On Location, Reviews

Test review of Haida Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 & Haida M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 combi

 Introduction

Welcome to my test review of the Haida round “drop-in” Circular Polariser and Neutral Density 1.8 (6 stop) combination filter and Haida Red-diamond soft graduated neutral density 1.2 (4 stops).

If you enjoy landscape photography I cannot stress the importance of investing in a good quality set of filters. Im well aware of what it feels like having a restrictive budget and fears of making the wrong decisions buying new gear. This is where I hope I can help by providing my hand on heart honest opinion. Haida are not the cheapest filters on the market but by no means the most expensive for the optical quality achieved, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck! We all strive to buy the best lenses so why scrimp on a cheap filter and ruin optical quality, it makes no sense to me.

Haida M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 (6 stop)

When Haida offered me the opportunity to test their M10 combination-filter with built in light barrier I was intrigued to say the least, questioning myself what the downfalls if any would be. Whilst stacking filters can work and something I do regular, however this practice is not optimal for a couple of reasons;

  1. Forcing light to traverse through more elements, therefore more likely to get slightly refracted, possibly resulting in softness or even chromatic aberration.
  2. Increased risk of light flares.

The more I thought about it the more I couldn’t wait. Initially I planned waterfalls for this particular test. Although I could see it being very useful after a midday rainstorm which happens a lot here in Scotland when the sun bursts out it’s great to slow down the exposure a wee bit and allow the filter to do the work. Rainfall hasn’t been great the past few days so I headed to the beach at sunrise instead.

Inserting the filter into the Haida M10 filter holder is incredibly fast, it simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light. Oftentimes in the past I’ve struggled with the issue of light leakage and had to resort to putting hats or cloths over the gap between filter and lens, not an ideal situation unlike any of the Haida M10 round “drop-in” filters such as this combi filter which have a built in light-barrier.

from vid 2
Inserting filter into the rear of M10 filter holder

This is a ND 1.8 filter meaning it will lose six stops of light. But don’t forget it has the added CPL which generally loose between 1-2 stops of light, collectively this will provide a total of almost eight stops. For me personally, I like a six stop ND for moving water as it doesn’t blur everything to oblivion like say a ten stop would. A six stop shows slight movement which I prefer to portray. A neutral density filter should be exactly what the name suggests “neutral” in every which way and let me tell you all the Haida NDs I’ve ever tested are all neutral, no crazy coloured undertones, no vignetting and no loss of sharpness from corner to corner. What you see is what you get.

If your not wanting the polarising effect you can simply rotate the small dial (three gear linkage design ) on the mount independently, very smoothly to reduce or completely remove depending on the scenario of the scene.  Once you start turning, you’ll instantly see the polarisation intensify on your live view screen. I tend to always rotate a CPL 360 degrees first to check the availability of contrast, saturation, and reflection. The strongest effect takes place at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun, ie make sure your line of sight is perpendicular to the direction of the sun. The filter is easily removed or exchanged by gently squeezing the red plastic tabs on the top and lifting it out without disturbing your composition. The choice is all yours and easily very adjustable.

Image of raw file with filter on, zoomed in 100% in Lightroom to demonstrate maximum sharpness of the rocks. Its clear to see the quality is second to none, excellent detail even in the darkest of shadows at blue hour.

zoomed 100 percent )jpeg)

For this very demanding scene above with the bright sunrise and dark foreground you need the best support from your gear. Let me tell you this filter made my job very easy, provided excellent control over the whole dynamic range, ultimate sharpness, no color cast or vignette, and really made me smile. Constructed from high quality optical glass the same as the Red Diamond series, each filter has ten layers of anti-reflective coatings, shock-proof and scratch-proof, provides the best clarity, includes the famous nano multi-coating to reduce reflection, waterproof (meaning any droplets of water literally roll off like beads, no ugly smears) and the dreaded fingerprints wipe off easily with a soft microfibre cloth.

The M10 round “drop-in” filters are available in a selection of: ND 0.9, 1.8 3.0, 4; CPL; Clear-night; GND-0.9 1.2; ND+CPL 0.9 and 1.8.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @19mm -With-without-M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 combi. No post processing on either, other than lens correction in Lightroom.

raw-without-(1-of-1)
Without filter = ISO 100, F14, 0.6 sec – With Haida M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 combination. = ISO 100, F14, 30 seconds @19mm

                                   Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Fragil rock (jpeg for web)

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Haida Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 (4 stops)

Earlier this year I tested the Haida Red-diamond medium 0.9 (3 stops) read review which totally stole my heart, since then it’s rarely been off my lens and I can’t wait to tell everyone how thrilled I am in using it. My love affair with this series only intensified, I had to try the Red-diamond soft graduated neutral density 1.2 (GND 4 stops) filter. Packed my kit and off I went to Aberdeen for sunrise to see how the soft grad stood up to the medium and let me tell you I was not disappointed.

The main purpose of a GND filter is to balance exposure in an image that contains a bright sky and darker foreground. As you can see from the photos below this filter is rectangle in shape and sized 100mm x 150mm, providing flexibility to move the filter up or down within the filter holder  for ultimate control. Providing such a beautiful soft progression from dark at the top where you would place over the sky to clear at the bottom in a neutral manner and achieving endless creative possibilities.

What makes this series stand out from its predecessor and other brand filters are listed as follows:

  • Shock resistant, low risk to any accidental damage.
  • Scratch resistant, the perfect partner in demanding weather.
  • Zero colour cast.
  • Waterproof, oil and fingerprint proof Nanopro coated surface.
  • Improved optical glass.
  • R5 rounded corners – makes it easier to slide in and out of the filter holder, no sharp corners.
  • K9 optical glass.
  • True colour.
  • Ultra-thin nano multi coating.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Double the strength of other glass filters whilst at the same time retaining ultimate sharpness.
  • Still retaining 2 mm in thickness making it compatible with the Haida 100-Pro filter holder and other brands the same size.
  • The Red Diamond series is double the strength of a normal glass filter. You may have seen online the Haida Red Diamond drop test video? Where it’s thrown onto a concrete floor and no sign of damage to the filter. If you are accident prone this would be the perfect filter series for you.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @35mm with no filter and with Haida Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 (4 stops). No post processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. As you can see the soft GND significantly transforms the quality of the image.

with-without-filter-(-gif)-May-2019-Dunnottar
Without filter = ISO 100, F10, 1/20 – With Haida Red-diamond soft GND filter 1.3 = ISO 100, F10, 0.8 seconds @35mm.

                                   Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

final edit (jpeg)
Sunrise over Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

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All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China.

Conclusion

My overall conclusion is both filters are superiorly optically and I have absolutely no hesitation is recommending to anyone whether beginners or advanced and using for my own portfolio.

I hope this provides you some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

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Reviews

Testing Haida M10 round “drop-in” circular polariser filter

sliding in M10 round CPL into M10 filter holder

My favourite of all the filters has always been the CPL. A vital piece of kit every landscape photographer should have and something which cannot be replicated in post processing. I rarely shoot without – it’s the perfect light manager. And let me tell you, Haida`s new M10 round “drop-in” CPL will never be off my lens.

I was curious to test if any slight vignette was present, and I can happily confirm that there is none at all, even pushing it through a tough test at my widest 16mm on a full frame camera. It gives amazing contrast, and cuts through some of the haze, especially on the clouds and the polarisation is visible in the sky producing some great detail. Removed almost all the unwanted glare and the see-through effect is well achieved on the water. Added some beautiful saturation which gives an overall instant pop to the image. Always remember with any filter – it brings into the equation a fourth dimension to the exposure triangle. With a CPL you will generally lose between 1-2 stops of light. As you can see in the comparison exif data below, I have lost around 1.5 stops.

Inserting the round “drop in” CPL into the M10 filter holder is the fastest I’ve ever used, never mind witnessed. It simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light. It’s almost like gravity does the work for you –  once you hear the click it’s locked in place. There is a three gear linkage design on the mount which rotates independently and very smoothly. Once you start turning the adjustable black dial which is centrally placed on the top of the filter, you’ll instantly see the polarisation intensity on your live view screen. I tend to always rotate a CPL 360 degrees first to check the availability of contrast, saturation, and reflection. The strongest effect takes place at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun, ie make sure your line of sight is perpendicular to the direction of the sun. The filter is easily removed or exchanged by gently squeezing the red plastic tabs on the top and lifting it out without disturbing your composition.

Constructed from high quality optical glass the same as the Red Diamond series, each filter has ten layers of anti-reflective coatings, is shock-proof and scratch-proof, provides the best clarity, includes the famous nano multi-coating to reduce reflection, waterproof (meaning any droplets of water literally roll off like beads, no ugly smears) and the dreaded fingerprints wipe off easily with a soft microfibre cloth.

I have to say how solid it feels, plus it’s very fast and easy to use. In the past, CPLs I’ve used can be fiddly, hard to screw on especially when it’s freezing cold, you’re up at silly o’clock waiting for sunrise and half asleep. Haida have really listened to their customers and produced this truly clever design making our life so much easier. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with.

The round “drop in” filters are available in a selection of: ND 0.9, 1.8 3.0, 4; CPL; Clear-night; GND-0.9 1.2; ND+CPL 0.9 and 1.8.

Image below showing with/without filter = ISO 100, F18, 1/13 – With Circular Polariser filter = ISO 100, F18, 1/8 second.

without-cpl-(1-of-1)
Location – Loch Assynt, Sutherland. Scotland

Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

edited version (jpeg)

 

More info & my test reviews on Haida’s website

 

On Location, Stories of behind the Camera

Don’t be defeated by the weather!

©Jenny Cameron 2017
Thought I’d share this one with you all. Ryan DeFreece-Dyar one of my biggest inspirations in Landscape Photography posted about “a piece that represents best what they constantly strive to make… a defining moment in their own history when everything comes together and falls into harmonious place.”
My image “Elysian” instantly came to mind. I’d like to share with you the story behind it.
After a morning of heavy rain and patiently waiting in my car with a flask of peppermint tea I really thought I’d have to turn around and go home. You know when the kid in you wants to stamp your feet and have a tantrum? Thankfully only thirty minutes from home but my heart was sinking. Then suddenly, something switched inside me, almost determination saying feck it to the world, it’s only rain I won’t shrink! I gathered my waterproofs, rucksack and went for it.
Sat at the top of a peak with all my gear set up under a large golf umbrella and generally feeling rather sorry for myself, black mascara running down my face to complete the look! Then suddenly out of nowhere the clouds opened like they were saying hello and welcoming me.
The beautiful sunlight peeped out, I was scrambling for the remote and Haida Filters  in a real fluster with wet hands. Finally pressed the remote, let the camera/filters do their job whilst I sat back & let the light flood in.
Such a beautiful moment, it seemed to last forever but in actual fact only 152 seconds exposure.
I drove home in more rain with the biggest smile ever on my face. Scottish weather isn’t the most predictable, but it sure gives great mood.
I chose this image to share with you as literally there is part of my heart within. I do hope you like my story/image and can relate somewhat. Would love to hear your stories too?
Equipment/ settings used …Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm @16mm. ISO 100, F11, 152 secs. Haida Filter N.D 3.6 (12 stop).
The moral of this story is don’t be defeated by the weather!
Best wishes to you all from a cold and windy North of Scotland in the middle of August, how rude!!
Jenny ~
Reviews

Haida 100 Filter Series Review by Jenny Cameron 

My first review of the Haida 100 Series ND 3.6, ND 4.5, Pro Round Circular Polariser (CPL), Adapter Ring and Pro Holder as their UK Official Photographer. Using my Canon 5d mark iv with Canon 16-35mm USM Lens in the Northern Scottish Highlands.

When I first started my Landscape photography journey I bought a budget range of filters, but couldn’t understand how my images actually looked worse than without any filter, but other photographers who I looked up to were producing great work. The only difference I found were different brands, eventually I upped my game, bite the bullet, bought a better quality set of filters. It’s like the old saying goes, “buy cheap buy twice”, which is very true! Never skimp on anything Optical, you’ll never be happy.

Adapter Ring

The Haida adapter ring is made from good quality Aluminium with no rough edges and very sturdy. This easily screws onto the filter holder where they can stay together permanently if your using the same lens. I particularly found this a great innovation as my previous filter holder and adapter ring were separate which meant more time screwing together which isn’t always easy in freezing temperatures with gloves on, or needing to move quick as the light changes. The particular size I used was 77mm for my Canon 16-35mm USM Lens, but they come in an array of different sizes ( 49mm – 82mm) to suit most popular lenses.

100 Pro Holder
The Haida 100 Pro Holder  feels solid in your hand, very fast and easy to mount. Made from the highest quality Aluminum,making it extremely robust and strong unlike some other filter companies who tend to rattle around loosely. It easily screws together with the Adapter Ring and comes with two filter slots. If you need more Haida who think of everything kindly provide spare brackets and thumbscrews so you can add more if you so wish. Not forgetting the lovely fabric pouch it comes in to keep your holder secure.

Pro Filter Holder
Showing Haida 100 Pro Filter Holder

Circular Polariser (CPL) 
The Haida Round CPL, a vital piece of kit every landscape photographer should have, I rarely shoot without.

I found from my testings it lost roughly two stops of light. Its very slim and made from the highest quality glass to provide great optical clarity. Not to mention the fabulous Nano Coating on both sides which gives not only protection but also improves light quality.

Comes in a very neat plastic box with padding internally for extra protection whilst on your travels. Also available in a selection of sizes ranging from 49mm – 82mm.

There was no vignetting at all even at my widest 16mm on a full frame camera, which you can clearly see from the image below. Your able to rotate the edges of the filter with the metal dial at any time and instantly see the effected light changing.

I should also mention how it gave amazing contrast, cutting through some of the haze especially on the clouds and foliage. Removed almost all the glare from the water, added some beautiful saturation and gave an overall instant pop to the image. Without using a CPL it would be virtually impossible to replicate this effect in post processing.

What do CPL’s do? 
It works by blocking certain light wavelengths from entering the camera sensor. To achieve a maximum effect I’ve found it best to make sure your line of sight is perpendicular to the direction of the sun.They are ideal for anything with non-metallic surfaces such as glass and cutting through reflections on water. You know when you see images where you can see the rocks/stones on the river bed through the water. If a polariser wasn’t used then you can end up with one huge mess of blown out highlights. The only downside with a CPL is being careful not to take it too far, you end up not even seeing the water, I’ve had this happen in the past, not a great look.

The image below, taken without a filter and with the Haida CPL at the distinctively curved Kylesku Bridge that crosses Loch a`Chairn Bhain in Sutherland, Scotland. Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm USM. No CPL, ISO 100, F11, 1/10 @16mm and with Haida CPL, ISO 100, F11, 1/4 second.

Before-CPL-(jpeg-for-web)
Showing Without Haida CPL and With Haida CPL
©Jenny Cameron 2017
Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop
CPL
Showing the Haida CPL in the 100 Pro Filter Holder

Haida ND 3.6 (12 stop) and ND 4.5 (15 stop) 
The Haida ND filters come in beautiful individual chunky Silver metal boxes with padding internally for protection. You may be thinking come on Jenny it doesn’t matter what the filter comes in, it’s the actual glass that matters. And, yes to be fair you’re quite right, but don’t you think attention to detail should follow through from the packaging to the actual Filter? I sure do, it gives me faith in the product that the company has taken into consideration every minor detail.

Made from quality Optical Glass, sized 100mm x 100mm and approximately 2 mm in thickness. I experienced no vignetting and very low colour cast.

I expected some slight lack of sharpness with using both these ND Filters, but as you can see from my findings there really is none at all, they gave an impressive definition.

They also come with a spare gasket if you should ever need it, this can also help with light leaks. See I told you, Haida really do think of everything! I left the gasket off as the filter slotted into the holder very snug and there was no sign of light leakage as you can see from the images below.

From past experience I’ve found it best to always insert the ND Filter in the first groove as close to the lens as possible, this really helps with the possibility of any light leaks. Not forgetting to close your viewfinder, as I do with the rubber piece attached to the Canon neck strap. I believe Nikons have a little blind you can pull down, or simply use some black electrical tape.

What do NDs do?
They allow you to lengthen your exposures in both light and dark conditions. Adds motion blur to moving subject such as water to give a smooth silky look and streaky effects to clouds. It works by reducing the amount of light from reaching the camera sensor. Therefore your able to leave the camera with a higher aperture for a longer amount of time. The results give the photographer more artistic control.

Please see the image below taken without a filter and with the Haida ND Filter 4.5 (15 stop) at Ardvreck Castle in Sutherland. Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm USM. No Filter @32mm, ISO 100, F11, 1/100 .With 4.5 Haida ND Filter ( 15 stop) ISO 100, F11,
226 seconds.

With-15-stop-filter-4-Gif
Without Filter and With Haida ND 4.5 (15 stop)
©Jenny Cameron 2017
Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop
arvreck 4.5 nd
Showing Haida ND 4.5 (15 stop) Filter

The following images were taken from the beautiful banks of Loch Assynt, looking across to what we locals call Pine Tree Island. Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm USM. No Filter @34mm, ISO 100, F11, 1/125 .With 3.6 Haida ND Filter ( 12 stop) ISO 100, F11, 131 seconds.

With-Filter-Sunday-Gif
Without Filter and With Haida ND 3.6 (12 Stop)
©Jenny Cameron 2017
Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop
3.6 ND Tree island
Showing Haida ND 3.6 (12 Stop) Filter

NanoPro Coating 
Another admirable feature is the NanoPro coating. Whilst conducting this test the weather was harsh and against me with rain, strong winds and water splashing up from the Loch. What amazed me was the way the glass repelled the water, it simply beaded up and rolled off. Unlike other glass filters Ive used in the past which take forever to clean and smear when you try to wipe away any excess water. This is due to the NanoPro coating which gives great waterproofness, scratch resistant and super easy cleaning.

In a nutshell
Genuinely, hand on heart Id highly recommend Haida Filters, the quality and sharpness truly are outstanding. Well done Haida, great work!

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