Hi, i recently bought a d5300 and i have a 18-140mm f 3.5-5.6 35mm f.18 and 50mm f1.8. I have a hoya cpl filter for the 35mm. I'm considering a ND filters for long exposures of clouds, waterfalls, buildings etc. However they are a little pricey and i blew my budget pretty big. I read 10 stops is the best for waterfalls but will be to dark for other uses. Here are my questions
1) Which lens should i buy the filter for, since they will most likely be landscapes im assuming the 35mm prime will be the better investment?
2) What stop filter should i buy?
3) Are Haida filters good? there is a 10 stop on ebay for $25
4) Should i consider square filters and buying a holder since a pack of 3 nd filters are only around $10 but the 10 stop is $60
As others have said, 10 stops is too much for waterfalls, but there are other applications. I wouldn't waste money on cheap filters, rather wait and buy one from a well respected manufacturer.
1) Depending on the budget, I'd buy a 77mm filter with step down rings. If you go FF one day, there are not many lenses that have 52mm threads, in fact, there seems to be no logical pattern with newer Nikkors when the filter size is in question. Of course you could always go for square filters which are more expensive. I've bought a no-name copy of the Cokin P set for 10 euros, and while not stellar, they're decent. Except for the ND filter which makes your photos very green. So for ND I stick to circular filters.
2) If only one filter is what you're after, then five or six stops should do. Ten stops is not something you want to be stuck with. Or get one of two stops reduction and one of three. Better quality filters can be stacked with no vignetting.
3) Never heard of the brand, but once I got a 10 stop variable Vivitar filter for like 23 $ (new) and it did the trick for the first couple of stops and then you'd just get a black streak across the diagonal of the frame. So again, my advice is not to buy that, but save up and wait for something better. Naturally, I could be wrong, but...
4) See 1)