The neutral density filter is one of the handiest tools any photographer can have. They’re especially useful for landscape photographers, seascape shooters, and anyone who shoots in bright sunlight. They vary in quality and kits, but luckily we’ve reviewed a lot of them over the years. Take a look at this short roundup of some of the best Neutral Density filters we’ve used.
The Phoblographer’s product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Pro Tips on Using Neutral Density Filters
Here are some professional tips on using neutral density filters:
- Neutral density filters are also called ND filters. They basically cut down on the light in the scene.
- They are a fantastic way to shoot long shutter speeds during the daytime.
- Always bring a lens cloth with you. You’re going to need it.
- Not all filters are made equal. The glass in many of them is pretty similar, but the build quality of the ring can be everything. Cheaper rings can be harder to get off the front of your lens.
- No, your sunglasses can’t replace a neutral density filter. They’re completely different grades of glass. You’ll probably get some sort of color shift using a neutral density filter. But, you’ll get far more with sunglasses.
K+F Concept Filter Package
- 【Professional Magnetic Lens Filter Kit】 This filter kit includes MCUV+CPL+Neutral Denstiy ND1000+1 magnetic adapter ring + 1 waterproof zip filter pouch. Note: This magnetic filter set has two combination methods: 1. Magnetic Adapter Ring + CPL+ ND1000. 2. MCUV+CPL+ND1000.
- 【One Second Filter Swap & Install】 Still screwing your filter awkwardly? Now it is time to free your hands. This magnetic lens filter kit could be installed in less than one second compared with conventional six-seconds screw.Swap and intall the filter in one second even on the cold weather, avoding frozen hands.
- 【Import Optical Glass and Multi-coated】 All the filter are made of Germany optical glass, high quality in light transmitting and transparency, no ghost and flares. With 16 multi-layer coated waterproof ,scratch resistant and oil proof. Providing you a perfect photographing experience and professional protecting for lens and camera.
- 【Ultra Slim Frame】 Ultra slim frame ensures no vignetting and dark corner on 16mm wide angle lens. CNC non-slip system intensing the friction , easy for install.
- 【4 in 1 Waterproof Zip Filter Pouch】This filter waterproof zip fitler pounch with 4 layer room for filter collecting, metal clasp for handy placements and velcro seal to your belt for fetching the filter easily.
In our review, we state:
“Overall, despite having some qualms about the build quality, I can’t complain about the individual image quality of the K+F Concept Filter Package. Each filter didn’t affect the image quality negatively when stopped down. The CPL is powerful, and I like that. And the ND remains color-neutral while also killing lots of the ambient lighting.”
Haida M10 Insert Variable ND Filter
- Size: 100 × 100 mm
- Thickness of Filter: 2 mm
- Material: K9 Optical Glass
- Type of Filter: Drop-In Filter
- Variable Range: ND2 – ND16 / ND 0.3 – ND 1.2, ND8 – ND32 / ND 0.9 – ND 1.5, and ND64 – ND500 / ND 1.8 – ND 2.7
- Features: Low Color-Cast, Scratch Proof Coating, Water Proof Coating, R5 Rounded
- metallic filter case for storage and transport
- works in combination with Haida’s M10 Filter Holder System and M10 Circular Polarizing Filters (including the Haida M10 Drop-In Circular Polarizer Filter that comes included with the Haida M10 Filter Holder Kit)
- 10 additional scratch-resistant hydrophobic coatings on each glass surface further protect the filter substrate and result in an improved beading effect when in contact with water or oil for greater cleaning efficiency
- rounded edges for easier placement within a compatible filter holder slot
- constructed from high quality K9 optical glass for clarity as well as color fidelity
- combined with Haida M10 Drop-In Circular Polarizer Filter: 1 – 4 Stops (ND2 – ND16 / ND 0.3 – ND 1.2)
- combined with Haida M10 Drop-In Neutral Density and Circular Polarizer 0.9 Filter (3-Stop): 3 – 5 Stops (ND8 – ND32 / ND 0.9 – ND 1.5)
- combined with Haida M10 Drop-In Neutral Density and Circular Polarizer 1.8 Filter (6-Stop): 6-9 stops (ND64 – ND500 / ND 1.8 – ND 2.7)
In our review, we state:
“It’s not uncommon for variable neutral density filters to cause unwanted color casts in your images. In fact, Haida actually lists “low color cast” as one of the features in the press materials for the M10 Insert Variable ND Filter. This proved to be accurate from our test results. Images shot using the M10 Insert Variable ND filter appeared marginally warmer and took on a slight green tint. Thankfully, we didn’t detect any reduction in sharpness. While the color cast can be corrected during post-production, it’s still an extra step, and that can add up if you’re processing a ton of images.”
Haida Red-Diamond 3 Stop Soft-Edge Graduated ND Filter
- Ideal for Photos with Bright Skies
- Rectangular Filter Size: 4″ x 6″ / 100 x 150mm
- Neutral Density Type: Graduated ND
- Density: 0.9 (3 stop)
- This Red Diamond SOFT graduated ND filter is a 100x150mm gray gradient filter that can be used in the HAIDA 100 Series / HAIDA 100-PRO Series holders or similar 100x100mm holders from Lee, Cokin, Hitech
- Made from optical glass, with a Nanopro coating and hardened through a specific production process makes this filter the most durable in the entire Haida filter range. The wafer-thin nanopro coating protects the filter against scratches, water, oil and fingerprints. The filter is also easy to clean because of the coating
- The Red Diamond is very resistant to shocks and glass breakage
- An R5 rounding of the filter angles ensures excellent handling when placing in a filter holder
- The filter has no detrimental color cast (Color Cast) and belongs to the elite of the ND filters
- This ND filter is ideal for use in landscape photography
- The Red Diamond series is the choice of the professional photographer or of the photographer who strives for optimum quality and durability in his choice of materials
In our review, we state:
“If you’re a landscape photographer in need of a graduated ND filter, the Haida Red-Diamond 3 Stop Soft-Edge Graduated ND Filter (0.9/8x Density) is worth considering. It’s not the cheapest graduated ND filter out there, but its price is on par with competing offerings on the market at US $169. You’re paying for consistency and reliability, and this filter delivers. Unlike “bargain” filters, you don’t have to worry about weird color casts or loss in sharpness in your images when shooting with this graduated ND. The filter’s nano-coating makes it easy to clean and gives it a fair bit of scratch resistance as well.”