Zomei filters

dhr90

EOS RP
Aug 1, 2013
305
0
Anyone used them? Been thinking of acquiring an ND grad for a while to have a go at some longer exposure stuff. Lee filters are too expensive for me to justify given I may not enjoy shooting with them and wouldn't use it much anyway.

I have found this, which seems almost too good to be true given the price? I know its not cheap, but can it really be better than the Lee system? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zomei-Neutral-Density-Definition-Multi-Coated/dp/B00LHDJIUC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452341843&sr=8-1&keywords=nisi+nd+filter+77mm
 

wsmith96

Advancing Amateur
Aug 17, 2012
923
17
Texas
I don't have any experience with that brand, but I took a look at Amazon in the US to see what the reviews were. So far, I'm finding that most of their products don't have any reviews, or just a handful of reviews on the screw on filters. Of the products that have reviews, they are mixed. That's a bit telling to me. If there were an inexpensive filter line out there, you would think that people would flock to it as word would get out, especially if they were in the ball park of Lee. Have you looked at Cokin? I believe you are in the UK given the UK Amazon link - maybe you could find a used set from a reputable store just to try it out. Here in the US, B&H and Adorama have used filters regularly. May be an option to test the waters before you heavily invest.

Good luck!
 

sunnyVan

EOS 7D MK II
Apr 12, 2013
573
0
NYC
You get what you pay for. You pay low price for low quality. If you're going to use low quality filter to degrade the optical quality of your L lenses, you'd be better off combining exposures in LR, Photoshop, or other programs. If you want top-notched quality, you must be willing to make sizeable investment.

I bought some no-name filters before. I was happy for a short period of time until i carefully looked at the final pictures on a monitor. Such a waste of money. Can't find a buyer. If you get quality filters and take care of them, they keep their value when you sell them.
 

ishdakuteb

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 5, 2012
475
0
Pay a little extra and get either of these two. They are both probably better than Zomei brand:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haida-Professional-Neutral-Density-Filter/dp/B00DNCO0L2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1452358782&sr=8-4&keywords=haida+nd+filter+77mm

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/NiSi-Resistant-Exposure-Quality-Professional/dp/B00JNAL192/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1452358972&sr=8-3&keywords=nisi+nd+filter+77mm
 

dhr90

EOS RP
Aug 1, 2013
305
0
wsmith96 said:
I don't have any experience with that brand, but I took a look at Amazon in the US to see what the reviews were. So far, I'm finding that most of their products don't have any reviews, or just a handful of reviews on the screw on filters. Of the products that have reviews, they are mixed. That's a bit telling to me. If there were an inexpensive filter line out there, you would think that people would flock to it as word would get out, especially if they were in the ball park of Lee. Have you looked at Cokin? I believe you are in the UK given the UK Amazon link - maybe you could find a used set from a reputable store just to try it out. Here in the US, B&H and Adorama have used filters regularly. May be an option to test the waters before you heavily invest.

Good luck!
Hadn't even thought of used! Good shout, couple of Lee filters, which while they're .6ND might be a better purchase to test the waters with if I can get the mounts for a good price too. Right now its just something I might play with on rare occasions.

ishdakuteb said:
Pay a little extra and get either of these two. They are both probably better than Zomei brand:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haida-Professional-Neutral-Density-Filter/dp/B00DNCO0L2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1452358782&sr=8-4&keywords=haida+nd+filter+77mm

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/NiSi-Resistant-Exposure-Quality-Professional/dp/B00JNAL192/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1452358972&sr=8-3&keywords=nisi+nd+filter+77mm
I had heard of Nisi filters before, a Pro/Semipro whose work I follow on twitter recommends them. Little nervous of that particular one though given the lack of reviews? Being screw on makes things a bit simpler too which is a plus.
 

tiggy@mac.com

Pentax K-1000
Jan 20, 2014
531
244
Thetford, VT
www.ForestMetrix.com
I disagree with the other posters. You don't get what you pay for with filters (although you do get crap when you pay $12 for a filter). When people have done actual proper tests of filters, price was not a variable in a direct relationship with performance or quality, so long as you eliminate the $<50 group. With filters costing >$50, people use stuff and have anecdotal opinions that rarely are calibrated to additional personal experience with the other brands.

And this case is a good example. I too saw the Zomei filters and bought a 1000x ND filter. Coincidentally, I bought a Breakthrough Photography ND filter too, of a different intensity. It's apparent that these are made by the same company. I suspect Breakthrough uses Zomei, or a common manufacturer. There are several very unique elements to their constructions, such as a flat outer metal ring concentric to the glass filter, on which label writing is printed. The bevels are quite stylized and almost identical. Performance wise, they are both decent, although I only have a few days in the field with them. I believe the Breakthrough brand brags of more coatings, so they're not actually identical. (Edit: looking at the amazon link the OP included, this is likely a different Zomei filter than the one I purchased, which was cheaper and didn't advertise any particular coatings).

Actual data on the Zomei (polarizing) filter by a respected third party source:
http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?art=139&roz=24

That same source indicates (rather convincingly) that the best filter/price (for polarizers) is the Hoya Fusion Antistatic CIR-PL.
http://www.lenstip.com/139.16-article-Polarizing_filters_test_2015_Hoya_Fusion_Antistatic_CIR-PL.html

You can spend more than twice as much on a B+W filter that is demonstrably worse. The B+W lineup of filters is quite good, but the more expensive ones are not necessarily the better filters. In an analysis of performance versus price, the best value B+W filter (Circular-Pol MRC) came in 9th out of 23 filters.

When Lenstip did this same analysis a few years back, they found that some of the most expensive filters were actually the worst. Interestingly, their 2015 data shows that the most egregious examples have been replaced by better performing filters, perhaps because the manufacturers are now dealing with better informed public.

In sum:
1) It's smart of you to ask the question on the forum, and don't let people tell you to go on price as an analog of quality
2) It matters what filter you use, with about 1/3rd of filters being very similarly specced on the high end, but with quite different prices.
3) Zomei would be a kickass filter if it had coatings, but it doesn't. I like mine, but I know what I got for very little money, as a backup filter. Breakthrough Photography filters appear to be coated versions of the same or similar filters. The going is early, and we don't have measured performance, but they might be chart jumpers when Lenstip gets around to doing their data analysis again in a few years. That last bit is speculation on my part.

Finally, I think it would be great for some organization to develop some specific criteria for ND filters that could be used as a standard actual metric of performance. You could have three variables in addition to light blocking level:
- Min/Max consistency of level of blocking across lens
- Light scattering properties
- Color introduction

These are measurable things that would cause manufacturers to up their games if they knew the market was expecting these figures. And, of course, they would become comparable. MTF charts have been great for lenses, and they're even bs-detected by people like Sir Roger Cicala, with their own equipment. One can dream.