With Christmas coming, I was starting to get asked by my family what I would like from Santa? 😉 I decided that I would like to get a 'serious' ND filter to replace the plastic filters I had previously been using that were degrading my image and leaving a strong colour cast (see previous post). Asking for a $200NZ+ filter was probably a bit too much for our Christmas budget, so I decided to ask instead for a screw-in ND filter that would fit both my zoom lens (that share a 52mm filter thread). I was thrilled on Christmas morning when I opened a present to find a brand new Hoya ND400 52mm filter. Yay!
I've been a huge Hoya filter fan since I started in photography. Most of my protective UV filters are Hoya's, and I have always found their quality vs price point to be excellent. The ND400 is an 8 stop light-loss filter (actually 8 & 2/3rds to be exact) - so sits between the 6 and 10 stop Lee Filters. And while many photographers prefer the square filters for their versatility, I figured that if I was choosing to use an 8-stop ND filter in conjunction with a Cokin polariser, then having the ND screwed on to the front of the lens would free the filter holder up for other filters? Yesterday (Jan 4th), I got to put this to the test.
|10 Mile Creek. Straight shot with no ND filter or Polariser. f5.6 @ 1/50th sec, ISO 200|
|10 Mile Creek. With Hoya ND400 Filter. f8, @ 5 seconds. ISO 200|
|10 Mile Creek. With Hoya ND400 and Cokin 'A' Polariser. f8 @ 15 seconds. ISO 200|
|10 Mile Creek 2. OM-D E-M1 with Zuiko 12-50mm EZ lens. F5.6 @ 1/125th. ISO 200|
|10 Mile Creek 2. OM-D E-M1 with Zuiko 12-50mm lens + Cokin 'A' Polariser. f5.6 @ 1/30th. ISO 200|
|10 Mile Creek 2. OM-D E-M1 with Zuiko 12-50mm lens + Cokin Polariser & Hoya ND400. f8 @ 10 seconds. ISO 200|
|10 Mile Creek 3. Cokin 'A' Polariser & Hoya ND400. f8 @ 5 seconds. ISO 200|
When used in conjunction with a polarizer on streams, riverbeds and waterfalls, the final results with the ND400 straight out of camera is like night and day! I had to do minimal work in Lightroom (some shadow and highlight recovery) because everything is pretty much achieved in-camera with the filters. It's taken me a very long time to get a decent ND filter for my landscape photography (over 30 years!) and I honestly don't know why it's taken so long? But now that I have the Hoya ND400 in my bag, beautiful long-exposure images are finally in my repertoire.