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ND filter recommendation

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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: ND filter recommendation
    Posted: 22 October 2019 at 21:37
Looking for a good quality ND filter for a hobbyist. My main use would be on the Tamron 10-24 (77mm dia) and secondary would be on the Sony 16-50/2.8 (72mm dia).

Any recommendations? Mostly used for waterfalls and maybe night time as well.

There seem to be variable stop ND filters. Any experience with those?
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waldo_posth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2019 at 22:08
As my standard screw-in ND filter for long exposures I have a 1000x (10-stop) B+W ND filter 77mm (if I stop them down to F/16 it's also usable on 82mm lenses with a step-down ring). I have also a 8x (3 stops) Marumi ND filter. Both, the B+W and the Marumi, are showing no color cast.

But I also use the Cokin Z filter system (100x100mm) with Haida ND filters. Here you can use even 32000x filters (15 stops). There are quite some situations when I see the need to add a GND filter - e.g. to get more structure in an otherwise diffuse, overcast sky. Then the Cokin system is very convenient to add the second filter. The Haida are color-neutral as well. As GND I use Cokin Z filters. The Cokin filters have a rather troublesome reputation as to the color cast of their ND and GND filters. This is true - from my experience - for the (older) Cokin P system, but not for the Z system, as fas as I can say.

My experience with waterfalls is that too long exposure times do not improve the image. A 64x (5 stops) filter might be sufficient to be in the 2-10 seconds range.
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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2019 at 23:30
Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

Looking for a good quality ND filter for a hobbyist. My main use would be on the Tamron 10-24 (77mm dia) and secondary would be on the Sony 16-50/2.8 (72mm dia).

Any recommendations? Mostly used for waterfalls and maybe night time as well.

There seem to be variable stop ND filters. Any experience with those?


I tried various options before settling on the Lee ones. I run with a 3 stop, 6-stop and 10-stop. I use the glass ones now, rather than resin. They seem better at resisting scratches and are easier to wipe clean of spray droplets from the waterfall.
It probably would have been cheaper in the long run to go straight to the Lee ones.
a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
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momech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2019 at 23:38
I've tried a couple of the variable stop filters; they both had a color cast, didn't like the results. I've been using the Cokin Z system with several different brands of filters. I do like the glass ones better but they are pricier as well.
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whiteheat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whiteheat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2019 at 00:25
As the previous replies implied, the glass filters garner superior results. That said, the more expensive glass in the 100mmx100mm system will offer better results than cheaper glass or worse still, resin filters. The 100x100 system is great because you you don't need to buy a separate set of filters for each lens you are planning to use them on. You just use step up/down adapters to use the same filter on multiple lenses. However, the main reason for using glass over plastic/resin, is because of colour cast issues with the cheaper material options. The quality glass filters use Schott glass and are either completely free of colour cast or if there is some cast, it is hardly noticeable/livable with or may be fixable in post. The brands to look at (no particular affiliation) Haida, Sirui, NiSi, B+W, Tiffen and there may be others, but these were the ones I looked at on cost vs performance basis. I went with Breakthrough Photography who produced a bunch of square filters on kickstarter a couple of years back. Google search glass vs resin filters and look at few of the reviews or field tests came back with. If you go with good glass filters/filter system, be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars per filter. They're not cheap but if you want the results, this is the price you have to pay - unless you can find used, but even then they won't be much cheaper - filters don't degrade with age or get downgraded "by the next model" to come out.
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whiteheat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whiteheat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2019 at 00:30
A thread with exactly the same title was published a few years back. Worth a look:

ND Filter Recommendation
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2019 at 13:05
My experiences are that variable ND filters work well between 2 stops (min) and 5 stops, but anywhere near max and you get colouration (usually purple) and uneven response. Frankly, a decent 3 or 6 stop is as useful and less annoying.
For water, I generally find 1/13 sec works well for me, and under trees (where most waterfalls are in my neck of the woods) I rarely need an ND at all. But in sunshine you will need one, and if you want to get dreamy seascapes in bright sun you will need at least 10 stops ...
I have a few of these, all fairly cheap, and they're fine.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2019 at 22:12
Ordered a Tiffen and a new brand filters.

Will test them both and keep the better one. Will share results here.

I hope the slim filter will work without vignetting at 10mm.
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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2019 at 22:12
Originally posted by whiteheat whiteheat wrote:

A thread with exactly the same title was published a few years back. Worth a look:

ND Filter Recommendation


Your memory is better than mine!   
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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2019 at 22:13
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:


I have a few of these, all fairly cheap, and they're fine.


Mind sharing which ones? I got a cheap set of 2,3, and 4 but it was a dud.
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whiteheat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whiteheat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2019 at 00:26
Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

Your memory is better than mine!   
Only because shortly before that time, I was researching which filters would suit best and I remember contributing to that thread.

Please let us know how that VND filter works out, especially any oddities or peculiarities you come across when shooting with it.
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