Many of us have heard that variable neutral density filters give a softer image, or that more expensive filters have less color cast, but few of us have actually tested these "facts" for ourselves. Here are the results of a range of 23 neutral density filters compared.
In this video, filmmaker Griffin Hammond for Indy Mogul tests a large variety of neutral density (ND) filters in three different areas: color and clarity, flaring, and time-lapse. In the first two tests, he uses both standard and variable ND filters and compares them side by side to a control image with no filter. In the final test for time-lapse, 10-stop filters are compared. It's an eyeopening video that finally puts an image to many of the myths floating around in regards to these filters.
The overall winner of Hammond's testing are the three-stop Hoya NDX8 filters which give the most bang for the buck. As shown in the video, more expensive filters will certainly give you higher quality, but it will likely go unnoticed unless doing direct side-by-side comparisons. Watch the full video above to see what filters had the overall best image quality regardless of price, as well as other options on the budget side.
What are your personal favorite ND filters? Let us know in the comments below.