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Thread: Best ND filter for d800E

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Best ND filter for d800E

    It seems quite difficult to find out which is the best high density or variable ND filter offers the best quality in terms of both resolution and colour accuracy. We don't get Singh Ray in the UK, but Kenko, Hama, Hoya, Tiffen, Lee, B+W and others make versions and it seems hard to work out which are the best.

    Any tips folks?

    Thanks!
    Tim

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Tim,

    I use the Tiffen IR-ND filters. My main use is for blurring moving water in landscapes. For this, you need about 8 or 9 stops total off ISO 100 if lit by direct Sun, less if in more subdued light. The best resolution is always achieved if you limit to one filter, however two stacked on a non-shifting application remains very usable. Hence, my collection is a 0.9 (3-stop), a 1.8 (6-stop) and a 2.7 (9-stop). The issue with the 9-stop is you really cannot see through it well enough to compose when it's mounted. The 3-stop is really only useful in low light or when stacked on top of the 6-stop for additional strength. You can see well enough through a 6-stop to compose, and since most of my moving water shots are not lit by direct Sun, I find it my most-used filter.

    You need IR cut ND's because the regular old style ND will leak IR and will color pollute digital images, leaving them kind of a nasty yellow-ish brown color you cannot balance out. Even the IRND versions set color off a bit, but it's easily correctable with a WB adjustment. Best bet is whenever you use the IRND is to shoot a gray card or passport frame for white reference.

    PS: Ironically, coatings on filters have a negative effect on resolution and multi-coating is worse than single, but no coating can generate unwanted reflections or flare spots. As such a single-coated option is a best compromise, so avoid all the higher-priced, fancy name multi-coated options. (You can reference a Schneider article on this topic several years back; after which, neither Schneider nor Schott offered MC filters. Tiffen dropped them a few years from later except for video applications, where absolute resolution is not as critical as controlling unwanted reflections and flare.)

    Hope this helps,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Hi,

    I have used Kenko Variable NDX, it is quite OK. I wouldn't say it goes the ND 3.0 (1000X) but ND 2,0 (100X) is OK. Not much of color shift but tends to be uneven past 100X.

    I have used it on 24-70/2.8 and 70-400/4.0-5.6 on a full frame Sony Alpha 900.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    It seems quite difficult to find out which is the best high density or variable ND filter offers the best quality in terms of both resolution and colour accuracy. We don't get Singh Ray in the UK, but Kenko, Hama, Hoya, Tiffen, Lee, B+W and others make versions and it seems hard to work out which are the best.

    Any tips folks?

    Thanks!
    Tim

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    B&W 13 and 20 stop ND filters have a great deal of IR contamination. I am enjoying the 9-stop Hoya NDX400 ND filter that give fairly good colors--all of these filters mess with the colors to some degree or another. The nice thing about the Hoya is that in bright sunlight, you can still compose though the viewfinder.

    Variable ND filters suffer from the black X at maximum ND. The wider the lens, the worst it is.

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    my collection is a 0.9 (3-stop), a 1.8 (6-stop) and a 2.7 (9-stop).
    Same here; I have a 3 stop Lee, 6 stop Hitec, and 9 stop Hitec. Mine are 4x4 resin and glass though, but I have no problems with IR hot spots or color shift. Never noticed anything significant, certainly nothing even close to resembling film reciprocity shift which was often rather severe in comparison.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Hi,

    I have seen the black X phenomena on my Kenko NDX at maximum density, I think it is OK to about 100X (ND 2.0).

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    B&W 13 and 20 stop ND filters have a great deal of IR contamination. I am enjoying the 9-stop Hoya NDX400 ND filter that give fairly good colors--all of these filters mess with the colors to some degree or another. The nice thing about the Hoya is that in bright sunlight, you can still compose though the viewfinder.

    Variable ND filters suffer from the black X at maximum ND. The wider the lens, the worst it is.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    That is a priceless set of advice, thanks to all for sharing. I am wondering, pursuant to Jack's comments about composing, about the variable ND ones. I was about to buy one a few weeks ago but the salesman said something about how they weren't really useable over a few stops because they degraded resolution with some strange interference pattern and they had colour balance issues. Assuming they are no good, and given the need to have them in 67 and 77mm sizes, I'll start with Tiffen 9 stop and then if the technique is suiting my work, get a few more thereafter.

    Thanks again people.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Buy the biggest you need in my case 82mm than buy step down rings. 82-77, 82-72 and 82-67. Or 82-77,77-72,72-67 and stack them. The step down rings are not very expensive so you can have several. I actually have a 82 and 77 of the same filter than step down from there. I use the 6 stop version of the Tiffen. That's all I carry, I don't like stacking filters themselves.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Zeiss 18 with the 9 stop 82mm size a 30 second exposure

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Nikon 85 with 6 stop only 1.3 seconds

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Guy,

    FYI I'm pretty sure your 82mm is the same as mine and they're 9-stoppers (2.7's), not 6's (1.8's). You might want to check
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    My bad yes the same as yours as we bought them together for the 18mm lens. I ll go check my 77 as that maybe the 6 stopper. Crap my memory is toast
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    The advantage of the 18 with the 9 stop is you can point in the general direction to compose and be pretty close LOLOL!
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Should be mentioned here with live view with camera on manual you can dial down your shutter speed obviously in good light and can see pretty well with the filter on using live view. I actually like using manual here since I can also open up more to see than dial down to see the exact exposure I am getting before I actually shoot. To me this takes a load out of guessing exposure like the old days as we would guess exposure with these filters on as you can't see. That has all changed with live view. That 18 mm shot above at 30 seconds took very little time to set up . Before you would go through a lot more work and guessing exposures. Big plus for live view and ND filter type work today. This is something folks should try out.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Thumbs down Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    My bad yes the same as yours as we bought them together for the 18mm lens. I ll go check my 77 as that maybe the 6 stopper. Crap my memory is toast
    Sorry my 77mm filter is a 1.8 and 82 is the same as Jacks . So I do have. 6 stopper and a 9 stopper.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Hi Tim,

    I have square ND filters, I've used with Lee filter holder...Lee Polarizer (2-stop) , 3-stop Lee, 7-stop Hi-Tech and 10-stop Lee. I've also had 10-stop circular B&W. They work just fine.

    Best,
    Pramote

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Should be mentioned here with live view with camera on manual you can dial down your shutter speed obviously in good light and can see pretty well with the filter on using live view.
    Excellent point!
    Jack
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Guy, the waterfall shot is a great one. Love the play of light.

    Jack, question on the IR pollution, which I have noticed a bit on longer exposures with a IQ160, will a LCC help on removing the cast? When I am shooting longish exposures on the 160, with tech lenses, @ 10 seconds or longer, when I take the LCC I remove the ND since I don't want to take a LCC for 20 to 25 seconds. I might try taking one for the longer time frame with the ND on and keep it as a preset for IR pollution.

    Trying to avoid a 95mm IRND cost as they are well over 500.00

    Thanks
    Paul

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Paul,

    I always take my LCC's in exact same trim as my filtration. I know it's an extra bother, but IMHO well worth the effort since all sorts of negative anomalies get evened out. LCC in itself will not (and should not) correct a global WB issue, but does even out localized color *casts* occurring across the frame. However, IF you set or shoot your main image and LCC at the same WB settings, then you can dropper the LCC frame for a very good starting WB for the image frame.
    Jack
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    I am going bonkers trying to find the right one online: the Tiffen website is a total mess and the only ones I can find on Amazon UK or my dealer's website are 0.3 0.6 and 0.9 which don't seem strong enough since they seem to translate to 1, 2 and 3 stops respectively - and there's no mention of the IR blocking feature. If Guy or Jack were able to tell me what it says on the ring of their 9 stop versions I'd be very grateful!

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    When I was in the market for nd filters I tested (at the same time) Hoya, B&W, Tiffen and Heliopan. These were 6 stop nd's and my findings were that the Heliopan gave me the best result.
    I bought the Heliopan and later also the 10 stop Heliopan and no regrets (not testing the others for 10 stop though). They are really great. I get rich contrast and very sharp results.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Senior Member danielmoore's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Tim, this may help some. I have yet to locate a 67mm filter size for this guy.

    edit: I can only seem to find x6 and x7 filters.

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    mine says exactly this tiffen 82mm wtr/wht ir nd2.1

    this looks to be it here

    Tiffen 82mm Solid Neutral Density Infrared (IR) 2.1 W82IRND21

    weird i thought it was 9 stops but seems to be 7 . Jack ordered mine for me before we went to Zion. Maybe they sent me the wrong one and should have been a 2.7. Jack check yours bud. Wonder if we got one of each instead
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Funny thing Tiffen don't list a 2.7

    Infrared Filters Press Release
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    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E


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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Guy,

    Mine says 2.1 as well which is 7 stops. I never checked it but had ordered us 9 stop 2.7's and that's what the receipt said... They probably ran out of stock or they misprinted and corrected a 7 as a 1 on their site and shipped us 2.1's. Either way it's okay with me as it worked great in Zion even in the Sun.
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Tim,

    If you goto the B&H site and enter "Tiffen 77mm IR ND 1.8" you get this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...op+Nav-Search= The ones I order say "combination" like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l_Density.html

    You should be able to use the search function and then find the one you want, then B&H includes the manufacturer product number listed right by the price -- you should be able to use that to find the one you want somewhere in the UK.
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Guy,

    Mine says 2.1 as well which is 7 stops. I never checked it but had ordered us 9 stop 2.7's and that's what the receipt said... They probably ran out of stock or they misprinted and corrected a 7 as a 1 on their site and shipped us 2.1's. Either way it's okay with me as it worked great in Zion even in the Sun.
    Yea it was weird for sure. Its okay with me as well as they did a great job for us in Zion. 9 stops may actually be too long a exposure. But Im thrilled these work so well.

    See maybe i'm not losing my memory. I laugh at this but it is a serious issue in my family tree. I'M NOT THAT OLD YET. ROTFLMAO
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Thanks again everyone, and to Jack and Guy for having worked this one out. I wish the manufacturers and retailers were clearer on all this!

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    In terms of stacking two filters and loss of resolution vs using isos less than 100--- which would be less destructive to an image.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    I went with the 1.8 and 2.1 IRND filters in 77mm and 82mm. That way you can stack a 1.8 and 2.1 together for 13 stops for daylight long exposures with a 77-82mm step up ring and avoid vignetting. However, there is a BIG difference in price between 77mm and 82mm filters!
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    In terms of stacking two filters and loss of resolution vs using isos less than 100--- which would be less destructive to an image.
    I use a B+W 13-stop ND filter with an IR cut filter. In my color test I could not see a loss to resolution when the IR cut filter was added.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    I found an old Heliopan 2.4 (about 8 stops) and it seems pretty good, though it only fits my adapted 50 Cron. If further investigation proves it to be good, I'll pick up the Heliopan 77mm 3, which is about ten stops: I think that unless it creates serious colour issues I'd prefer the extra strength. Tiffen UK can supply the same one that Guy and Jack have but at over £165 and a bit of a wait for delivery, I thought I'd explore the Heliopan first.

    I also found a Lee 100x150 filter holder kit with a 77 adapter, wide and regular shades and a bunch of Lee NDs in various strengths, all in the same drawer - from my 4x5 film days. Might come in handy too, though with the D800 DR, possibly more trouble than would be worth the effort...

    EDIT: I just checked the £ cost of the Tiffen 77mm 2.1 that Jack pointed me to at B&H and it turns out that Tiffen UK charge a full THREE TIMES that price. Just on the basis that I don't like being ripped off, I am doubly certain to check out the Heliopan's performance pretty comprehensively first!
    Last edited by tashley; 29th October 2012 at 07:46.

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    I like the Lee system. It's easy to compose just by sliding the filter in/out, especially easy when using a 10 stop.

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    I like the Lee system. It's easy to compose just by sliding the filter in/out, especially easy when using a 10 stop.
    Just remember that if you stack filters with the big stopper then you'll need to seal up the edge of the overlaying filter to prevent reflections and light leaks. I regularly use the big stopper with a .9 ND and you MUST do this. It looks ugly but wrapping the pair with gaffer tape does the job. The big stopper itself has it's own gasket for this purpose.

    When I shoot with my Phase One DF or Nikon DSLRs I prefer to use the IRND Tiffens since they don't need the tape up when stacked. However, the LEE system is definitely my preferred filter solution in general.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Sigh... anything looks good on an Alpa on a Cube....
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Sigh... anything looks good on an Alpa on a Cube....
    Sorry Tim, I should have hidden the Alpa under a brown paper bag so that just the LEE filter pair wrapped in gaffer tape showed.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    In case no one has said this, use that nifty little eyepiece shutter during your exposures with these ND filters to prevent light from coming in the back of the camera...

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    In case no one has said this, use that nifty little eyepiece shutter during your exposures with these ND filters to prevent light from coming in the back of the camera...
    Good point. I'd also recommend placing some gaffer tape over the faux DOF indicator on most Nikon zoom AF lenses too. The 24-70/2.8 in particular isn't light tight at that window if you start shooting for many minutes. Ask me how I know that ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Member Mr.Gale's Avatar
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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Jack or someone, could you post a sample of what IR contamination looks like. Maybe I have that problem and don't even know it (?).
    I made a variable ND filter using two polarizers stacked together. I reversed the glass of the outside polarizer so when you turn it, keeping the inside on stationary, you can change the density. Seems to work good unless you try to go too dark.

    Mr.Gale

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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Here is what IR contamination looks like--not only a magenta cast, but unnatural tonality. This also shows light leaking through the viewfinder.


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    Re: Best ND filter for d800E

    Thanks Shashin. I haven't see anything like your example yet but if I do, I'll now know what it is.

    Mr.Gale

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