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  4. Graduated Neutral Density Filters (GND)
  5. How strong is my GND?

How strong is my GND?

The degree of light blocking for a GND uses the same terminology as described for ND filters. There is a slight difference in that the stated strength only refers to the darkest part of the filter. With most GND filters, the darkest part of the filter will be at the top end of the filter when placed in the filter holder. The nature of the transition from dark to clear is described by the type of GND (see below).

Medium GND
Medium GND
Soft GND
Soft GND
Reverse GND
Hard GND
Hard GND

The degree of light blocking is often referred to in terms of the number of ‘stops of light’ which the filter blocks. For each ‘stop’ of light blocked, the exposure time doubles. An alternate terminology uses exponential values of the number ‘2’ to reflect this principle. Yet another system uses values of 0.3 to designate 1 stop of light blocking.

For instance, an ND filter which blocks 2 stops of light can be called a ‘2 stop’ ND filter. Using the alternative terminology it can also be called an ND4 filter (2^2 =4) or an ND 0.6 filter (0.3X2 =0.6). This terminology also applies to the strength of GND (graduated neutral density) filters.


NDOptical DensityF-stop ReductionTransmittance %
ND20.31 Stop50%
ND40.62 Stop25%
ND80.93 Stop12.5%
ND161.24 Stop6.25%
ND321.55 Stop3.12%
ND641.86 Stop1.56%
ND1282.17 Stop0.78%
ND2562.48 Stop0.39%
ND5002.79 Stop0.2%
ND10003.010 Stop0.1%
ND20003.311 Stop0.005%
ND320004.515 Stop0.003%
ND1000K6.020 Stop0.0001%