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  • ND Filters

    I was about to invest in some ND filters and wanted to seek some advice in this area.
    A friend of mine has some Lee hard filters. They are alarmingly expensive for a piece of resin, but I'm happy to hunt around for a bargain and invest in them if they're worth the added expense (over say Cokin).
    Also, would a hard filter be better than a soft filter or do I really need both?
    Thans in advance for your advice!

    Rutwij
    E510, E5, EM-5, many ZD and m.zuiko lenses and Bigma

    My FLICKR

  • #2
    Re: ND Filters

    A kit like the one here is a good place to start and it works out much cheaper than individual purchases. I bought the 85mm (equivalent to Cokin P) kit and then added a metal holder and a couple of individual filters, I am very happy with the quality.
    Iain

    E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5 II, 7.5, 8-18, 12-40, 25, 40-150, 45, 60, 300

    Website
    Flickr

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    • #3
      Re: ND Filters

      I might add that I went for this kit on the recommendation of another forum member Stoates and a local professional photographer who preferred the bigger 100mm filters, but that would have been too much money!
      I have a couple of old soft edge grads (Kood I think was the make), but I am now conveted to hard edged and opted for the Hitech ones as they are longer offering more 'range' where the Koods were square.
      I hope this helps?
      Iain

      E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5 II, 7.5, 8-18, 12-40, 25, 40-150, 45, 60, 300

      Website
      Flickr

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ND Filters

        Are these the same filters Iain?

        http://www.teamworkphoto.com/hitech-...1115_1104.html

        Greg
        My Flickr Home Page

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        • #5
          Re: ND Filters

          Originally posted by IainMacD View Post
          I might add that I went for this kit on the recommendation of another forum member Stoates and a local professional photographer who preferred the bigger 100mm filters, but that would have been too much money!
          I have a couple of old soft edge grads (Kood I think was the make), but I am now conveted to hard edged and opted for the Hitech ones as they are longer offering more 'range' where the Koods were square.
          I hope this helps?
          Thanks Iain. I saw Kood and Hitech in addition to Cokin as cheaper alternatives to Lee. Have you noticed a difference in quality of images between these? I'm guessing from your reply that "range" refers to the positioning of the edge in grad filters in the image to allow for larger or smaller skies. Is that accurate?

          Rutwij
          E510, E5, EM-5, many ZD and m.zuiko lenses and Bigma

          My FLICKR

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ND Filters

            Hard edged work better if you've got straight horizons. You can mix weak hard and soft edged filters to give you an effect between the two.
            It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it.

            David M's Photoblog

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            • #7
              Re: ND Filters

              Originally posted by gregles View Post
              Are these the same filters Iain?

              http://www.teamworkphoto.com/hitech-...1115_1104.html

              Greg
              Yes they are. I have seen Formatt dealing through Amazon market place too, but I think there only the 2 Hitech dealers in the UK.
              Iain

              E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5 II, 7.5, 8-18, 12-40, 25, 40-150, 45, 60, 300

              Website
              Flickr

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ND Filters

                Originally posted by rutwij View Post
                Thanks Iain. I saw Kood and Hitech in addition to Cokin as cheaper alternatives to Lee. Have you noticed a difference in quality of images between these? I'm guessing from your reply that "range" refers to the positioning of the edge in grad filters in the image to allow for larger or smaller skies. Is that accurate?

                Rutwij
                Spot-on with the explanation of the 'range'. I seem to have to do less colour correction with the Hitechs than I did with the Koods.
                Below is an example of a recent image I posted on the forum, I used a .45 (1.5 stop) hard edged grad aligned along the far shore to balance the exposure of the reflection with the original sky and hills. This was another lesson learned from the professional tog I mentioned above (Ian Cameron - Transient Light), water reflections are nearly always 1.5 stops darker than the original

                Iain

                E-M1, E-M1 II, E-M5 II, 7.5, 8-18, 12-40, 25, 40-150, 45, 60, 300

                Website
                Flickr

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ND Filters

                  Further to the advice you have been given already; as Iain MacD said I have been using Hitech filters for some time now and am perfectly happy with the image quality. I have both hard and soft and have changed from using predominantly soft to almost always using the hard edge filters (assuming there is a natural horizon line).

                  From my experience;

                  1. The .3 filters hard or soft are not really worth having unless you are going to combine them with another for a stronger effect.

                  2. If you use ultra wide angle it might be worth biting the bullet and going for the 100mm rather than the 85mm system. I use the Hitech modular holder and have it set up to hold 2 filters. I suffer some vignetting with focal lengths 9-11mm. It may be worth looking at an additional single filter holder for wide work if you need to get the 85mm system. If I was starting from scratch knowing what I know now I would have bought into the 100mm.

                  3. My recommendation on a good starter set set would be - Hard .45, .6, .9 Soft .6

                  4. It is possible (and much cheaper) to use Cokin/Kood P Series filter holders. I used these for some time but they became useless once I had bought an 8 stop ND due to light leakage. The Hitech holder, though quite expensive in comparison is well built and recommended (though I did need to source some new brass screws as the ones provided are too long for the 'two slot' option I'm using).

                  Happy to answer any specific questions you may have - good luck with your choice.
                  Steve

                  E-M1 Mk II, E-5, E-510, 9-18mm f4-5.6, 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II, 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD, 5omm f2, EC-14, 14-42mm, 40-150mm, Velbon GEO E640L/PHD64Q, METZ 48 AF-1

                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoates/

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                  • #10
                    Re: ND Filters

                    Thanks Steve. Much appreciated!
                    Lee holders seem to have the option to use the lens filter screw to attach the holder. Does usage of the brass screw fixture not damage the paint on the lens?
                    Have you had experience using the big stopper? Would it be worth investing in one?
                    E510, E5, EM-5, many ZD and m.zuiko lenses and Bigma

                    My FLICKR

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ND Filters

                      It's all been said really.
                      I hjave a Lee holder and a couple of ND filters but they are very rarely used. I do have a tendency to take images very early or very very late and then I find a.9 ND grad is all I need. But I can count the times I've used one on my one hand perhaps I should use it more often.
                      With the cheaper ones from Cokin and Kood I have noticed lots of people on the workshops getting very unpleasant colour casts.
                      This means messing about in camera with white balance adjustments or the same in Aperture/Lightroom etc.


                      "Always shoot in RAW and avoid JPEGs"

                      William Shakespeare.

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                      • #12
                        Re: ND Filters

                        So does this mean that Hitech filters are as good as Lee when it comes to quality of images (white balance/ colour casts)?
                        E510, E5, EM-5, many ZD and m.zuiko lenses and Bigma

                        My FLICKR

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ND Filters

                          Originally posted by rutwij View Post
                          Thanks Steve. Much appreciated!
                          Lee holders seem to have the option to use the lens filter screw to attach the holder. Does usage of the brass screw fixture not damage the paint on the lens?
                          Have you had experience using the big stopper? Would it be worth investing in one?
                          I have not owned one but the screws hold the filters in place and stop the holder from rotating but I dont think they touch the lens. I may be wrong.
                          Look HERE

                          Originally posted by rutwij View Post
                          So does this mean that Hitech filters are as good as Lee when it comes to quality of images (white balance/ colour casts)?
                          There is little in it from what I have seen at some point I need larger better quality filters myself. There is long waiting list for Lee filters.
                          OMD E-M1 OMD E-M5II MMF3 12-40 pro 12-50 EZ 14-42 EZ 9-18 f4.0 -5.6 40 -150f4-f5.6 R 60mm f2.8 macro Sigma 105 f2.8 macro Holga 60mm plastic Holga pinhole lens lens and a XZ-1 Olympus - 35 SP Trip 35 Pen EEs OM2sp

                          I nice view does not mean a good photograph. My FLickr

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                          • #14
                            Re: ND Filters

                            Well I certainly find them very acceptable in performance. Lee are great filters and may probably be the very best but I've dropped a couple and seen no end slip through very cold fingers on workshops to smash and or get badly scratched.
                            Hi Tec seem to offer excellent performance at a good price.


                            "Always shoot in RAW and avoid JPEGs"

                            William Shakespeare.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: ND Filters

                              Thanks guys. All of your inputs did help me a lot!
                              E510, E5, EM-5, many ZD and m.zuiko lenses and Bigma

                              My FLICKR

                              Comment

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