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haida review

Review: HAIDA Filter Systems

By Tobias Ryser
Over the past weeks I had been able to take a close look at the Haida 100 and 150mm Filter Systems
and see how they would perform under real shooting conditions.
Personally, I have been using Lee Filters for quite a few years now, which are known for their high optical quality
and thus preferred among landscape pho- tographers. My experience with Lee filters gave me a good base to evaluate and compare the Haida filters.
I tested the following products:
100mm System
- Haida 100 Series Filter Holder
- Haida 100 Series Adapter Ring (77mm)
- Haida 100 Series C-Pol Filter, 100x100 mm
- Haida ND 3.0, 1000x Optical Glass Neutral Density Filter
- Haida 100 Series PROII MC Soft Graduated ND0.9 Insert Filter
- Haida 100 Series ProII MC Hard Graduated ND0.6 Insert Filter
- Filtertasche
150mm System
- Haida 150 Series Filter Holder (Set) for Nikon 14-24
- Haida 150 Series C-POL, 150x150 mm
- Haida 150 Series ProII MC Soft Graduated ND1.2 Insert Filter

18 mm - f/16 - 2.5 s - ISO 64 - HAIDA GND 1.2

100mm System
The Haida 100mm filter system appears to be of very high quality. Filter holder and adapter ring are made of metal and therefore ex- tremely sturdy.
The filter holder is well crafted and, once inserted, the filter can be moved easily with little resistance.
The 100mm holder can be extended from two to three filter slots with included parts. This allows up to three different filters to be combined.
The adapter rings are available in different sizes in order to attach the system to various lenses with different filter threads.
Design and handling reminded me strongly of the Lee system, however the Haida system is somewhat smaller and thus easier to stow away.
The 100 series filter pouch is designed in a way that it can hold filters, adapter rings and the holder altogether
which in my eyes is a huge advantage as it helps keeping things organized. A total of 6 filters (100x100mm or 100x150mm) can fit inside.

HAIDA filter pouch, filter holder, adapter ring and Filterbox for ND 3.0 All the filter components can be stowed in the compact filter pouch

There is a special polarizing filter available for the 100mm system which can be screwed into the adapter ring.
This way, the polari- zing filter can be turned independently and easily combined with graduated and fixed ND filters.
This is not possible with the square polarizer filter I had been using before, as it can’t be turned inde- pendently from the filter holder.
This may not look like an issue at first, as the polarizer works most effectively in it’s upright position.
When using longer focal lengths in conjunction with scenes where there is a lot of sky in the frame,
I do however tend to use my pola- rizer with a less effective setting along with a graduated ND filter in order to get a more natural look.

With Haida C-Pol Filter, 100x100mm

With Haida C-Pol Filter, 100x100 mm:

The colors are vivid and look very realistic

Without Polfilter

Without Filter

26 mm - f/16 - 6 s - ISO 64 - HAIDA GND 0.9 & HAIDA C-Pol Filter 100x100 mm


150 mm System
The 150 mm system is designed for ultra-wide-angle lenses with a fixed lens hood. It consists of three components:
 the filter holder and two threaded metal rings (front ring and locking ring), which are attached to the lens. I found this to be easier and more intuitive compared to the Lee system. Unfortunately, no lens cap is included to protect the lens while the ring is attached.
The mounting of the filter holder is very well designed. Once the holder has been connected to the filter ring and rotated slightly,
these two won‘t come apart unless the brass screw is loosened. This worked very well on set.
When used with a Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8, it is recommended by
Haida to use a maximum of two filters in order to avoid vignetting,
which I can confirm after my review.
With the 150mm system, only a square polarizer is available, which for me personally isn’t a deal breaker as
I don’t tend to utilize a polarizer with ultra-wide angle lenses. Therefore, the above menti- oned issues do not apply for my style of shooting.

20 mm - f/11 - 1/13 s - ISO 64 - HAIDA GND 1.2 & HAIDA C-Pol Filter 150x150 mm



Without Filter With Haida C-Pol Filter, 150x150mm With Haida C-Pol Filter, 150x150mm

& HAIDA GND 1.2

Filters
All Haida filters are made of glass which makes them more resistant to scratches but also more vulnerable in terms of breaking.
Haida offers a large variety of different filters. Currently they offer ND filters between ND 0.3 and ND 3.6,
graduated ND filters between DN 0.3 and ND 1.2 (soft and hard edge) and reverse graduated ND filters between ND 0.6 and ND 1.2.
All filters carry markings on their rim.
The filters I had been able to review were all very neutral without relevant colour shifts.
Where visible, the colours shifted very slightly towards a warmer tone.
I was particularly impressed with the high colour accuracy of the ND 3.0 ND filter.
Many other manufacturers can’t get this right and their filters often introduce heavy colour shifts that need to be corrected in post.
With the reviewed 10-stop Haida filter however, there was absolutely no colour shift visible.

22 mm - f/6 - 1/4 s - ISO 160 - HAIDA C-Pol Filter 150x150 mm


Without Filter

Haida ND 3.0: No color cast

Lee Big Stopper: Blue color cast

Verdict
The filters I had been able to review impressed me. Both filter sys- tems are very well designed, well built,
robust and ready to be used in whatever environment. Especially the 150mm system and it’s perfect handling appeared very convincing.
The filters feature a high optical quality without noticeable colour shifts, and the prices are significantly below those of its competitors.

19 mm - f/16 - 0.4 s - ISO 64 - HAIDA GND 1.2


The author
Tobias Ryser is a freelance photographer focusing on nature and landscape photography. Looking for the perfect moment, he gives great importance to an aesthetic composition and impressive ligh- ting. The Nikon Pro performs workshops in Switzerland through the label „Naturwaerts“. His work finds regular recognition in competi- tions and is frequently published.
www.tobias-ryser.ch www.naturwaerts.ch

Location
Happy Valley, OR
Email
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