The Neutral Density Filter (ND) is one of those tools that should be in almost every photo bag. However, ND filters are mysterious to some and many people just don’t understand how, where and when to use them. This article will discuss the 7 Best ND Filter for Landscape Photography.
Beyond that, manufacturers seem to vary in their preferences regarding how they call ND filters – adding to the confusion. In this article, let us go through the world of ND filtering together and see if we can understand the nomenclature and also name a few appropriate times for their use.
What is a neutral density filter?
The ND filter is basically a filter that, placed in front of the lens (or thrown in a filter slot) reduces the amount of light entering the room. Think of the ND filter as the sunglasses for your camera – although sunglasses that do not change the color of light captured by the camera and lens – hence the “neutral” nomenclature.
Morning in downtown Brooklyn after a snowfall. Captured with a 16-option Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra ND filter.
What do neutral density filters do or allow you to do?
There are several real-world uses for the ND filter – one involving opening and one involving shutter speed.
1. Opening – shallow depth of field in bright environments
In the world of photography, in general, more light is better. But if you’ve ever been out with an older analog or digital camera and tried to shoot your 50mm f / 1.8 lens in broad daylight, in open daylight, you may remember seeing your exposure needle stuck. from the top of the light meter. or your digital light meter screaming “STOPPING!” because the camera shutter couldn’t move fast enough for the amount of light present.
The ND filter allows photographers to photograph their wide-open lenses in bright light without exposing too much. This allows for reduced field depth and selective focusing effects under lighting conditions that exceed the camera’s shutter capabilities.
Even with the fast shutter speed of professional cameras today and the speed of previous shutters impossible to introduce by electronic shutters, there is still a place in the picture for the ND filter.
I could shoot cloud summaries all day with a ND Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra 16-stop filter.
2. Shutter speed – Slow shutter speed
The more “classic” use of the ND filter concerns its effect on the shutter speed. With less light entering the room, you will have to slow down the shutter for a given aperture setting. The higher shutter speed will allow any movement in the frame to fade.
Generally, blurring of the camera is not desired, but if you work with a tripod or an alternative holder with an ND filter and a slow shutter, what is static in the frame remains static and the moving one becomes unclear.
Where can you use this? Basically in any photo you want to emphasize the movement with. Popular topics include waterfalls, vehicle traffic, people (not usually portraits), seascapes, rivers, streams, clouds and smoke.
Brooklyn-Queens Highway during rush hour in the first weeks. If only he looked like this in real life. This is a 2 minute exposure using a ND Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra 16-stop filter.
What do the numbers in the ND filters mean?
ND filters are different strengths or darkness. For the photographer, the easiest thing would be to have ND filters that tell you how many light stops will darken your exposure. Designed by optical engineers, most ND filter brands label their products with either a ND filter factor number or an optical density number. Unfortunately, for the photographer, neither the filter factor nor the optical density number are equal to the number of stops with which the light is reduced.
List of Best ND Filters
An important aspect when it comes to shopping is whether you go for square filters that are mounted in a bracket and attached to the lens through an adapter ring or to buy filters with circular screws. The complete system for a square filter can be expensive, but you can save money if you buy more or more filters. A number of base adapter rings can also make it easy to use square filters with a variety of lenses that have different attachment sizes.
With high density filters, it is often preferable to compose the photo, focus on the lens and take easy meter readings before mounting the filter. This is because the viewfinder image can be very dark with the filter mounted, even under bright sunlight. Square filters are therefore simpler to use because you simply slide them in and out of the bracket, instead of repeatedly screwing them on the lens and unscrewing them again. However, if digital cameras become more and more proficient in Live View mode, it may be easier to frame the filter and then use the rear LCD screen (or electronic viewfinder, if present) for shooting.
Below we listed Best ND Filter for Landscape Photography from the most best manufacturers.
7 Best ND Filter for Landscape Photography
1. B + W F-Pro 110 ND Filter 3.0 MRC
The B + W filter line is made by the legendary German photographic outfit, Shneider Kreuznach. The “MRC” filters of the company were the first to cover several layers, which repels dirt and moisture, as well as offering anti-reflective and scratch-resistant properties, all of which are useful in high density filters.
The quality of the construction is good, based on a thin profile brass support, with a non-reflective black coating. Filters of 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 stops are available, mostly with fixing wires between 25.5mm and 122mm. As usual, larger filters are more expensive to buy and not all densities are available in all sizes. Overall, the performance is good, but we noticed a red change during our tests.
- Premium construction quality.
- A good range of densities and dimensions.
- Larger filters can be very expensive
- Producing a slight change in red color
2. Cokin ND Nuances
Cokin has made the square filter system famous, as well as bringing in creative mass filters. Its latest ND Nuances filters are available in options 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 10 stops, in a “large” size, compatible with 100 x 100 mm supports, including Cokin’s Z-Pro support. The 5, 8 and 10 stop filters are also available in “medium” sizes for the 84 P series bracket, while the 5 and 10 stop filters add an “XL” option for the X-Pro 130mm brackets.
While many Cokin filters are made of plastic or resin, they are made of Schott mineral glass with a metallic alloy nano-structure to optimize light transmittance while reducing reflections. They have proven very efficient in our tests, with minimal color change.
- Reasonable price
- Small image degradation
- When stacking Larger lenses require L or XL dimensions
- Filter holders feel a little plastic
3. Format-Hitech Firecrest ND
Headquartered in Wales, Formatt Hitech produces a wide range of high quality filters, and its Firecrest ND filters come in a wider range than most. For starters, you can choose between square or circular options. Square filters are available in five popular sizes to fit almost any type of media, and in everything from 1-stop to 10-stop-densities, in unique steps. Then there are Firecrest 13 and 16 options, with 13-stop and 16-stop high-density respectively.
In the round camp, there are “super-thin” circular filters, available in a huge range of thread sizes of 29-127 mm. Again, single increments between 1-stop and 10-stop are available, while 13-stop and 16-stop circular filters are available in 72mm, 77mm and 82mm sizes. FireDest ND filters are very well made, based on “rare earth metals” applied to the glass by an electrolytic process.
- Available in square and circular dimensions.
- Wide range of densities and dimensions.
- As usual, the extra-large dimensions are expensive
4. ProND Hole
Just as Cokin made square filters famous, Hoya is the first name most people think of for circular filters with screws. Typical for the company’s production, the ProND filter range is well made of high quality materials and features black frames that help minimize unwanted reflections. The stopping power of the light comes by cleaning the “ACCU-ND” metal coatings, which allow precise levels of light reduction, with negligible color change.
The range has grown, including nine filters that reduce reductions between one and nine f / stop, most with a variety of thread diameters from 49mm to 82mm. For really high stopping power, there is a ProND 1000 filter with 10 stops in 46-95 mm dimensions and a ProND 100,000 with 16.6 options in 58-82 mm dimensions. The prices are quite competitive in the whole range, and during our tests we found that the performances are fabulous.
- Densities from 1 stop to 16.6 stops
- Eligible color change Price
- Pricey if you are looking for a variety of sizes
- The profile is thicker than some rivals
5. Lee Filters Stopper
Famous for its high quality handmade filters, Lee is a British company founded in 1967. One of its most famous filters is Big Stopper, which has a rating of 10 stops. The Square Filter Stopper range has been expanded to include the Small Stop, with 6 stops, and Super Stopper with 15 options. Different physical sizes are available for each filter, to match Lee5 (75mm), 100mm and SW150 (150mm) brackets.
Lee filters and support components are certainly not cheap, but the build quality is excellent. Overall, the system works extremely well and is ideal for pro-grade photos. Indeed, the SW150 Mk II filter system includes adapters for ultra-wide driving lenses with built-in hoods, which prevent mounting of a bracket through a screw adapter ring. There is even a companion app that lets you calculate the correct exposure when adding any Stopper filter.
- Excellent build quality
- Part of the superb
- Lee FiltersHolder systems and accessories are expensive
- Overall it is an expensive system
6. ICE ND 1000 filter
ND1000 filter. Thin: 3.6 mm deep (does not include rear wires). Ideal for Wide Angle. 10 Stop exposure correction. No cast color. Glass with black edges. Superfin matt black frame. Includes front wires for filters or hood.
Our test images were slightly warm in color, but the effect of stopping the light was very uniform throughout the frame, and the vignetting was negligible, even with wide-angle lenses. A “robust” range of ND 1000 filters is also available, with a grooved outer ring that facilitates mounting and removal, and SRB also sells less powerful ND filters in options 1, 2, 3 and 4-stop.
- 10 Stop exposure correction.
- Thin: 3.6 mm depth (does not include rear wires)
- Ideal for wide angle lenses.
- Double threaded metal frame for additional filters or hood.
- Superfin matt black frame.
7. Neewer 52 mm Neutral Density ND2 ND4 ND8 ND16 Filter
The filters included are made of HD optical glass with a good transmission level
The aluminum alloy frame sealing ring makes it have a better seal, which may prevent it from falling or losing
ND filter with neutral density:
ND filters reduce the amount of light that reaches the film without affecting the color (ND2 filter reduces 1-stop exposure; ND4 reduces 2-step exposure; ND8 reduces 3-stop exposure; ND16 filter reduces 4-stop exposure)
ND filters allow you to control the camera’s aperture, shutter speed, and sensor sensitivity settings more, which can result in a lower field depth or a clearer picture.
ND filters also help improve video quality by introducing a natural motion blur for smoother motion in video in daylight situations
Content of the package:
1 x ND2 filter
1 x ND4 filter
1 x ND8 filter
1 x ND16 filter
1 x Pen-lens
1 x Filter Case
- The kit includes: (1) 67MM CPL circular polarizing filter, (1) 67MM neutral density filter ND 4 / ND 8, (1) 67MM graded blue color filter, (1) Orange graded 67CM color filter, (1) ) 67MM Gray graded color Filter, (1) Hood with 67MM lens, (1) Rubber cover 67MM, (1) Cover for 67MM lens, (1) Leash Keeper Cover, (1) Pencil for cleaning, (1) Filter covers
- ND filters reduce the amount of light that reaches the film without affecting the color and allow you to control the aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity settings of the sensor more; Can produce a shallower depth of field or can take a clearer picture
- Filter cover: convenient for storing lens filters, protecting the filter lens from dust, shaking and scratches
- Camera models: Nikon D3300 D3100 D3000 D5300 D5200 D5100 D5000 D7000 D7100 DSLRs; Compatible with Pentax DSLR cameras (K-30 K-50 K-5 K-5 II K-500 K-r K-x) with 18-55MMF3.5-5.6 AL zoom lenses; Also compatible with the Canon EF 50MMf / 1.8 II, and the EOS M compact system. The EF-M 18-55MM IS mirrorless camera with STM zoom lens
- Durable Material: The filters included are made of HD optical glass; Good transmission level; Aluminum alloy frame sealing ring for better sealing, avoiding loss or loss; Note: Objective is NOT included; Only lenses with thread size of 52MM lenses can be used with these filters; Please check if your goal size is 52MM.
I hope you guys will like the list of Best ND Filter for Landscape Photography. Share this article with your friends to let them know the best ND Filter for Camera. Let me know if I miss your favorite ND Filter.
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