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ND Fader or Filter Kit?


Link Posted 30/05/2019 - 21:58
I am thinking about investing in a ND filter set and Polarizer.

I have looked at the offerings from Lee and SRB but wonder about the practicality (and cost difference) of just investing in the ND Fader type (Circular) and Circular Polarizer. I have a range of lens that 77mm and 67mm will fit so a simple ring adaptor and the the 77mm Fader and Polarizer will cover it.

I just wonder what experience have of the use of the ND Fader type (ease of focus and optical quality)
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Link Posted 30/05/2019 - 22:09
No experience of the fader design. Lee is a great kit but expensive.

As far as focus goes you want to be doing that before you put the filter on the lens

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Link Posted 31/05/2019 - 23:10
ND filters is a tricky subject. When it comes to what kind should I purchase. The first and obvious question is "How much do I intend to Spend on them ?" Then how often do I intend to use them..? And thirdly . Will I ever purchase equipment that will leave the system redundant. The latest Pentax lenses being 82mm. Requires a 150mm filter.

Do I want to purchase plastic filters or glass ? Plastic filters scratch far more easily. Transfering to your images. Glass breaks. If or should I say when you drop them in the field. (unless you use Kase filters)

All the cheaper filters will leave your images with colour casts to them. But if your a proficient Lightroom or Photoshopper these are easily removed. Saving you money if not time..

Which shape ? Well if you eventually intend on adding graduated filters to your system. You will have to select the oblong version. "Z" system. As this type is so much more variable and easier to use. Round filters seal the light far better. To the lens. But not as conveinient to move out the way when focusing.

I personally wouldn't recommend using the fader system. As the ones I have come across. Don't extend to ten stops. Leaving you another filter still to purchase. They also can be easily moved and twisted. If attaching graduated filters to the front of them.

At the end of the day. The decision can only be yours. Only you knows what you want out of the system.

My recommendation...
3 stop ND
6stop ND
10 Stop ND
Polorizing filter.
0.9 Graduated filter.
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Link Posted 01/06/2019 - 09:33
The difficulty I find is there is no one system that fits all; I first bought an inexpensive set of Cokin rectangular 87mm filters but after getting the 15-30mm lens I got the Lee SW150 system on the basis it would fit my other larger lenses as well. The problem apart from the cost is the amount of storage space it needs, and this is compounded by the adapters for different lens sizes. The 100mm system would probably be much more accommodating and suit everything except the 15-30mm.

I have recently bought 35mm and 50mm prime lenses with 49mm threads so the SW150mm system is ludicrously oversized for them so have resurrected the Cokin set and added a 10 stop screw on filter (not the variable type). There is a lot of hype around about the quality of filters and a Thomas Heaton vlog recently dismissed the Cokins but honestly I find it hard to tell any difference. But I digress. Variable NDís? I have read of issues with them but others swear by them, but honestly how much variation do you need? A 3-stop and a 10-stop will suffice, and you can fit your standard polariser on as well so screw in filters take almost no space and are a cheaper option overall. The difficulty comes when you need a variable ND set but many times when I should have used these I sort everything out in Lightroom instead.

PS I gather that the latest LR version will let you control just the bright areas so eliminating the problem of a horizontal change point on a hilly horizon. I am all for getting everything right in camera but am beginning to wonder whether variable NDs are becoming redundant.
Last Edited by RobL on 01/06/2019 - 09:40


Link Posted 01/06/2019 - 09:36
With all the advice as above, if you go for glass round filters, which will probably be the polarizer and the 10 stop at least, buy for the largest lens diameter you have and then use step down rings to everything else, much cheaper than a specific filter for each lens

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Link Posted 01/06/2019 - 11:01
RobL wrote:

PS I gather that the latest LR version will let you control just the bright areas so eliminating the problem of a horizontal change point on a hilly horizon. I am all for getting everything right in camera but am beginning to wonder whether variable NDs are becoming redundant.

...and in PS/LR you have the Grad ND filter tool also so you can replicatate a lot in pp. Although in a scene where there is a big difference between light and dark it may not be possible to capture the whole DR in one shot. The pp tools still need detail to work their magic. I suppose you can take a number of exposures and blend them in pp, but I have never tried that myself.

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Link Posted 04/06/2019 - 11:44
or forget filters and bracket 3 or 5 shots , thee are pro landscape photogrphers that do this with excellent results, looking very natural and not like an overblown HDR. plus their view is the only filter you need is a polariser, you can also blend a number of fast shutter speed images together to create the appearance of a long shutter speed image
odd lens or 2

Last Edited by redbusa99 on 04/06/2019 - 11:46


Link Posted 08/09/2019 - 16:28
For a number of years I used grad ND filters from a UK company called Kood, 85mm format, soft and hard edged.

They are priced similarly to the Cokin range, and fit their holders. As far as I can determine there is no visible colour cast.

I recently changed to a 100mm system (more flexible for my wider lenses 10 and 16mm). The 2 and 3 stop soft grads were replaced with the 100mm Kood versions. The hard grads purchased was a 3 filter set, Cokin Z series.

I also own a 77mm SRB 10 stop filter, and again any colour cast is minimal ; the 10 stop Lee Big stopper is well known for its blue cast, and that one isn't cheap 🙄

Latest addiction is a 10 stop glass filter from Haida (£55 from ebay).

The last images I posted on the forum were taken with a combination of the Haida filter and one of the soft grads; colour cast, none that I can see.


I also have a Cpl for use with the new system, but rarely use it as I find the uneven polarisation of the sky very off-putting (mostly an issue at wider focal lengths).

In summary I don't believe that you have to spend a fortune to obtain decent results.

K5IIs, Sigma 10-20, Pentax DA 16-85, Pentax DA 55-300, Pentax 70 Ltd, Metz 44 AF-2.

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