Landscape photographers need neutral density grad and neutral density filters! Make that statement on any photography forum and someone ‘who knows’ will leap at the opportunity to tell you differently. They will tell you that you can combine exposures, that you can mangle your images with HDR and that you can apply graduations in post processing. They’ll tell you that filters are old hat and past their sell-by date because you can do anything so much better with your editing software. Ignore them and use filters, you are a photographer and you need to control light at the taking stage instead of trying to create images on your computer. If landscape photography is your metier, then you need filters!
With that point made, most landscape photographers with a background in film photography will have continued to use their same filter sets with their digital cameras. Lee and Formatt-Hitech are the most universally well-known filter manufacturers and whose systems are absolutely of professional standard. A basic landscape photography set will consist of 2-4 neutral density grad filters and 1-3 neutral density filters. Neutral density graduated filters for full frame digital and film are 100 x 50mm sheets of acrylic. In their supplied pouches, a set of filters is quite bulky and having to sort through separate pouches to find the filters you want to use can be tedious and time consuming. A single pouch or bag which is specifically designed to hold your filters in a logical way makes life in the field much easier. It’s such a simple concept, yet it is only recently that some camera bag manufacturers have come to the realisation that there are landscapists who need a filter bag.
There are now a number of filter bag options available from several manufacturers. For the past couple of years, I have been using the Kinesis Large Grad Filter Pouch F169. it’s a simple bag with 10 separate padded compartments that will each take up to a 100 x 150mm neutral density grad filter. The lid flap has a Velcro closure and Velcro belt loops, so you can wear the pouch on your waist whilst working. Even more useful is the short strap-cum-carrying handle with a clip that allows you to clip the pouch around your tripod.
Simple ideas are often the best, and the Kinesis Large Grad Filter Pouch is a a simple and functional piece of kit that many landscape photographers will find very useful on location.
Kinesis F169 Large Graduated Filter Pouch Overview.
Simple, durable construction. The Kinesis Large Grad Filter Pouch has been an indispensable part of my landscape photography kit for the past couple of years. No waist belt is supplied, I have added a CCS belt to mine for carrying.
Velcro adjustable waist belt loops and a handle that can be clipped around the tripod for convenience.
There are 10 padded sections that will accommodate a 100 x 150mm neutral density grad filter. Velcro-attached tabs for the compartments are available to enable you to find the right filter quickly. I have a set way of organising my filters in the pouch and I didn’t require the labels.
Having the Kinesis Large Grad Filter Pouch attached to the tripod is convenient. If the wind is moving the pouch and threatening to blur your images, you can always revert to using it with a waist belt.