Mini-Review: Singh-Ray Graduated ND Filter

By | 2015-03-28T07:44:16+00:00 May 2nd, 2011|5 Comments

 Canon 7D, Canon 14mm ƒ/2.8 L II lens, ISO 100
Top Photo: 1/800 sec at ƒ/8 … Bottom Photo: 1/500 sec at ƒ/8

I recently bought a Singh-Ray 4×6″ Graduated Neutral Density (3-stop) Filter for a trip to Moab I’m taking soon. I’ve never been a huge landscape photographer, and don’t really use a lot of filters on my lens for my commercial photographs. However, after briefly using a cheapo Cokin ND-grad filter I decided to upgrade to a nicer, larger version.

I took a few photographs from my balcony to compare the difference between not using a filter, and using a filter. I stuck the camera on aperture priority (on ƒ/8), and took one without the filter, then placed the filter directly in front of the lens, lined up the horizon and took another photo. They were both edited exactly the same … just minor adjustments in Lightroom. I really like the results and am looking forward to using it on my Moab adventure later this week. :)

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website,


  1. Carolyn Rauh May 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Very beautiful results!

  2. Bruce May 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I gotta look at getting one of those for my landscape shots. David Hobby recently called it out as one of his favorite filters because of the quality of image and light when he was here in Phoenix. I always end up dodging the sky or not getting the exposure I want on the foreground if I expose for the sky. Nice

  3. Bill Young May 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Nicole,

    I have a Lee 4×6 hard grad ND filter that I use frequently. I’m a full-frame Nikon shooter, and one of my favorite landscape lenses is my Nikkor 14x24mm. Unfortunately, the two don’t play well together. At 14mm, the 4″ width of the filter isn’t enough to cover the field of view. I can crop it, but then what’s the point of using that lens in the first place? I hand-hold the filter in the field, and if I’m careful I can make it work at about 18mm and tighter. I guess as a Canon-shooter that won’t be an issue for you, unless Canon has a similar wide-angle lens. The other downside of that lens, filter-wise, is that it has a bulbous front element that also doesn’t allow a screw-on polarizer.

    — Bill

  4. Capn Scott May 7, 2011 at 6:16 am - Reply

    I’ve been really getting into the ND and ND grad filters lately. They are really putting the WOW into my landscape shots. Amazing clouds always make the shot…

  5. Stephen Desroches May 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    but is there a quality difference in the more then double priced singh-ray?

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