Jenny Cameron

Professional Landscape Photographer known for her unique, creative and evocative style based in the northern Scottish Highlands.

Posts tagged ‘landscape photography’

Step-up rings simply explained without techy jargon

What is a Step-up Ring?

A Step-up ring is basically a thin metal or plastic ring which increases the lens diameter. Simply screws directly onto your lens then the adapter ring for your chosen filter screws on top. This allows you to attach a larger filter size so you don’t have to buy or carry multiple filters for each of your different sized lenses.

It doesn’t have to break the bank balance?

Have you been put off going down the filter route for fear of it being too costly as you have different sized lenses and don’t wish to break the bank buying separate filters for each? How about if I told you there is a way you can use one filter on multiple lenses? Simply find your largest thread size and purchase a Step-up ring/s for the rest.

How to measure your lens for the correct filter size.

It may seem obvious, however for newbies just starting out this can be very confusing. So, for the avoidance of doubt- Lens diameter is not the same as focal length. Lens diameter is a physical measurement on the front part of your lens. On my Canon lens the diameter is etched on the inside of the front of the lens ( image example below). Identifiable by a circle with a line right through the middle with a number at the side, this is the measurement needed to select the correct filter size- Alternatively, you could go old school and get your ruler out to measure the diameter in millimetres.

What to buy?

When buying Step-up ring/s, the goal is to find the thinnest and strongest compound if you want the best optical quality in the final image. If the ring is too thick it makes the gap between lens and filter too wide which causes all types of issues from vignette, sharpness is compromised, possibility of light leaking. The Haida ones I use are Aluminium and I’ve never had any problems. One more tip, to avoid vignetting, make sure the filter size is larger than the lens size.

Is it possible to stack Step-up rings?

Yes, it is possible to stack Step-up rings on top of each other, however this is something I highly do not recommend as it increases the distance between filter and lens which can cause vignetting and/or ghosting. All in all bad practice!

To conclude

Step-up rings are probably the cheapest photography accessory I own and the most useful. Well worth investing in and will save you some pennies but make sure it’s good quality, don’t go for the cheapest.

If you would like to view my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope you found this helpful and simple to understand. Any further questions/advice I’m more than happy to help.

Haida Anti-fog belt

Haida Anti-Fog belt- Perfect solution for astrophotography & extreme temperature photography. @jennycameron 2021.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021.

Haida Anti-fog belt

An innovative and perfect solution for astrophotography and extreme temperature photography.
Close up- Haida Anti-Fog belt.
Showing heat control with three different settings- Haida Anti-Fog belt.
Showing Haida Anti-Fog belt attached to a spare Drone battery which I used as a power bank.
Haida Anti-Fog belt set up with lovely soft grey bag-Included with purchase.

Introduction

Viewing winter scenes online may look magical but for the photographer it takes a lot of effort and skill to execute. When shooting in sub-zero temperatures it’s an endless problem with the lens fogging up and constant job keeping it clear. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to no avail, placing thermal hats, scarfs around the lens, basically anything to keep the lens warm- which isn’t ideal especially if it’s windy. If you use a tripod this will exacerbate the issue as the camera is away from any body heat. Hot and humid regions are also problematic – When leaving an air conditioned car or building then head outdoors with your camera when it’s hot. Whether it’s moving from a cold to warm environment or vice versa, the drastic change in temperature will cause your lens to fog up. In simple terms, condensation will cause your lens to fog-up, thus dramatically reducing the image quality.

Allow me to introduce to you a brand new product designed by Haida – An innovative and perfect solution for astrophotography and extreme temperature photography. It’s an Anti-fog belt – Companied with a USB port and lovely soft grey pouch so you can put it in your bag easily and conveniently. Boasting three individual heat settings – Low ( 35-45°)- Medium (45-55°)- High (55-65°) and can withstand -40℃ low temperature. Simply wraps around the outside of your camera lens ( held securely in place with Velcro) to avoid fog on your lens and plugs into a power source- (I used a drone battery as a power bank). Not to forget Haida’s signature colour-Red!

Example photo’s below when using the Haida Anti-fog belt would be advantageous.

Lets geek out on why lenses fogs up?

When the temperature of the lens or lens with filter on gets cold the water vapour in the air condenses on it, in other words creates condensation. Same principle when your bathroom mirror fogs up when having a hot shower or when you take a cold drink out of the refrigerator on a hot day. Similarly, to what we learnt in Chemistry at School- Condensation is the opposite to evaporation- rather than water molecules transforming from liquid into a gas in a process known as vaporisation, the water changes instead from a gas in the air back into a liquid form.

Your camera body will generate some heat which will prevent condensation from forming on the inside, but the lens is a different story. In particular, a build-up of condensation behind the actual lens over a period of time could result in the growth of mould. Needless to say, mould will destroy the internal workings of your lens. Or, even worse, condensation on your lens freezing up! Yes, it can actually happen! 

Top-tip from personal experience- In these extreme polar opposite conditions always remember before you retreat indoors to put your camera in a camera bag when you’ve finished photographing. If possible leave it in the bag for a good 12 hours. If you’re inpatient to view your images just remove the SD card. This allows your gear to slowly thermalize whilst avoiding condensation. 

It’s all about the Dew-point

If you’re anything like me a little OCD with preparing for a photo trip- Weather forecast Apps tend to be top of your list? Whether you’re heading to the Arctic or Maldives, both can create big problems for your camera in terms of condensation. Knowing the dew point temperature (which can also be found on most decent websites/Apps) for each location should be high up on your list too and help you prepare for what the weather may throw at you- Be it sun, wind, rain, fog/mist, snow, frost and sand-dust- This will tell you what temperature condensation is expected to form. Condensation is created when the outer casing of your lens is cooled below what is known as the ‘dew point’ of the air inside. The dew point is simply the temperature at which the air inside your lens is no longer able to hold all of the water vapour, meaning that some of it will need to be released back into its liquid form. As such, the water vapour changes back into moisture, causing beading and fogginess to appear on the inside elements of your lens without oftentimes you even realising until you later check through your images horrified with that feeling of “the end of the world”.

Screenshot of my favourite weather App Clear Outside including Dew point temperatures.

Previous experience

I clearly remember a night earlier this year when I gave up and retreated home as it was too cold not only for my hands but became an endless battle with lens fogging up, I couldn’t keep up wiping the lens with a microfibre cloth. I was not happy at all and let me assure you I’m not one to give up easily.

Materials used

Haida adopted a new technology material “Graphene” (heating material) which produces evenly heat distribution in a safe/stable manner.

Positive features

  • Fits any lens.
  • Light-weight & convenient.
  • Starts heating up in only a few seconds.

Negative features

  • Remembering to have a full charged power pack with you.
  • Careful not to knock the focusing ring whilst attaching the belt.

Unfortunately, at this moment in time it’s British summer time- Here in the far north of Scotland it’s pretty much daylight all the time and temperatures are a steady 10-20 degrees Celsius, making it impossible to replicate extreme temperatures or do any Astrophotography. However, come September Milky-way & Aurora season will begin- Followed by a few months later when temperatures start plummeting. Last winter was very cold, reaching minus 28 degrees Celsius at home. I will continue to add my thoughts to this evaluation as conditions allow. Watch this space for more updates!

Conclusion

All in all, I really do think this will be a popular and welcomed tool for many outdoor photographers. Certainly solved a common problem for myself. Hopefully, I’ll achieve more keepers in the mountains next winter and be even more enjoyable.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021


Test review- Haida NanoPro ND filter kit for DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Test review of Haida ND filters for DJI Mavic 2 Pro ~for not only photography but also videography”

by Jenny Cameron.

Introduction.

Welcome to my test review of the Haida NanoPro ND kit. Designed specifically for use with DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The pack includes four solid neutral density (ND) filters (3,4,5 & 6 stops).

DJI Mavic 2 Pro with Haida ND filter attached.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro with Haida ND filter attached.

This is all very new to me having never used a drone before and knew very little about videography. Fast forward three months, the main problem has been fighting weather, which here in Scotland is no easy fate. We get a lot of rain, wind, snow and sub-zero temperatures, all do not go hand in hand with flying a drone. On a more positive note- Two things which must be earnt and not simply paid for is “experience & perseverance “. So, overall I’ve put these filters through their paces and learnt a ton which Id like to share with you.


What made me want to buy a drone?

As a landscape photographer, I felt restricted and frustrated from many missed unique perspectives my DSLR couldn’t possibly reach, desperate for that “something” to reignite my creative fires and quite honestly I`d lost my mo-jo. Inspiration was in great need. December 2020 I had a eureka moment to get a drone as an early Christmas present. I couldn’t wait to see the bird-eye views, the whole cinematic look really excited me, this brand new world was ready to burst open in front of me during the dismal dark days of the global pandemic.

As a Haida Ambassador, my first port of call after ordering the drone was speaking to Haida as I knew they did filters for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic Air 2. They kindly sent a filter set to fit my drone. I’ve been using Haida filters for the past three years now for all my landscape portfolio work, therefore only natural I wanted the same quality for my drone imagery. Let me tell you guys the dark clouds have lifted and I’m back to the early days when I first started photography, excitingly wanting to learn everything and eager to put into practice.


What’s in the box?

Four neutral density (ND) filters in total- ND8, ND16, ND32 & ND64. In a very neat hand-sized/ convenient plastic box that easily fits in your jacket pocket. The packaging of a product can sometimes be as important as the product itself as you will most likely be using a lot switching different filters in the field.


What is a Neutral Density (ND) Filter?

ND stands for neutral density. Commonly described as expensive sunglasses for your camera. However, there’s a bit more to it than that without too much techy-talk. Basically, on the photography side, they absorb light by limiting unwanted light from reaching the camera sensor without effecting colour, hue, sharpness, contrast and clarity. And for videography, they provide smooth/softer transitions and more natural professional-looking footage. Overall, provide the user with more creative freedom and viewer more eye-candy.


What do the numbers mean?

All ND filters come in different strengths, the lower the value the lighter opacity the glass is and less light is absorbed. The higher the value the darker the glass, the more light it absorbs.

How do I know which filter to use?

ND strengthND 8 ( 3 stop)ND 16 (4 stops)ND 32 (5 stops)ND 64 (6 stops)
When to useReduces glareSunset & low light situationsBright days with direct sunExtreme sun, snow &/or water.

How to attach the filter?

First, remember to turn off your drone to avoid damaging the gimbal. Support the gimbal with one hand, remove the DJI Mavic 2 Pro lens by gently pushing down and twisting till it lifts off. Then replace with the Haida ND filter at a slight angle with your other hand and twist. You will feel it lock in place, now your filter is firmly attached to the lens, switch the drone on and you’re ready to fly.


Video below showing Haida ND8 filter on DJI Mavic 2 Pro.


Long exposure photography isn’t for me therefore I don’t need any ND filters? Wrong!!

Let me explain- These days our eyes have become accustomed to a more polished aerial cinematography and photography look/feel from watching movies and such over the years. If you think back 20 years how movie standards have progressed in terms of footage quality. Even as little as 15 yrs ago, 4K stabilised footage was un-thinkable, its what we saw only at the movies, technology is moving fast! However, we all now expect far more than we did back in the day. This is achieved by something called the “180-degree shutter angle rule”- which mimics motion the same way a human eye experiences in real life. It helps reduce your shutter speed whilst maintaining proper exposure. For example- shutter speed should be double your frame rate for smooth motion blur, producing more natural and professional-looking footage- rather than harsh/ robotic movements. So, for instance, if shooting at 25 frames per second you need to move your shutter speed to 1/50- Or, 30 frames per second would be 1/60 shutter speed. Also, post-production is easier, especially with colour grading. Without ND filters you would have to increase your shutter speed to maintain exposure in your shots which will effect the footage quality in a really bad way making it over sharp and jittery. Hence why I can’t stress highly enough the importance of ND filters for a drone, it’s not about doing long exposures- Although you can still use them the same way you would on a DSLR as I will demonstrate in the images below in the Scottish Highlands.


Images below- taken with DJI Mavic 2 Pro in tripod mode. Raw format. Without/with Haida NanoPro ND8 (3 stops) filter. Same settings used for both images. Camera manual mode- ISO 200, F6, 1/4 sec.

Without filter. ISO 200, F6, 1/4 sec.
With Haida ND8 (3 stops) filter. ISO 200, F6, 1/4 sec.

Waterfall videos below showing without/with Haida NanoPro ND16 (4 stop) filter on DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Same settings used for both videos. Manual mode, ISO 100, F4, 1/8 sec @ 24 FPS. Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without filter
With Haida ND16 (4 stops) filter for DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Videos below showing without/with Haida NanoPro ND32 (5 stop) filter on DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Same settings used for both videos. Manual mode, ISO100, F6 1/30 sec @24FPS. Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without filter
With Haida NanoPro ND32 (5 stop) filter

Drone footage over Ardvreck Castle including music ♬. Filter used= Haida NanoPro ND64 (6 stop) on DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Video setting- Manual mode, ISO100, F6, 1/30 @ 24 FPS ( frames per second).


Post-processed image below taken with DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Haida NanoPro-ND8 (3 stops). Camera settings- ISO 100, F4, 1/30 on tripod mode.

Post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Design & build quality

  • Glass = Unmatched Optic glass, multiple grinding for high definition images which reduces unwanted reflections without colour shifts.
  • Frame = Aerospace Aluminium.
  • Filter case = Plastic, with foam inserts to protect each individual filter for storage and transport. Easy to open.
  • Extremely light-weight, yet robust, putting no negative effect on the drone gimbal.

NanoPro

Each double-coated filter features Haida’s waterproof NanoPro multicoating which repels water and to assure HD quality without colour cast or vignette. This is extremely useful as any water or moisture on the lens during flying can seriously distort &/or ruin your imagery. You may be thinking what does it matter if they aren’t waterproof I won’t be flying underwater? Agreed, certainly not, however when flying at high altitudes the air becomes moist so the last thing you need is water seeping in-between camera lens & filter. This also helps when wiping any excess moisture off your filter, it beads up & easily removed with a microfibre cloth.


Weight -V- gimbal error

After doing some research I discovered a common error with some aftermarket filters. The weight of the filters is too heavy for the gimbal/front of the camera resulting in the camera not working. This is something I needed to be sure didn’t happen with Haida filters. I’m very pleased to confirm none of the filters were a problem & worked perfectly~ Horray!


Price

Of course, the price of a product is an important metric when considering any purchase. However, as the old saying goes- “Buy cheap buy twice”. With all things, photography/videography as I’m sure you’ve discovered doesn’t come cheap. As photographers, we know the importance of a good quality lens. Oftentimes it’s more important than the camera so why on earth would you stick a cheap filter in front of expensive glass? It makes no sense to me, a valuable lesson I’ve learnt over the years. Haida filters are by no means the most expensive on the market but not the cheapest, they sit somewhere in the middle. Available for purchase here.


Positive features (in no particular order).

  • Specially designed for DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Consistence sharpness from corner to corner.
  • Easy to attach and remove. You will likely have to make changes in the field therefore you need confidence knowing the filter is securely attached and doesn’t fall off mid-flight.
  • Durable, compared to plastic alternatives.
  • Neutral colour accuracy or colour shifts.
  • No vignette at all.

Negatives

  • I think the addition of a Circular Polariser and/ or a combined ND/ CPL would be advantageous for Haida.
  • Disappointed no filter cloth and no dedicated filter pouch~ Maybe that`s the female in me.
  • Overall, Id like to see more drone accessories from Haida as I believe Videography is the future.

The Haida brand

As a landscape photographer, I know the importance of quality filters. Hand on heart, I firmly believe in the Haida brand. Yes, I am an Ambassador for them but in no way would I put my name to a brand I didn’t believe in. All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .


Final thoughts

So, if you’ve been admiring the amazing aerial footage seen online the past few years and thought to yourself — “I would really love to have a go at this drone malarkey but it looks too technical”. -My answer to you would be- “Go for it, absolutely”. Believe me, I’m a slow learner, if I can, then so can you. Its been the best photography purchase this past couple of years and boosted my creative flow immensely. Almost like visiting a new place, as even though you still in your local area everywhere looks very different.

Or- maybe you already own a drone but frequently return home disappointed from your footage and feel you would benefit from taking it to the next level. I personally as a friend would highly recommend the investment of this Haida NanoPro ND filter pack for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

For me personally- Each one serves its own purpose. In fact, most recently I’ve tended to leave the ND8 on permanently. Not only does it improve movement in video but enables extra control of the light for still images and video. I’m certainly very happy with all of the filters, had great fun and wouldn’t like being without them.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions- Contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Good-bye Winter

Hyperborea

Here in Scotland we’re still in lock-down~ Getting out for photography this past year hasn’t been easy with travel restrictions. I find the whole Covid thing a mental struggle the way its taken my freedom to travel, missing close family in England & photography road trips I so much enjoyed & pretty much use to take them for granted~ a huge lesson I think we`ve all recently learnt. On a more positive/happier note~ I’m very lucky living in such a beautiful remote area with mountains all around & pristine beaches close-by. This was taken a couple of weeks ago on a freezing cold morning when temperatures plummeted to minus 22 Celsius. Thankfully the majority of the snow has now gone and signs of spring on its way.

Techy info

Filters used~ Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable 6-9 stop ND filter @ 6 stop.

Post-processing software & techniques ~ Adobe Creative Cloud & Lumenzia. Focus stacked for maximum sharpness front to back & exposure blended.

Camera settings~ ISO 100, F11, 0.7 seconds @ 35mm.

Equipment used~ Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 lens. Gitzo tripod.

Video below showing raw file & final edit.

If you would like to see more of my work;
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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Popular blog posts from the past few months.

Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter 77mm.

Haida kindly invited me to evaluate their latest innovation; Interchangeable Magnetic Variable neutral density (ND) filter (2-5 stops & 6-9 stops). My test review will be in two parts, this being part 1 testing the 2-5 stop Magnetic Variable ND filter which not only is the perfect tool for photographers but also videographers. In other words, one ND ranging from 2- 5 stops and another from 6- 9 stops interchangeable in 1 second, yes I did say that correctly, one second!! Have I got you intrigued now? Let me walk you through & you show you this great innovation. Do I sound biased already? I’m sorry I am, but I will be honest & tell you some downsides.

Top 10~ Tips to help create your perfect Landscape Fine Art image. Featured

Have you ever created an image you loved so much you decided to share on every online platform possible but didnt receive the feedback you expected? You put your heart & soul into this creation but nobody understood what you were trying to convey?

How did it make you feel? Crap? Overwhelmed? Confused? Disappointed, self doubt & dare I say almost envious of others? Trust me, I’ve been there. Receiving negative critism isnt easy & can become extremely upsetting. Asking yourself~ Why do I see things different to others? You know photography is in your blood~ I’m telling you right now, never give up & keep going. Its your ultimate passion, right? And remember~ Practice makes perfect.

Here’s my top 10 tips in no particular order

  1. Lighting~ Mood & atmosphere, probably the most difficult thing to learn as its really something that comes from the heart, you have to feel it to be able to see it.
  2. Good composition ~Visual/intuitive balance & direction of flow helps grab the eye. Rule of thirds where you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines. The Fibonacci spiral also know as the Golden spiral helps to lead the viewers eye through the entire picture. Reduce the distracting elements also known as pokies such as random tree branches poking into the edge of the photo, something I personally call “edge- control police”. Although being naughty~ breaking some rules from time to time is not a bad thing & can work out creatively.
  3. Perfect Raw file ~ A photographers fundamental basic, this is the key where you need to go all OCD. Without this you have nothing, no amount of editing will rectify. A raw file is the foundation of the house, without it the whole image will collapse. Its your blank canvas which needs to be absolutely perfect in every way imaginable. Please do not shoot in jpeg, you can bring out so much more from a raw file.
  4. Editing~ clicking the shutter button is only part of what it takes to producing a great image. For me, I liken it to putting make- up on, making the best of what you have. If your shooting raw the image will be very flat & un- interesting, therefore some editing is needed to bring your image to life. You dont need to spend hours at your computer getting a headache from eye strain, oftentimes twenty minutes maximum can really give your image the va- va- voom.
  5. Camera settings~ Technical skills & knowledge of how to use your camera are needed in abundance. When trying to be creative the last thing you need is struggling to remember how to use your camera. This should be as easy as brushing your teeth & come the most natural thing for you so you dont have to give it much thought~ All you should be thinking about is your creative flair & the beauty surrounding you. I learnt my camera settings blindfolded so I knew I could photograph the night sky at ease, not have to fumble around with torches followed by yelling at my camera as I pressed the wrong button.
  6. Colour~ Colour plays a huge role, much more than most people think. Making it look natural but really its very deliberate & a highly thought out process. Colour can sometimes provide the opposite & cause more of a distraction, this is when black & white plays its role, your stripping back elements to create more of an impactful message~ This is more useful in images that portray deep powerful emotions leaving the viewer with the pure essence of the image. Learn & understand the colour wheel.
  7. Focus stacking~ This can only be done on a tripod. Where you take several images of the same scene. Focused at different points throughout the image, so for example~ Foreground, mid-ground, a distant hill & sky. Then blend together as one in Photoshop for ultimate sharpness from front to back.
  8. Exposure blending~ Similar to focus stacking but with exposures. So for example several images of the same scene taken at different exposures~ One for the shadows, one for mid-tones & another for the highlights. Again blended together in Photoshop for a perfect high dynamic range also known as HDR.
  9. Location~ Personally I think this is an important one. I struggle to accept how a photographer can go to a location never visited before & get the most of out it. For me its something I have to visit several times, different times of the day & seasons. I need an intimate familiarity with the place, feel the spirit, question what makes it special to me. Then I concentrate on that element to achieve the best out of it. All this flows continually right through to the editing process & final image.
  10. What elements & message you wish to convey? Start by what you wish to emphasis in the photo, is it a waterfall, lake, mountain or just a wow sky. Search for different patterns & textures which can convey different emotions to the viewer. This is how you begin to tell your story & how you start growing connections with your viewers, it really does become quite personal & evoke deep emotions.

“I believe photography is a message connecting someone’s spirit to reality. In this crazy world we all live in there are times we need to escape all the madness even just for a few seconds to be virtually teleported to another world”.

“Never give up on your dreams”

Jenny Cameron

Evaluation- 82mm Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter on wide- angle lens. Featured

Watch how fast

Super fast & ease

Introduction.

Testing for optimal sharpness, tonality, vignette, bokeh, X-pattern issues, design, functionality, accuracy of stops & colour shifts. Including in-camera video and real time experience from my home in the north of Scotland.

What comes in the box?

One cardboard box with two separate plastic boxes each with internal moulded foam insert to keep your filters protected ..Box (1) One adapter ring and one Magnetic Variable ND 2-5 stop filter. Box (2) One Magnetic Variable ND 6-9 stop filter & one spring loaded Filter cap.

Lets take a closer look. Join me on a Private Highland Estate (non-public access).

What is a Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter & how does it work?

Basically a Variable ND filter works by using two pieces of polarised glass that darken as they oppose each other, creating the lovely ND filter effect. As you rotate the filter the density is increased or decreased affecting the amount of light that falls through the lens and onto the camera sensor.

Sizes; 

Available in various sizes; 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 & 82mm. I’m using is the 82mm as my lens is a Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii). Step up rings also available.

How to measure your lens for the correct filter size.

It may seem obvious, however for newbies just starting out this can be very confusing. So, for the avoidance of doubt- Lens diameter is not the same as focal length. Lens diameter is a physical measurement on the front part of your lens. On my Canon lenses the diameter is etched on the inside of the front of the lens ( image example below). Identifiable by a circle with a line right through the middle with a number at the side, this is the measurement needed to select the correct filter size- Alternatively, you could go old school and get your ruler out to measure the diameter in millimetres.

Why are Neutral Density filters important for video?

In videography theres something called the 180-degree shutter angle rule- which mimics motion the same way a human eye experiences in real life. It helps reduce your shutter speed whilst maintaining proper exposure. For example- your shutter speed should be double your frame rate for smooth motion blur, produces a more natural and professional looking footage- rather than harsh/ jittering/robotic. This is especially commonly seen on fence lines which I’ve experienced myself whilst flying a drone. (By the way as a side note, I’m currently reviewing Haida’s ND filters for DJI Mavic 2-Pro which will be published soon). So, for instance if shooting at 25 frames per second on a DSLR you need to move your shutter speed to 1/50. This is where the Haida Nano-Pro Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND 2-5 stop filter in particular solves this issue perfectly. Theres a reason why Cinematic cameras are expensive- they have built in ND filters.

Construction.

Both filters are constructed the same, the frame part from Aerospace Aluminium making it super strong and extremely light weight, in fact its 9g lighter than previous Haida Variable NDs. The glass part is made from high quality K9 optical glass with Nano-Pro coatings on both sides.

NanoPro.

Featuring a waterproof NanoPro multi-coating on the filter glass, which helps prevent dirt and smudges from adhering to the glass, reduce reflections, scratch and water proof. Applied to both sides of the filter and helps prevent colour cast while maintaining excellent image sharpness. Highly scratch-resistant, durable, can be used under water and super easy cleaning.

X-pattern.

With the filter being on a wide angle lens I did wonder if the dreaded X-pattern (produces hatched areas on the actual image) would be more pronounced especially on the 6-9 stop, but thankfully its not appeared at any focal lengths tested from 16-35mm at approximately 2mm increments. I really did try to push it through its paces as curiosity got the better of me secretly wanting to see what it actually looked like in real life so to speak. Sure I’ve seen it on-line with other filter brands but nothing beats reality. I think what really helps with this particular issue is the way Haida have thoughtfully placed accurate hard stops at each end making it impossible to push the ND effect too far past the weakest or strongest points.

Positive features.

The innovative design of the magnetic attraction provides not only ease of use and speed but also the added bonus of no light leakage whatsoever, which often-times is problematic with strong NDs, usually from 6 stops upwards. No vignette from two stops right up to six inclusive.

Absolutely loved the ability to control shutter speed in ever changing light conditions without stress of fumbling in my filter bag trying to select what I thought would be best then discovering a different strength would have been better. Now, I could simply rotate from 6-9 or remove in literally one second & replace the 2-5 stop ND which I kept handy in my pocket neatly wrapped in a lens cloth for add protection.

Ideally suited for all types of photo &/or video genres including portraiture. I will definatly be using it for my animal work. All in all, I really do love and have thoroughly enjoyed this evaluation. Haida made it very easy with exceptional quality in not only the sleek design and smooth as butter rotation but followed right through from speed of use, incredible sharpness/tonality & contrast with no colour shift (neutrality) in the final raw file. What I did appreciate & use all the time now is the handy filter cap- Personally thought that a really nice final touch. It allows you to leave the filter on the lens packed away in your bag, then you’re all set up and ready for the next location.

Negative features.

I’m still undecided if I would have preferred an adjustment peg on the side to make it a bit easier to rotate from stop to stop without getting greasy fingerprints on the glass from my clumsy fingers or if it’s best without. Certainly not having it makes for a super sleek design which I really do like, not only visually but for storage & less weight. Over time I have gotten used to moving it without intensely watching where every stop is. Other than this I see no other downsides, what’s not to love? If I was being really picky there is ever so slight vignette from 7-9 stops inclusive, but certainly nothing to worry about.

For the traveller in mind.

If you’re tired of hauling around lots of different filters on your travels and need to go lightweight this could well be your answer.

Field tests.

Comparative images below at the bridge- taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F8, 1/15– With Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter @ 9 stops; ISO 100, F8, 30 seconds @16mm. Both raw images (straight out of camera). Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without filter (straight out of camera) @ 16mm. ISO 100, F8, 1/8 sec.

Comparative images below at the beach- Taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F14, 1/4 sec– With Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND (2-5 stops) filter @ 5 stops; ISO 100, F14, 08 seconds @16mm. Both raw images (straight out of camera). Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without/ with filter
Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud

Comparative images below of the bridge- Taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F8, 1/15– With Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND (6-9 stops) filter @ 9 stops; ISO 100, F8, 30 seconds @16mm. Both raw images (straight out of camera).

Without/ with Filter
Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud

Very pleased to tell you my field test was successful in checking the stop numbers are accurately placed.

On location- Behind the scene images below

Summary.

Variable ND filters seem to be trending at the moment. Having never used one before I was quite sceptical the quality wouldn’t be as good as a traditional single stop ND filter. I was pleasantly proven wrong and really fallen in love with this option. Having the magnetic part is a total bonus, making this super fast and easy to set up. In the past there’s been times when I’ve been a bit lazy and not bothered with filters as it’s such a faff, not so much the past couple of years but certainly before it was slow going and fiddly. 

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

Conclusion.

The most versatile filters I’ve ever used, certainly the fastest and most practical system. The innovation and thought gone into the design/ build, coupled with the high quality optics makes this filter an incredible piece of kit and serious contender in the photography/ videography marketplace for many types of genres.

All in all this latest innovation from Haida has very much impressed me.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

The Buccal

“The Buccal” …also known as Buachaille Etive Mor. It’s been my playground the past thirty odd years, I know these mountains very well having climbed, back-packed & skied. There will always be something very special deep in my heart that draws me back. For those who have never visited Glencoe/ Rannoch Moor area, let me […]

Highlights, darkness, hope & reflection

Light, shadow, hope & reflection…Annual review of the unforgettable year 2020. Its that time of year again to reflect upon the highlights, dark times and hope. So, I thought Id do a round up of my images from 2020.

Highlights

I feel very lucky living here in the Northern Scottish Highlands, placed in covid level 1 which is the lowest UK level. Finding new hidden gems literally on my doorstep, the most stunning albeit not most dramatic but beautiful waterfall. Remote areas of Assynt (dramatic mountains & some of the best beaches in the UK)  all within one hours drive from home. Usually, I just head straight for the west coast ( Glencoe & Hebrides). Although I’m able to legally travel to all those areas as they are also in level 1, it doesn’t sit quite right in my mind, my way of thinking is the more people travel for non essential & I count myself  as part of it. I dont need to photograph my favourite haunts when I have equally as much beauty right here at home. Although after the summer of staying at home we really needed to escape for our sanity & booked the ferry to Orkney. It was legal and the majority of the locals welcomed us with open arms there was an underlying feeling of resentment towards tourists which I’ve never experienced before.

The highlight of 2021 was undoubtedly the surprise opportunity & publication of my book Earth, wind & fire in July. Also this year I’ve thrown myself into more video for my test reviews, people seem to relate more to video rather than reading & looking at photos. This meant a steep learning curve of editing video, something I knew absolutely nothing about this time last year. Most recently last month I purchased my first drone. Ive been wanting one for some time now, it fascinates me the different perspectives. Its been much harder to learn to fly than I initially thought as Im not very technically minded which may surprise some & a slow learner. However I am very much enjoying it & having fun in between my tantrums & struggles.

Darkness

If you had told me a year ago how 2020 would have rolled up I never would have believed you. The compulsory use of face coverings in public places, non essential travel frowned upon in certain areas ( mine included). The list is endless as you all know, each of are having our very own personal struggles. 

Additional edit, dated 21st Dec, the whole of Scotland mainland will close its borders from mid-day Boxing day 26th Dec & enter into level 4 restrictions for three weeks.

Hope

A year like no other- We all need to support each other and quite frankly be kind to not only each other but be kind to yourself.

Hope your sitting comfy, drinking your favourite tipple or hot chocolate and munching on something tasty?

Reflection

Questions zooming round in my head. Its that monkey on my shoulder asking how I’ve improved photographically, or maybe not at all? Lessons learnt? Do I have different views on the wonderful world of nature/landscape photography? Have I felt the need to divert away from grand vistas and what are my plans for 2021.

Here’s a few of my personal favourite memories & images from the past twelve months.





If you would like to see more of my work;

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter 77mm. Featured

Introduction;

Haida kindly invited me to evaluate their latest innovation; Interchangeable Magnetic Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter (2-5 stops & 6-9 stops). My test review will be in two parts, this being part 1 testing the 2-5 stop Magnetic Variable ND filter which not only is the perfect tool for photographers but also videographers. In other words, one filter ranging from 2- 5 stops and another from 6- 9 stops interchangeable in 1 second, yes I did say that correctly, one second!! Have I got you intrigued now? Let me walk you through & you show you this great innovation. Do I sound biased already? I’m sorry I am, but I will be honest & tell you some downsides

I will be testing for optimal sharpness, tonality, vignetting, bokeh, X-pattern issues, design, functionality, accuracy of stops & colour shifts.

What is a Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter & how does it work?

Basically a Variable ND filter works by using two pieces of polarised glass that darken as they oppose each other, creating the lovely ND filter effect. As you rotate the filter the density is increased or decreased affecting the amount of light that falls through the lens & onto the camera sensor.

Sizes; 

Available in various sizes; 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 & 82mm. I’m using is the 77mm as my lens is a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii).

NanoPro;

Featuring a NanoPro multi-coating on the filter glass, which helps prevent dirt and smudges from adhering to the glass, reduce reflections, scratch and water proof. Applied to both sides of the filter and helps prevent color cast while maintaining image sharpness. The Haida Nano pro filters are highly scratch-resistant, durable and super easy cleaning.

Positive features (in no particular order)

  • Filter protector cap.
  • Sleek design.
  • Accurate placed stop numbers.
  • No X pattern.
  • No colour shift ( neutrality).
  • Great contrast & tonality throughout.
  • Sharpness.
  • No vignetting.
  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Ease/speed of use.
  • Exceptional image quality.
  • Hard stops at each end which works as a bit of a fail safe. Preventing you from going past the weakest or strongest points, therefore impossible to push the ND effect too far. You simply place the marker over whatever number you want. This means you won’t suffer from entering into the infuriating X pattern (produces hatched areas on the actual image) terrority.
  • Absolutely no light leakage.
  • The ability to control your shutter speed in ever-changing lighting conditions
  • Incredibly smooth rotation in hand with enough friction enabling you to easily rotate the filter to the precise stop required.
  • Ideally suited for all types of photo &/or video genres including portraiture. I will be using it for my animal work.

Negatives

  • I’m still undecided if I would have preferred an adjustment peg on the side to make it a bit easier to rotate from stop to stop without getting greasy fingerprints on the glass from my clumsy fingers or if it’s best without. Certainly not having it makes for a super sleek design which I really do like, not only visually but for storage & less weight. Over time I have gotten used to moving it without intensely watching where every stop is.

For the traveller in mind

If you’re tired of hauling around lots of different filters on your travels & need to go lightweight this could well be your answer.

Demonstration video

In the field tests

Test shots at different focal lengths starting at 70mm to 200mm in 10mm increments at each stop on the filter to see if all stops are true & consistent.

Sunset images below taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F11, 1/60 – With Magnetic Variable ND filter 2-5 @ 3 stops; ISO 200, F11, 1/8 @70mm.

Without/ with filter.

Very pleased to tell you my field test was successful in checking the stop numbers are accurately placed.

Conclusion

So far the most versatile filter I’ve ever used, certainly the most enjoyable, easiest, fastest & most practical system. The innovation and thought gone into the design/ build, coupled with the high quality optics makes this filter an incredible piece of kit & serious contender in the photography/ videography marketplace for many types of genres.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

If you would like to see more of my work;
Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.
“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020.

Morgan the midnight fairy

"Morgan" the midnight fairy.
“Morgan” ~ home to Morgan the Midnight Fairy. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye.

Home to Morgan the Midnight Fairy. Glenbrittle, Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Please note this is a composite image. Night sky has been added in post processing. Both images have been taken by myself in the same area of the Isle of Skye.

The use of Haida filters are as follows,

Haida round “drop-in” Circular Polariser and Neutral Density 1.8 (6 stop) combination filter for the water.

M10 round Clear-night for the night sky.

Believe in the fairies who make dreams come true. Believe in the wonder, the stars & the moon. Believe in the magic from fairies above. They dance on the flowers & sing songs of love, & if you just believe & always stay true, the fairies will be there, to watch over you!

I gift a sprinkle of fairy dust for each & everyone of you.

If you would like to see more of my work;
YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Earth Wind & Fire book by Jenny Cameron

The waiting game is over, Im bursting with excitement & super pleased. My first exclusive landscape photography book published & I couldn’t be prouder.

Stunning hard-back coffee table style book with 106 pages including my fine art landscape photos, story telling of hardships, overcoming obstacles & how art can guide you over the bumpy road.

All books are digitally signed by me & soon to be available for download on Apple books.

Previously I offered to the first 50 pre-ordered copies a personalised hand inscription/signed by me. This offer has now ended today & not available.

If you would like to purchase a book please contact me either by e-mail @ jennycameron121@gmail.com or alternatively via Facebook Messenger.

 

 

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