ND filters and white balance

CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
edited January 2013 in General Discussions
Today I was out shooting again using a ND10 filter. I use a Hitech Pro Stop 10 100 mm filter and a Cokin Z-Pro holder.

What I find really annoying is that I seem to be unable to get the proper white balance with this filter. I do shoot raw images and I also put a grey card in some of the shots for reference but no matter what I try I can't get the same colors as in reference shots that I do without the filter. I usually end up converting the image to b&w (which also looks nice).

From what I read on various pages on the net this seems to be a common problem with a lot of the ND10 filters.

What are your experiences with this type of filters and what filter do you use?
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Comments

  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I use a Hoya ND8 and don't see problems with white balance.
    image

    Did you autobalance or did you take presets?
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    i use a B+W 10 stop ; the W/B dropper on a grey card in Lightroom works for me
  • friedmudfriedmud Posts: 14Member
    "Color cast" is a common problem with any ND filter, not just 10 stop filters. The "Neutral" part of ND means that the filter is not supposed to change the color of light as it passes through... unfortunately that is not always the case (especially with cheaper systems).

    I use only Lee filters ( http://www.leefilters.com/ ) for this reason. They are hand crafted to the finest standards and won't have any color cast. In particular their "Big Stopper" ( http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/bigstopper ) is world renown for being an excellent 10 stop filter.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 467Member
    I believe it is not the WB but Infrared Radiation which manage to pass thru creating the problem. However, I am not sure if it happens with every ( high stop ) ND filter or just the Cokin Type cheap square ones I use. I always have a reddish cast whenever I stack 2 or more filters ( I have 1,2 & 4 stops so sometimes I have to ) .
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,185Moderator
    The Lee filters are available from B & H, Adorama, if desired.
    Msmoto, mod
  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    I was looking at the Lee filter as well before I bought my filter. The problem with Lee is, that their filters tend to be out of stock even here in Europe.

    JJ_SO: your image looks good. I usually try Auto WB to get a better starting point for corrections. But this is what I end up with (first image without any filters, second one with Pro Stopper plus Hitech ND 0.6 grad hard to keep the sky down).

    RAW_8580

    RAW_8589

    I don't have a Pro Account on Flickr so I cannot upload the full res or raw files, but this should be ok for now.

    Sevencrossing: I heard that the B&W filter is pretty good. I went for the Pro Stopper because I did not want to get another filter for each lens diameter I got - something I tend to do. If I got a screwable filter I also want to use the lens hood. Now I got that Cokin system and no lens hood at all. Sometimes I should think things to the end before I start shopping :)

    Paperman: Now that you mention that I remember I heard that before. I was under the impression they changed the Hitech filter to solve or at least minimize the problem, but this might be worth a try.

    Thanks everybody for the input so far. I will keep experimenting...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2013
    all my " effect " filters are 77mm as are most of my lens
    I have nothing larger than 77mm ( yet)
    i have a adaptors for the few lens that are less than 77mm
    ( all my lenes have a dedicated UV filter the correct size )
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,340Member
    Interesting, I use the lower end Cokin P series filters on the P type holder and don't have any white balance issues.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • friedmudfriedmud Posts: 14Member
    edited January 2013
    Lee filters are out of stock everywhere... not just in Europe (in fact, they are made in England). This is because they are all done in a small workshop by hand. Here's a great video showing the process:



    Just place an order with a respectable camera shop and wait a bit. I've never had to wait longer than a couple of weeks... and the wait is completely worth it.

    We spend all of this money on the best gear... and a ton of time in the field trying to get the perfect shot.... why would you put a piece of cheap plastic between your sensor and the light you're trying to capture?
    Post edited by friedmud on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,340Member
    If you need to use square filters often the LEE and Singh-Ray filter systems are a better choice, without a doubt. On the other hand, If you only use them occasionally (once a month or less) the Cokin type system is far more practical, from a price standpoint.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I have never heard of Hitech Pro filters but looking them up (common price seems to be $175) they should be more than good enough to be truly neutral.

    Your image actually looks like flair - light coming across at an angle reflecting in-between filters and elements and bouncing forward. If you use really old filters without coatings you will see the same effect with digital bodies. Kind of looks similar.

    Were you using a hood or something to control the stray light?
    What lens were you using?
    Does it have a uv or clear filter on it? What brand of filter?

    (various lens coatings, filter coatings, etc, give off a certain color - might be able to figure out where it is coming from.)

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,340Member
    @Tao Do you use square filters? By definition you cannot use a lens hood with the filter holder attached.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    edited January 2013
    Tao: I used the 20 mm AI-S Nikkor. On the image I showed there is some flare as well, I agree, but I do have a lot of similar images without the flare and similar cast. I did not have any hood attached. The filter does have a gasket, but I found that on top and the bottom of the Cokin holder there are two (very small) parts that could cause a light leak.

    There are two things I planned on doing:
    1. Create some more images (with custom white balance with and without filter) and send them to Hitech support to see what they think about it. Maybe I am doing something terribly wrong or my filter is bad (I read a couple of good reviews about the filter, so I don't think it is a bad brand or so).
    2. Cover the "leaks" and see if this changes something.

    I will keep you posted.
    Post edited by Correlli on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    from B+W
    ND 3.0-1,000X SC (110)
    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.

    Single Coating

    Each glass surface is vacuum coated with one layer of Anti-Reflection coating. This single layer helps to prevent internal ghosting and reflections. It also improves light transmission from approximately 92% (uncoated glass) to over 98%.


  • DXV_PhotoDXV_Photo Posts: 158Member
    @Tao Do you use square filters? By definition you cannot use a lens hood with the filter holder attached.
    Lee makes a lens hood you can use with there filters. Here is a link that shows how it works. You will see the hoods around the middle of the page.

    http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/system

  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    I did have a look at that hood as well, but did you look at the price? Those hoods start from $200. This is one of those invests that is most likely worth it if you make money from those images, but for using it a few times a year it is definitely out of my budget.
  • DXV_PhotoDXV_Photo Posts: 158Member
    @Correlli - Lee is expensive and it will always come down to if you will get enough use out of it to justify the cost. If you think the hood is bad you should see how much there polarizers are.

    I found an article comparing the B+W 10 stop filter to the Lee Big Stopper. They where able to adjust the color temp to remove some of the color cast. Here is the article.

    http://mattlauder.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/lee-big-stopper-10-stop-nd-vs-bw-3-0-10-stop-nd-filter-review-pt1/
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    @Tao Do you use square filters? By definition you cannot use a lens hood with the filter holder attached.


    Lee makes a lens hood you can use with there filters. Here is a link that shows how it works. You will see the hoods around the middle of the page.

    http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/system
    Lee's stuff is so dang expensive for what it is. Cokin also has some stack square hoods that snap on the front of the holder. I have used those but vignetting on wide angles seem to get in the way. I have seen some barn door hoods but I have never found where that came from or if it was a home made modification. Now I just use either a small flip out bounce to block the light but mostly just a black plastic sheet that came from the back of a notebook hand hold it to block flair.

    DXV_photo - nice catch on a link! Bookmarked that one.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,014Moderator
    I have some square hi-tech filters that work fine. I'll post some stuff up shortly. I don't have a 10 stop though, I think 6 is my max. How about gaffers tape for the light leak? It also keeps the square filters in for sure. Gaffers tape is always in my gear bag...
  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    While we are at it, her is a review about the Lee and the Hitech filter (this one convinced me that the less expensive Hitech is just fine for me):

    http://blog.robertstrachan.com/archives/1314/hitech-pro-stop-review/

    Hope it is ok to post his link.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,823Moderator
    edited January 2013
    I was going to get the Lee SW-150 for my 14-24 2.8 but the back order turned me off. Currently I'm using Hoya's line of HD filters. With respect to ND, I have their NDx400 (9 stop). So far I have been very happy with its performance. White balance has not been an issue for me.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • DXV_PhotoDXV_Photo Posts: 158Member
    edited January 2013
    @TaoTeJared - On DPReview I found this posted by Gmack. Might be a good replacement for your notebook. :D

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3123949
    Post edited by DXV_Photo on
  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    One more thing for those who did not use a high ND filter before and use this thread as a source of information:

    If you've got an eyepiece cover by all means do use it. If you havn't got one, then get one and use it. With these long exposure times the light entering the camera through the eyepiece can cause exposure problems.
  • CorrelliCorrelli Posts: 135Member
    Just to let you know: in the meantime I managed to get a filter holder from Hitech and did some quick tests. It seems as if the results are better with that holder. We got some snow here in the last couple of days so there is only white and not much other colors for a real test. I will do more tests once we got some colors back. :)

    There is a gasket on the filter that does not really fit with the Cokin Z-Pro holder (round), but with the Hitech (rectangular) it does. The store also had the Lee holder for the same price, but from what I've read there are two versions of the Pro Stopper filter: one for the Hitech holder with a 1.5 mm gasket (the one I have) and one for the Lee holder with a 3 mm gasket. Luckily I did remember that so I got the Hitech one.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,129Moderator
    Interesting thread. :-B
    Always learning.
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