ND (Neutral Density) filters are a fundamental tool for landscape photography and beyond; such as architecture, travel and wildlife. In Landscape, filters can be used to manage shutter speeds and thus obtain effects such as silky water, the apparently calm sea and other effects that are perfectly suited to landscape photography.
ND filter and landscapes – a summary
In short, an ND filter is a glass with a coating allowing to absorb a certain amount of light. Reducing the amount of light that hits the sensor allows you to adjust the shutter speed with more freedom. In nature, there are many elements in movement and can be captured in photos with very particular effects if we use long exposure. By long exposure, we mean shooting with slow shutter speed, anything from 1 second or longer. It is not the aim of this article to focus into these various subjects, you can find several articles in our blog: here you will find a ND filters guide, a clarification on the names of ND and GND filters, a focus on ND1000 filters, a series of data and studies that explain the need to use lens grade optical glass ND filters, and also a guide to long exposure. If you are looking for an exposure conversion table you can find it here.
Examples of NiSi ND filter used in landscape photography
Photographers more than anyone know that an image is worth a thousand words, so here are some examples of the use of ND filters in landscape photography.
To lengthen shutter speed and see the movement of the clouds.
To show the movement of the grass in the wind.
To make the water of streams and waterfalls smooth and silky.
To capture movement in the waves, without freezing the movement or making them too flat.
Choose the right ND filter for the landscape
The choice of the filter is a fundamental aspect for the success of our landscape shots. The filter must be of excellent quality and in lens grade optical glass to be sure that it does not reduce the overall quality of the shot. A great starting point is the circular ND64 filter – a 6 stop 2 in 1 ND with built in polariser, making this filter a must for landscape photography. You can find out more about the polarising filter here.
Circular filtersCircular ND64 (1.8) 6 Stop PRO Nano HUC IR SLIM Filter
Circular filtersCircular ND32000 (4.5) 15 Stop PRO Nano HUC IR SLIM Filter
Circular filter kitsCircular Long Exposure Filter Kit
Circular filter kitsCircular ND Filter Kit
Circular filtersCircular ND8 (0.9) 3 Stop PRO Nano HUC IR SLIM Filter
Circular filtersCircular ND64 (1.8) 6 Stop + CPL PRO Nano HUC IR SLIM Filter
Circular filtersCircular ND1000 (3.0) 10 Stop PRO Nano HUC IR SLIM Filter
If, on the other hand, you have a slightly higher budget and you want to focus on 100% landscape photography, we strongly recommend square filters. Using an adapter you can use both ND filters, polarizers, and GND filters all together: that is, the perfect solution for landscape photography. On this site you will also find an in-depth analysis on GND and dynamic range filters. If you have a lens with a frontal thread (up to 82mm) we definitely recommend the NiSi V6 holder (and its 100mm ND filters). Here you can find all the products for the 100mm system. While if your lens has no thread, like the Nikon 14-24 f / 2.8, Tamron 15-30 f / 2.8, Sigma 14-24 f / 2.8, Sigma 14 f / 1.8, Sony 12-24 f / 4, etc. , then you can head to the 150mm system, where you can find both the classic holders and the new NiSi S6 (with polariser included).