Cinematographers, videographers and still photographers, all use filters, and the new NATural Graduated ND filters from Tiffen Filters are a welcome addition to the list of options available to control light.
The move to digital cameras and the evolution of photo editing software has made many photographers stop using graduated filters, because of how easy it is to shot two exposures and mix them in post. This works rather well with static subjects, landscapes being one example. But replicating the effect of a graduated filter is not always possible or even desirable, so there are times when it is good to have some form of solution available. The NATural Graduated ND filters now introduced by Tiffen Filters are a viable solution if you need to have a set you can carry around.
As a photographer, I’ve stopped using grads quite some time ago, although I always carry NDs with me, because there is no way to replicate, in post, what they allow you to do: control exposure, depth of field and time. Still, I understand that for some types of photography, or simply out of personal preference, some still photographers might want to use graduated filters, ND or not, in the field, instead of using digital graduated filters in post.
Remember the Tiffen DFX digital filters?
Before I continue let me remind users that during the heydays of the digital discovery, Tiffen offered a stand alone or plugin solution – to Photoshop CS3, CS4 and CS5 -, to emulate Tiffen filters digitally. The package, Tiffen DFX Digital Filter Suite included over 2000 filters and effects used to modify the look of photos during post. The fact that the product has vanish from the market and there are no popular alternatives does suggest that after the initial excitement, photographers discovered there are limitations to what digital can do. Or maybe, as I prefer to think, they prefer to try getting as close to the final image as possible while in the field.
Although, as I’ve stated, I’ve nothing against shooting two or more exposures to create a final image that covers the whole exposure range, I am well aware that cinematographers and videographers can not follow the same logic while shooting. For them, the NATural Graduated ND filters from Tiffen are the only way to tame highlights and shadows directly while shooting. For moving images, these filters are a must. Still photographers may also want to check them, because, as I said, it is good to have a solution handy, just in case you need it.
Maximum color fidelity
“The NATural ND family now includes graduated filters to compliment the NAT ND solids for complete control of light across the visible and IR spectrum, maintaining total neutrality, resulting in unmatched color fidelity,” said Andrew Tiffen, SVP of Marketing, The Tiffen Company. “These glass filters represent a new era of Graduated ND and IRND filtration.”
These new NATural ND Graduated Filters use clear WaterWhite glass and Tiffen’s patented ColorCore technology for maximum color fidelity that will not scratch off or fade over time. Now more than ever, today’s ultra-sensitive digital image sensors make controlling light more critical. Coupled with unwanted color shifts that can happen when using older ND technology (dyed), the Tiffen NATural ND family of filters have been created to ensure neutrality for accurate color rendition.
Available Summer 2019
The new NATural ND Graduated Filters are designed, says the company, “to be used when capturing any scenes with a disparity of light between the top half of the frame and the bottom in order to create consistency in the final image.”
Available in five strengths, starting at clear and going up to 0.3-1.5 with the option of either soft (SE) or hard (HE) gradation and in sizes 4×5.65 and 6.6×6.6, Tiffen’s NATural Graduated ND filters are scheduled to be available Summer 2019 for list prices of $495.00 for the 4×5.65 and $525.00 for the 6.6×6.6.
Tiffen offers a variety of optical photographic filters for both photographers and cinematographers, including filters for cameras used with drones, and action cameras. From UV, polarizers, to diffusion, IR control, diopters or color FX, the range covers the needs of professionals and enthusiasts in different areas.