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Thread: Natural density filters

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    Natural density filters

    i am looking at buying some ND filters, i have been looking at the lee filter system because i have been told its the best.
    my question is does any one have experience with ND filters and what is the best grad to start with....¿? because buying every one is way too much.
    also hard or soft grad...¿?

    any knowledge would be good before i buy...
    cheers warhammer...

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    I´m looking on buying some ND filters myself so I´ll wait for what comes out from this post first. I have read a little and plan to get a 0,3 and 0,6 filters that also gives the posibillity of stacking them for less light, I believe I will be able to shoot fully lid waterfalls with that arrangmet.
    Regarding brands or tipes of filters no idea, should they be MC like the polarizers?

    PD: I believe they are called Neutral Density, not Natural...
    regards

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    your correct.. its late and im not thinking strait ..... will try and change that....DOH..

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    with regard to your specific questions
    ND : I would go 2-3 stops (0.6-0.9 lee or ND4, ND8) - the lee NDs feel very solid and I would recommend them - they have no cast and are quite scratch resistant compared to even Singh Ray. If you plan on doing alot of wide angle shots, I would stay away from screw on ND filters because you won't be able to get right out to 10mm on a crop sensor.

    GNDs : Lee and Singh Ray are comparable though I prefer the Lee ones because I've had no issues with casts with them. (Stacked Singhrays still give me a cast). A cheaper alternative is hitech filters though they feel flimsier, scratch easier and also give a cast when stacked. In terms of strength, the most frequently used of my filters for landscapes would have to be a 2 stop hard (0.6) and 3 stop soft (0.9) - 1 stop GNDs would be have to be only for pretty subtle changes of light and I haven't found myself in a situation where I've thought to myself - gee , if only I had a 1 stop in my kit . On the other hand, my wife and I also share a 4 stop soft GND which she uses religiously. If you plan on doing mainly sunsets and sunrises over straight horizons, a 3 stop hard or a 3 stop reverse GND could be considered too.

    A word about Cokin : you hear alot about purple casts from their NDs and GNDs - I've never used them myself but I do know a couple of people who do and don't get the cast. Perhaps its a quality control issue.

    Hope that was helpful.
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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    Singh Ray/Hitech/Lee assorted filters, Z pro modified system Cokin holder
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    thanx dawn lurker.. some helpful info for sure.
    i think that the more i hear what people think of Lee filters the more i want to go that way...
    have you used the big stopper.... ?

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    Yes, the Lee are the best. And despite it being in the Uk, the cheapest place I have found for them is Teamwork Digital. I have the set of 3x soft ND grads at .3, .6. and .9 (1, 2 & 3 stops). I also have some solid Cokin ones and they are fine on their own, i beleive it is when you start stacking them you get the cast.

    I plan to get some more Lee filters but it's a budget for them situation here!
    Odille

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    I don't have lee's big stopper but that's also pretty good if you are into long exposures.
    cheaper alternatives include the lightcraft workshop fader ND500 ( 1 stop less than lee) , or the heliopan ND3.0 (equivalent to the big stopper).
    As odille mentioned, teamworkphoto.com are outstanding for selection and service is ok too.

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    cheers peeps i will check that out pronto before the christmas rush depletes stocks..

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