After much research and many hours reading reviews and blogs, I finally bought a 10 Stop ND filter.
The choice really came down to Lee or Hitech as both seemed to perform well. The Lee filter kit is the choice of many Pro’s and I can see why, the results from their filters and stunning, but they are very expensive, and the Lee ‘Big Stopper’ is very fragile, if you drop it, you lose it.
So I went with a Hitech ND 10 stop filter, choosing the 85mm to fit into a Cokin filter system and to match the other Hitech Soft Grads I have. The first major problem… when using any wide angle lens under 20mm, there was major vignetting when using the Cokin holder, and when I placed another soft grad in the next slot it was even worse. My first thought was I had bought the wrong size and should have gone for a 100mm system. After asking Mr Google, I finally found the perfect solution. Taken a major risk, I glued the 77mm filter adapter ring from the holder… straight onto the Hitech filter, making sure no glue got onto the resin… risky, you bet.
The result is nothing short of brilliant, the filter screws straight onto my wide angle 17-40mm, with no light leaking, and there is absolutely no vignetting what so ever, if I need to add another filter in front, use Photographers best friend ‘Blu-Tack’.
The image below was shot as the sun went down and on a wet and windy day. I took my original exposure and worked out that I need a 40 sec exposure at f11. Sturdy tripod and cable release are essential.