Based on email questions, there seems to be a lot of interest in finding information on filters, especially Graduated neutral density, ND, polarizers and UV. Funny, when I gathered all my filters up for inspection, for some odd reason I seem to have three each of Hoya, B+W and Tiffen, plus a whole bunch of Minolta and Cokin etc, but I don’t use those much (except the P173). Also funny is the image Tiffen (or B&H maybe) uses on some of their filter ads, like the image below. The scene is Pusch Ridge peak in Tucson AZ, the same peak I often hike up to. It’s taken from Oracle road looking southeast. I just thought I’d mention it, not really earth shattering news. I put some useful GND info on the side also.
I’m going to review some filters in the near future, although right now I have my hands full with two Sigma 70-200mm reviews. I thought I’d start off with a little info on the Tiffen GND filters, (mine are made in the US). I bought the Tiffen 49mm (grad) ND.6 (49CGND6) for the NEX 18-55mm kit lens. You could also use this 49mm size for the Sony 50mm F/1.8, Sony 28mm F/2.8 or Sony 30mm F/2.8 macro lenses. Additionally, I have a Tiffen 62mm (grad) ND.6 (62CGND6) for the Sony CZ 16-80mm, and a Tiffen 77mm (grad) ND.6 for the Sony pro lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-400mm. I use the 77mm on the Sigma 10-20mm too. Tiffen makes nice filters at a very good price, and are about the same price and quality as Hoya in my opinion. B+W are very expensive, and no better.
All three filters mentioned are Graduated, or “gradual” ND filters, meaning they transition from dark to light from the top towards the middle. You can use these for keeping the clouds from blowing out in you images, or turn them upside down for high key areas. They turn just like a Polarizing filter. I use the .6 or two stop ND filters because anything less and it really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, and any more and the skies start to look scary.
|Pusch Ridge Tiffen filter ad|