View Full Version : Need help with choosing filters.

Leszek Vogt
7-Mar-2014, 02:49
OK, so I finally decided to get a set of ND-grad filters. Suddenly I came to this proverbial "Y" (don't laugh too hard) and I can't decide whether I should get the "soft" or the "hard" version. I'm mostly interested in 85x100mm by Hitech. As far as yellow/orange/red(25) for b&w use.....should I get filters that cover the entire lens evenly or the "soft"/"hard" grad versions would be more beneficial ? Aside from the "P" holder, I intend to get step-up rings to fit each particular lens...and hoping to be done with all that. Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions.


Joe O'Hara
7-Mar-2014, 06:24
You want hard ND grads for subjects that involve the sky with a featureless horizon, e.g., water. Soft grads are for when there is important detail on the horizon, e.g., mountains, trees, buildings. Don't bother buying 0.3 grads-- if you need a grad you'll want a 0.6 or 0.9. Most people use them mainly with color film although I have done so with B/W occasionally to get a specific effect.

The B/W contrast filters (red, yellow) are always uniform. Lee does sell some tinted grads if you're into that sort of thing but again that's for color.

You may want to consider a polarizer also. They are useful for both color and B/W, but need to be used with some care.

Mark Woods
7-Mar-2014, 11:12
I've owned quite a few grads, and all of them were hard edge and worked quite well. Joe's comments are spot on.

10-Mar-2014, 11:19
I opted for a soft grad, given that my typical horizon has trees.

Leszek Vogt
10-Mar-2014, 16:36
Thanks to all for the input. Decided (and ordered) that I'll go with hard edge grads, but I also got a 0.6 (2-stopper) in a soft version, as well. After checking what others have used (in general)....this is what I came up with. If, by any chance a soft grad is needed in 0.9....I'll consider getting it.