Looking for ND Filter

412 Burgh

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Mar 18, 2011
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I'm looking for a ND Filter for my 24-70 nikkor lens for this upcoming vacation. Does anyone have suggestions? I would like a decent amount of light to be blocked out by the filter. What is the common stops? I see a lot of 10 stops floating around. Any input is welcomed!

Looking to do some sunrise and some sunset photos during my vacation to Aruba!

+1 :thumbup:

That one is a little tough on the budget.. lol.

Not with a bit of proper planning, forethought and care after purchase. I have a number of lenses. Other than my 200 f2.0. 300 f2.8 & 400 f2.8, I can use one 77mm circular polarizer on all of my remaining lenses with the use of step rings. That one polarizer costs as much as the Singh-Ray that tirediron linked to. I only need to own one instead of several so it was a one time long term purchase.

When I bought ND's I bought not only the standard ND's but soft and hard graduated ND's. Because of that I went with the square system for all of them since I had to buy a holder anyway. That and the fact that the Singh-Ray wasn't available then.

While it may be expensive, if you can make it a multi-tasker ie. fit all your lenses, you will probably find that you use it more often as it will be useable for all of you lenses.
I have a Tiffen, and I am pretty happy with it. The first one I purchased was blemished on the actual glass...Amazon replaced it. You shouldn't have to, but Just check the glass for blemishes.
I think I'm settled on the [h=1]Hoya 77mm HMC ND8 Multi-Coated Neutral Density Filter[/h]
I got it on amazon for the prime. To ensure delivery before my vacation! Guess I'll have to get up early and do some shooting! Does anyone suggest focusing then putting on the filter?
I use the Hoya ND400x. It is comparable in build quality to my Heliopans, I was surprised. It throws off a kind off Yellow cast sometimes but thats an easy fix... I just bought a 77mm with an assortment of step up rings.
For the most part, the drawback of cheap ND filters is simply color casting. Making sure you're shooting in RAW whenever you decide to do a long ND exposure can pretty much solve this, though.

Really really cheap ones may have additional issues like flares and blotches and such. Just don't buy like a $25 VND or whatever and shoot RAW to correct color cast without loss of IQ later you'll be fine. My $0.02
Another issue with cheap VNDs is they start to create an "X" when dialed down to really really really dark.
Unless you are a video focused person, Variable ND filters are not worth it. For the most part, still photography doesn't demand control over ND strength to the nth degree. One to two +/- stop variation isn't going to matter much. Furthermore, you are dealing with some issues that are part of the variable ND filter design; which is simply two polarizing filters back to back. Issues that come with color casts, "X" pattern, two layers of glass in front of the optic, and inconsistencies across the frame when used at ultra wide focal lengths. There is also the expense. A single "high quality" Variable is going to cost more than high quality 1 or 2 ND filters of different strengths.... I also highly suspect the quality of the polarizing filters used to make variables filters.

If you want to experiment, simply take two polarizing filters and mount them back to back then rotate them at various degrees apart. I did such experiment and was not happy with the results. Yes.. I used quality filters in the experiment.

I use a 3 stop and 10 stop ND filter with a series of step up rings to fit all my lenses. 3 stop for handheld day light with fast apertures and 10 stop for tripod mounted long exposures. I never felt the need for much more.

Again, this is for still photography. Videographers often find Variable ND filters absolutely necessary because the constraints to apertures and frame exposure time that need to remain consistent even in changing conditions.
I carry a 2, 3, and 10 stop ND, a 3-stop GND, and a CPL. Of the NDs... the 3 stop gets used the most. Since a CPL usually blocks "roughly" 2 stops of light (depends on the CPL and how it's tuned) you could always stack a 3 stop ND with a CPL for about 5 stops difference.

A 10-stop is a specialty filter because neither you nor your camera can focus with the filter on the lens (it looks black). You have to pre-focus before attaching the filter to the lens (and being careful not to knock it out of focus as you attach the filter.)

Most of my filters are B+W brand. The Hoya Pro1 filters are also very good. But as long as the filter doesn't create a color cast then you should be fine.
Unless you are a video focused person, Variable ND filters are not worth it. ...............

I never shoot any 'production' videos, so I don't need a VND to do so. Yet I use a VND for stills more than I ever thought I would.

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