly and easily to recompose. Those are 2 reasons I can think of to go for the slot-in.

    If not, my suggestion will be to stick to screw-on, those have zero problems with light leaks and take up a lot less space since you don't have to carry the holder around.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    thanks! i will attend photosphere outing to have a better idea =)

  15. #35
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by nakamoto View Post
    thanks! i will attend photosphere outing to have a better idea =)
    Incidnetally, there's one this evening: https://www.facebook.com/events/6079...egular&fref=nf

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Hey guys sorry I don't know if it is okay to post this here under a review thread..
    I have been asking around a few shops in funan, it seems like non of them is selling Haida filter. May I know which shop sells Haida filters?

  17. #37
    Senior Member alwaysjerricky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henryks View Post
    Hey guys sorry I don't know if it is okay to post this here under a review thread.. I have been asking around a few shops in funan, it seems like non of them is selling Haida filter. May I know which shop sells Haida filters?
    I think only photosphere.sg sells them. It's a reliable online store.

  18. #38
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Life Review of Haida ND Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Henryks View Post
    Hey guys sorry I don't know if it is okay to post this here under a review thread..
    I have been asking around a few shops in funan, it seems like non of them is selling Haida filter. May I know which shop sells Haida filters?
    As far as I know only Photosphere carries them. You can contact them via email as per their webpage: http://photospheresg.com/

    I think FB also can.. Prices are all there, and I understand that there's an ongoing promo for students or something like that.

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