Soft results using Hitech filters?


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Aug 10, 2007
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#1
Hi everyone,

I'm using these Hitech 100mm filters:
1. Pro 10 stop ND
2. GND0.9 soft
on a Lee foundation kit.

For the first time this morning, I brought them out to test and see the kind of results they produce with my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 on a Nikon.
To be honest, I was quite disheartened for the following two reasons:
1. It turns out that vignetting occurs at 11mm, although it disappears at about 12mm.
2. When the filters are stacked, they produce very soft results. Sharpness is absolutely horrendous.

I'm very new to using filters and I understand that I might be doing something wrong here. But:
1. How can I get rid of the vignetting?
2. Does anyone have the same experience with the soft results when stacking? If yes, what do you do? I had 10ND in inner slot and 0.9GND on the outer slot.

Your expert help and advice are very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#2
was your camera on AF or MF?
How did you fire off your shot?
Can you post a sample of your resulting picture here? The one that is not sharp with the vignetting.
 

MatCh

New Member
Aug 2, 2007
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#3
1) Have you tried without the Hitech filter?
Vignetting in your case can be caused by 2 things:
- the filter holder
- gasket from the Hitech filter

2) Yes. Soulution: Don't stack filters.
 

Sgdevilzz

Senior Member
May 16, 2010
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#4
Stacking obviously causes IQ to drop. Especially with a 10 stop.
 

ywh

Member
Aug 12, 2002
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#5
I have stacked both Hitech and Lee filters on the Big stopper and there is very little if any sharpness loss. Are you shooting wide open? What were your shooting conditions, lowlight, bright daylight?

I reckon a 100% of your image file will explain things sufficiently. A 100% crop from both the centre and corners will be better.

There have been situations where 3 filters have been used and I have seen these huge prints and it was excellent in quality so I doubt it's the glass/resin issue.
 

edutilos-

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Dec 28, 2010
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#6
I have no issues stacking 10 stop + GND for the longest time...

I suspect this is user error, some possible issues that might affect IQ:

1) No covering of VF
2) No self-timer to ensure pushing the shutter button doesn't move the camera
3) Improper tripod set-up
4) Improper focus technique (need to prefocus/hyperfocal/infinity, depending)

Btw, I haven't used Lee Foundation filter holder, but I use P series (smaller than 100mm) filters and I have no vignetting issues, so I'd say you're doing something wrong. Is the filter holder visible in frame? If so - I'm not familiar with Lee but I think you can adjust the number of filters you can put (by removing slots)... That should help if you haven't already done so. You aren't using a FF camera, are you?
 

Last edited:
Aug 10, 2007
86
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Singapore
#7
was your camera on AF or MF?
How did you fire off your shot?
Can you post a sample of your resulting picture here? The one that is not sharp with the vignetting.
1. It was on AF.
2. At first, I self pressed the shutter release button. Later on, however, I used a remote to trigger the release.
3. Some sample shots. Sorry, I did not take any shot with the vignetting visible. But I am sure I did see it from my viewfinder.





The above were taken with stacked filters. The one below was taken using just GND.

 

edutilos-

Senior Member
Dec 28, 2010
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#8
Your camera isn't able to focus because you have placed a black piece that blots out the sun in front of it.

Have you tried taking a shot with the lens cap on? You'll just end up with MFD (minimum focusing distance) when the camera gives up trying to focus in pure desperation. That's akin to what you're doing here - please either:

a) prefocus, i.e. do AF without the 10 stop filter, then change to MF on tripod and take the shot
b) set focus to infinity
c) set focus to hyperfocal distance (best)
 

Aug 10, 2007
86
0
0
Singapore
#9
1) Have you tried without the Hitech filter?
Vignetting in your case can be caused by 2 things:
- the filter holder
- gasket from the Hitech filter

2) Yes. Soulution: Don't stack filters.
1. Yes, just tried. Looks like vignetting occurs even without the filters on. See what I mean:

A. With just the Lee 77mm ring adapter for the filter holder on.


B. And with the filter holder on as well.
 

ywh

Member
Aug 12, 2002
291
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#12
Threadstarter.

Do use MF for landscapes and read up on hyperfocal focusing as well.

For your "room" shots, what aperture were you using? If you were shooting at f/2.8, it could jolly be severe light falloff which is easily solved if you stop down the aperture. If you were using a small aperture, then perhaps you are using the normal 77mm Lee filter ring? You should be using the SWA (Super Wide Angle) ring with the wide angles and not the normal ring. Lastly, if you are using a UV filter, that will have the filter ring sit even further out from the lens elements and vignetting will definitely be an issue. Remove the filter and you should do fine (provided you are using a SWA ring).
 

Last edited:
Aug 10, 2007
86
0
0
Singapore
#13
I have stacked both Hitech and Lee filters on the Big stopper and there is very little if any sharpness loss. Are you shooting wide open? What were your shooting conditions, lowlight, bright daylight?

I reckon a 100% of your image file will explain things sufficiently. A 100% crop from both the centre and corners will be better.

There have been situations where 3 filters have been used and I have seen these huge prints and it was excellent in quality so I doubt it's the glass/resin issue.
I went out to shoot this morning around 7AM with the sun just rising out of the horizon. I have posted some shots for all to see. I've seen pictures myself like the ones you mentioned. I certainly hope it's not the glass/resin issue. I've read so much to a point where I'm kinda blur as there have been too many things written/said on this topic and am not sure who to believe. Thanks for your input.
 

Aug 10, 2007
86
0
0
Singapore
#14
A quick search reveals that there is a WIDE ANGLE VERSION for the Lee ring adaptor.

Are you using Standard or Wide Angle?

http://www.leefilters.com/camera/products/finder/ref:C475678743F577/
Yes I've got the WA version. "Lens Adaptor Ring 77mm W/A" is what it says on the box.

Threadstarter.

Do use MF for landscapes and read up on hyperfocal focusing as well.

For your "room" shots, what aperture were you using? If you were shooting at f/2.8, it could jolly be severe light falloff which is easily solved if you stop down the aperture. If you were using a small aperture, then perhaps you are using the normal 77mm Lee filter ring? You should be using the SWA (Super Wide Angle) ring with the wide angles and not the normal ring. Lastly, if you are using a UV filter, that will have the filter ring sit even further out from the lens elements and vignetting will definitely be an issue. Remove the filter and you should do fine (provided you are using a SWA ring).
Think we can all say that for the soft results, the problem is my own lack of experience. I shall read up on the hyperfocal distance focus and remember to MF for landscapes!

Yes, the vignetting disappears after removing the UV filter I had on all the time! Again it's a user problem :sweat:

Anw, thanks very much to you and edutilos- for your expert help and advices! Hope to get better shots next time! Cheers!
 

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