1 or 2 Stops on a Graduated ND Filter?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by kundalini, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am looking at these B+W Graduated ND filters. I'm just at a loss whether to go with 1 or 2 stops. I spoke with a B&H salesman and he did say that it has the same action as a CPL, where you can rotate the direction of heavy density, top, bottom and all points in between.

    So, anybody have an idea which one to go with? 1 stop or 2. I live in the SouthEast USA and summer is coming up *read: hot, hazy and humid*.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would advise against getting this type of filter for ND Grad. Yes it rotates, but now you need to put up with that god awful composition of splitting your horizon in the centre, or make it painfully obvious in your photos that you're using an NDGrad filter instead of using it in a way that makes the effect really subtle.

    Look at getting some square filter plates and a lens mount for it. Like the Cokin P system (just don't use Cokin ND filters, from what I heard they have a purple cast). I've seen a few made by a few different companies.

    These allow total freedom of the effect, where in the frame the gradient is and starts. This is second only to taking 2 exposures 2 EV apparent and using a gradient map to blend in photoshop (which has the downside of not working with moving subjects)
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Cheers Garbz. I haven't been impressed by Cokin to date, but you stated Cokin "P". Any difference? The only other maker I am aware of is Lee. Any thoughts on them or any other?
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are four lines of Cokin filters A, P, X, and Z. The main difference is the size. 'P' is the most versatile for SLR/DSLR users. With respect to the comments made by Garbz on a purple caste, I have not noticed this. I have been using Cokin ND and Grad ND filters for a number of years now and have never seen any sort of colour caste on the images.

    Edited to add: In answer to the OPs title, I would opt for a one and a two stop, which, if combined will give you three full stops; generally more than enough to save even the brightest clouds.
     
  5. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have used the Cokin ND grads (P size) and there are not truly neutral. Sometimes the sky does get a very noticeable purple cast whereas the rest of the landscape (under the clear part of the filter) is fine. I know use Lee filters or British made Hitech filters. With those I have never seen any colour cast.

    As for 1 or 2 stops, I find 2 stops is what works most of the time to balance the exposure of the sky in landscape photography.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "P" I believe is the mounting system. It is a filter holder which you buy which has lens mounting rings (which you buy for your lens size).
    The filter slots into place, usually these are square. You can move them up and down and rotate the holder.

    Here's an example except in this case the filter isn't a square plate.
    [​IMG]

    Lee is one of the ones I was thinking about, but I remember talking to another photographer and I do believe they come with a hefty preium over the Cokin filters. But you do get what you pay for. I've never seen a nicer filter glass. It's right up there with a few of my B+W filters.
     

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