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05-13-2017, 01:51 PM   #1
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Graduated ND Filters and Breakthrough ND

Ive spent a good deal of time searching for useful threads on gnd filters but never seem to have all my issues resolved or many of them are old bringing up a worry about outdated filters/coatings.

So here it goes, I picked up a DA* 16-50 and really wanted a step up in my landscape,sunset, waterfall and ocean scape game. I really enjoy the art of making the photo so bracketing and photo stitching was a no no. I picked up a Cokin P holder and some used filters LCS pretty cheap. Im in love with what I can achieve using the GND and now I cant go back. The issue is the Cokin filter added a horrible magenta tint that I rarely can correct effectively as it seems to also add a slight green tint in the unshaded portion leaving sky/ ocean color corrections I can not make.

Hence a need for a quality nd and GND set up square filter system. The goal is to remove the holder vignetting I had withe the Cokin system so upping to a 100mm filter, and either no color cast or one that can actually easily be corrected in both forest lndscape and seascape shots.

The top brands seem to be Lee at $110 a filer, Haida $150 ,Nisi $150, Singh-Ray Galen Rowell $160, and Formatt Hitech Firecrest $170. Now there is currently the Breakthrough Photography kickerstarter filters at $150 as well which appear to be the most color neutral option and a average price due to the kickstart discount.

The next debate is which filter strengths to get being over 100 a filter its hard to justify more than one grad and probably the 6stop filter then 2 vs 3 stop GND? Anyone with brand input or nd strength combination advice would be helpful

05-13-2017, 02:22 PM   #2
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I have and use the Breakthrough CPL filters and 10 stop ND. Best filters I have ever owned, no question. Whether they are worth the price is up to the individual but the value is there. These filters are built rock solid. Think Pentax Limited lens quality.
05-13-2017, 02:48 PM   #3
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It could be that the particular used filter is damaged, or poor quality, I've used various Cokin filters and and haven't had a problem.
05-13-2017, 07:14 PM   #4
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Ill upload an unedited example da* 16-50 22mm iso100 f22 .6seconds with both the cokin p121m and I think the p154

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05-13-2017, 08:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
The issue is the Cokin filter added a horrible magenta tint that I rarely can correct effectively as it seems to also add a slight green tint in the unshaded portion leaving sky/ ocean color corrections I can not make.

Hence a need for a quality nd and GND set up square filter system. The goal is to remove the holder vignetting I had withe the Cokin system so upping to a 100mm filter, and either no color cast or one that can actually easily be corrected in both forest lndscape and seascape shots.

The next debate is which filter strengths to get being over 100 a filter its hard to justify more than one grad and probably the 6stop filter then 2 vs 3 stop GND? Anyone with brand input or nd strength combination advice would be helpful
I have yet to read about adjustable circular-polarizer-based filter systems (with or w/o ND component) that do not bring color-shift issues. There are technical explanations on the web showing why the physics of adjustable CPs cause this to happen. I bite the bullet and avoid anything that has two spinning polarizers trying to save me money.

Last edited by FilmORbitz; 05-13-2017 at 10:14 PM.
05-13-2017, 09:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by FilmORbitz Quote
I have yet to read about adjustable circular-polarizer-based filter systems (with or w/o ND component) that do not bring color-shift issues. There are technical explainations on the web showing why the physics of adjustable CPs cause this to happen. I bite the bullet and avoid anything that has two spinning polarizers trying to save me money.
I have not been using those adjustable nd filters
05-13-2017, 10:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
I have not been using those adjustable nd filters
Yup...brain fart, speed-reading your initial post. Sorry.
05-14-2017, 06:41 AM   #8
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@greeneck you motivated me to action, I had looked at the Breakthrough Kickstarter campaign before and then forgot about it. Your post nudged me to revisit it and I made the plunge. No worries on their campaign getting funded by the way. They want $50,000 and are over $215,000 with 3 weeks to go.

Here is the link if anyone is interested in looking: Dark CPL & X4 GND by Breakthrough Photography ? Kickstarter Not cheap filters by any means, but I really like the Breakthrough Photography filters I have. If you are in the market for a high end landscape GND take a look.

---------- Post added 05-14-17 at 06:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
unedited example da* 16-50 22mm iso100 f22 .6seconds with both the cokin p121m and I think the p154
One possibility with that magenta cast that does not involve the filter. On long exposure shots if the viewfinder is left uncovered you will see a magenta cast similar to what you show in your image. I usually see it only at exposures of 3 seconds or longer but something to check.

05-14-2017, 07:12 AM   #9
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Probably a silly question, but are you sure it is a genuine Cokin filter ?
05-14-2017, 08:06 AM   #10
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I'm also looking for a kit to use across multiple lens sizes from 49-77mm filter threads. Just poked around at some kits on B&H for rectangular filters and it takes about half of a second before these kits get over $500.
05-14-2017, 07:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
Just poked around at some kits on B&H for rectangular filters and it takes about half of a second before these kits get over $500.
+1 Which is why I have debated back and forth for about 5 years on this issue. So is this filter kit going to deliver the same options as buying a new lens would? Because that is about what it costs. I guess I will find out.
05-14-2017, 09:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
Probably a silly question, but are you sure it is a genuine Cokin filter ?
the writing on it looks the same as the brand new cokin I got at the camera store and after expiring it I have found reports of other people having this issue, funny how hard that kind of information is to find until you know exactly what to search. So Rob may be right about cokin filters not having issues for most of their line but I doubt this one has some how be damaged to cause the magenta cast.



I also went back to day and tested to verify the viewfinder is not leaking light it is defiantly the gnd filter causing the issue. Im surprised no one with real life filter experience has come in to testify on behalf of the other brands.
05-15-2017, 04:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
+1 Which is why I have debated back and forth for about 5 years on this issue. So is this filter kit going to deliver the same options as buying a new lens would? Because that is about what it costs. I guess I will find out.
I'm not aware of a lens on the market that will allow you to accomplish what ND filters will do. Until DSLRs have effective in-camera grad ND filters and people are still shooting slide film, there will be a market for them. Videographers regularly use them, too. I'm at the point where if I buy nice glass once, I likely don't have to do it again. I'm also mostly a MF lens shooter and glass isn't that expensive. I'm not buying $2,500-$3,000 AF lenses for the 645 and I doubt I'll go full frame digital until it comes down to APS-C prices and even then, I'm quite content with film and my K-5iis for low light.
06-04-2017, 07:57 AM   #14
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I only use mostly Cokin filters and yes there seems to be a cast sometimes, but I guess I don't find it that objectionable.

Having said that with digital, discounting issues of color cast, there is not as much an issue of 2 vs. 3 stop as there was with film: you would probably chose 3, since the only objective is to get the entire scene within the sensor's dynamic range, and you can fix excessive correction more easily than with film. Sometimes even 3 stops come up short for sunrises/sunsets.
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