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Thread: Neutral density filters question

  1. #1
    ryanmills's Avatar
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    Neutral density filters question

    how accurate are Neutral density filter ratings? Going to toy with a 3 stop cheap hoya tomorrow. Not going to get a chance to test before I shoot a bunch through it. Is it safe to just set my meter 3 stop slower or do I need to add a little more than that?

  2. #2
    retrogrouchy
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    Re: Neutral density filters question

    The ones I've used are accurate to better than 1/3 stop, I.e my camera meter read exactly 3 stops slower. Reciprocity failure would be the main thing to worry about IMHO.

  3. #3
    ryanmills's Avatar
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    Re: Neutral density filters question

    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    The ones I've used are accurate to better than 1/3 stop, I.e my camera meter read exactly 3 stops slower. Reciprocity failure would be the main thing to worry about IMHO.
    Thanks I will keep it in mind, im just using to slow down tri-x 320 in the sun.

  4. #4
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Neutral density filters question

    It depends entirely on the quality of the filter you buy.

    Professional-grade filters like B+W and Hoya should be spot on, as would some of the cinematographic filters.

    Good consumer-grade filters will likely be within 1/3 stop.

    Chinese filters will be kinda dark, maybe, sort of, depending on what part of the filter you look at.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #5

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    Re: Neutral density filters question

    As long as you are metering through the filter itself before you mount it on the lens and take the picture, it won't matter if its "precisely" 3 stops or whatever. There could be some slight deviation depending on the color and/or reflectance of the subject you're metering but you're basically safe if you meter through the filter rather than blindly relying on the filter factor.

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