Haida 150mm Filter System Review
I have an upcoming trip to New York City and know I will be getting a lot of use out of my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 with all of the great architecture. But I also get something I don’t get a lot of here at home in Colorado – water! I know I want to do some glassy shots of NYC with foreground water. So I went on the hunt for a filter system for this great wide-angle lens as I already have filters for my 77mm lenses.
The 14-24mm isn’t designed for filters, so anything I found was going to be a bit of a monster. Turns out, there are a few options. Lee has had a filter system for this lens for a while now. But it’s $400 and only comes with a two stop soft edge gradient filter. I was wanting a lot more versatility, and specifically a 10 stop ND. Reviews of Lee’s filter showed a very strong color cast and it’s quite pricey. So I kept looking.
That’s where the Haida comes in. Haida’s 150mm 10 stop (3.0) ND filter reviews show very little color cast. And it’s considerably less expensive at $152. The Haida 150mm Filter System filter holder with adapter for the Nikon 14-24mm is a mere $132. (I did splurge and purchase the Formatt Hitech 150x170MM 3 Filter Neutral Density Graduate Hard Edge Kit (on sale for $161!) as well because you never know when you need a good set of grads to darken a sky or snowfield. But I digress.) I had never seen Haida’s name before, but the reviews of the filter were very good. There were NO reviews of the holder. But I figured I could test it out and send it back if dissatisfied.
To be perfectly clear, this is not a field review. I rarely have cause to use such a tool in Colorado (not never, just not often). So I just pointed it out my sliding glass door on a snowmageddon day and took a few test shots to test for color cast, quality, and vignetting as well as build quality.
The Haida build quality seems very sturdy. All pieces are aluminium with exception of the clips to hold the filters which are comparable to what you find on a Lee or Hitech system. There are three main pieces to the system, the collar that slides up from the bottom of the lens, the bracket that drops on the front of the lens (these two screw together tightly), and the actual filter holder, which attaches with a simple twist. There are nice markings as to how to line things up, and you won’t need instructions to figure it out. It comes with three sets of adhesive foam pads to apply to the filter holder to block light. My test shot was made while shining a flashlight at the back of the filter to see if I could cause a light leak. I couldn’t! The fit between the filter and holder/pads was very tight. Light won’t get in and your filters are secure.
A little gaffers tape on the outsides of the lens shade means you can still use the lens cap with the filter bracket attached.
In fact, even with the full bracket attached the lens cap will still stay on. So if you’re moving around a bit you can pop the lens cap back on and not worry about scratching up that beautiful, bulbous front element.
Unfortunately, there are only two slots for filters provided. I’ve emailed Haida about how to get more. There are times when a solid ND and one grad are simply not enough for the job at hand.
ND Filter Quality
I’m no optical scientist. This is purely observational.
EXIF: Nikon D800, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, 15mm (oops!), 30 sec, f/8, ISO 50.
SOC LR shows the color is pretty close:
- Build quality is great.
- Can remain attached to lens even in your bag.
- Great value for the price!
- Filter color cast is minimal.
I’m very satisfied with this purchase. At $260 WITH the 10 stop ND it makes Lee look their robbing their customers!
Now to get near some water so I can really use this beauty!
All photos © 2015 Jared Youtsey