Who makes the best neutral density filters? This is part 2 of a 2 part series on ND Filters. In this video, I finalize my comparison to what I believe are the two leading ND filters on the market. First, the ND Filter I have been using for years, the Formatt Hitech Firecrest line. Then, the newer kid on the block, who puts science, quality and care into every product they make, Wine Country Camera. I have used neutral density filters from Lee, Formatt, B+W, Promaster and many others. More recently I’ve been using the Firecrest neutral density filters from Formatt Hitech inside of my Wine Country Camera filter holder. But now is a direct comparison between the two neutral density filters themselves.
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Okay. So, I am walking to a park before sunset. Sunset is at eight 23. It is currently seven 31. And my goal is to test out the Blackstone neutral density filter from wine country camera versus the formatt hitech firecrest. neutral density filters. So this is part two of that neutral density filter comparison. You saw the big intro in the previous video, which I will link to up above. This is part two. The sunset will be boring. This is all just about testing the long exposure color changes. Hey this is Scott Wyden Kivowitz, A with a storyteller with a camera talking about all the things photographers like you and I are thinking about in this video we’re going to dive into part two of the Blackstone verse firecrest neutral density comparison tests. In part one you saw me do some daytime comparisons and I couldn’t tell a big difference with you know, a couple minute exposure.
So we’re going to wait here at this park until sunset and capture some longer long exposures. Hopefully something like 10 minutes or more so that we can really see the difference between these two filters. So stay tuned. Here we go. A quick thank you to the Mac order warranty for partnering with me on these videos. I get a Mack Worldwide warranty on all of my equipment, lenses, cameras and so on, especially their diamond warranty, which covers accidental damage. If you need coverage over your equipment, check out the Mack worldwide warranty sold at camera stores all over the world. So the sun is now below the trees. Uh, the moon is actually not going to be visible in this photo. Uh, it’s going to be a very boring, just seeing why it’s color. Um, you know, the sky is going to be boring. It’s just blue still. Uh, the sun is down over there, but we’re still seeing light. So, uh, it might be, I don’t know, 20 minutes or so before it’s dark. So yeah.
Okay. So what I hope to be the last of my very controlled test of these neutral density filters. I’m going to put my camera in a furnace room closet actually. Um, that is very dark and I’m going to set up the color checker passport and there will be no outside light to impact the results. There will be a no changes because it will literally just be sitting in a closet and a tripod focused on a color checker. And I’m going to put the new density filter on, keep the light off in the closet and keep the door closed in the closet. Uh, the closet is in my studio and there are sort of those accordion doors. So there are, there will be some light coming in, but it won’t, the light won’t be changing. Um, and we’ll see how that goes because that’d be a really good check on the collar accuracy, um, of, of the, uh, of the filters.
Here we go because inquiring mind will want to see this. Um, this is literally the setup that I had, um, closet with according by, you know, the according doors. And you can see that I have the color checker set up right here. I’m sitting on top of two filters for my furnace, literally in the furnace room and we’re gonna turn off the light. It’s pretty dark in here. Even with the door open behind me. So when I closed the door, my exposure was, my exposure was uh, 20 minutes each time. That’s how dark it got in there. So three stop nd filter, 20-minute exposure and that’ll be a good test.
you know, I’ve done a lot of testing with this now and I can definitely say that material-wise the wine country camera feels more solid. It feels like a more solid filter in some of the comparisons. The wine country colors look more vivid. They look truer to the original without a filter. In the 20 minute test, I didn’t see much difference on the color checker itself. Now mind you, this test was done with a Nikon the six. It was not done with a very high megapixel camera. It was also not done on a true long exposure or anything like that because this was just to see color. I can’t tell you. I will be switching to wine country camera from the formatt hitech firecrest filters into time and that is solely because in some ways I’m a perfectionist where I want to ensure that in camera things are as accurate as possible.
And it seems as though from the variety of tests I’ve done so far that the wine country camera is more accurate in camera. Of course, with anything you can get any filter, even if it’s way off color, you can get it to be accurate in post in something like Lightroom or Photoshop or Blumenauer or on one or whatever you’re using. But rather do less work on the computer and more work behind the camera. So what do I recommend for you? Well, go with what’s in your budget. Don’t get a slot style filter system from wine country camera. If you can’t afford it, go with whatever you can afford first and work your way up. But know that companies like formatt and Lee and wine country camera and all of them, they all offer sales. In fact, the day I’m recording this video right now, this ending to this two-part series of nd comparisons.
Wine Country Camera has a big sale on there. Screw on filters, not the slot style, the screw on filters. The one that I tested for this video is on sale right now. Now, when you see this, that sales already gone, but they’ll have a black Friday type sale. They’ll have other sales, so join their email lists. If you’re interested in just wait for the sale. Don’t let perfect color to find what product you need to get, but know that perfect color in camera can save you a heck of a lot of time later on and your time has a price. Speaking of time, I appreciate you taking the time to watch this video. I really do appreciate it. So thank you and I hope you learned something from it. It was fun for me to make and hopefully it was fun for you to watch. It’s in the next video.