What Is Better for Epic Photos? ND Filters for Portraits vs. HSS vs. ES

Bright lenses are as much about bokeh as they are about shooting in low light — but what about bokeh and bright light? Not every portrait shoot is going to happen under ideal, fairy-tale conditions at golden hour. And even then, sometimes golden hour is still too bright to shoot at f1.2 with a flash. But, there are a number of tools at a photographer’s disposal to mix both bright ambient light and a wide-open aperture. When it comes to mixing bokeh with ambient light, there are three main choices: ND filters for portraits, high-speed sync flash, or an electronic shutter.

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Epic, Magic Filter Actually Changes Size: New H&Y Revoring Swift Review

What if one filter could fit all your lenses? What if circular and rectangular filters worked together? What if filters just snapped on with a magnet? That’s the idea behind the H&Y Revoring Swift, a modular filter system that integrates circular and rectangular filters as well as a hood and lens cap. To top it off, the base adapts to different thread sizes, so it’s possible to use one filter on multiple lenses.

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Add a Cinematic Look to Your Photos. Irix Edge Vari ND 2-5 Filter Review

Irix Edge Vari ND 2-5 filter waterproof coating

They’re very popular in cinematography circles for their cine lens lineup, and just a couple of months ago, Irix Lens released a new range of variable ND filters. They say it’s one of the slimmest and most compact ND filters in the market. The Irix Edge Vari ND 2-5 filter comes in two versions – the Magnetic Mount System (MMS) version and the more standard screw-in version. I received a copy of the latter for our review and was pleasantly pleased with the color rendition and lack of X pattern banding in the images taken with it.

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This Awesome Feature on Olympus Cameras Needs More Praise

If you’re a fan of landscape photography, then you’re probably aware of the feature on Olympus cameras called Live ND. Since it was introduced years ago, no other camera manufacturer has implemented it into their cameras. Granted, there has also been a worldwide pandemic that’s restricted productivity and innovation. But still, Olympus cameras, and therefore OM System cameras, are very capable. For a while, they were the only ones with vehicle AI autofocus tracking. But in truth, Live ND is one of the coolest things they’ve made.

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3 Neutral Density Filters Photographers Will Love

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.

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David Ellis Creates Flower Photos with a Hidden Meaning

“I remember the assault of color from Filoli’s incredible tulip beds this spring,” the artist David Ellis tells me. “But I also remember the disconnect of people having to wear masks and socially distance to enjoy an outdoor park and garden.” As part of their spring display in March through May, the historic California house and garden showcased 30 varieties of tulips, from the crimson Kingsblood to the creamy White Triumphator. Still, amid all those swaths of living color, the specter of COVID-19 lingered.  

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A Professional Twenty in One Kit – Freewell Magnetic VND Filters

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

Variable Neutral Density (VND) filters have traditionally had a negative connotation attached to them. This is because of the dreaded X pattern that appears as you rotate the filters to obtain varying degrees of density. The folks at Freewell claim you won’t experience this when using their new Magnetic VND filters. They’re not wrong. During three days of testing, I never once faced anything close to this image-killing X when using these filters. What’s more amazing is that they double as CPL filters if you flip them around. Freewell has done an outstanding manufacturing job with these filters. Read more to see how they fared in our review.

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It’s Really Easy to Use! HY Magnetic Filter Holder System Review

The H&Y K-Series Magnetic Filter Holder System is an innovative and easy way for photographers to attach filters to their cameras.

The H&Y K-Series Magnetic Filter Holder System uses magnets to remedy an inconvenience for photographers. With this one system, there’s no need to have a ton of filters; you can theoretically use one filter across many lenses. The savings can add up too! Buying different Neutral Density and Circular Polarizing Filters can get pricey. The H&Y K-Series Magnetic Filter Holder System is a super user-friendly alternative.

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Long Exposures Made Easy: Haida 17 Stop ND 5.0 Filter Review

The Haida Red Diamond 17 Stop ND 5.0 Filter is an invaluable tool for photographers specializing in daytime long exposure photography.

Shooting long exposures in broad daylight can be very challenging, and the Haida Red Diamond 17 Stop ND 5.0 Filter was created with this in mind. Most conventional ND’s simply don’t provide enough light reduction. When photographing on a sunny day, you’re limited to exposures of a second or two at best. That’s barely enough time to blur out moving clouds or flowing water. Thanks to the whopping 17 stops of light reduction on the Haida Red Diamond Filter, significantly longer exposures become possible. For example, a 1/60 second filterless exposure would take 36 minutes and 16 seconds to complete. That’s a notable difference. We recently got to test the Haida Red Diamond 17 Stop ND 5.0 Filter out in the wild. Check out how it fared in the real world after the jump.

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No More Screwing Around: Haida M10 Insert Variable ND Filter Review

Tired of screwing variable NDs on and off of your lenses all the time? The Haida M10 Insert Variable ND Filter aims to make that a thing of the past.

When it comes to neutral density filters, variable NDs are favored by many photographers for their versatility. Instead of carrying a bunch of individual ND filters of different strengths, VNDs cover a set ND range that can be adjusted on the fly. However, the way traditional variable NDs are designed (where two rotating rings are essentially conjoined) can sometimes make them a pain to remove. A filter wrench is often required. Haida is looking to change the way photographers use variable NDs. By leveraging their M10 Filter Holder System, photographers no longer have to screw and unscrew filters, VNDs included. The Haida M10 Insert Variable ND Filter works in concert with the company’s own M10 Drop-In Neutral Density and Circular Polarizing Filters. When combined, the M10 Insert VND acts as a multiplier for the M10 Drop-In ND/CPLs’ ND rating. Depending on the amount of light reduction needed, simply swap out the corresponding Drop-In ND/CPL rather than unscrewing a VND and screwing on a stronger one in its place. Sounds great in theory, but how well does the Haida M10 Insert Variable ND Filter work in the real world?

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A New Way to Attach Filters: The H&Y RevoRing Filter System Review

The H&Y RevoRing Filter System is an innovative way to adapt circular filters quickly and easily across a variety of lenses.

Every so often, a product comes along and changes the way we’ve done something. That’s precisely what the H&Y RevoRing Filter System is trying to do with how photographers use Neutral Density and Circular Polarizing filters. For many photographers, ND and CPL filters serve critical roles in their photography workflow. The problem with traditional threaded round lens filters is that they’re limited to a single filter thread. If you’ve got a handful of lenses, each bearing a different filter thread, they would each require their own filter: that can add up to quite a lot of filters very quickly. While filter holder systems alleviate this by allowing you to use one set of filters across a bunch of different lenses, they often require you to juggle a lot of different components. With H&Y’s RevoRing Filter System, the only components you have to manage are the RevoRing itself and the filters you will need. The folks over at H&Y sent us pre-production samples of the RevoRing Filter System to evaluate ahead of its Kickstarter campaign launch. Does it live up to its promise?

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Photography Cheat Sheet: How to Photograph Waterfalls in a Dreamy Way

Here’s a photography cheat sheet for those who want that ethereal look to their waterfalls.

We’ve all seen them–those dreamy waterfall images that inspire awe in us and make us want to book a ticket to the latest vacation spot. Landscape photographers spend hours upon days looking for not only the best locations but also the best light. That careful combination is offset by using the right filters and the proper exposure. It’s followed by post-production, and possibly printing. Most important of all is the right light. You’ll have to search out the golden or blue hour to get just the right amount of glisten on the water. And even above all that, having the right tools. We’ve got that all set up for you in today’s photography cheat sheet. But we also have extra tips below on how to photograph waterfalls.

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Review: Haida Red-Diamond 3 Stop Soft-Edge Graduated ND Filter

Landscape photographers on the market for a reliable graduated ND filter should check out Haida’s Red-Diamond 3 Stop Soft-Edge Graduated ND Filter

When photographing long exposure landscapes, a common challenge many photographers encounter is the drastic difference between the amount of light in the sky and below the horizon. This is where filters like the Haida Red-Diamond 3 Stop Soft-Edge Graduated ND Filter come in handy. Soft, graduated neutral density filters allow you to expose for the darker areas of your frame without blowing out what’s in the sky.

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Review: Haida Red-Diamond 10 Stop ND 100x100mm Filter

Photographers shooting long exposures in brightly lit conditions will want to check out the Haida Red-Diamond 10 Stop ND 100x100mm Filter.

We’ve been testing the Haida 10 Stop Red-Diamond ND 100x100mm Filters (3.0/1000x Density) alongside their M10 Filter Holder System. Neutral Density filters are great for architectural, landscape, and travel photography, especially when shooting long exposures during daylight hours. ND filters help to prevent your images from being totally blown out when shooting long exposures in brightly lit conditions. They essentially serve as sunglasses for your cameras, helping to cut down the amount of light that reaches your camera sensor.

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Review: Haida M10 Filter Holder System (A Quick & Modular Solution)

The Haida M10 Filter Holder System is a modular way for photographers to quickly and easily attach/detach and swap in a variety of different filters

During last year’s PhotoPlus Expo, we were introduced to Chinese filter manufacturer Haida and their brand new M10 Filter Holder System. Neutral density filters play an integral role for photographers particularly specializing in landscape, architecture, and travel photography. If you find yourself shooting with a variety of different lenses regularly, chances are most of these lenses will have different filter threads. ND filters aren’t cheap, and buying filters in multiple densities for various threads can put a huge dent in your wallet very quickly. Filter systems like the Haida M10 system are a much more cost-efficient way to go, allowing you to adapt a set of filters across a variety of filter threads.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Getting Perfect Exposures With Solid ND Filters

Wondering how you can get great results using solid ND filters? Here’s a photography cheat sheet you can use as a reference for your next practice!

Lens filters are among the most useful tools you can turn to when you want to control the light or achieve specific effects in-camera, especially for shooting landscape photos. Neutral Density (ND) filters, in particular, are important for shooting situations that require very wide aperture or long shutter speed settings, as they decrease the amount of light that hits the camera sensor without affecting the colors. In a separate photography cheat sheet, we saw how ND filters come in different stops, and how much light each stop reduces. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet puts the knowledge to work with some tips for getting perfect exposures with a solid ND filter.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Quick Neutral Density Filter Chart

Still wondering how neutral density filters work and which one to choose for your next shoot? Let today’s photography cheat sheet serve as your handy guide.

If you’re just getting into landscape photography, among the tools of the trade that you must have heard about are neutral density filters (ND filters). These lens filters are particularly essential to landscape photography — or any shooting situation that requires a very wide aperture or long shutter speed — because they decrease the amount of light that hits the camera’s sensor. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet will introduce you to ND filters and what they do for your shots.

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You’re Doing it Wrong: How to Shoot Flash Photography During the Day

The key to using a flash on camera during the day is all about power output.

When you think about using a flash, you’re probably thinking about only using it at night where you need more light. But, believe it or not, the best time to use a flash is during the day. It essentially helps you get a better histogram reading by filling in details all across the board. It’s also much better than using constant lights.

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Capturing the Spirit of Fall Through Creative Photography

Go get yourself a pumpkin spice latte and check out these fun fall photography ideas.

For many photographers in the northern hemisphere, the Fall is a favorite time of year to go out and create some photographs. Leaving the sweltering summer heat in the rear view mirror, it’s much more comfortable for photographers to be out and about with their gear during the Autumn months without having to worry about sweating through their clothes every five minutes. Autumn also brings about a variety of changes that provide added visual interest for photographers. Once vibrant leaves take on hues of golden amber and deep crimson as the warming scents of spices from teas and baked goods fill the air. Pedestrians change their wardrobes to adapt to declining temperatures, while decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving begin to adorn homes and store fronts. As long as you’re paying attention, there’ll be something of interest for you to photograph.

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Wine Country Camera Introduces Affordable Blackstone ND Circular Filters

If you’ve lusted after Wine Country Camera’s high end filters, this is news you’ve been waiting for!

Wine Country Camera, the boutique filter systems manufacturer known for making high-end camera filters and filter holders, just announced that they will be offering their Blackstone ND filters in circular sizes. This means that Wine Country’s Blackstone ND filter technology can now be had at a much lower price point. Made using the latest Vapor Deposition Coating technology, Wine Country Camera’s premium Blackstone ND filter line offers advancements over competing, traditionally dye-based ND filters which are known to sometimes cause color cast.

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Review: Irix Edge Neutral Density ND32000 (Used with the IRIX 15mm f2.4 FireFly)

Playing with the IRIX 15 Stop ND filter was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had.

After reviewing two of their lenses, the folks at IRIX sent me the Irix Edge Neutral Density ND32000 for review; and the experience of using it became one involving a better understanding of the environment around me, settings, the weather, etc. Yes, that’s right–it cuts out 15 stops of light. With an ND filter like this, a photographer can shoot with their camera on a tripod and not need to stop their lens down a whole lot. Instead, they can shoot at f4, f5.6, etc. While it’s very tempting to sometimes shoot at incredibly long exposures too, the photographer using the IRIX 15 Stop ND Filter should be incredibly aware of their environments. While that may sound like common sense, it’s a situation that baffled photographers who have been shooting for even longer than me.

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