Neutral Density Filter Systems for Wide Angle Lenses

There are a number of tips and tricks for landscape photography that I am slowly learning.  I understand the application of neutral density gradient filters and have been using them to balance bright skies with foregrounds.  I have been hand-holding the filter since it’s much faster and easier than using a filter holder.  As I begin to explore longer exposures, holding the filter for long periods of time without impacting the quality of the shot is a challenge.  Shooting with a wide angle lens, I experimented with a filter holder earlier in the year but was surprised when I got the filter holder in my shot.  It didn’t make sense to me since I knew that many of the photographers that I admire use one.  After some digging I found that my issue was with the size of the filters that I was using.  I had elected for the Cokin P system, although I was using Singh Ray filters.  The filters are 84 x 120 mm in size which means that this system is fine for lenses 24 mm and above, however it doesn’t work for the wide angle lens that I am favoring at the moment.  For that reason I am now exploring the larger 4 x 6 filter holder system from Lee.  I have the foundation kit on order from the good people at Samy’s Camera and I’ll share my experience with it in future posts.

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