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ND should be included in every photographer’s kit. It’s the kind of tool that you wouldn’t want to be caught without on a day when the sun is very powerful. It’s one of the top filters for landscape photography, but its use goes far beyond that. Here are our top choices of filters with 9 and 10 stops.
This filter is fitted with a foam gasket perimeter that was designed to create a seal between the holder and the lens. This reduces light leakage around the edges and that is one of its best assets. The company claims to have used rigorous spectrographic testing to improve the color neutrality, so overall, this filter should deliver respectable results.
Tiffen is one of the most respected filter manufacturing companies, and the numerous awards they have won are a testament to what they can do. The 3.0 is also an example of their quality. The overall result was neutral, although there was a slight warming of the image when tested. Nothing alarming of course.
The vignetting is also very well controlled making this one of the most well balanced filters on the list.
This is the best option for the budget challenged photographer. It is available in sizes between 46-77mm. The fact that it is easier on the wallet might get you thinking that it compromises quality, but that isn’t so. Overall performance is generally satisfying. Although some color alteration is noticeable, the extra warmth is not disturbing. Vignetting is also well controlled. Overall, this filter deserves its place among the other, more expensive models. The price to performance ratio makes it a solid option for anyone looking to spend as little as possible on a quality ND filter.
While testing this filter, we noticed a strong cooling effect with vivid blue hue. There was also some slight vignetting, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from this type of filter. The overall quality and performance are good. It is designed to fit into Lee’s 100mm adaptable filter holder.
It provides a slightly less powerful effect than the other filters featured, with only 9 stops. It is available in a wide range of sizes, from 49mm to 82mm. Hoya has a Multi Coated range, and this filter is no exception, with a three layer coating designed to minimize reflection and flare. According to the company, the coating also helps with color neutrality. If you aren’t in dire need of 10 stops, this is the way to go.
B+W are also respected for their products, so the best was expected from this filter as well. Available sizes range from 52-77mm. We noticed a warm color cast on the filtered image and some vingetting as well. Not quite what we expected, but we still recommend it. Just as with the competition, the build quality is very good.