Heidelberg, Germany – Neutral Density Filter

I just arrived back this weekend from a week in Germany.  Added a few pounds due to the great beers!  LOL  Summer in Germany is wonderful!  But for landscape photography it is tough!  Sunrise is 5 AM and sunset is 10 PM!  Whew…a bit early and late!  I was in Frankfurt most of the week working and met up with my good friend Chris from JosSchneider Optische Werke GmbH.  He was kind of enough to give me a gift this day.  For anyone that knows filters….Schneider is B&W Filters (the world’s leading manufacturer of filters).  They have tons of filters for any of your camera needs!!

The amazing ND Filter Chris gave me was the 77mm ND #106  1.8-64x.  Thanks so much Chris!!   Info on this filter is here…

This B+W Neutral Density Filter reduces the light by six f-stops. With this filter and without changing the f-stop, a shutter speed of 1/60 s is changed to a full second, thus requiring the use of a tripod. Flowing water is rendered as flowing in the photo, and people moving in streets are dissolved in unsharpness or become invisible. Because of its higher transmission in the red beyond 660 nm, this filter brings a slightly warm tone to color photographs. If this effect is undesirable, a B+W UV-/IR-Blocking Filter 486 in front of the neutral density filter (not behind it) remedies that situation. The filter factor is 64x.

So the challenge lies ahead for learning ND Filters!  As I was working most of the week…I had a little time to shoot.  But one evening we traveled to lovely and amazing Heidelberg!  (Thanks to Jim and Marianne for the heads up!)…such a cute little city!  I will post an HDR from here soon and go into details.  So as for the ND Filter…I knew the river was going to give me a chance to try it.  I set up on the river banks about 9:45 PM.  Just getting a little dark.  I took about 4 shots with varied exposures.  This one was my favorite.  Not bad, but I still have lots to learn!  I love the water motion it creates and how bright the scene is…when it was much darker in real time.

So I ask, anyone that has experience with ND Filters, please post any scoops for me and all of us to learn!  Any web sites or comments are welcome! Thanks for your help!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Manual  Mode
  • Filter: B&W ND #106 1.8-64X
  • Focal Length: 24.0mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Exposure:  30 seconds
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4 & CS5, Viveza

6 comments on “Heidelberg, Germany – Neutral Density Filter

  1. Chris says:

    Hello from Germany 🙂

    Just one thing I want to add… Actually the filter is not an ND _Grad_ because grad stands for graduated which means that just one part of the filter is dark. A Graduated filter is used to darken only the sky for example… What you have is a normal ND (Neutral Density) Filter, which is totally dark to slow down the shutter speed. By the way I have the same one and it’s great 🙂


    • Chris, thanks tons for the clarification! I am an neophyte with filters! =) Changed my post! Any tips on using it?

      • Chris says:

        What I learned from using the filter is: First setup your tripod and camera without the filter, switch to aperture mode and take a reading of your shutter speed and divide your shutter speed by 64 (in this case, as you’ve got a 6-stop filter and 2^6 is 64). Then focus and then set your focus to manual (as your AF won’t really work through the filter, except under bright conditions). Attach the filter, switch to manual mode and set your aperture and shutter speed. Make sure you shoot RAW as the B+W 106 adds some red cast to your images, which you might want to correct (though I like that effect).

        Well, that’s all I figured out about using it so far 🙂

      • Chris, thanks! I noticed the red cast…ok with me as well!! I’ll be giving it a try again later this week! I appreciate the scoops!! Have fun shooting! Pete

  2. What a great gift, Pete. Beautiful image from Heidelberg, as well 😉

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