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Thread: Graduated Nd Filter

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    New Member Wilfred Strating's Avatar
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    Graduated Nd Filter

    Anyone have experience with inexpensive screw in gray graduated ND filters.
    I have found brands like Haida and Nisi for prices I am prepared to spend.
    I am not keen on getting a holder for slide in filters and have read about colour casts of the cheaper filters. There are not many screw in GND filters available unless I were to spend substantially more.
    I am just asking advice on Haida and Nisi brands and don't want to hear "you get what you pay for" as I don't necessarilly agree with that.
    I haven't been able to find reviews on those that is why I am asking. I usually make a decision on best value benchmarked against other products. Any comments.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Whilst you are not keen for the holder system, it is the only way to go. The screw on filters have the graduation directly in the centre of the circle. So you can compose with your horizon in the centre..that is it. You cannot compose with the sky taking up 2/3rd of the image cause the grad finishes part way up the sky.

    The holder system allows you to slide the grad filter up and down to be where you want the edge of the graduated bit to be in your photo, allowing you to compose your scene in a much more creative way.

    The colourcast you mention is caused by stacking filters together, and is caused by certain light conditions and the way your camera reads white balance in Auto White Balance mode. The camera makes an error when reading white balance due to the filters and the light at the time and creates images with a slight magenta cast. This can be corrected in editing software by manually adjusting the white balance. It does not occur all the time, and is in fact quite rare. I have seen it I think 2-3 times in my photos in the last 10 years or so. The problem is blown right out of proportion.

    So whilst you might be considering screw on grad filters, my advice is don't!
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    I am hoping to get a smooth graduated screw in filter that goes from gray to clear and so the exact horizontal position doesn't quite matter. I am not a professional photographer so I want something that is easier to use than the mounting system and has less components to take on trips. I was really wanting a opinion from someone who has used the filters I mentioned in relation to IQ and colour casting etc.
    I am not interested in having to bring photos into photoshop to correct colour casting.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Strating View Post
    I am hoping to get a smooth graduated screw in filter that goes from gray to clear and so the exact horizontal position doesn't quite matter. I am not a professional photographer so I want something that is easier to use than the mounting system and has less components to take on trips. I was really wanting a opinion from someone who has used the filters I mentioned in relation to IQ and colour casting etc.
    I am not interested in having to bring photos into photoshop to correct colour casting.
    You will be very lucky to find anyone on here who uses the screw on ones. As you have found from your first post, you cannot find reviews on them, simply cause the vast majority of photographers will not use them. The only screw on filter that photographers would use are polarisers and some use a circular ND filter (full cover), but I know hundreds of photographers and not one of them uses the grad screw on ones.
    Last edited by ricktas; 11-03-2015 at 4:01pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    What you're describing is a "soft" graduated neutral density filter, where the gradation varies fairly uniformly across the glass.
    Here is a useful link ABOUT GN filters, and there's an applet that lets you try out various types.
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ty-filters.htm

    However (that word!), where do you get the screw in ones from?? - Just a mention
    in here:
    https://www.australianlight.com.au/b...nsity_filters/

    Am.
    Even a search on "soft graduated ND filters" didn't get far.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    I have used cheap screw-on ND filters and they were fine. No colour cast that I could pick up on.

    Whilst a Graduated ND screw-in filter sounds like an easy option, I tend to agree with Rick. Unless you want to take photos where the graduation starts in the centre of the lens it is going to be a bit limiting. Slide on filters are a bit more fiddly but would produce better results.

    However, do you really need filters anyway? If you bracket three shots - one exposed as per the camera light meter, one over-exposed and one under-exposed - you should be able to blend them in your photo-editing software to get a good result. That said, I have just bought some slide-on filters for landscape photography. I just like fiddling, I guess.
    Andrew




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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The other option is that consider they can be had for under $30 on ebay ( searched the Haida brand), is buy one and see how it works, in the end you either have a good filter that does the job you want it to, or you wasted the cost of a few cups of coffee. It is not like you are investing $hundreds or $thousands in a filter system, like you can do with the filter holders and square filters.

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    You are right there are not many sites selling or reviewing the screw in soft GND filter. I am used to reading and researching what I am after and then making my own decision in regards to best value for my spend. That's why I hate the "you get what you pay for" comment by Pro Photographers because I am not prepared to spend the sort of money of their recommendations. As a amateur photographer I don't want a be lugging around a load of gear hence my choice of filter.
    I have also been researching travel tripods as I don't want some rudy great big thing to lug around. I also purchased a Sigma 18-250 lens that covers most situations so I don't have to have a heap of different lenses to carry around.
    I am still hoping someone has had some experience with the brands of filters I asked about.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Strating View Post
    That's why I hate the "you get what you pay for" comment by Pro Photographers because I am not prepared to spend the sort of money of their recommendations. .
    Sure, BUT (I googled your name), would you recommend I go to someone cheap who offers the services you do professionally? You cannot say you HATE that comment by one profession, then expect others to not do the same in your own? You should be very aware that cheap frequently does not equate to quality, in your line of work.
    Last edited by ricktas; 11-03-2015 at 4:59pm.

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    Hi Wilfred, I am also looking at ND Grad filters and appreciate you not wanting to purchase equipment that is going to add a degree of complexity or spend more than is required.

    Most of the members on this forum will give as much assistance as possible to try and help other members make informed decisions that will give the best options for any given situation. However sometimes what will meet a persons requirements is not always available.

    If we were to say yes option A is great and you get it and are totally disappointed we would end up in your bad books. I will be buying the Cokin "P" Series range of filters not be cause I can't afford the more expensive Lee range but I can't justify the extra expense @ my level but also that the limiting factors of screw in filters was enough for me to see that the slide in filters have much better flexability.

    Have you tried going to a store to try out the different types and get a better feel for the different types so that you can know the differences between the types. At the end of the cay it will still be your choice but at least if you can get out and try them then you will be more informed. As they say if you can try before you buy then try.
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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    I too agree that screw on grad ND filters would be extremely difficult to work with. I do, however, own an 82mm Haida 8 stop ND filter which I am happy with.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I picked up a cokin kit which is similar to the lee. A fraction of the cost of the Lee ($129) but it should do the job for what I want and the ratings on it aren't bad. If I find I am using it often, I may switch to something like Lee but short term, it should do the job.

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    Member red2thebones's Avatar
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    Not sure about the "graduated" version, but here's a review of the Haida "1000x ND"

    I have tried a few filters over the last few years, including very cheap ones (plastic, $10 bought off eBay) and IMHO, you do get what you pay for, to a certain extend.
    While the $10 plastic ones were a complete waste of time and I really regret even trying them, the middle of the range ones ($80-$100) performed well, and to my eyes on par with the more expensive options, for the majority of my usage anyway. Having said that if absolute image quality was required, I'd rather be saving up for the top of the line filters.

    The "easy to use" factor in screw in filter, vs the "more flexibility and better results using a holder system" is another debate altogether.

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