Eliminate your ultra-wide neutral density filter woes by clipping an ND filter inside your camera
posted Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST
Ultra-wide lenses such as the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM and Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G are great landscape photography options, but their bulbous front elements are problematic when shooting with filters. You have typically needed special filter holder systems, such as the Lee SW150 Mark II, which while functional, can be cumbersome and requires large filters to use, which quickly increases the overall cost of the filter solution.
STC Optical and Chemical has an alternative solution, clip on neutral density filters. Their 6-stop ND filter (ND64) clips on to your sensor, so you don’t need to worry about whether your lens of choice has a filter thread or buying large, expensive filters and filter holders. How it works is that you lock up your camera’s mirror, put in the filter and ensure that your mirror does not come down, which means you will need to keep your camera in Live View. The filter never actually touches your sensor, but you do obviously have to be very careful when using it and always follow the product instructions. While this doesn’t solve the issue of using a graduated neutral density filter, it will allow you to shoot with longer shutter speeds.
The STC Ultra Layer Clip Filters, including the new ND64 filter, are available for Nikon and Canon full-frame and Canon APS-C cameras. The ND64 filter is said to be color neutral and it uses SCHOTT B270 optical glass and stainless steel; its price is US$90.