ND Grad filters: no hard edge on medium format?

Discussions regarding Phase One 645 DF / DF+ and Mamiya 645 DF / DF+
Also lens discussion for Phase One and Schneider lenses.

ND Grad filters: no hard edge on medium format?

Postby travelboy » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:26 pm

Do all ND grad filters become soft-edge on the 645?

I have a set of graduated ND filters and a Lee filter holder that I love to use for landscape photography. It worked like a charm with my 5D. Now I bought a 645DF with the 55, 80, 110 and 150 Schneider lenses. Despite the higher dynamic range, I feel that I need to use ND grad filters for what I do.

I have soft edge and hard edge filters. But on the Schneider lenses, hard edge become soft edge and soft edge becomes no edge at all. Even when stop down to f11, I cannot get a nice hard edge as I would need for a horizon. It becomes blurred.

I guess that this problem has two causes:
1. the front lens of the LS lenses is much smaller than a typical lens on a 35mm camera
2. the LS lenses have a recessed front, so the ND filters cannot sit directly in front of the front lens, there is always a gap of a few centimeters.

Any ideas what I could do?
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Re: ND Grad filters: no hard edge on medium format?

Postby Drew » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:54 am

This would depend on the optics and not necessarily the Format.

PhaseoneUser55182 wrote:2. the LS lenses have a recessed front, so the ND filters cannot sit directly in front of the front lens, there is always a gap of a few centimeters.


This is likely the source of the hard edge becoming soft as the further the distance between the Back Focal Distance and the filter the more the light has opportunity to diffuse before entering the lens.
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Re: ND Grad filters: no hard edge on medium format?

Postby travelboy » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:26 pm

So is there any solution?

All the LS lenses are designed with such a gap (and half the FS lenses too). How do landscape photographers use graduated filters with those?
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