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| p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Advice on Grad ND filters for Nikon 16-35VR and 24-120/4.0 VR |
There is no such thing as a catch all 'proper exposure'. The exposure that you use to get a nice jpeg SOOC (jpeg goal: get your main subject appropriately lit) is sometimes not the same exposure you use to get a quality raw file (raw goal: get as much detail/color saturation on the file as possible), and the exposures may be very different.
D800's do have less of a need for grad ND's, but they still help sometimes.
For your lenses mentioned, I guess with the 16-35, you will get vignetting in the corners no matter what, especially towards the wide end. It's usually not a big deal to crop out the extreme corners.
The Cokin P system is economical but it will definitely cause a little vignetting. You can step up to the Cokin Z-Pro or Lee, but you'd be paying a lot more money, and it still may cause a bit of vignetting. There is a low profile Cokin P holder that only holds 1 square filter, and that helps reduce vignetting. When you have extreme wide angles, it's just something you have to contend with.
For traditional ND filters, it really depends on what you want to accomplish. Every filter manufacturer has 3 stop filters. If you want to get into the exotic 9 or 10 stop territory, your choices are round filters from B+W and Hoya, or square filters for Lee. Square filters are significantly easier to use because you can rapidly remove the filter, focus/compose, and reinstall it. With round filters you spend time screwing on the filter and removing it. For 3-stop filters, it simple isn't an issue.
The problem is, the Lee Big Stopper is out of stock just about everywhere.
I use traditional ND's a lot, but I am a hesitant user of grads. The DR capabilities of modern Nikon's basically means that you can use them a lot less. Hard ND's especially have a straight, distinct transition line, which doesn't match well with the composure. Soft ND's are easier to use, but they don't have as beneficial of an effect.
I'm not sure if that helps or not.