Neutral Density (ND) Filters


Neutral Density

ND filter (neutral density filter) reduces the light that is equal or neutral for the image sensor or film area. The ND filter is most often used to permit larger apertures or for longer exposure periods, where such settings would normally generate overexposure in the camera.

Enchanting discerning sharpness
Newer fast lenses allow shutter shutter speeds to be quicker in every type of cameras and provide bright viewfinder impressions in SLR cameras and, even when using slow-speed films or in low light environments. But their big apertures may also be brought into play as a fascinating creative element: The depth of field can be diminished so much that ultimately only the primary subject remains sharp at wide apertures, leaving the fore- and background to be unsharp. The attention will then be focused on the prime subject in an artistic sense, leaving the concentration of the viewer magically enticed, transferring all other to the background. In extreme vividness, on the other hand, a short focal length, using high-speed film or (using a correspondingly greater depth of field), by employing a large aperture to accomplish the aspired discerning sharpness consequence may be impossible without encountering over-exposure. Enter the neutral density filter to the rescue. When the speed of the shutter is slowed by two or three stops instead by opening the aperture, for example, an ND filter can be employed with moving subjects for equally creative blur results.

ND filter before and after
ND filter before and after

Advantages

The ND filter allows the user exacting control; designed for HD (High Definition), these filters can be used to augment color contrast in addition to normal light reduction - Increased sky detail on a dull overcast day is an example

    • A majority of HD neutral density filters feature identical densities and light stops as the Kodak Wratten Standards
    • Optically consistent from filter to filter
Four Main Uses of Neutral Density Filters
    • To allow for use of slow shutter speeds, especially with high speed sensors or films, to capture movement in subjects such as clouds, waterfalls, or cars
    • To decrease depth of field by when using wider apertures, which aids in separating subjects from their background
    • To lessen the effective ISO of high speed film (above ISO 400) to allow it to be used outdoors or in other bright environments
    • To allow cine and video cameras (with fixed shutter speeds) to capture subjects like sand, snow, and other bright scenes which could create overexposure
Neutral Density Factors
    • ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop, reduces ISO to 1/2)
    • ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stops, reduces ISO to 1/4)
    • ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops, reduces ISO to 1/8)
    • ND1.2 (exposure adjustment = 4 stops, reduces ISO to 1/16)
    • ND1.5 (exposure adjustment = 5 stops, reduces ISO to 1/32)
    • ND 1.8 (exposure adjustment = approx. 6 stops, transmits 1% of light)
    • ND 3.0 (exposure adjustment = 10 stops, transmits 0.1% of light)
    • ND 4.0 (exposure adjustment = 13-2/3 stops, transmits 0.01% of light)
    • ND 6.0 = (exposure adjustment = approx. 20 stops)

    Revised 12/27/2010

     

Neutral Density Filters
Cokin Neutral Density Filters

NEUTRAL GREY ND2 Ref. 152.

Available in Series : A - P - Z-PRO - X-PRO & in screw-in Filter. 

 NEUTRAL GREY ND4 Ref. 153

Available in Series : A - P - Z-PRO - X-PRO & in screw-in Filter.

 NEUTRAL GREY ND8 Ref. 154

Available in Series : A - P - Z-PRO. Cokin 154 (exposure adjustment = approx. 3 stops, reduces ISO to 1/8)

 Cokin P Series Grey Neutral Density NDX Filter  Ref. 156.

For use in bright light without altering colors, the COKIN Neutral Density NDX Filter will allow you to photograph very bright subjects such as solar events.

B+W Neutral Density Filters

Neutral Density Filter 101 DIGITAL-PRO (ND 2) The lightest B+W Neutral Density Filter attenuates the light by one f-stop (log density 0.3), which can be beneficial, for instance, for the correct exposure of high-speed films when the brightness of the subject is still too high for the fastest shutter speed and the smallest aperture. It is recommended especially as a complement to B+W Neutral Density Filter 102 for fine adjustments. The filter factor is 2x.

Neutral Density Filter 102 DIGITAL-PRO SLIM MRC (ND 4) This B+W Neutral Density Filter reduces the light by two f-stops (log density 0.6), and it is the most popular ND filter in photographic work. It offers many benefits, for instance f/4 instead of f/8 for selective sharpness instead of a great depth of field, or 1/15 s instead of 1/60 s for a flowing instead of a “frozen” waterfall. It has excellent color neutrality, costs less than the denser filters, and is recommended as part of a basic outfit. The filter factor is 4x.

Neutral Density Filter 103 DIGITAL-PRO SLIM (ND 8) Somewhat more difficult to manufacture and thus a little costlier, this B+W Neutral Density Filter reduces the light intensity by three f-stops (log density 0.9). It still features very good color neutrality. This ND filter is especially appropriate for use on video cameras when the lens cannot be stopped down sufficiently in great brightness or when a deliberately low depth of field is desired. The filter factor is 8x.

Neutral Density Filter 106 (ND 64) This B+W Neutral Density Filter reduces the light by six f-stops. With this filter and without changing the f-stop, a shutter speed of 1/60 s is changed to a full second, thus requiring the use of a tripod. Flowing water is rendered as flowing in the photo, and people moving in streets are dissolved in unsharpness or become invisible. Because of its higher transmission in the red beyond 660 nm, this filter brings a slightly warm tone to color photographs. If this effect is undesirable, a B+W UV-/IR-Blocking Filter 486 in front of the neutral density filter (not behind it!)

Neutral Density Filter 110 (ND 3.0) With a light intensity reduction of ten f-stops, this B+W Neutral Density Filter has a slightly stronger warm tone than the ND 106. Its principal field of application is the observation and documentation of industrial processes with extreme brightness, such as steel furnaces, incinerators, glowing filaments in halogen- and other bulbs. The filter factor is 1000x..

Neutral Density Filter 113 (ND 4.0) With its light reducing capability of 13 f-stops, this B+W Neutral Density Filter is used in astronomy for photographs of the sun and for recording the relative movements of heavenly bodies as light traces in extremely long exposure times. For photographs of the sun, this filter must be positioned in front of the lens and under no circumstances should it be located near the primary focus in front of, or behind the eyepiece because of the intense heat at those locations. It must not be used for observation of the sun (danger of blindness!) due to its greater transmission in the infrared range. The filter factor is 10000x.

Neutral Density Filter 120 (ND 6.0) With its light reduction capability of 20 f-stops, this B+W ND Filter is used for the same astro-photographic applications as ND filter 113 when an even greater light attenuation is required. In spite of its much higher density, this filter too, must not be used for visual observation because of its transmission 

Leica Neutral Density Filters

Leica 1x ND Filter. Neutral Density filters have several uses and offer the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. ND filters appear grey and reduce the amount of light reaching the film. They have no effect on color balance. They have four main uses: 1) To enable slow shutter speeds to be used, especially with high speed films, to record movement in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, or cars. 2) To decrease depth of field by allowing wider apertures to be used, which helps separate subjects from their background. 3) To decrease the effective ISO of high speed film (above ISO 400) and allow it to be used outdoors in bright situations. 4) To allow cine and video cameras (which have fixed shutter speeds) to film subjects such as snow, sand or other bright scenes which could cause overexposure. Neutral Density factors: ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop, reduces ISO 1/2) ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stops, reduces ISO 1/4) ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops, reduces ISO 1/8)

Leica 4x ND Filter. for Leica Digilux 2 Digital Camera.

Tiffen Neutral Density Filters

Tiffen Neutral Density Filter. Tiffen Neutral Density (ND) ColorCore Glass Filters have several uses and offer the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. They enable the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. ND filters appear grey and reduce the amount of light reaching the film. Neutral Density Filters Have Four Main Uses • To enable slow shutter speeds to be used, especially with high speed films, to record movement in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, or cars • To decrease depth of field by allowing wider apertures to be used, which helps separate subjects from their background • To decrease the effective ISO of high speed film (above ISO 400) and allow it to be used outdoors in bright situation • To allow cine and video cameras (which have fixed shutter speeds) to film subjects such as snow, sand or other bright scenes which could cause overexposure Comes in 03, 05, 09.

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