117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2010
Sadly, digital photography has made the lens filter business largely an off-brand, camera store profiteering racket. Photographers simply no longer need all the help filters used to provide coaxing white balances or hues into film, and we're therefore left with cheesy "UV" and "Protection" filters, all of which we're told will protect our already high-tech, multi-coated (and probably well-hooded) front lens elements from, er, something, or cut UV light passed to sensors which, er, aren't at all sensitive to UV bands. Still, some essential filters--NDs, Polarizers--need to remain in the digital photographer's kit; and the high quality, highly useful offerings of Schneider Optic's B+W line continue to impress.
The #103's cut is perfect for those unavoidable mid-day, sunwashed shoots in which you want shallow depth of field but simply can't hit reasonable apertures without blowing out all the highlights--say, the specific contours of a bride's white dress. Screw one of these on and, voila: f/2.8 - 4, reasonable shutter speeds, highlight detail preserved. Also, while the #103 doesn't cut enough light for slow-shutter shots at noon (misty waterfalls, waves, etc.), it will allow you to frame these shots earlier in the evening or later in the morning, or in reasonable shade. Stack it with your circular polarizer to cut a stop or two more, and you're covered for an enormous variety of scenic shots. Most importantly, the #103 doesn't cut so much light that you can't compose and focus.
As with all of the B+W filters, construction is top notch: heavy, precision brass and schott glass. This is a professional implement, designed for decades of demanding use.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2010
Sometimes you need just that little bit extra and this filter delivers. Consistantly. Three stops can make a HUGE difference in how a scene is recorded. This one now has a permanent place in my bag.
As with all B+W filters it's incredibly well built and could probably last several lifetimes. EVERY photographer should own one, IMO. To me, just like a polarizer, it's an essential piece of gear.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2010
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2011
B+W filters are the best! Saving for the 1 stop ND next. Just holding this in your hand lets you know the quality, weighty and substantial. The brass construction is amazing. I measured this and the Kaesemann CP I received with it. It is EXACTLY the same! At least down to the nearest hundredth. I'm not the photographer in the family, I just get to buy the gear. I would not pay MSRP for any of these, but I feel that the Amazon price is more than fair. What a deal. Free super saver shipping is "spot on, Bevin", unless you want it in a hurry.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
When I first began my DSLR photographic journey ~6 years ago, I made the mistake of getting cheap filters for my first camera, but soon learned the error of my ways. Cheap lens + cheap filter = soft, crummy images.
After upgrading to a $1,000+ lens a couple years ago, I realized that I needed better filters, and I invested in the B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer. I was very impressed by the optical quality, solid feel, brass threads and thinner mount. The CPL accompanied me everywhere thereafter when I was shooting in daylight.
Though I already had a GND filter set, before a recent trip to The Galapagos, I decided that I needed an ND filter to help dial down the light on sunny days. The 3-stop B+W seemed to provide the most versatility. Now, I have the CPL in one pocket and 3-stop ND in the other pocket when I'm out photographing in bright sunlight. They fit together perfectly, and I can easily remove one or both when I need more light. Theoretically, you can stack these 2 to cut one more stop, though I do see noticeable vignetting at 24mm when I do so (on my Canon 24-105mm L lens). Zooming in just slightly to 28mm eliminates that problem, though I also have to remove or reverse the lens hood.
If you're carrying a 77mm lens and considering an ND filter, you've probably already invested considerably in your camera body and lens, so why scrimp on the filter? Go for the B+W, and a world of photographic opportunities will open up to you. I am now a committed B+W customer, and it's only a matter of time before I buy the 6-stop or 9-stop version...
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2008
I had this filter for my 12-24 mm f/4 lens for my Nikon D200. I highly recommend it. It cuts down the light and works great especially in certain conditions, such as bright sun, snow, rivers, beaches and helps prevent washed out images. I have asked for this lens as a replacement lens filter as a gift for my birthday as it actually protected my wide angle's glass recently from an accidental fall. 5 stars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2011
The B+W 65-073102 77mm Neutral Density 0.9-8x Filter #103 allows a slower shutter speed in situations where I want a wider aperture such as portrait photography in daylight to achieve my desired depth of field. 3 stops of light reduction! Outstanding construction from B+W as expected.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
If you are big into optics and photography, then you may know the reputation of Schneider Optics. They manufacture some fantastic glass and apply wonderful coating to give you exactly what you want without degrading your image. I've used cheaper filters in the past but they all fall short of the performance of B+W. The construction is a solid brass ring with Schott glass.
I prefer using this filter during bright, sunny days when I am otherwise forced to stop down my aperture. Attach this and I have plenty of leeway to adjust my aperture and shutter speed as I desire. If you are looking for silky water and long exposures then you may want to consider something a little more opaque; maybe a 1.8-64x or higher.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
As expected, the filter is consistent across the frame. I can't wait to use next spring as the snow melts.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2012
When it comes to B+W, its all about premium quality. Did an exposure test to see if it affects the lighting 8x and it really does: Pretty much on the dot. Haven't used any other brand ND filters and I won't need to.