I have been using Haida filters for close to two years now and I was lucky enough to be given some of the brand new Haida 100 series filters to test out. Haida provided me with a 100 series holder, two adapter rings, a 100 series Nano ND3.0 filter, a 100 series Nano soft GND 0.9 filter and a pro MII CPOL filter.
All the gear arrived very quickly for it being shipped all the way from their store in China. It came in nice package and each piece was in it's own case. The 100 series filters coming in a nice metal case and the CPOL filter coming in a convenient hard plastic case. It all came with a nice Haida pouch that I could store all the metal pieces in.
It's been a pretty rainy week, but there was a break in the sky a few days ago so I rushed out to the river to give them a shot. The main features that are advertised with the filters are 1. The low reflection on the glass. 2. little to no colour casting. 3. A waterproof and scratch resistant coating. 4. The high quality optical glass, and 5. The High definition glass that gives a pop to your photos.
I was extremely impressed with all of the equipment. Colour casting was the first thing I noticed. I've used Lee filters and B&W filters and both have either a cool blue casting or a warm orange casting. The Haida filters are a little bit on the warm side, but are significantly better than either of the top of the line competitors.
In post processing I checked to see the sharpness of the Optical glass and again I was thoroughly impressed. I was shooting on a 17-40mm Canon L lens wide open at 17mm and each image was nice and sharp from edge to edge. The vignetting wasn't any better or worse than other ND filters, but vignetting is an easy fix in post processing.
As I was just starting to pack up the rain started to drizzle a bit so I figured i'd see how the Nano glass fared when it was wet. I think I was maybe expecting a miracle when I thought the water would bead right off, but even though it didn't bead off it wiped clear and clean every time. Shooting in the rain isn't a big deal for me, but when it comes to shooting near waterfalls with spray everywhere this will be invaluable. To be able to clean your glass in the field with this much ease is something I didn't realize I needed so much until now.
After seeing how the new Haida glass performed I am definitely going to continue using their glass. I've never been fully impressed when using my Lee and B&W glass, I always end up going back to using my old Haida. Now their new glass is even better and I think Haida will be tough to beat when it comes to overall quality and performance.
Here is a collection of images taken with and without the ND Filters. You can see the added contrast and color saturation that the filters provide. You can also see that the filters have very little to no color casting which is an incredible feat for a ND3.0 filter.
Images on the left With the Filters.
Images on the right Without the Filters.
Finished product using the ND Filters from Haida.
After using these filters for a couple months now I can concretely say that Haida is now a very strong player in the filter game. For the price of these filters you are getting equal, if not better quality of glass in comparison to Lee and B&W filters.
Some of the key features to these filters that really impressed me are:
1. The color casting. When I first started into long exposure photography I used cheap pieces of welding glass that would have terrible color casting that would cause my images to have green or purple hues. I later upgraded to some real ND filters but the casting was still there, only it was orange or blue. It meant I would have to spend hours working on bringing back the true colors that was in the image. The new Haida filters are so good for color casting that I now hardly have to edit my image casting and colors.
2. The water resistant coating. This may not be important for everyone but it is really handy if you live in a rainy place or enjoy shooting next to waterfalls. I have doused these filters a few times already and every time they wipe down nice and clean so that there are no splash marks on my next shots.
3. Sharpness and lack of vignetting. This is something that is really hard for ND filters to accomplish. Most filters will dullen your images with bad glass or cause dark corners due to poor glass, but the Haida filters keep you images sharp and produce a very little amount of vignetting that is easy to fix in post process.
4. The quality of filter holders. Everything that Haida sent me was made of either high quality glass or metal that was made to last. No plastic pieces that I worry about breaking, I am very confident that all this Haida gear will last me through the ages.
All in all, the Haida Filters are by far the best Filters I have personally used and I have become a strong advocate for this great company coming out of China. The entire series is very impressive and I can't wait to see what Haida comes out with next. Haida filters will very soon will be a common name among photographers around the world.
If you're looking to find some for yourself check out these sites below!
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