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Thread: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

  1. #1

    Default Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Besides our trusty tripod, landscape photographers would oftentimes carry a set of filters - be it slot-ins or screw-ons. For me, I opted for the former as I felt they provide more versatility in positioning the filters, especially the graduated neutral density (GND) ones. I've been using a mixture of Lee and Hitech 100mm slot-in filters for my main landscape lens - the Nikon 17-35mm - and was almost certain that Lee filters pack the most bang for the buck in the areas of resolution and colour casts, especially when compared with Hitech filters, so I was curious about how the Haida filters would match up against the venerable Lee system. Since I had issues with colour casts with my Hitech filters, especially when stacked, I was initially skeptical of the Haida filters. Nevertheless, I was eager to see how they performed, so I contacted Photosphere, and they kindly provided me with the Haida 3 and 10 stop slot-in ND filters.

    As such, I will be performing this review by comparing them directly with the filter kit I currently carry with me when shooting scapes. As I do not have a Lee 0.9 (3 stop) ND filter (or their more expensive Proglass counterpart), I will be comparing the Haida 3 stop filter with my Lee 0.9 GND reversed, in order to use the dark top half of the GND as a full ND filter.

    Overview of the Filters
    The Haida ND filters came packaged in a plastic box, much larger than their 100mm full ND filters (they seem to fit 150mm by 100mm filters, which possibly might be released in the future). Wrapped in a Haida lint-free cloth, they seemed reasonably well-protected against accidental knocks. Both the Haida 3 and 10 stop filters came with a stick-on gasket, which you may opt to apply onto the filter. I was also glad that both of them are made of optical glass, as glass filters fare much better optically than their resin counterparts, and they scratch much less easily. However, they are quite brittle, and would not handle a drop too well, unlike the resin ones.

    I do wish that the Haida filters would come packaged in a soft pouch, like the Lee filters, as carrying the plastic filter holders they come in would be pretty inconvenient and cumbersome. As I had the Lowepro S&F filter pouch, this wasn't much of an issue for me as I usually carry my filters around using the pouch.

    I'd also reckon that the Haida slot-in filters are multicoated (correct me if I'm wrong), since their circular screw-on counterparts do feature multicoating. As such, I was pleasantly surprised that fingerprints and marks are easily wiped off with the included cloth or a piece of cotton wool, unlike the notorious Hoya ND400.

    Filter Specifications
    Material: Schott Optical Glass
    Dimensions: 100mm by 100mm square
    Compatibility: Fits Lee and Hitech holders, and perhaps most holders designed for the 100mm filter system


    Haida 3 stop filter package. Clockwise from top: plastic case, 3 stop ND filter, stick-on gasket and cleaning cloth.


    Lee Big Stopper on the left and Haida 10 stop ND on the right. Third-party DoFilters 100mm holder on the top.

    Comparison with Lee Filters

    As I don't have a test chart at home, I thought I'd shoot something from outside my window instead, so please forgive the ugly scene! To test how much of an impact the filters would have on resolution, I cropped a portion (highlighted in red) to see the effect of each filter on the image. I used a Nikon D800E with a Nikon 85mm f/1.4D lens at f/8, ISO 100 on cloudy white balance. Tripod and head used was a RRS-TVC-33 and an Arca-Swiss B1, so there shouldn't be any issues with camera shake here. For each exposure, I locked the mirror up before firing the shutter with a wireless remote.


    Test scene with crop box.

    From the results of the test images below, I see no major loss in image quality when the scene was shot with the Haida filters, which was rather pleasantly surprising. It was good to note that the Haida filters held up against their Lee counterparts very well. Even more surprising was that the Haida filters were very neutral (or at least, very slightly warm), especially the 10 stop! This was a first for me as all the heavy stoppers I had used in the past (Hoya ND400 and Lee Big Stopper), exhibited a very strong blue cast (especially the Lee). Although not difficult to correct (I usually use the white balance picker tool), I was happy to know that the Haida filter needed even less correction, if at all.


    Images in this order: No filters, Haida 3 stop, Lee 0.9 GND reversed for top half, Haida 10 stop and Lee Big Stopper. Full-res images could be found here.
    Last edited by Scintillation; 12th September 2013 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    The full scene:


    Images in this order: No filters, Haida 3 stop, Lee 0.9 GND reversed for top half, Haida 10 stop and Lee Big Stopper. Full-res images could be found here.

    I also corrected the white balance for each of the images in Lightroom to see how they would respond to colour correction. As expected, the Lee filters are corrected very easily in post. When compared to the corrected image without filters, both the Haida 3 and 10 stop corrected images exhibited a slight blue shift, which should be easy to correct in post. However, ever since I used them, I rarely do any more white balance correction, as I generally lean towards warmer-looking images.


    Images in this order: No filters, Haida 3 stop, Lee 0.9 GND reversed for top half, Haida 10 stop and Lee Big Stopper. Full-res images could be found here.

    My Haida 10 stop filter seemed to be also slightly stronger than its stated strength by about half a stop, which I do not find an issue. I would either bring up the exposure in post or expose to compensate accordingly.


    Images in this order: No filters, Haida 10 stop +0eV, Haida 10 stop +0.5eV. Full-res images could be found here.

    More to come!

    Recommendations
    Definitely highly recommended, considering the price point of the filters. The Haida filters do indeed give Lee a good run for their money, and make a great back-up, or even a replacement, to a Lee system. Indeed, it is rare to come across such a system which is both relatively affordable and offers top-of-the-line performance. Those interested in owning a set should approach Photosphere in Clubsnap or PM them through their Facebook page.

    Links
    Photosphere main page: http://photospheresg.com/
    Photosphere Facebook Page: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=186
    Edutilos' review of Haida screw-on ND filters: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1265784
    Last edited by Scintillation; 12th September 2013 at 02:39 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Sample Images:

    Most of these sample images are shot with the Haida filters stacked with my Lee filters. As you can see, the colour casts are indeed pretty manageable.


    Haida 10 stop filter + Lee 0.6 GND soft for skies, 134s, f/8, ISO100, 17mm



    Haida 3 stop filter + Lee 0.6 GND soft for skies, 30s, f/10, ISO50, 17mm, panorama of 5 images



    Haida 10 stop filter + Haida 3 stop filter stacked, 174s, f/8, ISO100, 17mm



    Haida 3 stop filter + Lee 0.9 GND soft for skies, 25s, f/7.1, ISO100, 17mm



    Haida 6 stop filter + Lee 0.6 GND soft for skies, 96s, f/9, ISO200, 17mm
    Last edited by Scintillation; 24th November 2013 at 09:47 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Reserve #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Reserve #5

  6. #6

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Reserve #6

  7. #7

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Only available in 3 and 10 stops for now?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by tecnica View Post
    Only available in 3 and 10 stops for now?
    Yeap. 6 stops will be coming soon, perhaps next month. Can contact Photosphere to confirm.

  9. #9
    Senior Member yyD70S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Great reviews, Scintillation.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Hope they do produce and bring in RGNDs in future too.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Thanks, it's my pleasure! You can check out my page for another comparison, this time with the Haida 10 and 3 stop stacked, versus the Lee Big Stopper over here. I'll update the thread with newer images and tests whenever I can.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Updated thread with more examples.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    does it have cpl filter?
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    Nikon Minolta Panasonic User

  13. #13
    Senior Member alwaysjerricky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by kitaro9202 View Post
    does it have cpl filter?
    I believe it only has cpl for the screw in filters and not for the square ones.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Yes, Haida do have screw-on circular polarisers. They do not have square slot-in linear polarisers though, but those won't work well with digital anyway.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Hi, nice pics and thanks for the review review.

    Just a quick check, I understand your Nikon 85mm f/1.4D comes with a filter thread of 77mm. Does the adapter supports 82mm filter thread lenses as well?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    The third-party 100mm filter holder I'm using currently is based off the Lee's design, so there are adapters available for all thread sizes unless you are using one of those unusually wide lenses, such as the Nikon 14-24. You should be able to find an adapter that will fit your lens.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Scintillation View Post
    The third-party 100mm filter holder I'm using currently is based off the Lee's design, so there are adapters available for all thread sizes unless you are using one of those unusually wide lenses, such as the Nikon 14-24. You should be able to find an adapter that will fit your lens.
    is it good? any link for me to check on?

    I am looking at tianya but i also read that it isn't that good

  18. #18

    Default Re: Comprehensive Review of Haida Slot-In Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders View Post
    is it good? any link for me to check on?

    I am looking at tianya but i also read that it isn't that good
    Mine's a DoFilters holder. You can get them from Orient Photo. It's made of plastic, but it is plenty stable.

    If you want a more sturdy option, you can look at the ProGrey ones that TKFoto stocks.
    Last edited by Scintillation; 24th November 2013 at 09:48 AM.

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