Author Topic: ND graduated filters  (Read 2033 times)

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Offline chorleyjeff

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ND graduated filters
« on: October 19, 2014, 10:05:16 PM »
I need to get some hard edge ND grad filters for a course I am due to attend.
Lee filters are recommended by the tutor but the costs are high. Has anyone experience of using other less expensive alternatives and able to comment on their quality?
I would be grateful for any advice.
Cheers
Jeff

Offline chappo1

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2014, 11:04:25 PM »
I cannot help I am afraid, I do not use them.  I have just taken delivery of a Tiffen variable ND (not grad) filter though.....john
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Offline Chris82

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 07:20:18 AM »
Another option is hitech. Not that much cheaper than Lee these days I'm afraid to say. The quality is good however they tend to give slightly more colour cast than the Lee filters when stacked. Cokin do filters but I don't think they do hard grads. Do you already have a filter kit? If so what size? If not, do you need the 100mm filters and holder or can u get away with the Lee 75mm option or Hitech 85mm option?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 05:49:56 PM by Chris82 »

Offline Faldrax

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 11:30:25 AM »
As Chris said, HiTech are the main alternative to Lee.

You also need to decide what 'size' of filters you want.

For Full Frame, you need 100mm filters, for APS-C you can use 85mm if not going too wide.
What is the widest lens you'll be using?

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Offline chorleyjeff

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2014, 12:03:46 PM »
As Chris said, HiTech are the main alternative to Lee.

You also need to decide what 'size' of filters you want.

For Full Frame, you need 100mm filters, for APS-C you can use 85mm if not going too wide.
What is the widest lens you'll be using?

Re the above and last but one reply.
I  have A580 and 380 with 16-80, 105 and 70-300 lenses. I have a Cokin P holder - from monochrome film days - which Ihave tested for vignette at 16mm and there is a bit of vignette, so I think a 100 mm holder would be better and maybe allow for future purchase of shorter focal length lens. I tested an old Cokin soft grad filter by measuring RG&B values of pictures of white paper with and without the filter and there didn't seem much deviation but it was a crude experiment. I am looking for real life experience and whether there is notable colour shift especially in grey sky areas.
I have read upon test reports but, as always, I wonder if advertising etc by suppliers might be influential.
I should add that the course is an expensive one off and probably a make or break experience in that if I don't make a reasonable  improvement beyond my current fairly modest level I'll abandon "serious" photography and spend more time with my paint brushes.
Thanks for advice.
Cheers
Jeff

Offline Faldrax

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 12:18:15 PM »
Ok, looks like a Lee / Hitech system is what you need.

If you have sufficient time before the course, you can pick up the holder, adaptor rings and filters s/h, which can bring the cost down - but you need the time and a bit of patience, as s/h prices are often not far from new!

The good news is that when you have completed the course, if you decide not to continue with ND grads, you will be able to sell them for pretty much what you paid.
It is difficult to explain to white mice that black cats are lucky...

2 x A900/VG, A6000
CZ 16-35 f/2.8, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di USD, Sony 70-300G,
Tamron 150-600, Sony 50 f1.4, Minolta 85 f1.4 G RS, Sony 100 f2.8 Macro
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Offline chorleyjeff

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2014, 02:37:35 PM »
Ok, looks like a Lee / Hitech system is what you need.

If you have sufficient time before the course, you can pick up the holder, adaptor rings and filters s/h, which can bring the cost down - but you need the time and a bit of patience, as s/h prices are often not far from new!

The good news is that when you have completed the course, if you decide not to continue with ND grads, you will be able to sell them for pretty much what you paid.

Course is next Feb/March.
I had not thought to get secondhand. Thanks for the idea which I will pursue.
Cheers
Jeff

Offline Chris82

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Re: ND graduated filters
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2014, 06:00:22 PM »
 You may be surprised to find that a wide angle adapter ring might work with what you have without vignetting. The standard adapter rings cause vignetting on both my 24-70 & 16-35 however, the wide angle adapter rings have no such issue at any focal length. Just a thought as it may save money.

 Whether you opt for either Lee or Hitech they will perform admirably i'm sure having tried both.

Good luck with the hunt for 2nd hand. I'll keep a look out for you also.

The cokin grad filters i had previous to upgrading my whole system gave a very purple/ magenta cast when 2 were used at once. I find the Hitech also do this but nowhere near as strongly ( can add a bit of extra colour to sunset/rise). My Lee grads on the other hand so far seem almost completely neutral.