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Thread: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

  1. #1

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    HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    I am brand new to working with ND filters, so I have no experience to compare this to, but in my test shooting (see below) it seems like this filter requires a very extreme push of the WB settings? Is there anybody that has worked with multi-stop ND filters that can help me to decide if these filters are just too far off for my camera? Has anyone used these filters with Nikon or some other camera manufacturer that can compare how these filters might work on different brands of sensors?

    I recently picked up some HiTech ND ProStop filters, which I know have significant color shifts. I have also heard that the filters can be particularly difficult with Canon CMOS sensors. But despite knowing this, I decided to give them a try since its impossible to get my hands on a LEE Big Stopper anytime soon.

    In my test shot of the ND 3.0 I setup the shot with a Passport Color check for white balance correction in post, and to compare the rendering of the colors between my non-filtered and filtered RAW test shots. Here is a summary of the setup:

    Boths shots were with a Canon 5D3 mounted with the Canon 135mm f/2L and the white balance set to cloudy (Temp=6k, +6 Tint), as it was an overcast afternoon.

    NON-Filterd settings:
    Av: 8.0
    ISO: 400
    Tv: 1/60

    Filtered settings:
    Av: 8.0
    ISO: 400
    Tv: 30 second (10 stops) I did bracket the shots, and it was 10 stops exactly as it should be

    In post processing, both images were sharpened using the "Sharpen - Scenic" preset, and had the Lens Profile adjustment enabled. Using the WB eyedropper on "nuetral" square on the Passport Color Checker on the NON-Filtered image called for the Temp to be shifted to 6450K (+450 from baseline camera setting) and the tint to be ****ed to +15 (+9 from baseline camera setting).

    Using the eye dropper on the Filtered image called for the Temp to be shifted to 29,000k (+23,000K!!!) and the tint to be shifted to +116 (+110!!!), and the image looked decidedly brown/red color shifted. I continued to dial around the WB settings to get the images a close as possible, and I finally settled on a Temp setting of 35,714K (+29,714K) and a tint setting of +107 (+101). I probably spent a little more than 5 minutes fiddling with these settings to get the images to match as close as possible.

    The first image is the NON-filtered base line image, and the second image is the filtered image.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    Have a guess :)
    The cheap filters often have a skewed infra red response that makes them VERY difficult to colour correct.

    Sounds similar to what's happening here.

  3. #3

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    I've now been able to answer my own question. I reshot the test images in afternoon daylight shade, and the 10 Stop filter on my Canon 5D3 with the 135mm f/2L lens simply creates too far of a shift to correct in post processing. The 7 stop can come close, but is by no means a perfectly acceptable reproduction of colors. The 4 stop can be corrected and you can get to what I would deem an acceptable reproduction of the NON-filtered image.



    The base camera settings were:

    WB set to Shade

    Av set to f/8

    ISO set to 100



    My processing included the following steps:

    1) Eye dropper white balance correction on the neutral square

    2) Export the image to ColorCheckerr Passport to create a custom camera profile for the image

    3) Restart LR4 and apply the custom camera profile

    4) Apply the LR4 preset for Scenic Sharpen

    5) Export to 194k JPG files



    The 10 Stop:

    Temp shift from 7,000 to 50,000 (maxed out)

    Tint shift from +7 to + 114



    The 7 stop:

    Temp shift from 7,000 to 13,750

    Tint shift from +7 t0+81



    The 4 stop:

    Temp shift from 7,000 to 8,300

    Tint shift from +7 to -1



    The NON-Filtered:

    Temp Shift from 7,000 to 7,900

    Tint shift from +7 to +12



    If somebody with more experience than me has any comments, I would greatly appreciate hearing you.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Lee big stopper (10 stop) cool cast, B+W 10 stop warm castjust the nature of the beast with 10 stops ND filters, you could stack say 2, 4-stop than add a 2 stop not as much of a colour cast however do you want to do that. Why did you set a white balance to cloudy as you are shooting in raw and you make the white balance anything you want.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Last edited by Polar01; 22nd July 2012 at 08:52 PM. Reason: added name

  5. #5

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    I have a LEE Big Stopper on order, but no confidence that they actually make one for me before Christmas. My assumption is that the BS will provide less color cast.

    As a mater of practice, I always try to get the picture as close as possible in camera. I was also setting WB to see how big of a shift the filters would create....

  6. #6

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    It usually take 6 to 8 months with back orders to get a big stopper. I do not know where you have placed your order in the US, but a suggestion all Lee filters to the US go to California to the main distrubutor, then to the dealers. What I did was I placed a order at the Canadian distributor and one a a US supplier and took the one that came first as their is a waiting line very deep behind you so if you do not want one they will be able to give it to someone else or take both and sell one at a profit or keep one as a backup because it will take 8 months to replace.
    The Canadian distributor is as follows:HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?
    and the US supplier I use is as follows:http://www.2filter.com/
    both are excellent to deal with and as I told another member of CIC they ship and it is not by dog sled either.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    I use a 77mm B+W 3.0 ND(10-stop) filter that I ordered from B&H. It was in-stock and i received it within a few days.

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    The Canadian distributor is as follows:HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?
    I have them on order from 2filter, B&H and a small shop in western PA. Who is the Canadian distributor you ordered from? Which one actually got you a BS first? As I speak to LEE reps, they all say that the company is notoriously slow in fullfilling orders.....several had even stopped carrying LEE because they were too difficult.

    I expect that the BS will have a color cast, but my assumption is that it will be much more workable that the HiTech ProStop 3.0 and 2.1 sold NDs that I tried......

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by SUSOM View Post
    I have them on order from 2filter, B&H and a small shop in western PA. Who is the Canadian distributor you ordered from? Which one actually got you a BS first? As I speak to LEE reps, they all say that the company is notoriously slow in fullfilling orders.....several had even stopped carrying LEE because they were too difficult.

    I expect that the BS will have a color cast, but my assumption is that it will be much more workable that the HiTech ProStop 3.0 and 2.1 sold NDs that I tried......
    Hi, LEE are not slow to produce the Big Stopper when they can get the correct material (Glass) as I understand it they import the glass but over the last couple of years the quality of the glass has not been up to the LEE required standard so they will not tarnish there reputation by producing inferior product/s.
    Do be careful where you source as I have seen some on-line for sale that are as far as I can find out not the real thing, someone from certain countries trying to make a fast buck.
    Russ

  10. #10

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    I actually tried a screw on vario-n-trio ND filter from Sing-Ray, but there were several things I didn't like about it:
    1) the guess work on how much ND was actually being delivered,
    2) the fact that I would only fit 77mm threaded lenses (a filter holder will allow more flexibility across lenses, but you need multiple adapters)
    3) it was very prone to vignetting at 24mm and wider
    4) the adjustments of the circ polarizer and variable ND were too "sloppy" for me (i.e. they turned too easy) which made them prone to nudging

    I invested in the LEE system for the flexibility that it would offer vs. screw in filters......now the problem has become finding solid ND filters that are workable, without breaking the bank. The HiTech filters, in my experience, are not workable. Other options with "white glass" get very expensive......

    At the end of the day, I think I want a 4 stop, 7 stop and 10 stop solid ND setup. I guess stacking is an option, but each time you put a filter out on the end of the lense, you are degrading the image quality....

  11. #11

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Sorry somehow what is there for the Canadian distributor is not correct it is as follows:

    http://tyi.ca/lee-filters/

    It was 2 filter, as I had ordered it about a month before I put an order in with the Canadian distributor.
    kept both have one as back up or if out shooting I will let someone else try it.

    Again sorry for the wrong address, I do not know how that happened.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Last edited by Polar01; 26th July 2012 at 01:48 PM. Reason: there for their

  12. #12

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    I appears that there were 3 of us posting at about the same time, as to post #10, I find that the 4 stop hard GND filter is my goto filter, I just love it, combined with the 3 stop hard GND filter you have 7 stops of power, and because they are graduated I can set one if needed on the horizion. I do a lot of ten stop and sometimes up to 14 stops depending on the sun and the setting with what I can to acheive. If you get the 2,3, and 4 then you have the one covered off.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    Hi, LEE are not slow to produce the Big Stopper when they can get the correct material (Glass) as I understand it they import the glass but over the last couple of years the quality of the glass has not been up to the LEE required standard so they will not tarnish there reputation by producing inferior product/s.
    Do be careful where you source as I have seen some on-line for sale that are as far as I can find out not the real thing, someone from certain countries trying to make a fast buck.
    Russ
    This sounds rather suspicious to me because if there is an optical quality glass shortage, we should be seeing the same issues from the other high end filter manufacturers (Singh-Ray, Century Optical, Heliopan, and so on); and this does not seem to be the case. The main independent optical glass suppliers are Schott of Germany and Hoya of Japan, and I have not heard about any production issues at their facilities.

    This is truly seems to be a production capaciity or production planning issue at Lee.

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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    This sounds rather suspicious to me because if there is an optical quality glass shortage, we should be seeing the same issues from the other high end filter manufacturers (Singh-Ray, Century Optical, Heliopan, and so on); and this does not seem to be the case. The main independent optical glass suppliers are Schott of Germany and Hoya of Japan, and I have not heard about any production issues at their facilities.

    This is truly seems to be a production capaciity or production planning issue at Lee.
    Hi, If you have not already seen it there is an explanation from LEE filters at http://www.wexphotographic.com/home/?/lee-filters.html

    I am sure I read somewhere that LEE buy crushed glass and the glass is only available from a certain area/country, unfortunately I cannot find the article.
    Russ

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    Hi, If you have not already seen it there is an explanation from LEE filters at http://www.wexphotographic.com/home/?/lee-filters.html

    I am sure I read somewhere that LEE buy crushed glass and the glass is only available from a certain area/country, unfortunately I cannot find the article.
    Russ
    Your link refers to the process at the beginning of this thread; the painstakingly slow manual, hand process used to make the resin ND filters. Significant additional capital investment and training is required to increase production capacity of this process. A company has to be quite certain that the order backlog is not just an anomaly before taking that step.

    The rest of the article confirms what I have said; it is a production capacity or production planning issue. The crushed glass is a fairly common optical glass making process. Usually the raw materials are mixed and then melted in crucibles and cast into sheets of glass. These are then broken up into crushed glass for further processing.

    For regular coloured filters, colouring agents are added to the crushed glass which is refired in crucibles and cast as filter blanks. Polarizers and grad filters are always resin, but they are often bonded to glass blanks.

  16. #16
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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Just logged on to CiC after some months and came across this thread on filters.

    As has been mentioned - the original HiTech filters failed to filter out infrared light which resulted in a brown/magenta cast that could not be removed totally in post processing. The filters were originally designed for use with film and film doesn't have such a pronounced reaction to infrared light as do digital sensors.
    Recently HiTech have redesigned their filters and they now are much better but still exhibit a cast, this time it is more of a yellow cast. The yellow cast can be reduced significantly in post processing but not entirely.
    Another problem with the HiTech filters is quality control, I have had some of their filters that are not entirely flat, this causes big problems as your images have areas that are out of focus.

    The Lee Big Stopper produces a blue cast but this can be reduced almost entirely during post processing.

    A lot has been written about the length of time it takes to get hold of a Lee Big Stopper and many have speculated on the reasons why this has come about, most of these are way off the mark.

    When Lee started manufacturing filters for the photographic market they expected to sell only about 80 filters/month. Over the last couple of years the market has grown substantially to the point where they could not keep up with demand. To cope with this increased demand Lee have had an extension built to their factory and installed new machinery, obviously this caused disruption to their manufacturing processes and resulted in manufacture ceasing for a few months.
    Production has started up again, each filter is individually hand made and tested several times throughout the process which all takes time but when finished customers can be assured of a high quality product that performs flawlessly.

    Hope that clears up some of the confusion.

  17. #17
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: HiTech ProStop 3.0ND color correction?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBImages View Post

    A lot has been written about the length of time it takes to get hold of a Lee Big Stopper and many have speculated on the reasons why this has come about, most of these are way off the mark.

    When Lee started manufacturing filters for the photographic market they expected to sell only about 80 filters/month. Over the last couple of years the market has grown substantially to the point where they could not keep up with demand. To cope with this increased demand Lee have had an extension built to their factory and installed new machinery, obviously this caused disruption to their manufacturing processes and resulted in manufacture ceasing for a few months.
    Production has started up again, each filter is individually hand made and tested several times throughout the process which all takes time but when finished customers can be assured of a high quality product that performs flawlessly.

    Hope that clears up some of the confusion.
    With around 20 production days a month (assuming no weekend shifts), this means that Lee was only capable of producing 80/20 = 4 filters per day. Small wonder that they are hand-made. Volumes like that are way too low to even consider automation.

    It is certainly a production environment where construction dirt or dust are not something that can be tolerated. I have seen construction done in a clean room environment, but the whole area has to be sealed off and held under negative pressure. This is speciality work and not something every contractor could undertake and certainly ramps up the cost of the work.

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