Color-Grad Filters

Transform an average sunrise or sunset into something spectacular or convert a dull, washed-out sky to a breathtaking blue.  No other filter has done as much to improve landscape photography as the graduated filter.

Half color, half clear with a graduated density transition for smooth blending into the scene, Tiffen Color-Grad filters are one of the most widely used category of filters in the industry today.  They enable the image-maker to create an illusion or enhance reality.  Some of the most popular applications include:

  • Adding color excitement to a drab sky

  • Changing the specific color in a scene to create a desired special effect

  • Enhancing the existing color or creating subtle color drama

  • Creating more balanced exposure in uneven lighting situations

When it comes to rectangular-shaped filters, such as the 4x5.650 (Panavision size), the terms vertical and horizontal are important.  The horizontal or vertical designation refers to the position of the filter in relationship to the camera when the grad line is horizontal.

Horizontal Color-Grad

To order this filter, you would ask for a Horizontal Color-Grad.



Vertical Color-Grad

To order this filter, you would ask for a Vertical Color-Grad.


Tiffen Color-Grads are supplied in a wide range of sizes and colors and are made in either soft, hard, or as a special order, attenuated gradients.  

In addition to subject matter and it s surroundings, the type of lens you use will help to determine whether to use a Tiffen Color-Grad with a "hard" edge or "soft" edge.

Telephoto lenses make use of a small potion of the filter  Therefore, we recommend a hard edge for long lenses because a soft edge would get lost in the image.

Wide angle lenses make objects smaller.  Therefore, we recommend a soft edge for short focal lengths because a hard edge gradient would look like a hard straight line.  Soft edges and attenuators are for subtle blending with irregular-shaped subjects or unusual lighting.

Hard Edge

This illustration shows a vertical Color-Grad with a hard edge.  Depending on the size of the filter, the transition area is approximately 1/4" to 1/2" wide before reaching full density.

Soft Edge

This illustration shows a vertical Color-Grad with a soft edge.  Depending on the size of the filter, the transition area is between 1/2" to 2" wide before reaching full density.



This illustration shows an attenuated vertical Color-Grad.  The transition area takes place throughout the whole filter, starting clear and reaching its maximum density at the opposite end.

Sometimes, an unusual requirement demands a special-order Color-Grad.  Tiffen can provide custom specifications in color, gradient and configuration.  Describe a color, or send us a sample - we can match it.  Custom densities and gradients are routinely produced for unique situations at an additional cost.

Tiffen filters offer a wide range of Color-Grads to help you explore and realize your vision and creativity.

  The Tiffen Company, LLC
90 Oser Avenue, Hauppauge, NY 11788   email:


Gradgrap3.JPG (11452 bytes)Gradnf.JPG (10969 bytes)

No Filter 

Color Grad Grape 3


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Color Grad Plum 3

Color Grad Sunrise 3


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Color Grad Tangerine 3

Color Grad Tropic Blue 3



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No Filter

With Color-Grad Sunset 3



Color-Grad Neutral Density Filters


Often, you want to balance light intensity between two areas within a scene  This is important outdoors to allow more sky detail while properly exposing the foreground.  Exposing for the foreground will produce a wshed-out, over-exposed sky, exposing for the sky will leave the foreground dark and underexposed.

Color-Grad Neutral Density filters are part clear, part neutral density with a smoothly graded transition between.  A Color-Grad ND.6-to-Clear is often best for balancing sky to foreground.   The neutral gray appearance drops exposure.


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No Filter

With Color-Grad ND.6


No Filter

With Color-Grad ND. 6


Tiffen Color-Grad filters are available in half clear and half color as per the swatches shown in the chart below:

Tiffen Color-Grad Filter Swatch Chart



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