Monthly Archives: March 2016

ND Filters’ Color Cast comparison – Vü 10 stop Sion, Lee 10 stop (Big Stopper) & Formatt Hitech 8 stop

The Lee Big Stopper was introduced in 2010 to compete with the Hitech 10 stop filter that was known to have flare and other issues. Subsequently Hitech reengineered their 10 stop filter and emulated some of Lee’s design features. In particular the the light blocking gasket.  Soon Lee introduced the Little Stopper while Hitech developed a wider range of solid ND filters the Pro Stop line from 6 to 10 stops and in multiple sizes.  Most recently I was introduced to the Vü system and hence this test as a comparison. I will do a full review of the Vü system in the near future.

As I own the Lee Big sStopper and the Hitech 8 stop with the Hitech holder (I do prefer the Hitech to the Lee holder) I was keen to understand the differences in the way high f-stop ND filters impart a color cast when used. Hence this test.  Please click on the images to see a larger version.

The set up was fairly simple.  Using a Sony A7R II and a Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 lens set at f/2.0 and a base ISO of 50, shutter speed 1/125 sec.  The light source was two Elinchrome studio strobes positioned to give a 1/3 stop exposure variation at the edges.  The camera was focused on a white foam-core board with a X-Rite Color Checker Passport clamped to the upper right corner.  Camera white balance set for flash rather than a custom white balance (5450 Kelvin) and an “as shot” tint of +9.  I wanted to allow for any variation in the white of the foam-core board that is typically not 100% white be adjusted in post.

The test exposure was made and the white balance adjusted in post using Lightroom – this is the image below.  White balance adjustment yielded a temperature of 4750 Kelvin and a tint of -1:

Control Shot

Next the strobes were adjusted to full power providing 8 additional stops of light.  The ISO was adjusted to increase sensitivity by two stops while the aperture of the lens was kept at a constant f/2.0 for all the exposures. Each filter was tested for color cast only.

The Lee Big Stopper (10 stop ND)

The Lee Big Stopper (10 stop ND) was mounted and the image as shown below was captured. This is as a screen shot so as to show the RGB histogram.  The info panel shows the reading from the center of the captured image.  Values are R=219, G=229, B=243

Lee 10stop at corner

Color Values measured in the center

 

In this next image the Info Panel shows RGB values from the lower third of the image. Values are R=187, G=203, B=222

Lee 10stop at center

Color Values measured in the lower right quadrant

Next the image was white balanced in Lightroom WB to 8600 Kelvin and tint +43. Compensated for the color of the board and the lights the calculated readings are 7900 Kelvin and a +35 Tint adjustment.

Lee 10 stop WB to 8600 and tint +43

Lee 10 stop WB to 8600 Kelvin and tint +43

The Lee Big Stopper exhibits a heavy blue cast in both the center and the edges.

Formatt Hitech 8 stop ND filter

As I do not have a 10 stop Formatt Hitech filter, I chose to do the same test with the 8 stop that I own. As with the Lee filter before, here the info panel shows the reading from the center of the captured image.  Values are R=234, G=238, B=236

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 5.05.05 PM

Format 8 stop – Color Values measured in the center

In this next image the Info Panel shows RGB values from the lower third of the image. Values are R=209, G=220, B=212

Format 8 stop - Color Values measured in the center

Format 8 stop – Color Values measured in the lower right quadrant

Next the image was white balanced in Lightroom WB to 5750 Kelvin and tint +52. Compensated for the color of the board and the lights the calculated readings are 5050 Kelvin and a +44 Tint adjustment.

Formatt 8 stop WB to 5750 and tint +52

Formatt 8 stop WB to 5750 Kelvin and tint +52

The Formatt HiTech 8 stop exhibits a heavy green cast at the edges but is more neutral in the center.

Vü Sion Q 10 stop Neutral Density Filter

The Vü Sion 10 stop ND filter mounted using The Vü professional filter holder (more abut this in a future post) and the same test was performed. As before the image captured is shown as a screen shot showing the RGB histogram.  The info panel shows the reading from the center of the captured image.  Values are R=235, G=235, B=239

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 5.15.29 PM

Vu Sion 10 stop – Color Values measured in the center

In this next image the Info Panel shows RGB values from the lower third of the image. Values are R=211, G=214, B=219

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 5.15.44 PM

Vu Sion 10 stop – Color Values measured in the lower right quadrant

Next the image was white balanced in Lightroom WB to 5800 Kelvin and tint +13. Compensated for the color of the board and the lights the calculated readings are 5000 Kelvin and a +5 Tint adjustment.

VU 10 stop wb adjusted 5800 tint +13

VU Sion 10 stop WB adjusted 5800 and tint +13

The Vü Sion 10 stop is very neutral in the center an has a negligible shift at the edges.

In conclusion I am very impressed with the Vü Sion 10 stop and is near neutral rendering.  My full review of this system is forthcoming.

 

Hunts Photo is offering my students and workshop participants a 20% discount on all Vu filters and holders! All you  have to do is call 781-662-8822 and ask for Alan Samiljan and tell him you are one of my students.  He will give you the discount. UPS Ground shipping is free in the Lower 48 and there is no sales tax except for orders shipped to MA, RI or ME.

 

Posted in Accessories, Blur, Lighting, Motion, Photographs, Photography, Product Reviews, Sony A7R, Strobes, Tips, Zeiss

HAPPY WORLD WILDLIFE DAY

Lilac Breasted Roller, Botswana 2014

Lilac Breasted Roller, Botswana 2014

Come and celebrate the wildlife of Africa, India and the USA by joining me on one or more of my photo tours and workshops.  The photo opportunities are exceptional as are the locations. Each location is picked to give you the best experience.

Namibia and Botswana – 2016

Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons – 2016

India – 2017

Namibia and Botswana – 2017

Iceland – 2017

Tanzania – 2017

Posted in Photography

MYANMAR – A Photo Adventure

myanmarNovember 7 – 20, 2016

This is an all inclusive trip – your international round trip airfare from JFK – New York, Newark, NJ or Atlanta is included.

Myanmar formally Burma is one of those rare unspoiled locations photographic allure.  The people exude warmth and their hospitality is is exceptional.  The land has a certain magical feel and a place that you will definitely want to come back to.

Our itinerary includes Yangon and its famous Pagodas, Mandalay, the ancient city of Bagan the land of over one thousand temples, Mount Popa and Inle Lake, where we will photograph local fishermen and local markets.. Each location has been selected to maximize photographic opportunities.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Posted in Photography

Light of Cape Cod – Photo Workshop

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A 4 day 3 night photo workshop that includes lodging and site fees

Mid Spring in Cape Cod is a multi faceted photo opportunity with truly spectacular scenics and some wildlife.  The tourists have not crowded the roads and traffic is not a nightmare.  This very special workshop is for all levels of photographers from beginner to advanced.  The Cape provides some of the most incredible landscapes and seascapes and the light during spring is exceptional.  We will explore and photograph the Cape’s classic sea shore, sand dunes, light houses and some wildlife (including migratory birds).  We will determine schedules and locations based on weather forecasts, tides and sunrise/sunset times.  We may even explore the opportunity to do some night photography.

(CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS)

Posted in Educational, Macro, Night Photography, Photographs, Photography, Stacked Image, Star Trails, Time-Lapse, Workshops

Double Africa – Namibia & Botswana Photography Safari

Siblings

This is a fast track once in a lifetime adventure.  Best photo opportunities at an incredible price that can’t be matched..
June 11 – June 23, 2016

This is a double adventure, Namibia alone, Botswana alone or both.

The Namib Desert may well be the world’s oldest desert. The Namib-Naukluft Park includes five main regions: Namib, Sandvis, Naukluft, Sesriem and Sossusvlei. The apricot-colored dunes at Sossusvlei are beautiful and photographic opportunities for landscapes abound. Herds of mountain zebra, gemsbok and springbok roam the area.

Botswana is undoubtedly Southern Africa’s most prestigious safari destination where the landscape has an abundance of wildlife. From islands of and waterways of the Okavango Delta to the open savannah and woodlands of the Chobe National Park, Botswana is a nature and wildlife photographers heaven.

During this exclusive photo safari we will explore and photograph the stunning African wildlife of Botswana. From the endangered Wild Dogs to Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Elephants and many deer, antelope, and birds we will have opportunities like no other.

Our camps and lodges have been picked to maximize your experience where you will ride in vehicles with a single row assigned to each photographer.
In-field photography instruction will be provided and during our down time we will conduct photo-critique sessions.

(CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS)

Posted in Photography