New Schneider 77mm .9 Soft
I am a filter nut, always looking for a great filter to solve my problems. The problem is, I go through a lot of them not finding ones I like. I really love to use split grad neutral density filters, it’s a leftover from film days. The problem has been that for digital, I’ve had to carry the Lee .9 4×6 but as you might know, finding them is like finding ghosts. At the same time, they are a pain to carry. Well, Schneider now has a .9 (that’s 3 stops) split grad neutral density soft edge 77mm and it’s gorgeous!
Here’s kinda of a classic use of a split grad. These photos have no processing, Jpegs out of the D800. The subject is the dwarf pine on the knoll. The top image is straight, the bottom is with the Schneider 77mm .9 split grad. In the top image, the white clouds put the eye up and away from the pine. At the same time, the exposure is down for those white clouds so the spot of light on the knoll is darker. With the Schneider split grad attached, the clouds at the top of the frame are now held back so the brightness of the light on the knoll pops out.
Here’s another example everything the same with the results the same. There are a couple of reasons why I love this filter and recommend it over all the others I’ve tried. First, the neutral density material in this filter is gorgeous rendering no funky color tint. It’s glass and spectacular and in brass mount that is smooth as silk. And ya, you’re paying for all the quality. But you must be asking, “Why bother, I can do that in post?” True, you can but here is why I use them. First, clouds often “burn up” so you loose detail. If it’s lost in the capture, you can’t get it back in post. That’s why I wanted a .9/3 stop because .6/2 stop just isn’t enough for digital. Next, this was shot with the D800, that’s one big ass file. You start adding to that file in post and you have a massive file! When you can get it in capture, you have a smoother gradiant, smaller fill and cleaner highlights. Now I’m testing some other really cool filters I’ll be telling you about shortly, but I’m really excited about this new find!