Variable ND Filter help!

FullyOMD

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I'm looking for a variable ND filter for my travels in May. The largest filter thread I have is a 58mm and the smallest is a 37mm. What I'm thinking on doing buying a 58mm then buying step up rings for the different lenses.

Looking at getting Tiffen 58mm Variable Neutral Density Filter - 2 to 8 stops.
 

OzRay

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There was a thread here just recently about variable NDs and some appear to be having issues with them, such as purple cast and unevenness (from memory).
 

usayit

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I recommend passing on the variable and getting a 3 stop and a 10 stop. One for handheld and the other for long exposures on a support.

Unless you are shooting video you do not need a variable ND filter. They are essentially two polarizing filters placed back to back and priced a premium with compromises.

Think about it.... Do you really need the granularity of being at 2 stop ND versus 2.5 versus 3 stop? You really going to see the difference between 2 stop at 1/2000 of second versus 3 stop at 1/1000th.


All my filters are standardized against 60mm filter ring size and use step up rings.
 

FullyOMD

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You are completely right. I've decided to go back to ND Grad, I'll get a Cokin kit I believe they come with 2, 4 and 8 and get the adapter for the different lenses.
 

budeny

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Have you tried grad filter if you post with LightRoom? 16 MP sensors have nice range to adjust exposure and you can combine grads and there are radial grads also.
 

LowriderS10

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I have been using Light Craft Workshop (LCW) Variable ND filters for years. I'm reasonably happy with the results, with minimal colour cast (and even that is more of the grey/brown variety, rather than the more annoying purple), and almost imperceptible loss in IQ.

You do have to watch what you're shooting, though, especially on a UWA...if you "stop down" the VND too much, you'll get unevenness or even the dreaded cross-hatch. Still...I'm happy with mine, though I might pick up a decent 10 stop just to see the difference. :)
 

FullyOMD

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Thanks for the advise. I've ordered B+W 58mm 0.9/8x (103) Neutral Density Filter (Single Coated) and B+W 58mm 3.0/1000x (110) Neutral Density Filter (Single Coated). I'll also get a couple of set down rings.
 

Lisandra

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Too late but genus makes a vari ND with almost no optical flaw. I tested a whole bunch of them a while back. The tiff en and the super expensive sigh ray where surprisingly the worse. The genus is sharp, doesn't have the purple problem, doesn't ruin bokeh and its cheap! I kept the 62mm and returned the others.
 

usayit

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No such thing....

http://chriscontiphotography.com/2013/06/battle-of-the-varinds-whats-the-best-variable-nd/


ALL variable ND faders are comprised of two polarizing filters mounted back to back. That is TWO filters on top. The only difference between the various priced faders is the quality of the polarizing materials used. I made my own using two polarizers I just happen to have laying around. Two quality ones... not the highest quality.. and got the same similar results that are discussed in threads here and in many other forums. The conclusion is what I posted. Unless video the granularity of control is not worth placing two polarizing filters in front. Now throw in the price.... you can get two quality filters for the price of a similar quality fader... sometimes even less.
 

FullyOMD

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I've seen a couple of reviews now on YouTube about the VNF, seems like they are very hit and miss, some work fine and some have the X issue. I'm glad I decided to go for them singularly, cost slightly more with the couple of step up rings. They should be here either today or Monday, hopefully today as we're due to have some nice weather on Sunday, it'll be nice to test them out before I need to use them probably.
 

Petrochemist

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I've seen a couple of reviews now on YouTube about the VNF, seems like they are very hit and miss, some work fine and some have the X issue. I'm glad I decided to go for them singularly, cost slightly more with the couple of step up rings. They should be here either today or Monday, hopefully today as we're due to have some nice weather on Sunday, it'll be nice to test them out before I need to use them probably.

The X issue will only show at wider fields of view. It is equally present for all variable ND filters due to the way they work, with the possible exception of a variable using electronic switching similar to used in some advanced welding filters, if someone makes one suitable for photography.
At their darkest Welding filters have to block considerably more light than a variable ND so might use a differnt approach - though I think I heard the electronic ones were based round LCD technology which also uses polarisation...
 

usayit

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The X issue will only show at wider fields of view.
I'm able to see the effect using normal focal lengths. Yes... you will also get uneven polarization effect (thus patterns on variND) on wider focal lengths BUT the "X" pattern will impact all focal lengths. It is even visible with the naked eye. The pattern appears once the front and rear polarizing glass approach 90 from each other.

As for your comment about using electronics is very interesting. I had a wealthy friend in school who's father had several windows done. You can turn a dial and the window would go from clear to opaque. It was the neatest thing... we were kids and played with them. I believe it was LCD panels sandwiched between glass similar to the displays on calculators. That would be neat if they applied it to filters.
 

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