- B+W 77mm ND 3.0-1,000X with Single Coating
- Schneider Optics 77mm True-Match Vari-ND Thread-In Filter
- Zomei® Ultra Slim HD 18 Layer Super Multi-Coated SCHOTT Glass PRO Fader Variable Density Neutral Gray
There are some items that you just can't overlook buying if you're a serious amateur or a pro photographer. One of them is the ND (Neutral Density) filter. There are fixed value filters, graduated ND filters and variable ND filters to chose from, but whatever you do make sure you get at least one.
There are a lot of uses for these things and I'm not just talking about the cliché silky water effect that everyone does at one point or another. A lot of photographers shoot video as well, and having a variable ND filter will give you the ability to adapt to changing light conditions. A lot of DSLR lenses don't have a smooth aperture designed for shooting footage, but the right ND filter can easily replace that.
I still shoot film and I know there are a few more of you out there. Every time you load a roll of film into the camera, you commit to one ISO value. If that film has an ISO 800 speed, shooting in noon sun will put you in a very difficult position. A ND filter will bring down the light enough the make shooting at ISO800 possible.
Strobists can also benefit from using ND filters, especially when shooting outdoors. Most cameras have a sync speed of 1/200th or 1/250th and that's not good enough if you want to shoot at an aperture of f/1.4. Mount a 10 stop filter on and you'll remove all the technical boundaries of using flash with wide aperture.
(Success Tip #2:The secret to selling more photography with less effort)
Here's a great video from B&H with some awesome tricks you can use easily with the help of a good ND filter.