on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Filter Systems for NDs, Grads and Polarisers – Part One

Part One - First Impressions

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

Flickr, Facebook, Twitter

It used to be that if you wanted to use a graduated filter, you had a choice between Lee or Cokin (or maybe Singh Ray if you were in the US). Over the last few years a whole range of new filter manufacturers have appeared and more recently, metal sputtered coating of glass has become cost-effective and this has resulted in a big range of new filters appearing. I originally thought that they would probably be the same filters but white labelled but, as our ND filter test showed, it looks like they are all custom (but possibly created in the same factory?).

Since the ND filter comparison, I've been trying to accumulate a good sample collection from each manufacturer and although it's taken nearly a year, I now have enough to do a fairly definitive test (although there are a couple of manufacturers I'd like to get samples from still - Singh Ray and Marumi H&Y - we'll add these when we can get them).

So far we have filters and systems from Kase, Benro, 84.5, Haida, Breakthrough, XC Source, Zomei, Wine Country, SRB, Cokin, Nisi, Lee, Progrey & Firecrest.

Because of the work involved and volume of information, we've split the article into three sections. The first is our initial impressions of all of the systems which includes a video showing how they work with myself offering my first thoughts.

The following article will look at the more scientific analysis of the filters with colour accuracy, gradation quality, transmissions spectra.

For the final article we will discuss how we got on with the systems out in the field and may include possible effects on sharpness, any flare or reflection issues, robustness (scratch resistance, drop resistance) and final conclusions.

Here is the video of my first impressions followed by a narrative overview.

This is a premium article and requires a paid subscription to access. Please take a look at the subscribe page for more information on prices.

On Landscape is part of Landscape Media Limited , a company registered in England and Wales . Registered Number: 07120795. Registered Office: 1, Clarke Hall Farm, Aberford Road, WF1 4AL. Midge Specs, midge net glasses from the Highlands.