Ray Masters ND1000 Beta test

October 20, 2015

 

A while ago I tested some Graduated filters from the new Slovakian brand Ray Masters. This 'hands-on' review can be read HERE. They recently sent me a beta version of their ND1000 (100x100 square) filter, which is still in production for testing and developing purposes.

 

I was asked to test the ND1000 (10 stop) beta filter from Ray Masters. This is a quick comparison test with the Haida ND1000 square that I consider one of my best 10 stop filters. I used a scene out of Yosemite (fitting with the recent release of El Capitan!) to test the comparison on. The goal here is obviously not to take a beautiful photo, but to just compare the Ray Masters ND1000 to my Haida ND1000. What I show in this test are SOOC (straight out of camera shots) without a filter, with the Haida filter, and with the Ray Masters filter. I also show processed versions to see how close they can all match each other, and base conclusions upon RAW processing. You may judge from the results by yourself. 

 

The scene (SOOC, unprocessed): 

 

Processed: 

Now let’s take a look on how the Haida ND1000 square handles this scene:

 

Haida SOOC:

in comparison   with the ‘no filter’ version.

 

The Haida is a bit more yellowish and adds a tiny bit of magenta. Now lets look at the processed version:

 

Haida Processed: 

 

Haida processed compared with ‘no filter’ processed:  

 

​The results look pretty close. With a bit of more processing I’d say I’d be able to get the same color/contrast as the no filter version. I always consider my Haida filter quite reliable, hence the results.

 

Now let’s look at the Ray Masters ND1000.

 

Ray Masters ND1000 SOOC: 

 

Comparison with the Ray Masters ND1000 and ‘no filter’ version:  

 

We can immediately see that while the Haida filter had a warmer tint, the Ray Masters filter has a colder tint. It’s a bit more blue. It is totally normal for a high stop ND filter to have a color tint, as long as it’s easily correctable. Let’s look at the processed version: 

 

and compare it to the ‘no filter’ processed version:  

 

Here also, the colors look quite close. Now lets take a look at all of the processed versions. next to each other: The ‘no filter’, the Haida, and finally the Ray masters:   

 and again 1 by 1 :

 

After processing there is not much difference. Especially if you compare the Haida (middle) with the Ray Masters (bottom). The Haida has a very slightly tint more aimed at magenta but nothing to worry about. Both filters show a bit less contrast at the shadow areas after processing. Again, this is easily to change in further processing. 

 

Conclusion:

 

The Ray Masters ND1000 filter is a proper piece of glass and does not under perform with the well established Haida Filter. The color tint reminds me of the also high quality B+W screw filters. It’s a bit blu-ish but easily correctable in post with no noticeable magenta tint. I’m confident in using this filter in the future.

 

All tests were done with the Sony A7RII, Sony Zeiss 16-35. The shots with the 10 stop filters were done at f10, ISO 50, 30 seconds

 

Note 1: Ignore the light leak on the haida shots in the bottom centre of the frame. That was caused by me not properly attaching the filter on the holder. It doesn’t affect the rest of the results. I only noticed this much later, when editing this test.

 

Note 2: On all of the 10 stops filters we clearly see a vignette. This has nothing to do with the filters as this is a known property of the 16-35 lens with filters.

 

Note 3: The sharpness on all of the shots was the same. The filters did not affect this in any way.

 

Note 4: This filter may behave different with different kinds of light. This test was done while the sun was already quite low on the horizon, about 30 minutes before sunset.

 

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to say something in the comment box below.

 

- Albert

 

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