My apologies if updates have been a bit few and far between over the last few weeks. I have been pretty snowed under at the office and have not had much time for photography (I can feel the withdrawal creeping up on me); either out in the field, or behind my computer processing images. That is going to change over the coming weeks with Easter now close at hand and some free time on the radar. I even have a new bit of kit to try out!
I recently purchased another filter to add to my seemingly ever expanding collection – the Singh-Ray 3 Stop Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter. This is the first Singh-Ray filter I have purchased and I am extremely impressed at the quality of the filter and the packaging – not to mention their customer service; which deserves an honourable mention. To wit, I ordered the filter online directly from Singh-Ray and payed using my credit card in full like any online transaction (some $230 including shipping) and then sat back and waited for the goodies to arrive. Within a few hours I received an email from a very polite customer service person informing me that if I preferred they would send my shipment by an alternative shipping method which would save me more than $30 in freight and save me from Fedex’s own internal fees. ‘Of course’ I said, that would be fine and within a few hours the shipping credit of $30 was credited to my American Express card. I don’t know of many other companies that would pass this saving back to the customer, but I can think of quite a few that would probably just have pocketed the difference. Sing-Ray’s customer service in my experience is first class. I already own an extensive collection of LEE filters and have used them for many years. They have travelled all over the world with me and have been my workhorse filters. My collection is more or less complete when it comes to varying densities of graduated filters; however, LEE do not make a reverse graduated neutral density filter and I have found myself wanting one more and more of late. For those who are interested you can read what a Reverse Graduated Neutral Density Filter is and how they work on Sing-Rays website here Sing-Ray Reverse Grads.
The Singh-Ray Filters are expensive (even more expensive than the LEE filters). At around $230 Australian dollars including shipping for a piece of glass measuring around 6 x 4 inches it seems almost absurdly priced. However, one has to take into account that the filter is dead neutral with no colour cast to the photograph. A quick test with and without the filter in place show no discernible shift in colour and that is a very important advantage for my style of photography since I do very little work to my photographs in post processing. Having to remove or otherwise deal with a colour cast because of a poor quality filter is not something that interests me.
I have not as yet had a chance to use this new filter in the field – But, I am looking forward to putting it through its paces in the South Island of New Zealand in June this year.