The Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 DG DN is fast becoming my favorite L mount lens for the Sigma fp. I’ve been taking it around Scotland to capture some wonderful scenes like his scene of Bow Fiddle Rock close. The wide field of view it provides along with its clean and sharp rendering makes it a joy to shoot landscapes with. Today I want to show you how I use this lens without cumbersome front filters using the Haida’s Rear Lens ND Filter Kit (B&H, Amazon).
Sometimes you want a longer exposure to smooth water for example which is why the scene above was captured using the Haida 150mm M15 filter kit. You can see the review here.
While I love the Haida M15 filter kit, the fp camera itself is the smallest full-frame camera in the world. It would be nice to have the option of keeping things compact at times.
Introducing the Haida’s Rear Lens ND Filter Kit.
This kit is designed specifically for the Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 DG DN (Mirrorless version) for L and E mount cameras and offers four ND filters for $109.
Inside the shiny box
- a plastic filter holder box with foam that contains four ND filters
- a cheat card to help with what ND filter you need for the desired exposure
- and lastly, a little instruction leaflet (not pictured) showing how to install the filter.
A little close up of the tiny filters, inside we have the following filters:
- ND0.9 (3stop)
- ND1.2 (4stop)
- ND1.8 (6stop) and
- ND3.0 (10 stops)
Although the filters are tiny, they come with water and dust proofing and multi-coating, making it super easy to keep them clean.
Just how small are the rear filters compared to the required 150mm front filters?
As you can see from the image above its a drastic reduction, not only in size but weight. In fact, using the rear ND on the Sigma 14-24 feels the same as having no filter, unlike the M15 holder kit that adds a lot of size and weight to the front of the lens.
One downside is that the rear filters are ND only while the front M15 kit can also use graduated filters and a Circular Polarizer giving more control. You could also combine the front and rear filters if you wish would save money, bag space, and weight over buying four different stops of 150mm filters.
Fitting the rear filters is pretty easy as you can see the rear of the Sigma 14-24 f2.8 DG DN Art lens has a slot to accept gel filters but luckily filter manufactures have made better quality options.
The Haida filters install by placing the bottom edge next to the two white triangles, then move the switch over the filter to hold it in place.
The Haida filters don’t have the little insert foot as found on some other filters like the Kase filters I reviewed a while ago or on the gel cutout template.
This is great as it makes fitting the filters much easier and the switch itself has enough grip to hold the filter firmly in place.
So what about the quality, as there would be no point in reducing the amount of light coming into your lens if it was also going to negatively impact the quality of the image.. well I’m happy to say that I am very pleased with the results.
Sadly I’m limited to where I can use the filters currently due to Covid-19 so I’m using a local scene that for testing purposes is perfectly fine.
I set the Sigma fp which has a 24mp full-frame sensor with no AA filter onto a tripod and took the same image without the filters and then with each filter, here are some crops.
Looking at the crops color cast is minimal. Around -6 tint being the only corrected needed in LR to match although the 6 stop odly seems to require a little more at -3 temp -12 tint. Sharpness doesn’t seem to be effect at all at least on this 24mp chip. I didn’t include the 3stop here as it’s up to the same quality as the 4 stop.
For $109 the Haida Rear ND Filter Kit currently offers amazing value, as your getting four different strength of filters for the Sigma 14-24 f2.8 DG DN ART for less than the price of one 150mm filter while still maintaining great image quality.
I know having to remove the lens to change filters is not always ideal but I personally feel this solution is worth it both in terms of cost and bag space saved.
Luckily I did get one nice image with the filters before lockdown while at Gruinard beach in the highlands that I want to share. I personally can’t wait to get out and capture more images again.
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