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12-08-2014, 04:10 PM   #1

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Baltimore
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Grad filter questions for medium format users

(these questions pertain to ND grad systems, filters and holders)

Is anyone using Formatt-Hitech? And what do you think? I have read several negative things, but then other people seem quite pleased with them.

Between Lee and Singh-Ray, any opinions which is better?

Finally, for the 645 lenses, what's the best filter size (width)?

Thanks for any answers.

12-09-2014, 12:46 AM   #2
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I use lee 100mm filters on the 645z and have done for a decade on all my other formats, digital or film. Here in the UK they are regarded as the best and most neutral grad manufacturers. I wouldn't use anything else

Never used Singh Ray as never had a need to. They are quite a bit more expensive than lee especially after import costs
12-09-2014, 03:09 AM   #3
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I use these on the 6x7 and absolutely love them! Very good quality imho.
I use 100x100 r/g/b filters and 100x150 nd grads.
12-09-2014, 05:56 AM   #4
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I use Lee 100 x 150. I used to have a couple of SR's but found that mixing up grads got a bit complicated as the gradation differed on the soft grads in particular. I will also say that the 645Z seems to be more forgiving if you don't use them, largely I'm sure due to the extra dynamic range as well as the ability to bring detail out of the shadows without bringing noise with it.

12-09-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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I do not ever compromise the optical quality of any lens with resin filters. So I use the newer Formatt-HighTech glass filters even though I have broken one just by being a tad clumsy picking it up! These filters are very neutral compared to Cokin -- long derided as having a less than neutral construction. I could not find equivalent quality Grad ND filters from Singh-Ray -- another marque well worth investing in. Spot metering with a Grad ND is a bit of an involved chore in mental gymnastics, but it's my preferred metering method over rudimentary TTL on the 67 system.
12-10-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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I have a Cokin-Z filter kit and the so-so 4x6" filters that came with it...I don't use those as often as they tend to cast a magenta color cast, but sometimes they're the best choice. If you're shooting digital it's usually pretty easy to adjust any unwanted casts.

Cokin Z-Pro U960 Pro Graduated Neutral Density Filter Kit CU960

My usual filters of choice for shooting landscapes with strong sky to foreground contrast are the Singh-Ray Daryl Benson Reverse GNDs. I have the 1,2,3 stop filters, which are costly at about $200 USD each, but worth it if you need professional equipment. They don't have much color cast that I've noticed and more naturally match the exposure needs of a typical sunset or sunrise, which tend to have the brightest spot being the horizon. They're not glass filters, so they can scratch, but come with a nice soft case and won't break if you drop them.

Singh-Ray 100 x 150mm Daryl Benson 0.9 Reverse Graduated R-63
12-13-2014, 03:35 AM   #7

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I find the Lee Filters good. I now have the hard grads as well as the soft grads. Am reluctant to buy the glass ones as I am a bit clumsy and broke my Big Stopper last week when it fell out of the holder when I lifted the tripod down from the wall I had it on. The only glass ones I have are the Big and little stoppers.
12-13-2014, 07:01 AM   #8

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Baltimore
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Thanks for the replies so far.


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