Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Gear - 10 stops ND filters (Schneider - nd1000x vs Lee Filter - Big Stopper)

I will start to slowly review my gear (those camera, lenses, accessories) slowly here to share some experience ..

some may not be mine but belong to my gang or Lee Photo , thanks Lee to allow me to test or special order some of the accessories so far and I managed to compare, test or know the quality of my purchase before I really own it ....

today I will start with one of my important Landscape accessories, ND filter ... but I refer to ~10stops filter ....

I own bot Schneider ND110 & Lee filter big stopper so I will show some samples here... sorry for not able to rent a nd400 (HOYA) to test together ....

Schneider nd1000x

- own this ~2 year ago
- screw in
- same as other 10 stops filter total dark

Lee Filter - Big Stopper

- just got this with special order .. world wide no stock ???? for months
- square so can use with my standard Lee filter bracket or Cokin Z series holder
- same as other 10 stops filter total dark

as mentioned above, total dark .. so how to use this ????
1. custom functions to 1/2 stops ass appose to 1/3 as it comes on default
2. without the ND filter, set to MF
3. focus and read the exposure time (remember it with aperture)

if screw in type 
4. if use screw type, remove UV filter and screw in nd filter
5. if GND need to be use put on filter holder and put in GND (not easy to handle this as you not really know where to position yours' GND

if square type
6. position yours' GND
7. slot in the Big Stopper (this is where I prefer to use my Big Stopper now !).. it is so easy to use together with other filters

8. from the exposure reading above, use below method to calculate the right exposure

1/4000 1/2000 1/1000 1/500 1/250 1/125 1/60 1/30 1/15 1/8 1/4 1/2 1(second) 2s 4s 8s 15s 30s 1(minute) 2min 4min 8min 16min 30min 1hour 2h 4h 8h

if you have exp
15s at F8 , ISO1600
why I use high ISO
- easy to get exposure reading even with 10 stops
- for ISO1600, and I know from ISO1600 -> ISO100, I going to brighten in 4 stops

if with 10 stops filter the reading is 15s @ISO1600
- so while I use ISO100, I need 4 stops brighter
- then I need 4 minutes exposures to get it right @ISO100

so is this easier ? just make a table print it and bring it with u any where :D

or if you purchase Big Stopper , the table will be included in the package ..

9. if ~30s then bulb require to make the right exposure
10. please take note while shooting dawn and dusk ... light change very fast .... you may manual compensate +-1/3 stops base on the time you shoot and light

after above how I use the nd filter, let's look at the filter samples

1. all above shoot very close timing with tripod, AWB, same ISO and sam aperture... same raw--->jpeg setting

- without any filter
- no correction of WB or color cast

2.with Schneider nd1000x

- the magenta cast is bad for me

3. with Lee Filter Big Stopper

- the blue cast look bad to me too

so both give a bad cast to me .. so I have to shoot in raw (I always shoot raw some how), and correct the WB and color cast simply use the camera raw WB tool (click on the white point and move around)..
by simple click

both above pictures below are corrected pictures(exposures may be different due to the light change or the filter still have slight stop different

even-though both still provided different result but it look close to the original WB and color cast make use of grey card/white paper or some manual adjustment may help to approach more natural WB and colors .....

for me , I prefer Big Stopper as I can easily combine to use with GND filter ... even though


TK Tan said...

never knew LEE produces so heavy blue cast

thiamhai said...

correct me if i am wrong....
if i using fix ISO 100

when without filter..
the reading is ISO100, F22, speed 1/30

with filter 6 stop (Cokin GND8)
then i have to change my reading to

ISO100, F22, SPEED 2s?

or just set to manual...then choose the zero exposure...

liewwk said...

tk, all filter produce cast as it block light but the UV ..blue is easier to fix

yes if u have 6 stops filter u need 2s but GND8 only give 3 stops.
for ND8, as the light still pass through to the sensor so u can make the exp as normal .. but not those 10 stops filters or UV filters

M.Farid Lee said...

thanks for sharing this :)

TK Tan said...


I agree, my Cokin's Magenta cast is difficult to fix, prefer blue cast

liewwk said...

welcome all

Tan , it is just warmer or cold but the magenta is something color change

AnNamir™ said...

Great sharing Liew!! (AnNamir)

liewwk said...

welcome brother Annamir ...

Tai said...

Hi, Liew,

May I know where you buy the Lee filter ?

Can this Lee filter and the filter holder fixed into Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II ?

Thank you for sharing and looking forward to hear from you soon.


liewwk said...

yes it can mount 82mm just u need to buy the right holder and ring

I bought from UK, US, and sg ..


vedd said...

Just to share - I use Hoya ND400 and it has a strong blue cast, just like the Lee's Big Stopper. A friend of mine using the B+W ND110X, also informed me that it has a magenta cast, though not as bad as your example. Overall I, like what you said, I prefer the blue cast rather than magenta.

liewwk said...

thanks Vedd for update ... I love to have it to try ... the cast some how sometime depend how we face to the light source

Anonymous said...

nice article... I also have Lee filter and Schneider 10 stop but seldom to use it hehe....

Enche' Adykasyah said...

Thanks Liew for sharing your knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I love this info

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Lan 陈赒詺 said...

Dear Liew
Thank for sharing so much information here. As a beginner for landscape photography. what is best filter should i buy for the B&W filter .

liewwk said...

美丽人生 George 陈赒詺 ,
for landscape it is much different other photography .. different filters are use on different situation ...

but for a good start
1. GND .6
2. GND .9
3. super ND as this 10 stops filter
4. CPL

would be very good start

George Lan 陈赒詺 said...

Thanks Pro 谢谢老师。

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