still undecided on whether to go hard or soft on my first ND Grad though
Nero knows his stuff so not going against his recommendations, my understanding is that the soft grads were originally designed for medium format use and the hard grad on a full frame gives the same result. Choosing soft on a full frame would makes placement a lot easier though. In my experience has too much of a gradient.
An incorrectly placed 3 stop hard grad is very noticeable. I find a 1 stop hard grad over sky is barley noticeable and incorrect placement does not destroy the image. I use the 1.5 stop hard grad (0.45) and add extra grads in lightroom. I think of it as adding 1.5 stops to the dynamic range to the scene I can handle with a very low risk to messing it up with bad or obvious filter placement.