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Best Neutral Density Filters for outdoor photography

Are you a photographer, and you want to improve on your outdoor photography? Neutral Density filters are some of the most important accessories you should have in your camera bag. Whether you have lenses worth thousands of dollars, neutral density filters allow you to have more control over your images in terms of exposure, color, and sharpness.  

Apart from allowing you to control your photo’s exposure, the neutral density filters are the secret to transforming snapshots into impressive professional images. All photographers (both professionals and hobbyists) require neutral density filters, regardless of the gear set-up. Fortunately, the filters are not as expensive as other items in a camera gear such as cards, camera bodies, or lenses.

Buyers Guide

  1. Are neutral density filters any good?

    Answer: Safety: Yes. Whether you are a professional photographer or hobbyist, a neutral density filter is the essential accessory on your camera bag. The filters will give you more control options in outdoor photography, regardless of your camera gear’s worth or ability.

  2. What should you look for in a neutral density filter?

    Answer: When investing in a neutral density filter, there are some things you must consider before hitting the buy button. For example, you should only buy a neutral density filter that has better color accuracy. Also, an ideal filter should not affect the image sharpness.

  3. Do neutral density filters affect picture quality?

    Answer: While neutral density filters affect the amount of light reaching your camera sensor, they do not affect the picture quality. However, other types of filters may affect the picture quality if wrongly used.

Our Top Picks

#1

82mm Marumi DHG Super ND1000 Filter

  • Does not reduce the image sharpness
  • Better color accuracy
  • Adaptable choice of densities
  • More diameter options

Whether you are shooting portraits or landscapes, the Marumi DHG Filter helps you get the perfect exposures. The color accuracy is also another reason why professionals and hobbyists prefer this neutral density filter. Unlike most alternatives, you will not spend hours on post-production try to color-correct the pictures. The neutral density filter has an adaptable choice of densities for different shooting environments. The ability to change densities depending on your shooting space allows you to use the Marumi DHG filter as the only ND glass on your camera bag. In addition to adaptable densities, the ND filter has different diameter options. Therefore, it is a perfect buy for all camera lenses, even if you use third-party lenses..

#2

Freewell Variable ND

  • It reduces vignetting and cross-polarization
  • It f/stop ratings are accurate
  • Ideal for different lens diameters
  • Has 18 layers of multicoated glass

The 18 layers of multicoated glass make the Freewell Variable neutral density one of the best outdoor photography options. Aside from cutting down the extensive light, it ensures that the photos are sharp and well exposed, regardless of the camera’s sensor. Freewell Variable neutral density is also built to last. The glass on the neutral density filter lasts for years, and more importantly, the coating does not come off easily. Also, the filter is shockproof, oil proof, and dust will not affect its functionality. Therefore, you can take the neutral density filter to any shooting location comfortably.

#3

Tiffen Neutral Density Filter

  • It produces sharp images
  • Does not alter the image’s color
  • Gives sublime picture quality
  • Has a slim frame

Tiffen Neutral Density Filter is one of the best buys if you want to start shooting in bright spaces. It does not affect the picture quality when cutting the exposure. Therefore, you can use the filter in professional work and any project requiring well-exposed pictures. Apart from not affecting the picture’s sharpness, the Tiffen Neutral Density Filter gives sublime images at all times. On top of being the best filter in terms of performances, the Tiffen Neutral Density Filter is easy to use. The wider optic makes it a perfect option for reducing vignette across all lenses. Also, the slim frame makes it a perfect buy for all types of lenses. While the f/stop rating may not be accurate, the Tiffen Neutral Density Filter is the easiest neutral density unit for customized shootings. If you prefer tailoring your shooting experience, take time to master your “sweet spot” regarding the level of light getting into the lens.

#4

PolarPro QuartzLine ND filter

  • Gives a sublime image quality
  • Has better color accuracy
  • Unmatched f/stop precision
  • Many density options

If you are looking for a pro-level neutral density filter to add to your professional camera set-up, then this glass is a perfect buy for you. PolarPro QuartzLine neutral density filter has one of the best neutral color profiles, and as a photographer, you still get the chance to have control over images color and exposures. Therefore, your images will still be top-notch, even if you are shooting in too bright spaces. The built quality of the PolarPro QuartzLine neutral density filter is unmatched. The filter is drop-resistant, and it is a long-term investment. The anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings do not come out, regardless of where you shoot.

#5

NUANCES Extreme ND102 ND filter

  • Has a neutral color profile
  • Has unmatched color accuracy
  • It has impeccable f/stop accuracy
  • Images are sharp

The NUANCES Extreme ND102 ND filter is a perfect buy for all outdoor photographers. The filter is durable and drop-resistant. Therefore, you do not need any special protective gear when shooting with it. Also, the unit helps in reducing lens flare and thus giving you the best image possible. The color accuracy and the impeccable f/stop accuracy makes the neutral density filter a perfect addition to professionals and hobbyists interested in getting better images. Also, the color accuracy makes the NUANCES Extreme ND102 perfect, as you will not spend hours in post-production trying to adjust the image colors.

While you’re researching photography gear, you should also take a look at our best tripods review roundup article. We discuss the best tripods on the market and also supply a few tips and tricks in our buyer’s guide.


A neutral density filter is one of an essential accessory you should have in your camera bag. As a photographer, the filter gives you more control options. Therefore getting the exposures right in too bright spaces is guaranteed when using any of the above glasses. Also, compared to other camera accessories, the neutral density filters are less expensive and last for years. So, the above neutral density filters are a long-term investment to your gear.