Suggestion for a first ND filter

If it's used to carry or protect photographic equipment, talk about it here!

Moderators: Bob Andersson, Thomas, Bjorn van Sinttruije

Suggestion for a first ND filter

Postby Don_Pisto » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:14 am


I'd like to see if anyone has suggestions for a first time ND filter to invest in and explore with. I would potentially be using it for photos of large waterfalls in a overcast sky and in bright sunlit days along tropical shores. My semi educated best guess is a NDx400. I've never used one before, so hopefully someone might have some suggestions worth checking out. Thank you.
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:18 am
Location: Mexico

Re: Suggestion for a first ND filter

Postby Rorschach » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:26 pm

An ND400 filter would most likely be used for long exposures or in exceptionally bright light. It you want to capture motion blur with the waterfalls, an ND400 rating should be fine provided you have enough light as you said the sky would be overcast.

As a first time buyer, have you considered buying an inexpensive (<$20 US) variable ND filter so you can get a feel for what ND rating(s) you'd need before investing more substantially in filters?
DSLRs: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EOS 70D
CSC: Canon EOS M3
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM
User avatar
Posts: 831
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:58 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Suggestion for a first ND filter

Postby Maestro » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:14 am

A 400 seems like overkill to me. Granted, I have three sets that go up to 1000 (the blue boxes, second from the bottom)...


...but I also have a couple of Voigtlander "hyper-primes" (f0.95). Have you guesstimated how many stops you might actually need (via the Sunny 16 rule)? (e.g. nine stops from f16, ISO100, 1/125 gives a shutter speed of around 4 seconds, which will certainly blur a waterfall, but if there's even a slight breeze, will also blur any flora in the frame.) Or better yet, taken some photos under similar (overcast) lighting conditions and calculated how many more stops you'd need to get the look you're after?

Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am

Re: Suggestion for a first ND filter

Postby mirageii » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:04 pm

I went for Hoya filters, an x8 (3 stop) and an x32 (5 stop) which when screwed together gives me an 8 stop reduction. Not quite an x400 but a lot more flexible to have an x8, an x32 and an x256 in my bag
Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 18-55mm, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 MK I, EF-S 10-22mm, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 35mm f/2 IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 135 f/2L USM
Canon 430EX II, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, Arca Swiss P0
Panasonic GX1, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Olympus 45mm f/1.8
Canon EOS 30/33 and Pentax MX/ME Super
Rollei 35S

User avatar
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:06 am
Location: Manchester (UK)

Return to Bags, cases, straps and filters

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest