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Author Topic: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase  (Read 4720 times)

sunnyVan

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 11:09:55 PM »


Don't you run the risk of scratching the resin filter by moving it while your holding it up against the front of your lens?

Maybe, but all my filters are still pristine. It hasn't happened to me yet.

When I first started using these kind of filters I bought several Singh-Ray filters and the Cokin P kit with 3 filters.
I thought the Cokin was a fair price for less than $100. When I had the Singh-Ray and the Cokin side by side it was obvious that the Cokin was not only fair priced but "cheap". The quality isn't even close, I would rather take a chance scratching a quality filter and the scratch affect the IQ than buy a cheap filter that will affect IQ.

Besides the logic here is work with what you can afford toward getting the filter holder later.

The more I look into Singh Ray the more I become interested.  The gold n blu is especially interesting.  These filters are incredibly pricey though.  A few of these can easily cost more than my best lens. Yet I'm intrigued.
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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 11:09:55 PM »

JustMeOregon

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2013, 01:35:26 AM »
Of course I don't know for sure, but I believe that Singh-Ray is trying to take advantage of the situation that Lee Filters components have been so hard to get lately. $415 for Singh-Ray's version of the "Big Stopper" (that Lee sells for $140) is just flat-out highway robbery! Singh-Ray's 4x6" ND-grads used to be of a uniquely high quality back when they were made of glass, but now that they are all made of resin they are no better then the much more reasonably priced offerings from Lee. Also I always found it just a little bit silly (at best) that Singh-Ray wants to save us all from the horrors of modern multi-coated filters by choosing not to have any of their over premium priced filters "coated" in any way. http://www.singh-ray.com/faqmain.html#faq06.

All that being said, I wouldn't think of trying to catch an Oregon-coast sunset without my set of Singh-Ray reverse-nd-grads on hand... And my Singh-Ray Vari-ND & Vari-N-Duo are often put into service when I'm too lazy to deal with the Lee Filters kit. I got these back when Singh-Ray was the only company that offered such unique (at the time) products. Now, you can get reverse-nd-grads & variable nd filters from several different manufactures for a lot less money...

There... Now that I have my Singh-Ray-rant out of my system, I feel much better...

AUGS

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2013, 01:48:09 AM »
I agree with Neuro and others to head towards a quality system.  All ND filters have some colour cast, and Cokin has the most.  I personally use HiTech (Formatt) and Lee.

You asked about hard and soft edge filters.  It really depends on what you are shooting.  If it has a definite straight separation I will use a hard edge.  If it doesn't, say like a mountain range, I'll lean towards a soft edge.  I also find I'm using the 2 and 3 stop filters the most, but I shoot sunrise and sunset landscapes.  I rarely use the 1-stop versions.

An anecdote on a holder or hand-holding.  I was shooting a seascape a few weeks back and decided to change lenses.  In doing that, I dropped and lost my adapter ring.    :-[  So I left the UV filter on the lens and used chewing gum to hold the filter in place for my 30 second exposure.  I wouldn't recommend it as a permanent strategy, but I got my shots.  I now carry a small ball of blue-tak in my kit just in case.  The holder is best solution, but you can survive without it.

So my recommendation would be to get a 2 stop hard and/or a 2 stop soft edge Lee or Hi-Tech filter in a 4inch (100mm) wide system and worry about the holder at a later date.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2013, 04:17:00 AM »
I like the Lee and Singh-Ray ND grads.

Hitech filters are also a good option and cost less than the before mentioned filters. But if you look at the quality they are a step under the Lee filter (but a big step better than the Cokin ND grads).

With the Cokin ND grads you get ugly color casts.

If you buy to cheap you buy twice.

For the beginning I recommend:

- Lee filter Holder with wide angle adapters (you are more flexibel if you only buy the wide angle adapters)
- Lee Resin 0,6 and 0,9 ND grad hard (100 x 150 mm)
- Lee Resin 0,6 ND grad soft (100 x 150 mm)
- Lee Filter bag

Mayby in the future: The Lee Big stopper (10 stop ND filter).

Not an grad filter, but I like the new Singh-Ray 15-stop ND filters too. They are amazing. But you pay moonprices.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 04:25:09 AM by M.ST »

sunnyVan

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2013, 11:43:46 PM »
Thanks everyone for your advice. I just ordered a Lee 2 stops grad from adorama. Now shopping for a polarizer. I saw a singh ray warming polarizer for $390 that would fit a z pro holder. That's twice as much as what I would want to pay. Is it worth it? A Lee CPL is about 200. Or should I get a b+w screw on one? But then I want to able to use everything on my 17-40 and 24-70ii. What would you do?
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JustMeOregon

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2013, 05:24:41 PM »
As far as a polarizer goes, your still talking about using the Lee 4x4" filter holder (the "Foundation Kit") right? If so, what I use & recommend is the "LEE Filters 105mm Accessory Front Thread Adapter Ring" http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/218398-REG/LEE_Filters_FP105_Accessory_Front_Thread_Adapter.html along with a "B+W 105mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer Filter" http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/10873-REG/B_W_65016142_105mm_Kaeseman_Circular_Polarizing.html. If the B+W polarizer is a bit too expensive, you cound look at the "LEE Filters 105mm Linear Polarizer Filter" http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/937326-REG/lee_filters_pl105_linear_polarizer.html.

What I would advise you NOT to get is the 4x4" (square) "LEE Filters 4x4" Circular Polarizer Glass Filter" http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/216637-REG/LEE_Filters_PLC_G_4x4_Circular_Polarizer_Glass.html or the "LEE Filters 4x4" Linear Polarizer Glass Filter" http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/89683-REG/LEE_Filters_PLG_4x4_Linear_Polarizer_Glass.html. I believe that these 4x4" square polarizers (linear or circular) are used mainly in video & movie matte-boxes, and you would not be able to control the orientation of your ND-grads & the degree of polarization at the same time...

neuroanatomist

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2013, 06:52:23 PM »
What I would advise you NOT to get is the 4x4" (square) "LEE Filters 4x4" Circular Polarizer Glass Filter" ... I believe that these 4x4" square polarizers (linear or circular) are used mainly in video & movie matte-boxes, and you would not be able to control the orientation of your ND-grads & the degree of polarization at the same time...

Sure you can.  You need a second Foundation Kit and the Lee Tandem Adapter.  The 4" square CPL goes in the second holder, the tandem adapter lets you join the two holders, and you rotate the outer holder. 

The combo of 4" CPL, holder and adapter is cheaper than the 105mm front ring plus 105mm B+W CPL.   The former setup is thicker, so the more expensive latter combo might be worth it if vignetting is a concern.
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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2013, 06:52:23 PM »

JustMeOregon

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2013, 08:21:45 PM »
What I would advise you NOT to get is the 4x4" (square) "LEE Filters 4x4" Circular Polarizer Glass Filter" ... I believe that these 4x4" square polarizers (linear or circular) are used mainly in video & movie matte-boxes, and you would not be able to control the orientation of your ND-grads & the degree of polarization at the same time...

Sure you can.  You need a second Foundation Kit and the Lee Tandem Adapter.  The 4" square CPL goes in the second holder, the tandem adapter lets you join the two holders, and you rotate the outer holder. 

The combo of 4" CPL, holder and adapter is cheaper than the 105mm front ring plus 105mm B+W CPL.   The former setup is thicker, so the more expensive latter combo might be worth it if vignetting is a concern.

Cool! Never knew that, thanks for the info!

surapon

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2013, 08:59:48 PM »
I am looking for a system that would work on both my 24-70 and 17-40 lenses. Is there anything that won't give vignetting on my ultrawide?  I also want something that would let me manually adjust where the transition would be.  I've heard that there are hard, soft transition.  What type should i get?  I don't have a big budget.  Ideally something around $100 would be nice. Thanks for your help.

Dear SunnyVan.
I am not the PRO, and still need to learn from All of CR. Members all the time.  Yes, I am the Cheapo and try to buy some thing Cheap, and Test the quality, And If I do not like, I just throw them away. Yes I have Cokin P Series that can adapt and use up to  my 82 mm ( TS-E 24 MM F/ 3.5 L MK II) for testing Kit = $ 45 US Dollars, and Free Shipping---I recommend  , Made in China as the Link Below, After you love them, You can throw the Cheap Optical Sq. Filters away ( Keep the Holder, Rings, and Hoods), and Buy Cokin Filter COP120 ( 120 Graduated ND G1) =$ 37.50 US Dollars, As I do.
Just Try the Cheap one First, and see how do you like, before spend hard earn money.

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Square-Filter-Compatible-Series/dp/B00796I546/ref=pd_sim_e_8

Enjoy.
Surapon.

PS, Some of the Time, MFG. in China make a wonderful Plus Super Cheap for American Dollars too.

PS. 2 , I use 17-40 L , 24-70 L  , TS-E 24 mm F/ 3.5 L MK II, and never see vignetting on my ultrawide 17 mm Lens----May be my sorry 65 years old Eyes---Ha, Ha, Ha.

sunnyVan

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2013, 10:50:47 PM »
There are certainly things that I don't mind going cheap on. Eg. My camera strap is less than 20 bucks, significantly less than name brand. For things that would affect IQ, I wouldn't compromise on those. 

I am getting an 82mm Marumi CPL. It's not quite the same quality as b+w but it may be decent enough to start with. I'm going to get a step up ring so that my 17-40 could share the same filter. I'm going to hand hold the Lee grad for now and see how feasible it is.  Even if I need a holder I plan to get a newly released fotodiox holder from amazon.  It's just a piece of plastic so why bother spending twice as much on the name brand.  This is my cheapo approach.  Not inexpensive but good value. 
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surapon

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2013, 08:55:35 AM »
There are certainly things that I don't mind going cheap on. Eg. My camera strap is less than 20 bucks, significantly less than name brand. For things that would affect IQ, I wouldn't compromise on those. 

I am getting an 82mm Marumi CPL. It's not quite the same quality as b+w but it may be decent enough to start with. I'm going to get a step up ring so that my 17-40 could share the same filter. I'm going to hand hold the Lee grad for now and see how feasible it is.  Even if I need a holder I plan to get a newly released fotodiox holder from amazon.  It's just a piece of plastic so why bother spending twice as much on the name brand.  This is my cheapo approach.  Not inexpensive but good value.

Yes, Sir, Dear SunnyVan.
Yes, You are right on the Target.   For great Photos that we created, Not thing  should be cheap  both Lenses and Filters  in front of  lenses. BUT, The Plastic  Holding , The Lens hood and The Adjusted Ring can be Cheap Made in China, BUT,  The Square Filters , You can get The Best one such as Cokin( $ 37),Singh-Ray( $ 190) in Later date.
Yes, For Cir. PL Filter, You must get Best of the Best --Here are the Photos Last 2 weeks that I went to Grand Canyon.
With Canon 5D MK II and Canon TS-E 24 mm. F/ 3.5 L MK II and B+W 82 KSMN C-POL MRC FILTER.

Nice to talk to you, Sir.
Surapon
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 10:45:50 AM by surapon »

SiuLoong

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2013, 10:58:53 AM »
I have recently had the same considerations...

I tried some very cheap cokin p size filters from ebay - approx £15 for a full set of ND standards, ND grads and filter holder, mainly to learn how to use them rather than expecting any quality and as expected the holder was barely usable, but although the filters had a noticeable purple colour cast it wasn't too bad against a blue sky and even enhanced a few sunsets I think!  I just hand held these filters and after a few months was so happy with the results I decided to go for some better gear.

I now have the LEE 100mm kit and it is excellent quality with no colour casts etc.. I find the 100mm filters much harder (but not impossible) to handhold as I have quite small hands, so I almost always use the filter holder and have a wide angle adaptor.  I was using it with a Tokina 11 - 16mm (77mm filter size) which on a full frame 6D becomes effectively a 16mm lens unless you want some major vignetting, and a 24 - 105L.  With the wide angle adaptor and a filter holder with 2 x 100mm filter slots there was some vignetting at 16mm although easily correctable in post, I plan on getting the 17 - 40L to replace the 11 - 16mm Tokina from my old crop body which is now sold.  I did use a 77mm slim polariser and screwed the LEE adaptor into the front - it was tricky to adjust but possible and only increased the vignetting slightly - I do now have the front ring holder but the 105mm polarisers are generally quite thick.  I have found one from a company called Haida which was only £40 as opposed to the £200 for the LEE one and although I haven't had a chance to perform detailed comparisons seems to perform well.

I have also bought a set of Hitech (Formatt) 85 - cokin p equivalent which are smaller and easier to hand hold and these get taken out when I have less space and less time to be messing with adaptors and these are great, they were much cheaper than the 100mm (either LEE or Hitech) and no colour cast but if I'm doing long exposures its easier to use the full kit.

Hope that helps!!!

sunnyVan

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2013, 12:51:26 PM »
I have recently had the same considerations...

I tried some very cheap cokin p size filters from ebay - approx £15 for a full set of ND standards, ND grads and filter holder, mainly to learn how to use them rather than expecting any quality and as expected the holder was barely usable, but although the filters had a noticeable purple colour cast it wasn't too bad against a blue sky and even enhanced a few sunsets I think!  I just hand held these filters and after a few months was so happy with the results I decided to go for some better gear.

I now have the LEE 100mm kit and it is excellent quality with no colour casts etc.. I find the 100mm filters much harder (but not impossible) to handhold as I have quite small hands, so I almost always use the filter holder and have a wide angle adaptor.  I was using it with a Tokina 11 - 16mm (77mm filter size) which on a full frame 6D becomes effectively a 16mm lens unless you want some major vignetting, and a 24 - 105L.  With the wide angle adaptor and a filter holder with 2 x 100mm filter slots there was some vignetting at 16mm although easily correctable in post, I plan on getting the 17 - 40L to replace the 11 - 16mm Tokina from my old crop body which is now sold.  I did use a 77mm slim polariser and screwed the LEE adaptor into the front - it was tricky to adjust but possible and only increased the vignetting slightly - I do now have the front ring holder but the 105mm polarisers are generally quite thick.  I have found one from a company called Haida which was only £40 as opposed to the £200 for the LEE one and although I haven't had a chance to perform detailed comparisons seems to perform well.

I have also bought a set of Hitech (Formatt) 85 - cokin p equivalent which are smaller and easier to hand hold and these get taken out when I have less space and less time to be messing with adaptors and these are great, they were much cheaper than the 100mm (either LEE or Hitech) and no colour cast but if I'm doing long exposures its easier to use the full kit.

Hope that helps!!!


The following picture was taken with a Haida 6 stops ND. It does have a blue cast to it but is fixable in LR. It's very slim and doesn't vignette on my 17-40L. I don't have any complaints about my Haida filters so far. It would've been nicer if I'd gotten 82mm. That way I could use it on my 24-70ii.




This one was either 6 or 10 stops. Forgot. But I'm pleased with the result given the price I paid.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 12:54:25 PM by sunnyVan »
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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2013, 12:51:26 PM »

JustMeOregon

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2013, 01:45:06 PM »
I believe that all ND filters have some kind of color cast to them... Of course for solid-ND's & ND-grads in the most commonly used densities (up to 3 stops or so) you never really notice because they're really not all that dark. The extremely dense ND filters of 10 stops or more are a whole different story... The characteristic indigo-blue cast of the Lee Big Stopper is quite heavy but very easy to correct in Lightroom. I find it sometimes even complements my pre-dawn & sunrise work... My Hitech 6-stop 4x4" ND filter has a greenish-blue tint to it, but this too is a straight forward color correction in post. On the other hand, my B+W 10-stop filters exhibit a pronounced warming that is some kind of peculiar orangey-magentaish brown that I find nearly impossible to color correct! And the B+W's are not cheap filters... Go figure...

sunnyVan

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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2013, 01:12:57 PM »
Followed Neuro's advice and got Lee's GND. Very nice quality.  Very happy. 

It isn't cheap.  But it appears to be the same material as used for eyeglasses.  Then the price becomes more justifiable.  Still no holder and no ring.
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Re: Pls help me with my 1st graduated ND filters purchase
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2013, 01:12:57 PM »