It’s all been reviews here recently which isn’t what I intended the blog to be, but I struggled to find much about these filters when I was thinking of buying one, so thought it may be useful to add a few quick thoughts having now used it in the field.
If you’ve seen my last blog you’ll know I recently invested in a new 100mm filter system, so needed some filters to use with it, I’d picked up a set of Formatt Hitech grads on eBay, but a 10 stop ND filter was high on the shopping list.
Now the Lee Big Stopper is the normal choice, but they’re pretty expensive and by all accounts have quite a heavy blue cast, I’d looked at the Formatt Hitech Firecrest filters too which are reportedly very neutral, but then came across Haida filters at the Photography Show a few months back.
I hadn’t heard of Haida before, but they’re a Chinese brand offering cheaper filters than the big players and with pretty good reviews from what you can find online.
Deciding to take the plunge I got myself their 100mm 10 stop (ND3.0) neutral density filter which was ordered off Amazon for around £75, a reasonable amount cheaper than the Lee and Firecrest versions.
First impressions are good, it comes in a nice metal tin with a foam gasket fitted and a spare one included which I can imagine would come in use down the line. It’s a glass filter and fits very nicely in the NiSi filter holder, so no complaints there.
I got the first chance to use it in the field the other weekend up Mam Tor in the Peak District, hoping for a good sunrise which wasn’t to be, but there were some fast moving clouds, so to do a good test of the filter I took two identical shots with and without it. They were shot with auto white balance, but I’ve then set both to ‘cloudy’ in Lightroom so it clearly shows any cast.
My general findings were there’s a marginal cast to it which you can see in the cloud and slightly on the grass but it’s not at all bad and most of it is gone just by putting white balance back on auto. I can’t see any loss of sharpness on the image with the filter fitted either.
A pretty short review, but there’s not too much else to say about a filter – I’ll go for anything which saves me money and to be honest I don’t think I would have been any happier with a Big Stopper, so I’d happily recommend giving the Haida filters a go. I’ll likely be looking to pick up a 6 stop and 3 stop in the future too.