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need some advice on graduated ND filters

OvidiuOvidiu Member
edited July 2011 in general photography
I was looking to purchase one of them just for experimenting.
After reading a couple of articles, I think what I want is a screw-on soft graduated ND filter that adds 2 f-stops.

Trying to find one (in Europe) I am stuck with a couple of problems: vendors don't seem to provide all the technical details, i.e. they either don't say anything about the f-stops or they use cryptical descriptions in their products (i.e. 50% or 25% - I guess that is where the "dividing line" is between the dark and the light part?)

Can someone recommend one? Preferably available in Europe otherwise I'd be happy about any info, I can try and find it in Europe on my own but I do need to know what I am looking for :-) Price-wise I am looking at some mid-range, I see they seem to be going for about 50$

Comments

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    a graduated ND filter?

    Aren't those the Cokin type filters that slot into a holder, so that you can angle or rotate the filter to match the horizon ?
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited July 2011
    Yes Neil they are, NDs, Grey Grads, etc. etc. I have a set of the P type. [Professional, larger filters to cover the lenses fully, fiddly but great for landscapes, dunno about using for weddings though, with trying to get fast shots on the fly].

    Ovidiu, I would not recommend the screw on filters as you would have trouble aligning horizons, etc. also I don't know what your lens frontal element does either if it's one that rotates while zooming, not good.

    As for purchasing one, why not try B&H? Mate, I am in Australia and it's a lot cheaper for me to get 95% of my gear out of B&H, pay the freight than if I had of purchased locally retail. I've literally saved thousands of dollars over last 3 years. 99% of stuff landed on my doorstep usually within 4-5 working days.

    4 separate items. Filters, Wide Angle Filter Holder [P Series, do not get the A Series], Filter Adapter Ring which screws onto your lens to hold the Filter Holder and Cap to put over when not in use for the lens, saves taking the adaptor ring off.

    P Series:
    ND Filter, set of 3: $59.95
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/387434-REG/Cokin_CH250_Graduated_Neutral_Density_Filter.html

    Filter Ring: This depends on the size of your lens, quoted 77mm here, common size.
    77mm $16.95
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/14096-REG/Cokin_CP477_P_Series_77mm_Adapter.html

    Filter holder: $13
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/628301-REG/Cokin_CBPW400_BPW400_Wide_Angle_Filter.html

    Cap: $6.59
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/14056-REG/Cokin_CP253_Adapter_Cap_P_P253.html

    Full List here:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=cokin+p+series&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

    EDIT: Oh, you can slide the filters up/down also in the adapter ring to suit, plenty of leeway, but don't scrimp, get the P Series, not the smaller ones, waste of effort.
    Also the filter can be rotated easily to suit what you are blocking the light on.

    Cheers,
    Trev
  • OvidiuOvidiu Member
    edited July 2011
    Thanks for all that info, but I was looking to start small, currently this is just something I'd like to try out, experiment, see if I like what can be done so I was looking for a screw-on solution since it is way cheaper and easier to use. Yes I know about the rotating lens issues :-)

    I was looking at something like this: http://www.amazon.de/Hama-81172-Verlauf-Filter-Dunkelgrau-72/dp/B00005YVCR/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1NOH7JD38FKK1&colid=1SBKFFIFIM5DO

    Got the divider line in the middle, just wondering whether this is a 1-stop or 2-stop filter? Most of these cheapos don't state it hence my question here.

    ###edit###
    just realized the solution you posted above, doesn't actually sum up to a lot more than I was willing to spend :-) might give it a try...
  • Screw on solutions won't have the adjustability needed to line up the gradient with the part of your image that is too bright. The whole holder is necessary to get this done right and free up your hands. I have just one of these filters (pretty dark, not even sure the specs but it's a grad ND with the grad right down the middle) that I will handhold if necessary and a big bright sky is not otherwise avoidable and I don't want it blown out. Kind of rare that I use it though but it's in my bag just in case and it just slides in next to other stuff, taking virtually no space. Perhaps if a formal was somewhere that a tripod and filter holder could be brought by an assistant it could come in more handy. Mine is just in case of emergencies, like a group shot that 'must' have a certain landmark in the background.
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