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Thread: ND Filters?

  1. #1

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    Shane

    ND Filters?

    I want to get a 3 stop (.9) ND filter and see quite a variety of brands and price points out there - any suggestions? Thanks in advance...

    I shoot with a Nikon D40X with kit lenses.

  2. #2
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: ND Filters?

    Other than a circular polarizing filter I use for some landscapes work I don't use filters. The one I do have is made by B+W which I feel make some of the best, Heliopan also make some very good filters. You are right about the many price points out there and from what I have been told and read about this don't go cheap if your going to use one. My B+W cost me $115 but I'm getting a brass filter ring, high quality schott glass, etc. Like anything else you get what you pay for

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: ND Filters?

    I have a couple of ND filters, one is by B&W and the other is a much less expensive Tiffen. The B&W is multi-coated, and uses brass in the mount whereas the Tiffen is uncoated and uses an aluminum mount. I can't say I see any difference in the results, although the Tiffen seems to bind to the lens a bit more and can be a bit tougher to remove.

    The other (and more expensive) alternative that is favoured by a number of poster here on CiC are the Lee filters, which are square or rectangular resin that are held in a mount. Different lens sizes use different mounting rings, so once you have invested in the hardware, you can easily move the lenses with different mount sizes. These are not anti-reflective coated.

  4. #4
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: ND Filters?

    For 2 and 3 stop ND filters I've bought and used Hoya and B+W. Realistically there isn't much difference in image quality between these mid price and high price varieties. You will notice a difference in build quality though. B+W are bomb proof, the Hoyas are more delicate.

    Another thing, especially if you are looking to buy step up rings. Whatever you buy, try sticking to the same brand. If you're stacking or using step up rings then the same brand = the same alloy used for threads etc. This reduces the likelihood of getting filters/step up rings fusing under temperature swings.

  5. #5

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    Allan Short

    Re: ND Filters?

    I believe it is Shane, I agree with Phil, about sticking with the same brand. I also found that the Tiffen for me caused a greater problem than the B+W filters of binding into the lens making them at times harder to remove. I would suggest buying at least a 77mm and using stepup rings, say your lens is a 67MM so you purchase a ring that will screw into your 67mm and allow the 77mm to mount to it and so on for other lens. A problem may come up in that you want to further reduce say the sky, you will need a graduated ND, the screw in ones only allow you to place the edge in the middle of the image. This works fine when you go going some tight shots now so good for big wise open stuff. I orginally went this way, and have since to the Lee Filters, that is not to say that I do not use the screw in ones, as I do as I usually shoot on a tripod sometimes I will screw in a 3 or 4 stop in and leave it in all day. Again if you go with the screw in ones get the largest one and use the stepup or also called step down rings.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  6. #6
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: ND Filters?

    Shane here is some good reading for you.

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/pete...ensity-filters

  7. #7

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    Re: ND Filters?

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I Will let everyone know what I get and certainly share and image or two once I get the hang of using the filter(s) - maybe a graduated set?

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: ND Filters?

    I have a collection of good filters and use three brands... B+W, Hoya Multi-Coated and Calumet. I just began to use Calumet a few years ago and have absolutely no complaints with them. The manager of my local Calumet Store told me that the Calumet filters are manufactured by Schneider who also make B+W. The price of the Calumet is pretty close to that of a B+W filter of the same size and type so I have no reason not to believe that the Calumet filters are not made by Schneider.

    Of those three brands of filters I probably like my Hoya Multi-Coated the least because it seems to be the most difficult to clean. It is an older filter and I believe that Hoya may have changed their coating in response to complaints about difficulties with cleaning...

    I agree with the center of the frame line of demarkation between the ND and clear portions of a round ND filter being problematic because it forces you to either place the horizon through the center of your image (boring) or to do extensive cropping (wasteful). I have a square GND filter which I can hand hold but, tell you the truth, I seldom ever use it because it is a big PITA for me.

    In actuality, a CPL filter will (depending on the angle of the sun) often darken the sky enough to be able to capture the scene within the limits of the camera.

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