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// Tutorial / How To

How and When to use a 10-Stop ND Filter

We are stoked to have you join us on another PolarPro adventure, this time we’re back in the Yosemite Valley. Yosemite is one of our favorite places to visit: it’s a photographers paradise, and one of those rare places in California where you can actually experience the four seasons.


Today we want to discuss one filter in particular that you may have never experienced or been aware of, and that’s the QuartzLine ND1000/PL. This is a high-value neutral density element combined with a polarization filter which can reduce exposure as well as controlling glare and reflections. It’s a 10-stop neutral density and polarization filter, in one adjustable lens element. Rather than stacking filters to get the same effect, which introduces noise, artifacts and color casting, shooting through a single piece of glass means less image degradation.

We are excited to show you what this filter can do.

Long Exposure Photos

This filter is perfect for creating long exposures in bright sunlight, like the conditions we experienced at Mirror Lake this afternoon, where we’ve got harsh glare from the sun that’s reflecting off of the crystal clear water. To address the glare we adjusted the polarization to where the reflection is almost completely gone by rotating the outer lens bezel.

You can see in the example how the polarization aspect of the ND1000/PL cuts down glare on the surface of the lake and sky, and by doing so, it increases color depth.

With a long enough exposure time, the heavy neutral density enables natural blurring to objects that are in motion, like the surface of the water in our example exposure which has been rendered silky smooth like a pastel painting. Notice how the polarizing filter in this case not only reduces glare darkens the reflections of the trees and El Capitan on the lake’s surface.


How and When to use a 10-Stop ND Filter - Without the ND1000/PL

Without the ND1000/PL

How and When to use a 10-Stop ND Filter - With the ND1000/PL

With the ND1000/PL

Smooth Timelapses

Another great way to use the ND1000/PL is with a timelapse, where the effects are similar to the way this filter blurs motion during a long exposure. In a timelapse, this filter will lightly blur each frame you capture and when stitched together, the ends of each frame will naturally blend into the next frame, much like the way we perceive motion in real life. This produces a smooth and dynamic composition to create your timelapse from. Below are a few sequence examples we captured just before sunset with and without our ND1000/PL filter.


Like any camera filter, there are limitations to what the ND1000/PL can do. If you are using 35mm sensor, for example, you will need to shoot with at least a 35mm lens. This is due to the physical limitations of wide angle lenses. For example, if you are shooting with a 28mm wide angle lens on a 35mm camera sensor, you’d be better off using an ND64/PL as the ND1000 because in this case would cause cross polarization. The ND1000/PL is a really unique filter to shoot with and produces some truly awesome compositions. It was a blast venturing around Yosemite and capturing some shots so you can see the results.

We want to know what filter you want to learn more about, so please let us know in the comments below. You can read more blogs by the PolarPro team and find more details about the QuartzLine ND1000/PL filter using the links below.


Scott Fairfax  

Chief Copywriter, PolarPro

Contact me directly here:

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Tutorial / How To

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