FAQ - Neutral Density filters
What is Neutral Density filters?
- Simple terms, it's a filter that's mount in front of lens (either screw on/slot into a holder) that blocks light transmitted into camera. Think of it as shades/sunglasses
Why is it necessary?
- Even by stopping down the aperture to F22 or smallest size that the lens is able to, it's sometimes not slow enough to achieve long exposure photography. Useful for waterfall, light trails, reflections, streaking clouds shots.
- During daytime to use bright primes to maintain shallow depth of field without overexposure.
- More info, check our blog here
What is there color cast?
- Even though they are known as "Neutral", however, practically all ND filters especially when the density gets stronger, there's a tendency to have color cast.
- Depending on filter brand, the color cast can range from easy to very difficult to correct. Usually custom white balance technique will fix the problem.
- Haida filters are easy to correct, a review here shows the effects from Haida ND filters
Screw-on Vs Slot-in Type
- Screw-on is used based on lens thread size, and typically is a little more hassle to put on/remove.
Pros of screw-on / Cons of slot in:
- Easier to carry around / Slot-in requires holder and adapter and the size is larger than screw-on and some protection pouch is recommended to hold the square filters
- Typically cheaper than slot-in type
- No light leak issues / Slot-in type may experience light leaks, hence our 6 & 10 stops slot-in ND filter comes with gasket, however, there are many 3rd party holders hence we can promise light leak can be fully prevented, the best is still to have an opaque cloth to cover any gaps fully.
Cons of screw-on/Pros of slot in :
- Vignetting is possible when stacked (2 or more filters), even though Haida slim pro II filters is possibly the slimmest ND filter in the market / As the 100mm is larger than most screw on filters, chances of vignetting is low, one note is to use the wide angle adapter so that the holder will not vignette.
- Not easy to use with GND as the horizon cannot be controlled./ Slot-in GND can control the horizon level easily & can also rotate to suit the situation.
- One filter for one size (unless you get a large one like 82mm and use step up rings to adapt) / slot-in filters can fit most lenses, just need to get the wide angle adapter for it, the filters need not be changed
- Difficult to meter once screw-on are fixed and quality time will be lost trying to remove & re-meter/ slot-in is alot easier to dismantle
We almost would recommend customers to consider the slot-in if GND is what you would like to use, and also the slot-in system is mostly quite future-proof unless u intend to get a lens that's requires a different size (Nikon 14-24mm) or one that doesn't take standard holder (Fisheye lenses / Sigma 12-24).
Certainly Haida screw on would be best next alternative if you are starting up landscape photography and just want to try long exposure shoot.
We hope this info helps you decide what you want to invest on next!