The dramatic effects of extremely long time exposures have gained greater appreciation than ever before, but getting Neutral Density filters with sufficient density and limited color cast has been elusive.
First, Singh-Ray introduced the 5-stop Mor-Slo to use on its own, or combined with our variable density filters. But photographers wanted more density, so we recently offered the 10-stop Mor-Slo ND Filter to a great reception.
But others still wanted MORE density, so we're introducing our 15-Stop Mor-Slo ND Filter! It exponentially attenuates the light passing through to your sensor, allowing for tremendously long exposures, even when combined with wide apertures for reduced depth-of-field.
For instance, if your exposure with no filter is f/8 at 1/60th, by adding the 15-stop Mor-Slo filter, your exposure is extended to 8 MINUTES -- long enough to transform rushing rivers, meandering clouds, or other moving subjects into etherial landscapes.
Note: to take full advantage of this filter, you will want to use a tripod and a locking cable release.
Veteran fine-art photographer Tony Sweet received one of the first production models of Singh-Ray's latest development: the 15-stop Mor-Slo solid neutral density filter. "After several chats with Bob Singh about such a filter, I was really pleased to receive one that I could test. There's just one word to describe this filter -- Wow!
"Less than a year after Singh-Ray's introduction of the 10-stop Mor-Slo ND filter, here comes another technical breakthrough for all of us who work in Long-exposure Land. Many more logical photographers might ask why Singh-Ray's 5-stop and 10-stop Mor-Slo filters are not enough? Why can't we just stack them togther? How about stacking the 5-stop or 10-stop on the famous Singh-Ray Vari-ND (with continuously variable density up to 8 stops)? I can only answer those questions by saying that in harsh daylight with slowly moving clouds, 5 or 10 stops may not be enough to achieve the effect I am looking for.
"The 4-minute image above, with its very slow moving clouds, was made late in the morning on Clingman's Dome in the Great Smokies. It was shot at f/16 to capture the cloud movement. All the images here were made with my Nikon D800E and the Singh-Ray 15-stop Mor-Slo filter.
"This next image was shot in mid-afternoon light from our balcony in Sedona, AZ. Using f/13 and the 15-stop Mor-Slo, I was able to record the motion of the very slowly moving clouds during this 8-minute exposure.
Shooting into the bright sun is one thing. Shooting a dropping sun for a very long exposure, is like photographing the moon for a long exposure: the subject will streak. In this case, the setting sun movement was masked by the clouds. Of course, shooting directly into a diffused fireball dramatically lowered the exposure time. So, I had to go to f/22 to get a 2-minute exposure using the 15-stop Mor-Slo.
"This is where the 15-stop Mor-Slo shines: lots of bright morning light with no clouds to diffuse the fireball. I was still able to get a very long exposure, and again needed to go to f/22 to get the desired 4-minute exposure.
"When we have to hike a couple of miles to reach a scene, there are no guarantees of what we will get. On this day in Olympic National Park we were lucky. As the sun went down over these Rialto Beach sea stacks, it lit up the diagonally moving clouds just a bit. Again, in order to get the 4 minute exposure time I wanted, using the 15-stop Mor-Slo, I set the aperture at f/22. Then, as the light was fading during the exposure, I made a judgement call to extend the exposure to 5 minutes. That appeared to have been enough to bring some detail into the base of the sea stack in the foreground.
"Since color cast is quite prevalent and sometimes a serious issue with other brands of neutral density filters, I should mention that the color cast created in my 15-stop Mor-Slo images is just slightly warm, giving me the choice of either leaving it in the image or easily dialing it out during the RAW process.
"I also find I have more latitude in choosing aperture settings and shutter speeds when using 15 stops of ND. That's one more reason why the 15-stop Mor-Slo is now my new favorite ND filter for achieving long exposures in bright light.