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Thread: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

  1. #1
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    Default Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    After looking at the fantastic landscape shots in the "Inspiring Professionals" published by Lee Filters, I am thinking of getting a set of GND filters for my upcoming trips. However, it seems that CP is the only place which carries both the Lee and Cokin systems. I am favouring Lee but the price of the filters is putting me off whereas for Cokin, I have read about the colour cast issue and the extreme difficulty in getting the desired filters.

    Now, I am thinking, with PS able to duplicate the effect, are the GNDND filters still a better choice for landscape shots? I believe in getting the image right in the camera, rather than spending time doing PP, but is the cost in getting a system justifiable? If so, which brand should I go for?

    Please do not comment on getting a CPL as that is a compulsory item

    Wish to hear some opinions from the bros

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    After looking at the fantastic landscape shots in the "Inspiring Professionals" published by Lee Filters, I am thinking of getting a set of GND filters for my upcoming trips. However, it seems that CP is the only place which carries both the Lee and Cokin systems. I am favouring Lee but the price of the filters is putting me off whereas for Cokin, I have read about the colour cast issue and the extreme difficulty in getting the desired filters.

    Now, I am thinking, with PS able to duplicate the effect, are the GNDND filters still a better choice for landscape shots? I believe in getting the image right in the camera, rather than spending time doing PP, but is the cost in getting a system justifiable? If so, which brand should I go for?

    Please do not comment on getting a CPL as that is a compulsory item

    Wish to hear some opinions from the bros
    what gave you the idea that you can duplicate the effect of gnd in photoshop?

    if your highlights are blown, or your shadow details not captured, no amount of ps will give you a gnd effect

    honestly, just start off with tianya first, available from ppcp, i find it ok, and if you worry about colour cast, it is not very noticeable, honestly with some amoutn of tweaking in color balance it can be removed

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Yes, I do realise that once the highlight is blown or the shadow not captured, nothing will be able to save the shot. So you mean it is impossible to duplicate the effect of the GND filter in PS? That is both a good news (just BBB) and a bad news (can cost quite a lot...)

    I have heard about the tianya filter but wonder what stop is available as there seems to be only one type. What's more, it may be equally difficult to get as the Cokin filter
    Last edited by Randius; 28th September 2007 at 08:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Any bro can share what is the equivalent stop for Tianya's gradual grey filter?

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    GND is one filter that cannot be replaced by PP, unless you have a HDR cam.

    And ND is also not possible to be replaced by PP, unless you have a lens that can stop way way way down in aperture....but your pic will be blurred by difraction....

    But bringing and mounting the GND is troublesome lah......
    Last edited by lastboltnut; 2nd October 2007 at 10:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    GND can be done via HDR shooting
    ND can be done as well

    but if what you need is the slower shutter speed, then cannot

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    I used to have this 'dilemma' about purchasing a good set of GND or ND system a few months back. Yes I do agree with you about the back breaking pricetag but look at this it this way, the filter system will stay with you for years. (Unless you are planning to change your camera system e.g. from 35mm to medium format/large format.) It will stay faithful much longer than your DSLR body (some might argue about this but its true to a certain extent).

    I just got myself a Lee filter system which replaces my troublesome Tianya and Cokin system. I must say it's been great shooting with the Lee filters and the results I get are impressive. No nasty color casts or poor quality. Just hassle free and a breeze to use.

    About recreating the GND look in PS, there are some trade offs going by that path. If you are poor at PS skills, the results that you'll get might seem 'unreal'. I got tired mucking around in PS blending and fixing my shots and didn't think twice about investing on a good filter system since then. It is also much easier to do tone blending on a single shot rather than having two or more shots stacked up together.

    I can only vouch for the Lee right now because its a big step up over my previous filter system. Don't really know about the rest, e.g. Singh Ray

    Where to get besides Cathay Photo? Try this site: http://www.robertwhite.co.uk. A good friend of mine ordered ours from them and took only about 2-4 days to arrive. Pricing wise its much more attractive compared to Cathay Photo. I would recommend getting a pool of friends and do a mass order. You can share the shipping costs and taxes.

    Hope that helps. Cheers!
    Last edited by hazmee; 2nd October 2007 at 12:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Thank you hazmee for the advice and I didn't expect an UK website to provide a competitive price! Looks like the GND/ND are indispensable for landscape shots after all

    However, what will be the basic stuffs to start off with for the Lee system?
    Last edited by Randius; 2nd October 2007 at 12:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    I would recommend these:

    1. 0.75 Hard Graduation Lee Resin Graduated Camera Filters - 100x150x2mm
    2. Foundation Kit Filter Holder
    3. Adaptor Ring - Wide angle (choose your filter diameter)

    If you have extra cash to splurge, get these as well:
    4. 100mm Square 'Enhancer'

    For NDs, I would recommend the Tianya ones. Cheap and good. It can fit into your Lee system as well. Unless you're really picky, the Lee Pro ND glass is the best out there.

    I think these should be enough to get you started. Hope that helps.

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    I would recommend these:

    1. 0.75 Hard Graduation Lee Resin Graduated Camera Filters - 100x150x2mm
    2. Foundation Kit Filter Holder
    3. Adaptor Ring - Wide angle (choose your filter diameter)

    If you have extra cash to splurge, get these as well:
    4. 100mm Square 'Enhancer'

    For NDs, I would recommend the Tianya ones. Cheap and good. It can fit into your Lee system as well. Unless you're really picky, the Lee Pro ND glass is the best out there.

    I think these should be enough to get you started. Hope that helps.
    That certainly helps! Thanks hazmee.

    However, I do not see the rationale for spending that much money on the holder. Will the Cokin suffice? If not, what advantages does the Lee holder have over the Cokin one? Also, if I am standardize the filter for all my lenses and meaning getting the CPL from Lee as well, will the system (holder + filter) fit and handle well on small prime lenses like the 24/2.8 or 50/1.4? Can I just get the WA adaptor even for telephoto lenses?

    Sorry for another whole bunch of questions

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    The Lee holder system can be 'upgraded'. You can add or remove the slots using simple screws and attachments (provided). The holder is much easier to install and remove. There's a locking device too.

    Different lenses will have different lens diameter so there's no one size fits all adapter ring. You can purchase additional step down/up rings from local shops here. The wide angle adapter can be used with all lenses that share the same diameter. It is designed primarily to prevent vignetting when used on wide angle lenses e.g. 17-40, 10-22...

    Cheers!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    i am using cokin P121 ..gray gradual but i can live with the color cast and yes..i need them for landscape shots especially sunset/sunrise shots
    :)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    I used to have this 'dilemma' about purchasing a good set of GND or ND system a few months back. Yes I do agree with you about the back breaking pricetag but look at this it this way, the filter system will stay with you for years. (Unless you are planning to change your camera system e.g. from 35mm to medium format/large format.) It will stay faithful much longer than your DSLR body (some might argue about this but its true to a certain extent).

    I just got myself a Lee filter system which replaces my troublesome Tianya and Cokin system. I must say it's been great shooting with the Lee filters and the results I get are impressive. No nasty color casts or poor quality. Just hassle free and a breeze to use.

    About recreating the GND look in PS, there are some trade offs going by that path. If you are poor at PS skills, the results that you'll get might seem 'unreal'. I got tired mucking around in PS blending and fixing my shots and didn't think twice about investing on a good filter system since then. It is also much easier to do tone blending on a single shot rather than having two or more shots stacked up together.

    I can only vouch for the Lee right now because its a big step up over my previous filter system. Don't really know about the rest, e.g. Singh Ray

    Where to get besides Cathay Photo? Try this site: http://www.robertwhite.co.uk. A good friend of mine ordered ours from them and took only about 2-4 days to arrive. Pricing wise its much more attractive compared to Cathay Photo. I would recommend getting a pool of friends and do a mass order. You can share the shipping costs and taxes.

    Hope that helps. Cheers!
    do you know of people already interested in that? i look at the starter kit and wow 135 pounds, which probably adds up to S$400-500. that's a dilemna but i tempted.

    with regards to the adaptor rings, cokin can also be attached and detached to that. cokin cannot change from 1 slot to 3 slot though.

    i have used singh ray before and dirtied it beyond repair. intend to get a jacket to hold filters with ease and convinience, hopefully would not do the same to lee's. and does tianya provide alternatives to lee's in terms of compatible size? becos i hope to have a cheaper alternative for heavier duty use and only use lee's filters in cleaner and more comfortable situation to avoid dirtying them.

    look forward to your reply.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    heya zoosh,

    As of now, I don't know of anyone interested in Lee filters yet. Maybe you can do a mass order enquiry here. I think its due to the hefty price tag which makes people reluctant to purchase it. I can understand why. Who would be crazy enough to pay 400-500 bucks for a piece of plastic, some bolts and nuts. LOL! I might be ordering them sometime end of the year, (hoping to catch some christmas deals) and will definitely keep you in the loop.

    Tianya only offer Cokin P-sized filters only and they only have one type of holder. It is quite a hassle to use. I don't know of any other cost effective solution right now.

    You can get the Lee filter bag which stores your filter collection nicely. Its like a file folder.

    From what I experience, the Lee filters are much easier to clean. Just use the lint-free tissue and some drops of water. I have no worries about getting them dirty now unlike my Tianya or Cokin which becomes sticky after heavy use.

    Hope that helps mate.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Hello Hazmee, can the adapter rings used in the cokin system be reused as well for the lee systems? I am using cokin as well and got the same sticky and colour cast problems.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Hi Berserk,

    They're not compatible I think. The Lee uses a different mount for their filters. See here for more info.

    Lee filter holder
    http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/lee.htm#LabelLeeAdaptor

    Cokin holder
    http://www.cokin.fr/ico15-A.html

    Cheers

  17. #17

    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Thks Hazmee for the info. Btw for those interested in the Lee system, I called up Cathay and confirmed that the adapter rings are different.Cokin ones cannot be used. As for pricing, the foundation kit holder set is $140, the ND filter set of 3 is $410. Forgot to ask about the ring though.

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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    As the prices of Lee and Singh-Ray GNDs are simply out of my budget, I am looking at alternatives (not Cokin/Tianya) and I chanced upon Hitech, does anyone have experience with this brand of GNDs? Pricing wise, it is slightly more expensive than Cokin (for 85mm) but still significantly less than Lee and Singh-Ray. I may be giving it a try if the feedbacks are favourable.
    Last edited by Randius; 28th November 2007 at 11:37 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Would you please show me where to get more info on the Hitech filter?

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randius View Post
    As the prices of Lee and Singh-Ray GNDs are simply out of my budget, I am looking at alternatives (not Cokin/Tianya) and I chanced upon Hitech, does anyone have experience with this brand of GNDs? Pricing wise, it is slightly more expensive than Cokin but still less than 1/3 of Lee and Singh-Ray. I may be giving it a try if the feedbacks are favourable.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is GND/ND filter still important for landscape shots?

    Quote Originally Posted by lastboltnut View Post
    Would you please show me where to get more info on the Hitech filter?

    Thanks.
    Information can be found here

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