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 Sources for ND filters 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 9:58 am
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Post Sources for ND filters
I have realized that I really need to purchase ND filters for some of the time lapses I am interested in doing. I noticed that there are large number of filters listed on eBay that are significantly less expensive than other on line sources like BH Photo. SO, I'm interested in knowing which filters you use and possibly why you picked up that particular one?

Thanks for your time,

Scott


Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
Hi Scott,

I highly recommend buying a quality ND filter from BW or other quality brands. Cheap strong ND filters have colour casts that are very hard or even impossible to remove (setting white balance in ACR isn't enough).
If don't want screw in filters you can buy a Lee Filter Holder and use one their Pro Glass Filters which have a good reputation of leaving no colour cast in your photos.
The entry price for such a kit is a bit higher but you can use many other useful filters like ND grads with it.

Best Regards
David

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:38 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
I use the Lee filter range and would recommend them. Expensive but worth every penny as far as I'm concerned. No worries about colour casts and the glass filters are very robust. In the 6+ years I've used them I've only to replace one filter which I dropped and scratched. The filter holder is also excellent, room for two filters plus a screw in filter thread on the front. If you are planning to use mainly wide angle lens then I would suggest buying the special adaptor rings for wide angle use otherwise you will get quite severe vignetting.

The only other filter I use is a Heliopan 105mm polariser.

Regardless of which filters you use, on wide angle work you will find some natural vignetting which is caused by the increasing path length through the filter as you get to the edges of the view.

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
I use some screw in ND filters from B+W. A 3, 6 and 10 stop. The 3 stop cast is very slight, the 6 is much more noticeable and the 10 is pretty extreme. Still possible to compensate in post processing though.

I will be getting some Lee filters soon based on comments here and other forums. I would rather get it as right as possible in camera. On the budget that I had the B+W's have done me fine. If you can afford the Lee's I would follow Joachim and Kevin's advice.


Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
Thanks for the information, I kind of figured that it would be better to buy the more expensive ones.

I have wondered if the Singh-Ray that is the variable ND is a good approach (I use their polarizers and split ND's)?

Thanks,

Scott


Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:28 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
I have ordered "The Big Stopper" made by Lee Filters. Cant wait to use the 10 stops with my L glass :-)

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
unozig wrote:
I have ordered "The Big Stopper" made by Lee Filters. Cant wait to use the 10 stops with my L glass


From where? I've had one on backorder for 2 months now and it's still not in :evil:

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:01 pm
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Post Re: Sources fir ND filters
colinmlegg wrote:
unozig wrote:
I have ordered "The Big Stopper" made by Lee Filters. Cant wait to use the 10 stops with my L glass


From where? I've had one on backorder for 2 months now and it's still not in :evil:


I was told the same thing ( 6-8 weeks ) so was expecting it to arrive after the FIFA Cup final and before the end of the month. So was supprised to get it last week !

I visited and bought a complete filter set from these guys http://www.morco.uk.com/ when in the UK.

But now there was no problem shipping "the big stopper" downunder, best of luck.

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
I ordered a Lee big stopper from WarehouseExpress in the UK at the beginning of June with an expected delivery around mid-late July. From memory, Warehouseexpress had ordered 285 big stoppers from Lee and when I placed my order I was something like the 230th order for one lol

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Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:18 pm
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
Warehouse express told me the same thing but dont ship overseas.
The Australian and New Zealand dealers charged about a $100 more than UK price plus shipping, even cheaper than B+H in NY,USA.

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Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:12 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
The demand must be enormous. I put in an order with www.studiokitdirect.com start of May and got this response 2 weeks ago -

"We have over 30 on order, lee sent me 4 , and are saying another 6 weeks before we get any more, sorry"

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Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:42 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
I have three Cokin P 3-stop ND filters. If I put them on a lightbox you would think one was a brown filter, another a purple filter and the last one maybe a 2-stop ND filter. I don't know whether they leave the factor like this or they've changed over the past few years, but in no way are they '3-stop neutral density.' Trying to white balance these in the field is a hopeless task. Colin posted a couple of images some time ago that convinced me that Lee filters are as good as anything else I've seen on the web.

NDs seem very important in time-lapsing; in addition to the aesthetic reason of enhancing motion smoothness, they also help avoid shutter flicker and the need for small apertures that show up sensor dust.

A rant: the best filters are probably to be found in physics labs. Photo filter manufacturers apparently think that a graph of spectral transmissivity will scare off customers - or maybe they're too ashamed of their products. In the next few years we'll probably see some fairly sophisticated time-lapse hardware and software (presumably made by enthusiasts) that address the big time-lapse issues (e.g. the day-to-night Holy Grail). From where I sit the availability of a highly neutral, adequately documented, 3 stop ND filter could probably nail the Holy Grail in-camera.

Incidentally, there are technologies out there that are more neutral than the conventional 'absorption glass' type, e.g. metal-coated (the blue line);

Image
Click for more info

(blue to red = 450-700nm). Unfortunately experimentalists only require them to be small in size, max~5cm.

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Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:42 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
I've just chased an order I placed for a Lee Big Stopper ND filter on the 1st of June with an expected delivery of about now. It will be another 2 months before it is delivered !

Anyone ordering now is unlikely to get their filter before Christmas lol

Time to break out the welding glass and have a play :)

regards
Kev

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:19 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
Kev- I have noticed that my usual sources of camera accessories also does not have the Lee filters in stock. Makes me wonder if the Singh Ray VariND filter is the better approach. Anyone here use it? Any comments on it?

Scott


Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:39 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
Tiffen has a good reputation among motion picture cinematographers.


Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:01 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
scottbuckel wrote:
Kev- I have noticed that my usual sources of camera accessories also does not have the Lee filters in stock. Makes me wonder if the Singh Ray VariND filter is the better approach. Anyone here use it? Any comments on it?

Scott
Using the polarising system isn't a better approach on wide angle lenses, the increased path length at the edges of the filters causes significant exposure variations.Also the thickness of the filter will cause physical vignetting on wide lens.

I'll keep on waiting for the Big Stopper :)

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:37 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
Kev- thanks for the info - I did not understand how the filter worked. Mean while I have ordered Lee Filters and they the two of them are backordered. Just have to wait . . .

Scott


Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
2filter.com is a great source, I got my lee set from them and they were quite nice when I communicated with them...

Re. THE BIG STOPPER, I was looking for one for a long time, I finally got bumped up on the waiting list at 2filter.com and
got mine... two days later I got an email from http://allenscamera.com/ that they-ve restocked (that was tree days ago) if anyone
is interested... call and try and get it before they run out again.


Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:19 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
astronomerroyal wrote:
I have three Cokin P 3-stop ND filters. If I put them on a lightbox you would think one was a brown filter, another a purple filter and the last one maybe a 2-stop ND filter. I don't know whether they leave the factor like this or they've changed over the past few years, but in no way are they '3-stop neutral density.' Trying to white balance these in the field is a hopeless task. Colin posted a couple of images some time ago that convinced me that Lee filters are as good as anything else I've seen on the web.

NDs seem very important in time-lapsing; in addition to the aesthetic reason of enhancing motion smoothness, they also help avoid shutter flicker and the need for small apertures that show up sensor dust.

A rant: the best filters are probably to be found in physics labs. Photo filter manufacturers apparently think that a graph of spectral transmissivity will scare off customers - or maybe they're too ashamed of their products. In the next few years we'll probably see some fairly sophisticated time-lapse hardware and software (presumably made by enthusiasts) that address the big time-lapse issues (e.g. the day-to-night Holy Grail). From where I sit the availability of a highly neutral, adequately documented, 3 stop ND filter could probably nail the Holy Grail in-camera.

Incidentally, there are technologies out there that are more neutral than the conventional 'absorption glass' type, e.g. metal-coated (the blue line);

(blue to red = 450-700nm). Unfortunately experimentalists only require them to be small in size, max~5cm.


I have just had a very rough quote today:
Quote:
Thank you for your enquiry for large format ND filters. Our high specification ND filters are not normally used in general photography and a filter in the size you have requested will be in the region of £200. Do you wish me to prepare a quotation?


I sent a reply today now awaiting a quotation for a 100 x 100mm ND 3.0. It took a while for them to respond to my initial enquiry but got the above after following it up.
Not much dearer than my Lee "Enhancing filter", will post quote when it arrives.

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:20 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
Final quote for a 100mm x 100mm ND filter - went from Appromimately £200 to final quote below, any takers - I found delivery time was too long for me ;)

A division of HORIBA Jobin Yvon Ltd

Quotation
Item Part no. Description Qty Price
1 ND3.0/100S Neutral Density Filter 1 off £796.00 each
Attn: OD3
AOI: 0°
AR: BBAR on side 2, 400-700nm
Neutrality: the variation on OD
from 400 to 700nm will be less
than 10% of the OD measured at 550nm

Please confirm filter size when placing order.
Delivery time: 6-8 weeks ARO.
Prices are ex-works Stanmore and are exclusive of VAT. All import duties and charges are included.

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Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:35 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
I think I will pass on that offer . . .

Scott


Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:19 am
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Post Re: Sources for ND filters
you could buy 10 Big stoppers for that and get a discount and get change lol


mmm 100 stop ND filter about 40mm thick :)

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Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:33 am
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