Monday, February 02, 2009

Singh-Ray versus High-tech

Nearly every serious nature photographer knows that in difficult lighting situations, the difference between a skilled photographer and an unskilled one is the use of a Graduated Neutral Density filter, or sometimes two or three in super tricky situations.

The High-tech series cost about $35 each, and the Galen Rowell ones cost $100 a pop. What's the difference? First of all, the hard stops on the Galen Rowells are really hard stops. They have a definable line that makes them easy to place and easy to see.

The second one, and the one that really justifies their $65 premium, is that they come in a felt-case. As I was cleaning my high-tech ND grads tonight, I was shocked to see that they were scratched in ways that would be impossible for me to remove --- I'm going to have to replace these completely. The felt case that comes with the Galen Rowells ensure that they won't be scratched, an important consideration with repeated use.

Now, a real cheap-skate will make his own felt cases for the cheap High-techs, but together with the fact that the Galen Rowells are a bit longer and just that much easier to use, I think I'm going to be buying those in the future.
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