The LEE Filters 100mm System 0.6 Neutral Density Grad Medium Filter enables the photographer to selectively adjust exposure across the frame by 2 Stops.
The LEE Filters range of Neutral Density (ND) Graduated Filters enable the photographer to selectively adjust exposure across the frame without affecting colour balance.
They are almost an essential in modern landscape photography on both digital and film cameras and come in a range of strengths denoting the light stopping power of the filter.
All LEE Filters ND grads are made by hand, using technology that ensures the line of transition between the coated and clear areas of the filter is extremely precise.
As a result, we have been able to expand the range of ND grads available to photographers using the Seven5, 100mm and SW150 filter systems. Now, alongside the traditional hard and soft gradations, photographers can also choose very hard and medium gradations, giving more control than ever when it comes to balancing exposures in-camera.
Compatible with both digital and film photography
Whatever format you shoot, ND Grads help cameras record scenes more like we see them – with a broad tonal range that's lost if not captured in the moment.
Precise creative control
There is a place in landscape photography for both hard and soft grads. Which one you decide to use will depend mainly on the subject matter of your image.
The very hard ND grad is perfect for scenes such as seascapes that feature a defined horizon line. The transition between the coated and clear sections of the filter is extremely sharp, allowing for precision separation between the filtered and unfiltered areas of the frame.
As a general rule, a hard grad would be used for images containing a horizon, or any hard transition between the sky and the foreground - even with jagged or mountainous horizons, the exposure can be controlled far easier with a hard grad.
LEE Filters has been manufacturing a bespoke medium ND grad to order for a number of years. It proved so popular with professional photographers, it has now been made available to all. This filter is ideal for use when elements of the scene protrude into the sky, be that the rooftops of buildings or the peaks of mountains. The nature of the transition between coated and uncoated areas of the filter means that the sky can be filtered with minimal impact on the land beneath it.
Soft grads perform best in woodland, mist, or interiors. Anywhere where there is no definite transition between sky and foreground, a soft grad will gently balance exposure across the image.
The most common use for a single ND grad would be to balance the exposure difference between the sky and the foreground in a landscape image, retaining the natural colours and detail without over-exposing and "burning out" parts of the image.
For example, when photographing a landscape in which the sky is much brighter than the foreground, placing the neutral density part of the filter onto the sky in the frame will reduce the sky exposure without affecting the foreground. This enables cloud detail to be kept correctly exposed in the picture, and avoids the "white out" effect caused by exposing for the foreground. Even with the advent of digital RAW capture and image manipulation, ND grads remain an important tool, as lost highlight detail (in the same way as a burnt out area in a transparency) cannot be recovered if above the maximum recording threshold.
ND Grads can be stacked together, or with other filters, so you can respond to almost any lighting situation.