The Formatt 72mm Graduated Neutral Density 1.2 Filter is one of the most widely used category of filters. It enhances reality, adding a touch of subtlety or drama to the image.
Often it is necessary or desirable to balance the light intensity in one part of a scene with another. This is especially true in situations where you don't have total light control, as in bright contrasty landscapes. Exposing for the foreground will produce a washed-out, over-exposed sky while exposing for the sky will leave the foreground dark and under-exposed. This filter enables cloud detail to be kept correctly exposed in the picture.
Determining which graduated neutral density filter yields ideal results for any given lighting situation takes knowledge, experience and a collection of such filters. Choose the filter strength which adjusts the lighting to stay within the exposure latitude (greatest difference between bright/dark values) which still shows details in both of the digital or film medium in use.
Speaking generally, the 2-stop value (ND 0.6 - the filter's clear portion allows 4x more light to pass vs. darkest portion) effectively compensates average bright sky-to-foreground situations, and the soft transition is applicable more often to a scene than the hard transition Soft/hard indicates the degree of transition.
Note: Formatt Graduated Neutral Density Filters comes in strengths from 1-3 with 3 having the greatest effect
Some of the Most Popular Applications Include
Adding color excitement to a drab sky
Changing the specific color in a scene to create a desired special effect
Enhancing the existing color or creating subtle color drama
Creating more balanced exposure in uneven lighting conditions
Formatt Grads are Available in Four Types
Soft Edge - Half clear, half colored with a smooth transition to full density. Generally used with medium to wide angle lenses
Hard Edge - Half clear, half colored with a definite less subtle transition. For use with long focal length lenses
Razor Edge - As hard edge but with a solid transition line for shooting corners of buildings, knife-edge horizons or when a very bold transition is required
Blender - The grad line is right at one edge of the filter so the color change runs from top to bottom. Perfect for irregular objects and skylines