Our trademark: The Quality
Some filters are available for a few euros, others cost over 100 euros. The differences are mainly in the quality of the glass. The thinner the glass is, the more expensive it is to produce, but the quality of the filter also increases and therefore also the quality of the images taken. A thick filter glass can lead to a shadow being cast on the image surface. Cheap glass is also often uneven and therefore does not refract the light evenly, which leads to unsightly results. It is also important to know that our glasses are anti-reflective. Although this also leads to a higher price, it is usually worthwhile to reach a little deeper into your pocket for frequently used filters, such as the ND, GND or polarizing filter, and to pay attention to a high quality. Furthermore, all our filters are made of optical glass, which reproduces the colours of the pictures neutrally.
The individual components of our filter kits
The gray graduated filter and how it works
Gray gradient filters (GND filters) are a special type of gradient filters that are transparent at one end and darkened at the other end. In the middle of the filter the two areas converge, from clear to dark. This transition is different depending on the type of GND filter. The different types are described below. These filters are primarily used to balance the exposure of a scene which in landscape photography naturally consists of a dark section (foreground) and a bright section (sky). A human eye is able to visualize a much larger range of light and shadow than the sensor of a camera. This is called the "dynamic range" of a scene. Since the camera covers a smaller dynamic range, the use of GNDs helps to capture the dynamic range of a scene with one exposure instead of combining several shots with different exposure times in post-processing.
How do the types of GND filters differ and when should they be used?
Soft GND filter
These filters have a very smooth transition from transparent to dark. They are suitable for scenes that have a wide or interrupted transition from the sky to the actual foreground. An example of a scene that should be shot with a soft GND filter is a mountainous landscape crossing the horizon line. A rock formation in the sea is also predestined for photography with a soft GND filter.
Hard GND filter
These types of GND filters have a hard transition from clear to dark. They are suitable for scenes that have a highly visible transition from the sky to the actual foreground. This filter is most useful for landscape shots in which no elements project beyond the horizon, for example, shots of the sea with a wide view of the ocean. These filters can also be used when a hard transition against the sun is advantageous.
Reverse GND filter
Reverse GND filters with an "inverted transition" are similar to the hard GND filter except that the darkest part of the filter is in the middle. These filters are for shots taken against a light source and where the light is most intense at the horizon.
Is there a difference between gray gradient filters and gradient filters?
As the name suggests, both types of filters are gradient filters. Gray graduated filters run from dark to transparent. However, there are also filters that run from one color to transparent. In the 80s, for example, graduated tobacco filters were very popular. Today, however, gradient filters with a colored gradient are rarely used because this effect can be simulated on the computer with little effort.
How to master difficult lighting situations with a gray filter
The grey filter works like sunglasses for the camera. If you attach it to the lens, the light hitting the sensor is reduced. Each grey filter has a certain strength, which indicates by how many apertures it reduces the incident light. This allows long time exposures and the following effects:
- the water of a stream or sea waves in a velvety way
- with waterfalls or a lake interesting effects can be created
- in city photography, you can make people "disappear" with the help of a grey filter
- to let clouds move in the image (wipe effect)
- take handsome pictures in very sunny areas
How is the exposure time of a grey filter determined even without a table?
If you don't have the table in your head or don't have it with you, you can calculate the exposure time relatively easily in your head:
Here is the calculation for an ND 1000 gray filter. Such a gray filter has a neutral density of 3 and thus has a light reduction of 10 f-stops. If the exposure time without a gray filter is 1/25 second, the time must be doubled ten times for a filter with a neutral density of 3.
- 1/25 second x 2 = 1/13 second
- 1/13 second x 2 = 1/8 second
- 1/8 second x 2 = 1/4 second
- 1/4 second x 2 = 1/2 second
- 1/2 second x 2 = 1 second
- 1 second x 2 = 2 seconds
- 2 seconds x 2 = 4 seconds
- 4 seconds x 2 = 8 seconds
- 8 seconds x 2 = 16 seconds
- 16 seconds x 2 = 32 seconds
An exposure time of 32 seconds is not "normal". The value to be set would therefore be 30 seconds. The same principle can also be applied to the other strengths. There, the exposure time is not doubled 10 times, but 6 times with an ND 64 filter.
The versatile polarizing filter
The first important type of filter that you should not do without is the so-called polarizing filter, also known as polarizing filter and CPL filter. Polarizing filters make it possible to remove unwanted reflections from various surfaces such as glass, grasses, water and leaves. For meadows and trees, this provides a higher contrast and richer landscape, as seen in the picture below. With glass, a polarizing filter makes the reflections almost completely disappear.
The effect is not always the same and depends on different factors. For example, the CPL filter can be rotated on the lens to change the intensity of the effect. The effect itself is caused by light waves oscillating in a certain direction. This direction is also called the polarization direction of light. A polarizing filter is coated in such a way that it only allows light of a certain polarization to pass through. This means that it swallows about 2 apertures of light, but also reduces unwanted reflections.
Can I always leave the polarizing filter on the lens?
Yes you can, but it is not recommended. As already mentioned above, the polarizing filter absorbs light. This means that the images are slightly darkened, which leads to longer exposure times. Furthermore, the effect of this filter is not desired in all situations. Therefore it is recommended to use this filter in photography only if the effect is really desired.