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Gobe Variable Neutral Density Filter

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Taking photos in all lighting situations

I want to take pictures in all lighting situations, not only in morning and evening light, and without being limited in my location and exposure options.

How did I get the idea to get a neutral density filter?

What brought on this revolutionary revelation is our photography challenge "motion".

I had never needed to capture motion blur in the daylight before, so obviously I had not been confronted with that problem yet. Our teacher had already mentioned neutral density filters but, as I said, I hadn't needed them yet.

Enter that challenge and I became thoroughly frustrated, as you can imagine. To capture motion blur, you need a low shutter speed. But a low shutter speed in bright daylight can not be compensated by the other two elements on the exposure triangle. So what you get is one white blur.

And that's where the neutral density filter comes in! Basically sunglasses for your camera lens 😎. I opted to buy a medium priced filter first for the lens I use mostly for my personal hobby photography. I mostly use my Sigma 70-200 for equine and pet photography. My 50mm is for my "everyday" photography. After some research I decided on the Gobe ND2-400. I have to try it out some more but it seems to be doing a fairly good job.

UPDATE: Gobe is now Urth

Comparing the photos taken with the neutral density filter on different settings

Check it out:

(PS don't mind the model, she was not really interested in my new toy, instead she was reading her new Psych 101 book and kept asking me what I saw in the umpth Rorschach drawing 🙄.)

No filter:

A bit of filter (this is a downside of this variable filter: it doesn't say where you're at):

All the way down (she's there, I assure you):

Obviously, this is not the way to use it, it's a bit drastic 🤔. But careful use of the filter will allow you to avoid getting blown out highlights. Thus allowing you to be more creative in otherwise limiting situations.

My first impression of the neutral density filter

I really like it for now. I'll have to practice a little more and then I'll decide if I buy this one for my other lens. The other brand I hear good things about, is the Tiffen. It is slightly more expensive but still not high end, it is supposed to keep the images a little sharper as well.

However, what I really like about Gobe, or rather Urth, is that they are environmentally conscious and that is rather important to me.


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