I have a Nikon D5100. I just bought some cheap ND Filters from Amazon but of course they sent the ones with the wrong size. The ones I bought were ND 2, 4, and 8. But I don't think those will be strong enough, or are they?

Obviously I don't know much about this but any help would be much appreciated.


With ND8 you are more likely to get something like a 1/64th second exposure in broad daylight. It is too weak for a 5 second exposure unless we are talking about extremes such as a combined very low ISO, very small aperture, and very overcast daylight.

It depends on the ambient(existing light), the desired aperture, and ISO that you would like to use of course. We can't just tell you what ND filter to use without knowing the rest. You likely would want something closer to 8 STOPS(ND256), and not ND 8 for a 5 second exposure in broad daylight.

For example, on an overcast day, this was shot at ISO 100, f/11, at 15 seconds, with a 10 stop/ND1024 filter: enter image description here

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    He can stack them, however, to get to an ND14 potentially. Mind you, a strong color cast is very likely in that event. – John Cavan Jun 14 '13 at 1:40
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    @JohnCavan - That is one idea. But stacking three low quality ND's is probably going to lead to trouble, both from the vignetting standpoint and the nasty effect of poor optics. 5 seconds at a reasonable aperture in broad daylight is probably still a stretch though, but worth a shot if that is the only equipment you have. – dpollitt Jun 14 '13 at 1:59
  • 5 seconds on a sunny day with ND 8 is not possible. You will end up with over exposed photos for sure. it might be possible to get ~2 seconds exposure with only ND 8. – GoodSp33d Jun 14 '13 at 3:30
  • Okay thanks for the input. So should I just send back the filters I received and get the correct sizes? Or buy stronger filters? – Spencejah Jun 14 '13 at 4:45

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