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Gear & Apps

New LEE Reverse ND Filters ‘Do the Job Properly’

By Justin Heyes on October 21st 2017

Sunrises and sunsets can be a difficult time for any photographer. There is a mix of different exposures, from the Sun to the sky, and the foreground elements that all must be accounted for.

Most of us are guilty of using the graduated filter in Lightroom to bring down and overexposed sky, but with prolonged use, you begin to see the digital manipulation everywhere.

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Another method to combat this multitude of exposures is to bracket exposures can combine them in post-production. While this will create a natural looking image, I know of many photographers who would rather get one picture correct in-camera and spend the least amount of time on a computer; this is where reverse ND filters come into play.

A reverse gradient neutral density filter is a filter specifically designed for shooting sunrise and sunset where the highest amount of light is near the horizon. They are usually characterized by a hard transition in the center of the filter and a gradual transition toward the top. LEE Filters has launched three new Reverse ND filters that are designed wrangle in the extreme luminance of sunrises/sunsets by up to 4 stops.

The new filters were cocreated with the help of photographer Mark Bauer to “do the job properly” without the harsh, inconsistent transitions of other filters. LEE makes the filters in three different strengths: 2-Stop, 3-Stop, and 4-Stop.  All three filters have been developed for the 100mm, Seven5, and SW150 systems. They are all available for pre-order now at B&H here.

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    As Spock would say “Intriguing”. But then again, I never heard of Reverse ND filters before.

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  2. Paul Reiffer

    Indeed – but then, almost every other filter company has been making R-GND filters since they began. Well done LEE on *finally* catching up.

    One day, people will realise that LEE became “innovation through marketing” a long time ago. The search for substance over style will lead photographers to one of many, many, other filter manufacturers instead.

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