Neutral Density Gradient Filter

What is a Neutral Density Gradient Filter?

A Neutral Density Gradient Filter (ND Grad) is a crucial piece of equipment for video editors, film-makers, influencers, and YouTubers. It’s a lens filter that varies in its light transmission depending on the angle of rotation. The purpose of an ND Grad is to reduce the intensity of light without affecting its color or contrast. This allows for greater control over exposure settings, which can help to produce more balanced and professional-looking footage.

Why is a Neutral Density Gradient Filter Important?

The ND Grad plays a significant role in video production. Its benefits include:

  • Exposure control: It helps to balance the exposure between a bright sky and a darker foreground, preventing overexposure or underexposure.
  • Color preservation: Unlike some filters, an ND Grad does not affect the color of the image. It only reduces light intensity, allowing you to maintain natural colors in your footage.
  • Depth of field control: By reducing the amount of light, the ND Grad allows the use of wider apertures, which can give your footage a shallower depth of field and more cinematic look.

How to Use a Neutral Density Gradient Filter?

Using an ND Grad can make a significant difference to your video production. Here’s a basic guide on how to use it:

  • Choose the right ND Grad: ND Grads come in different strengths, typically ranging from 1-stop to 10-stops. Choose the one that fits your lighting conditions and creative vision.
  • Attach the filter: Screw or slide the filter onto your lens. Some ND Grads are circular and screw into the front of the lens, while others are rectangular and fit into a filter holder.
  • Adjust the filter: After attaching your filter, adjust it by rotating or sliding it until you achieve the desired balance of light and shadow in your frame.
  • Check your settings: Before you start shooting, double-check your camera settings. An ND Grad can allow you to use slower shutter speeds or wider apertures, so tweak your settings accordingly.


A Neutral Density Gradient Filter is an essential tool for any video creator. By helping to balance exposure and preserve natural colors, it can significantly enhance the quality of your footage. With a bit of practice, you can master the use of an ND Grad and take your video production to new heights.

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