I have been using my new Fujifilm XF10-24mm f/4.0 MK II quite a lot recently, and it really is a superb lens. The contrast and sharpness across the frame are excellent and the focussing is positive and consistent. But one thing has become quite obvious – when taking landscapes there is a lot of sky that can be crammed into the frame. This poses a problem with trying to keep the sky from blowing out and retaining some detail in the ground.
Of course, this can be partially rectified as long as you under-expose the sky slightly in camera and then lighten the foreground in post-processing. You can also use filters. I use Formatt-Hitech, but I don’t always want to carry the holder and filter case around. So I have just purchased a 72mm circular Soft Graduated ND8 filter made by Urth.
This is a 3 stop neutral density filter at the darkest part of its graduation. The bezel is matte black and the rotation of the filter in the bezel is smooth yet firm so that you can place the ND graduation part where you want in the frame. The graduation is also very even so there is no sharp demarcation of the effect.The actual bexel is also quite thin to alleviate vignetting on wide angle lenses.
This size of the filter also fits my relatively new Fujifilm XF16-80mm f/4.0 so I can use it on two of my favourite lenses. The filter also comes in a quality padded metal case for storage into which I can put the protective filter I usually have on my lens when I am using the graduated filter. There is also a good lens cleaning cloth included.
The other upside to buying a Urth filter is that every purchase results in 5 trees being planted.
So there you have it, a great product and you can feel good about helping the environment at the same time. I am now quite interested in their circular polarizer as well.