Neutral density filter cross-reference

Discussion in 'Photography 101' started by ddindy, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    Most of us use a neutral density filter when photographing fireworks. They are also useful for other purposes, such as extending exposure time during the daytime.

    One problem with neutral density filters is that each manufacturer has a different nomenclature for their filters. Heck, I couldn't tell you what the density value is for my own filters without this cross-reference chart.

    f-stops, fraction, Hoya/B+W/Cokin, Lee/Tiffen, Leica
    1, 1/2, ND2, 0.3, 1X
    2, 1/4, ND4, 0.6, 4X
    3, 1/8, ND8, 0.9, 8X
    4, 1/16, ND16, 1.2, 16X
    5, 1/32, ND32, 1.5, 32X
    6, 1/64, ND64, 1.8, 64X
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  2. ExploringWDW

    ExploringWDW Member

    It just makes no sense that one company calls it "1/64" and the other calls it "64X". Whats wrong with just going by f-stops so when we screw on a filter we can easily calculate in our head the effect it will have on shutter, aperture, or ISO??? Am I missing something with the other nomenclature or is this just unnecessary obfuscation of useful information?
  3. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I think it's a classic case of NIH - Not Invented Here. Everybody thinks their system is the best, even if it makes no sense to anyone else.
  4. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    I love my ND800. Have fun figuring that one out.
  5. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    I only have an ND400. You'd think the ND800 must be double, right? So that would mean 18-20 stops!

    It does get confusing for sure.

    BTW - did anyone catch the supposed news of Tiffen having developed new strong ND filters that are designed to avoid the reddish tint? Sounds can correct WB after the fact, or reduce the red on the 8-10 stoppers, but would be nice if the filter was more neutral to begin with.
  6. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I found an interesting discussion about ND filter nomenclature on DP Review.

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