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Hitech nd grads

baker58 Plus
14 101 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2012 7:34PM
Apologies if this matter has been covered before.I have recently bought the Lee Foundation kit and a 77mm WA adapter for use with Canon 10-22. I have been trying to decide which to go for, Lee's or Hitech's. Was thinking of starting off with a 0.6hard and a 0.9 hard and maybe a full nd. Won't be doing coastal shots, more likely to be in the hills. Trawling through the forums I get conflicting information regarding the choice of hard versus soft but Lee Filters and one or two eminent pro's on EPZ suggest going with hard with the Lee's on a crop sensor camera. Regarding the Hitech's I can't find any info about the hardness of the transition so have a concern about choosing wrongly. I wonder if any of you kind people have experience of the Hitech's on a crop frame camera, namely is the transition on the hards soft enough not be apparent in hilly shots.


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23 Feb 2012 8:27PM
I use hitech 100mm ND soft ad like them i have .6 .9 .12 cheapest place i found them is bristol Cameras
mikehit Plus
8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2012 8:43PM
I have the HiTech soft ND grad set (bought them from Teamworkphoto, with a Lee WA+holder kit) and use them on 30D/7D. THis is a good set but think a hard grads may have been better overall. The degree of gradation varies between manufacturers so it is hard to say anything about the Lee set
23 Feb 2012 10:06PM
I have the Hitech filters, soft & hard grads and the ND filters. Prices are a lot more favorable compared to Lee, typical grad kit (0.3, 0.6, 0.9) will cost 85 and ND standard filters 78 from "Formatt". I opted for the 100mm size, slightly shorter than Lee but never had any problem. I use them in a Lee Holder on both crop sensor and full frame.

From experience I can say I rely mostly on the hard grads, particularly 0.6 and 0.9, and recently purchased a 1.2. I am able to use these on landscapes with an uneven horizon so long as I can find a spot on the landscape to blend the hard edge into. That said I have recently discovered I can soften the transition of the hard edge where this is difficult by combining a soft edge grad, 0.6 is my choice for this. As for ND filters I don't really use these as I find a polariser is sufficient for longer exposures, I use the Heliopan on the lee system. I've found that the ND filters do have a colour cast, but this can be sorted in post processing.

Hope this helps.

baker58 Plus
14 101 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2012 10:13PM
Many thanks guys.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2012 8:45AM
if you are shooting hills I would be thinking along the terms of soft transition not hard.
I would suggest that hard is more for a flat horizon.
I tend to use soft grads and it works well for me, personally i don't see a need for hard grads and i photograph sea scapes and landscapes.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2012 8:51AM
Hard grads can be softened simply by moving the filter up and down in front of the camera especially good if on a long exposure.
In my mind hard grads can leave a line especially when using 0.9 which is my favourite filter.
I know hard grads are used for straight horizons but why would you use one for hills and mountains when a soft grad would be preferable for in camera accuracy?
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
24 Feb 2012 9:22AM
Because a hard grad is softened by the crop effect of a smaller sensor.

Hitech hard grads, however, have a shorter transition than Lee hard.
baker58 Plus
14 101 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2012 9:33AM
Thanks. So it seems I either I should get Lee hards or Hitech softs for shots with an undulating horizon.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
24 Feb 2012 9:38AM
If the cost is an issue, you could pretty much get away with a 2 and 3 stop Lee hard on a crop sensor camera, go for softs on a full frame.
baker58 Plus
14 101 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2012 10:00AM
Thanks Keith. I was just thinking the same. A 2 and 3 stop Lee would cover me for most everything.

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