Your favorite brand of ND filter and polarizer

Discussion in 'General Gear Talk' started by Shibu George, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Shibu George

    Shibu George Well-Known Member

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    Every photographer may have have a favorite brand of ND filter and polarizer, I typically use 3 stop and 6 stop ND filters and prefer 100mm due to ease of use with different lenses and multiple systems. I was using Nisi and Lee filters, but not completely happy with either mainly because of the color shift. I'm currently not planning to spend the $$$$$ for Singh-ray.
    Any suggestions for filters under $200?
    Breakthrough filters recently started making 100mm X4 filers, but are back ordered, anyone here used those?

    Thanks
     
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  2. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    well...i only have experience with my Lee setup, (Big Stopper, 3 stop soft and hard grads). I do notice a small blue shift, but nothing I can't fix with some WB adjustment.

    I just bought the grads a couple weeks ago. They were $110 each and are resin. I so badly wanted to take the advice of @Vieri and get the Formatt-Hitech Firecrest grads, but they are $170 each. I think it's because they are glass.
     
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  3. Luvwine

    Luvwine Well-Known Member

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    I use Breakthrough Photography filters--polarizer and 3 and 6 stop ND. However, I use their circular polarizers and not the big square or rectangular ones. I can only imagine their filters will be first rate irrespective of the shape. For my Sony G 12-24, I use the Nisi filter holder for 150mm Haida filters. I find the Haida filters also to be fairly neutral and can recommend them.
     
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  4. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
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    Another vote for Breakthrough, I have the 6ND and a CPL. Only filters I use.
     
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  5. Kyle Jones

    Kyle Jones Moderator

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    I also use breakthrough: 10ND, CPL and now their new ND-grad
     
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  6. Vieri

    Vieri Well-Known Member

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    The main difference between Firecrest and other glass filters is that Firecrest filters are bonded, not coated. This means that the actual grad or ND coating is sandwiched between two glass panes rather than an external coating applied on the glass. The advantage is that the coating is virtually unscratchable, contrarily to Nisi and Haida which scratch very easily, thus making the filters much more durable and therefore a much better value for money :) Ryan, if you are still on the fence using code VIERIB10 at checkout you'll enjoy a 10% discount ;)

    Hope this helps, best regards

    Vieri
     
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  7. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

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    I went for Singh Ray a number of years ago and have been happy with them but short of winning the lottery I doubt I will buy more of them.

    The Breakthrough look pretty nice and the prices aren't bad.
     
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  8. Shibu George

    Shibu George Well-Known Member

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    Breakthrough's circular ND Filters are very good, that's what I heard. I hope they maintain the same quality on the square 100mm x 100mm
     
  9. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    Thanks @Vieri, but I already bought the Lee NDgrads.
     
  10. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    For screw on filters, it's mainly B+W filters.

    I have the Lee Filter system, so I use Lee Filters, but also have some of the less expensive Hitech rectangular filters for it.

    For my 14-24mm I use the Foto-Diox adapter and have ND grads and a polarizer from them.

    I will confess I bought some Pro Optic screw on filters on Amazon. It was like $20 for a CP, UV and a 2stop ND. I figured, what the heck, it could be a cheap back set of filters to have for out in the field. And actually they look pretty good, in fact for $20 they really look amazing. I have been using them on my 24-120mm and like the way they work. I have them as backups but haven't used them on my 16-35mm yet.

    Jim
     
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  11. Luvwine

    Luvwine Well-Known Member

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    Vieri, good to know. Do they make 150mm filters? Also, just FYI, I did buy the Formatt firecrest 18 stop solar filter for photographing the eclipse recently. If only the filter would have kept the clouds away!
     
  12. Vieri

    Vieri Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about that Ryan, I was a bit late in replying :)

    Don't judge FH quality by them, they are definitely not as good as the Firecrest :)

    Yes they do, they do pretty much all square sizes from 67 to 165mm :)

    About filter neutrality, you might be interested in this:

    https://vieribottazzini.com/2016/07/best-filters-landscape-photography-review.html

    Best regards,

    Vieri
     
  13. Luvwine

    Luvwine Well-Known Member

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    Good review, but unfortunately does not include either of the brands I use. However, I may give the firecrest a try and get a 150mm filter and see how it compares to the Haida. Pretty happy with Breakthrough screw in filters—would be surprised if anything else was much better.
     
  14. Vieri

    Vieri Well-Known Member

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    Hello Stephen,

    Thank you very much, glad you enjoyed it! About the exclusions you mentioned, when I wrote it I decided to stick with square filters (which eliminated Breakthrough), and Haida wasn't big at all back then (I hadn't heard of them, at least), sorry about that :) Let me know how the FC compares with the Haida if you end up getting one!

    Best regards,

    Vieri
     
  15. Jim Sanderson

    Jim Sanderson Well-Known Member

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    I use mainly B&W ND circular filters and heliopan for polarizes. I haven’t used my Lee system for quite a while.
     
  16. lionking

    lionking Supporting Member

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    Very interesting topic, i use screw on CPL mainly B+W, i was thinking about Fotodiox system, but after seeing this:

    I kinda glad i didnt get Fotodiox...
     
  17. John Brewton

    John Brewton Member

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    I have three manufacturers ND filters. IMO, the Formatt are the best and the least expensive! I have several Breakthrough ND's and they work fine, too. I recently got a NISI CPL ( I needed a new one when a B+W crapped out) and am impressed. I have so many ND's and CPL's I really hope I don't NEED to buy any more! But if I do it's a photographer's paradise today with so many high-performing options.
     
  18. BarryHamilton

    BarryHamilton Founding Member

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    I've used the Singh Ray lighter and brighter warming circular polarizer, as well as their 2-8 stop Vari-ND filter for years. The Vari-ND is a must when you want to put motion in water....waterfalls, surf, etc.
    A little on the pricey side but they're known for having absolutely no color issues. I read of such issues on other brands and that's why I went with Singh Ray.
     
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  19. procam11

    procam11 Well-Known Member

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    I use a mixture of B+W, Breakthrough filters for my lenses and I use the Colin P Filters for my landscape images.
     
  20. Bob Israel

    Bob Israel Well-Known Member

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    I use the Lee Seven5 series of NDs. For their 6, 10 and 15 stop, I use their high end IRND versions which have absolutely no color cast. They are expensive but well worth it to me.
     

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