Regarding CPL / ND / GND Filter


Jia Yuan

New Member
Apr 14, 2014
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#1
I love landscape photo and recently i plan to grab some filter probably ND or GND filter, understand that Lee Filter is very famous and good but the price is quite expensive. May i know isn't worth to grab? Or there is another alternative choice which is cheaper than Lee filter but outcome also good? And how many step down is suggest to take?
 

richiemccaw1

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2013
3,103
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Singapore
#2
There would have been quite a few threads extolling the virtues of the Haida filters. I havent used one myself but so many people cant be wrong. Offers a real good balance of quality and cost. Most of these are screw-on filters though. http://photospheresg.com/

However if you are using a mirrorless set-up, it may not be as easy for you to use filters in the traditional filter sizes. In which case you may have to consider the Lee Sev5n series which is slightly cheaper than the normal Lee range.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#3
I love landscape photo and recently i plan to grab some filter probably ND or GND filter, understand that Lee Filter is very famous and good but the price is quite expensive. May i know isn't worth to grab? Or there is another alternative choice which is cheaper than Lee filter but outcome also good? And how many step down is suggest to take?
for this question, that is really up to individuals, depends on how each individuals justify between the cost and their photography works, so nobody can answer you except yourself.

how many step down? what lens/filter thread you have and how many?

take a look at the most informative sticky thread, you may find many useful information here.

[h=3]Newbie Guide to Filters[/h]
 

SilverPine

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2007
4,539
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#4
As catchlights mention, it is good to read up the the thread "Newbie Guide to Filters".

I had Lee big stopper, GND soft and hard, Haida ND filter 6 & 10 stops (screw on filter type), and Hitech GND filter hard and soft. It is more toward personal preference and usage for individual, but I prefer to use Haida screw on ND filter with Hitech GND filter. If I need to answer what will be worth for money and easy to PP, I would recommend screw on ND filter from Haida, GND filter would be Hitech. Please refer to my following sunset landscape thread which document the camera, lens and type of filters used for each individual sunset landscape photo taken, hope this will help.

Beautiful Sunset Today
 

SkyStrike

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2010
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Somewhere
#6
And how many step down is suggest to take?
Do you mean, how many "stops" instead? In the market, it ranges from 3, 4, 6, 10 stops. And depending on the intensity of the available light, you will choose your ND differently.

But my recommendation for those who wants to venture into ND filters, but not very sure, I'll recommend the 6 stop ND which is kinda more versatile than 3 and 10 stops.


And for the cost concious...
The screw-in (round) type is usually cheaper than the slot in (square filters) type. But, for the screw-in ones, putting adding a GND will be more troublesome, and at times, It may even introduce hardware vignetting if the ND is too thick.
 

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tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
3,660
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#7
I am using the 100mm Haida 3(0.9) and 10(3.0) stops ND filters plus the Lee Big Stopper and these are all I ever need for my landscapes photography.

Time to time, I may borrow a Lee GND soft(0.6 or 0.9) from a friend whom I always shoot with but it is really for fun sake.

I also have the HiTech GND kit set but I quit using them due to the colour cast exhibited, especially when stacking 2 filters.

IMO, Haida has the most neutral colour cast, followed by Lee, which is why I always reach for the Haida first.
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
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#8
Haida! Haha. Anyway, just to add on, i feel that 3/6/10 stops are more or less equally important to me. But I think i use 3 and 6 stops more. I find that GND is more important, and for that, I mostly use 4 stops GND (which some may find too strong) and unfortunately only LEE has that.
 

Mythmaker

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2011
1,022
2
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Buangkok MRT
#9
I'm not sure about the 6 stops, I find it nowhere near nor there. The only filter I ever used is my big stopper and my 0.9 GND (for star trails to darken foreground). The rest all the filters are kept in the box ~.~
 

SilverPine

Senior Member
Jul 8, 2007
4,539
6
38
Singapore
#10
Haida! Haha. Anyway, just to add on, i feel that 3/6/10 stops are more or less equally important to me. But I think i use 3 and 6 stops more. I find that GND is more important, and for that, I mostly use 4 stops GND (which some may find too strong) and unfortunately only LEE has that.

Hitech have the 4 stops GND, for normal day time landscape I found it too strong for the sky. Anyway nice reminder I should use it for the sunset landscape. Thanks.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
3,660
10
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#11
IMO 3 and 6 stops ND filters are especially useful during golden hour and or situations when the light changes really fast.

I prefer using the 3 stops ND as I normally will use the aperture as a control point and stop it down for longer exposure.

To each his own, TS you have to determine how you like to shoot, depending on your style and or gear limitations, and from there you will know what kind of filters to buy.
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
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Singapore
#12
Hitech have the 4 stops GND, for normal day time landscape I found it too strong for the sky. Anyway nice reminder I should use it for the sunset landscape. Thanks.
With regards to the 4 stops GND filter, I have an example from this morning, where I stacked Haida 10 stops ND filter and LEE GND1.2 soft (4 stops). Not a very well done photo, but I guess it shows that it is usable for normal day time landscape. One may suggest that the output appears too strong. However, I feel this is more to do with the dismal light after sunrise as the sun was hiding behind a thick and tall piece of cloud.

I had tried without the filter, or with 3 stops GND. I find that without the GND, the contrast is too large, so I needed to balance the exposure if I want to nail each frame of the panorama in a single shot.

For TS consideration, this is a panorama image but no digital blending was done. Taken 1 hour after sunrise (about 8 am), ISO200, f8, 1 minute exposure for each of the 4 frames of the panorama.

 

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