After doing a lot of researching and never being able to get a hold of a Lee Big Stopper I came across the Light Craft Workshop ND500.
If you’re looking to shoot long exposure photography mid day then this filter is really all you need. It’s crazy affordable and the quality is fantastic.
Best ND 500 For Your Buck
Check Amazon for current prices Light Craft Workshop ND500 MC+H.R.C 82mm I paid about $100.
Reason Why I Like The Light Craft Workshop ND 500
1. It’s Not Too Dark
This is a bonus. It cuts out 9 stops not 10 like the Big Stopper. This gives you all the benefits of being able shoot on very long exposures in mid day, but it also lets you be able to slightly see through it, so you don’t have to constantly take the filter off to frame your shot.
I’ve heard of some people switching their camera into Live Mode and then cranking the ISO. This apparently works as well.
The screw on filter threads are really nice because you can get it in the 82mm thread size. Meaning it will work for most of your lenses. I bought it for my Canon 16-35mm lens and adapt it to all my other lenses.
Another reason this is great over the Lee Big Stopper is you don’t have all this extra gear you need to carry around. Just a single filter case and you’re good to go.
ISO Shutter and Aperture in Mid Day
When shooting mid day at an ISO 100, I can usually get a 30 second shutter with an f-stop of 19 or 22. I don’t recommend shooting that high of aperture because of diffraction but if you want that 30 second exposure you’ll need to.
I could see 10 stops from the Lee Big Stopper being slightly better if you needed a longer shutter. With that extra stop of ND you could lower your f-stop a little bit while still maintaining a 30 second shutter. You could always go down to 15 if you like as well, but I really like 30.
I guess you could always screw on another 3 stop ND if you needed more. This would of course add additional color shift.
I haven’t really noticed any bad color shifts. It seems to make the scene slightly more blue which is good and easy to correct.
The biggest thing is the extra little vignetting. It’s not ugly and is feathered nicely which actually gives a decent effect.
I’ll post more sample photos as I go and continue to update the Light Craft Workshop ND 500 Review as I go.