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Split Neutral Density Filters - ND Graduated Filters - split gradient filters

Updated on December 30, 2011

A Split Neutral Density Filter or Graduated Neutral Density Filters block out different amouns of light one side of the filter than the other. These filters let you better control the exposure of an overal scene.

We constantly run into circumstances where we need one part of the image to be a bit darker or lighter. With a Split Neutral Density Filter we can block some of the light from the brighter portion to even out the exposure of the over all image.

Circular or Square Filters

There are generally two types of filter systems used by photographers, Circular filters which screw onto the end of your lens, and square(or rectangular) filters which drop into a filter holder that is attached to the end of your lens like the ones offered by Conkin Filters and Lee Filters. With most filters it doesn't matter much which system you use. However, with a Split or graduated filter a square filter systems is clearly the way to go. This is because you can move the drop in filters up and down so the change in the density occurs at the bottom or top third of the image. With circular split filters you are stuck with the change being in one set spot, which is usually the center.

Gradient or Hard Stop Split Filters

Some Neutral Density Filters have an even gradient slowly going from dark to clear. Others have a Hard Stop in the middle where it quickly goes from dark to clear.

The Hard Stop Split Filters are most popular as they can split the image right at the horizon line tonning down the bright sky and brightening up the rest of the image.

Neutral Density Grades

 Just as with Standard Neutral Density Filters Split Neutral Density Filters come in different grades.

These range from the lightest ND2 or ND.03 to the darkets ND8 or ND.09

Other Split Filters

 Neutral Density Filters are not the only split filters. Split filters are also made in different colors for various porpouses.

For example this blue filter can be used to enhance the blue of a cloud free sky or to make clear water look blue.


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