okay, this happens each summer - I realize I really need my grad filter set, and I have a cheap one resin grads from formatt hitech, where some filters blur the image and I get reflections/glare now and then that ruins the image. Then I start searching for replacement and I just get more confused. I've also become really paranoid from the problems with my current system, I don't want to buy yet another system that is this bad. On paper most look similar to the one I already got though, so earlier years I've just added more filters to the system I already have and just got more disappointed.
I've searched and there are no grads that are anti-reflection coated, not even Schneider MPTV glass grads(!)
Is glass the only material that works to make sure there is no resolution reduction, or are high quality resin (like Lee or Sing-Ray) good enough? I've heard good things about Lee filters so I hope their resin is planar enough.
And two, will all uncoated filters be as reflection prone as my current grads are or can there be differences? With my current grads I can get glare form the sun in the frame even if I've shaded the filter and holder so light can only come into the front. Not shading the holder a bright summer day almost guarantees filter reflections. It feels kind of hopeless doing a typical sunset with a grad if the area around the sun is ruined by filter glare, it's the schoolbook example of grad usage and with my current system it all too often fails.
When I see images of people working with grads (say Lee) they very rarely shade them, I wonder if this is so the photo should look nicer or if people are using them without shading and if that really works. I know if I would use my system the same way 50% of the images would be ruined by filter reflections.
Say if I buy a Lee filter resin grad filter set, do you think I will struggle with the same problems as with my current? If so I think I might revert back to HDR merging instead...
The expensive Schneider MPTV glass grads could be an option, but paying that kind of money and still not get anti-reflection coating does not feel too good.