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Author Topic: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?  (Read 5904 times)

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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2011, 08:55:36 PM »
Heya

There's 3 levels of Grad NDs

Level 1: Cokin (They have a colour shift)

Level 2: Heliopan (Very good, slight shift)

Level 3: Singh-Ray & Lee. I prefer Singh-ray for no good reason.

a 2 stop soft and 3 stop hard are what I'd recommend.

I hand hold grad filters, so I have no recommendation for holders. The Lee is regarded as the best, but the Cokin is just fine too.


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CR
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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2011, 08:55:36 PM »

AKCalixto

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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2011, 11:10:09 PM »
My recommendation is the Genus ND Fader Filter which provides one filter that generates 2-8 stops of neutral density depending on how it is rotated. It's cheaper in a long run.

Policar

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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2011, 11:30:40 PM »
The Cokin filters, in my experience, have a very minor color cast.  Maybe not.  It's not bad at all.  Even the cheapest grad filters are usable.

The hi-tech filters don't have a color cast, but they are transparent to IR.  That means for some films (fast color negative, velvia 100, others) they'll produce a magenta cast.  For properly manufactured digital they shouldn't.  Possibly at high ISOs with newer sensors, though.  With the red camera they might be a disaster...

The Singh-Ray filters, at least above two stops (three stops and above), have an IR dye and are color neutral across it and the visible spectrum.  Pretty cool, but possibly unnecessary.  You can custom order two stops with the IR dye, too.

I'd get two stops soft.  Three stops hard is useful, since sky and reflection are often around three or four stops apart, so you'll get a nice symmetry to shots of the ocean at sunset.  But the look is too pronounced and kind of cheesy, imo.  I have a lot of respect for anyone who can get by without any hdr or grad filters, but if you choose to use them I'd go two stops hard/two stops soft.  If you like a dramatic look three stops is good, too.  The "reverse" ND filters that fade in two directions look really cool, if very special-purpose.  A three stop reverse filter might be really cool.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 11:32:17 PM by Policar »

bones

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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2011, 06:25:16 AM »
I have a wide range of filters and other that I'm trying to sell as I have had difficulty trying to find a replacement camera for all the goodies I got from my old man.
He gave me a box and bag full of lenses, filters, bellows and a Pentax M camera (which is what I have been trying to replace due to the shutter mechanism being faulty)
The filters I have are 4x4 Gradients, 4x4 Std Colours, Circle and Wide Angle.
Anyone interested let me know...

friedmud

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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2011, 03:18:04 PM »
When deciding on filters you need to look at more than just the filter itself.  The filter holder system you choose will also impact your overall level of satisfaction with your filters.

Personally, I love my Lee system.  The way their filter holder works is that you have one screw on piece that you buy for each of the filter sizes you need (for each lens) then there is a simple clip that connects the actual filter holder to the screw on piece.  The holder itself is awesome because you can customize it to hold multiple filters (and even hoods) simultaneously.  Also, the two piece systems allows you to rotate the filter holder very easily to cock your filters at various angles.

Finally don't forget that the holder system will have an impact on the amount of vignetting you have when using the filters.  Again, I love my Lee wide angle attachment for their holder system.  It provides vignetting free filtration on my 17-55 f/2.8 .

My point is that once you go beyond a $20 throw away set of filters you are buying into a "system"... And just as with lenses you are going to want to do some projecting to see what your needs are going to be down the road.

As for actual filters, I definitely can recommend Lee.  They are a bit hard to get ahold of in the US, bu it is worth it.  Their 0.6 soft grad is my go to filter... But second would be a 0.9 soft grad.


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Re: Best "first buy" Gradient Filter?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2011, 03:18:04 PM »