Below is a very brief summary of the new grad types, and when you may use them.
Soft – This filter is ideal for shooting images with little or no sky. For example, cityscapes, forestry when shooting under a canopy of trees, close up images in nature. A soft filter is very useful at blending over obstructions in the images such as buildings, trees, rocks etc.
Medium – This filter offers many of the advantages of the soft but will have a harder edge to it. This makes it a great alternative to a soft filter when there is a scene that has a sky area but perhaps this is partially covered by the landscape or has a jagged horizon. This filter is soft enough to use over many smaller obstacles in the horizon but will also offer the strength of the filter in the area you need it which is often closer to the horizon. This filter in its 100mm and SW150 versions are a good alternative to a soft filter when used on a APS-C (or smaller) camera. It is also worth noting that the 100mm and SW150mm versions of this filter offer the identical graduation to the LEE85’s soft edge.
Hard – This filter is our most popular graduation and suits most scenes where there is a sky area but perhaps the horizon is partially covered by the landscape. This filter is soft enough to use over many obstacles in the horizon but is not as soft as the medium filter. This graduation is identical to the Sev5n’s medium edge.
Very Hard – This filter has a very hard edge and is very useful for images such as seascapes where there is a more definite and flat horizon. This filter is only available in the 100mm or SW150 versions and is a good alternative to a hard filter when used on a APS-C (or smaller) camera. This graduation is identical to the LEE85’s hard edge.