Is Hoya ProND 1000 filter with 10-stops worth buying?
Many people seemed to like this ND filter because of the valuable price and because it did not go towards the red or green colors. It is what it is suppose to be, neutral in colors. This filter have 10-stops which means it is a very dark filter which basically do not let in much light and you can use that for long exposures. When you want to use it you need to focus on the object before you put the ND filter on. So why you want to have long exposures? See the picture below then you will see what happens to the water.
It looks like smoke or fog is between the stones. The ocean waves are coming fast and hitting the stones and splashes all over but you won’t see that since the picture will make the moving objects look more smooth. When you have a long exposure the camera captures everything that happens within the limited time you want and it will become one combined picture.
The picture above was taken in Bulb mode with 56 sec in exposures. The hard part is to know how many seconds you are suppose to have since you wont be able to see the picture while doing it. The LCD screen will be dark even if you have chosen to see the image through it. Using slow shutter speed will make the picture cool and mystical.
It is all about guessing how long time you need to make the perfect picture. There are mobile apps that can calculate this for you so that you know exactly how many seconds you need to make the picture brighter after putting on the filter.
An advice is that you use the zoom in button on your camera when you are ready to focus on something. For example the picture above, here it is good to focus on a stone and zoom in to see that it becomes real sharp. Then just leave it like that and press the button to take the picture.
To see the picture better click on it to get a bigger size and more details. This picture of the waterfall have a exposure time of 49 seconds. The water becomes softer when you have long exposure. The light in the picture will also become brighter the longer you keep the shutter open. The leaves in the picture is still very visible since they are laying still compared to the waterfall. A tripod is a must when you have to wait for so long to take a picture. The good thing is that you can use low ISO, this picture have 400 in ISO.
When you have low ISO numbers the picture will not have so much of the grainy touch to it, which is good. If you want to have a clear picture, then keep the ISO low. This kind of photography technique takes lots of patient to get it right. You have to try different shutter speeds till you find the right one for your picture.
This filter is really great, it works and it serves it’s purpose. It cost at the moment around 70-80 US dollars.
If you need a tripod but do not want to carry a huge and heavy one. I have a solution for you. A JOBY GorillaPod. It is a small and flexible tripod that can grip on to anything. You can for example tie it around a tree branch or a chair. I bought one because I like to take things that might be on the ground or near the ground. Then this tripod is the perfect choice. There are many versions of this tripod. The one on the picture is for a DSLR camera with a big lens. Even though it might look small, it is strong and stable to put the camera or the lens on.
I used it to take long exposures of this small waterfall. It worked fine and the result can be seen below:
This tripod is also good for macro. If you see a insect on the ground or on a leaf then this will be helpful. I usually take those pictures without a tripod but after awhile you will get pain in your knees and in your hand/wrist. This tripod will take care of that problem. The best part is that it can fit in any camera bag. It weighs around 0.5 kg (11 pounds). It is 29 cm long (11.4 inch) and can hold up to 3 kg. It cost from 18$.