Good ND filter?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by bmg123, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. bmg123

    bmg123 TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    England, UK
    I tried out my cheap ND filter today on a long exposure (I usually use for DOF and video) and discovered that in the top left and bottom right the filter leaves dark circles which ruin the images, so a few nice water shots I got today are now ruined! :(
    So any ND filters you can recommend for the E-mount 49mm thread?
  2. loonsailor

    loonsailor TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    The thing is that good ND filters are expensive, and you need several - different values, and maybe also graduated ones (though graduated NDs are less important with great PP options now available). And, of course, you need all those for all the lenses that you might want to use with ND.

    So, I use a Lee gel filter holder LEE Filters Gel Snap (4x4" Filter Holder) for Lenses up GS. It snaps easily onto every lens I own. Then you can drop in any 4x4 gel filter - ND, graduated ND, whatever. Many companies make them. You can slide more than one gel in, to multiply the density. When using a graduated ND, it's also easy to twist the holder to the right angle, and slide the gel out to the right place for the gradation. You can also get LEE Filters Solid Neutral Density Polyester Filter Set GSND B&H, which is a set of filters plus the holder, rather than buy them separately.

    It looks awkward, but it's very easy to use, and very flexible. Anyway, I can't remember the last time I used an ND without a tripod, so it's no big deal at all to use one of these.
  3. bmg123

    bmg123 TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    England, UK
    That seems like a better solution; I was using a graduated filter and it did this!

  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    That's a very weird result from a ND. YOu usually see that with the cheaper variable ND filters. Out of curiousity what camera/lens settings did you use?
  5. bmg123

    bmg123 TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    England, UK
    It was on the Sony 16mm with settings of ISO 100, f/8 and around a second shutter speed, can't remember exactly
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Hmm ... I compared a B+W ND-filter with a set of cheap Haida filters. The only difference in the results were the a little bit warmer colors from the B+W, but white balance corrections in post can easily take care of this. I didn't notice a resolution difference, though this may be because I used my 14 MP NEX-5 for the test. In the end, I bought 3 Haida ND filters which I'm still very happy with, and I will probably buy Haida NDs for my next lens too.

    You shouldn't buy cheap polarizers, or super cheap always-on UV filters, but cheap ND filters are no problem IMHO.
  7. jvjc888

    jvjc888 TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 18, 2013
    I used the hoya nd-400 9 stop filter. It works for me. here is the shot taken from it in bright sunlight
  8. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    The Hoya Pro 1 Digital ND-filter should do the trick and it is not very expensive, about $30.
  9. radimere

    radimere TalkEmount Regular

    Apr 2, 2013
    That looks like a polarization artifact on a wide angle lens. Are you using a graduated ND or a variable ND? A Vari-ND is two polarizers stacked on top of each other, and would have this effect on short focal lengths.

    Here's an example similar to yours:


    Needless to say, variable NDs and wide angles do not match. They're actually meant to be used with video cameras, to lower exposure while keeping aperture constant, in normal-tele ranges. I recommend either going with a drop-in filter setup, and stacking filters, or getting a 9-stop (Hoya) or 10-stop ND (B+W) if you're trying to do dreamy daytime seascapes. They should be affordable at 49mm diameters.
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