« on: February 03, 2012, 08:17:07 PM »
Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Results
Recently I had acquired the Canon 16-35 mkii and immediately began my quest for a set of ND filters or potentially choosing a high quality variable fader. I opted for the latter and selected the Light Craft top of the line Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round which claims to range between ND2-ND1000 for $320 USD. I read several reviews, chatted with Light Craft on Facebook and sent off a few emails.
I acquired the filter today and found smooth threading, excellent package and a convenient handle to increase or decrease the fader settings on the ring. The results were unfortunately not even close to the Hoya ND400.
Since Hoya doesn't make an ND400 for the 82mm, I was swapping the 16-35 with the Light Craft Fader and the 15-85 EF-s lens with the ND 400 by Hoya. The settings were aperture priority at 5.6, ISO automatic as well as speed. This was my conclusion (Hoya ND400 photos are #1 and #4 and the Light Craft are #2 and #3).
1)With the ND400 in place, the camera required more light if you notice (via EXIF) the ISO adjusted to a higher setting @ 1600 and the shutter speed between photos 1 & 2 went from 1/25 to 1/30 thus the ND400 requried more light
2)On photos 3 and 4, photo# 3 with Light Craft auto adjusted to ISO 400 and 1/25th while photo number 4 jumped to ISO 1250 and shutter remained the same
3)also, the darkness aspect should be equal on both filters but was not. One would think on Max it should be ND1000 as the ads exclaim or at least ND500. I would suspect on the Light Craft Max is about 7-8 stops certainly not 9.
Lastly, there’s a distinct lighting unevenness with the LCM filter on photos 2 and 3 vs. the Hoya which is more solid across the screen on photos 1 and 4. Sadly, the Light Craft is going back. I'm not sure how many folks have an ND400 laying around but without it, these tests could not have been possible and are the proof in the pudding.
As always I am open to objection or rebuttals or any thoughts you wish to share.