I currently own just one grad ND filter, a 2 stop soft from HiTech in the 85x110mm size, but am looking to upgrade to Lee or Singh-Ray 4x6 filters for easier hand-holding and better optical quality. I noticed that Lee also offers their filters in 2.5 stops (.75). Does anyone on Nikonians own these? Would the 2.5 stop filter serve as a good middle-ground strength vs. having to purchase both the 2 and 3 stop versions of each. Or would it be better to purchase say a 2 stop soft and 3 stop hard?
Also, any thoughts on whether it's worth paying $25 more for the Singh-Ray filters, or are the Lee filters just as good? Thanks for any help or advice you can give me.
Thank you. I would rather have the holder, but the Lee holder isn't avaiable at B&H at least for now, and from what I understand there is usually a long wait. However, they do have the Cokin Z holder which is an option, albeit maybe not quite as nice as the Lee. I was considering the Hi-Tech reverse grad as well. A part of me says to just get a couple more of the Hi-Tech 85mm filters and a Cokin P wide angle holder, which would save quite a bit money as well as space in my camera bag, at the expense of not being able to use more than one filter at a time.
In the 100mm size I have the Lee .3S, .6S, .9S, .75H, .9H. In Singh-Ray I have the Daryl Benson 3. I would not pick Singh-Ray over Lee.
In the 85mm size I have many, many more filters from HiTech, Lee, Singh-Ray, and a few others (virtually every strength and hardness). Other than the length of some filters (longer is better) I have never noticed much difference between brands.
Thanks again to both of you for your thoughts. I'm on the B&H wait list now for a Lee holder. It's just a matter of deciding which filters to go with now. I'll likely go ahead and order the filters and use them hand-held until I get the holder. The best price I can find so far on the reverse grad is a Hitech 4x5 in a soft .9 for $138 or the 85mm version for $80.