November 26, 2014, 07:51:18 PM

Author Topic: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter  (Read 3619 times)

nicke

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The B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter (http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/en/photo-imaging/product-field/b-w-fotofilter/products/filtertypes/nd-filters/nd-vario/, with Google translate, http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.schneiderkreuznach.com%2Fen%2Fphoto-imaging%2Fproduct-field%2Fb-w-fotofilter%2Fproducts%2Ffiltertypes%2Fnd-filters%2Fnd-vario%2F) have started to arrive (unfortunately not in Sweden jet...). But I under if it exist any review of this filter, does it have the X problem (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=8662.0) that many other variable ND filter has? How is the optical quality? B+W filter is used to be superb...

Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 10:34:24 AM by nicke »

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eli452

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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 01:14:05 PM »
I do not know this one but XS-PRO Digital MRC nano is the best B+W filters and, no, not all variable ND filters have the X factor. I have the Heliopan 6 stops version and have not seen this effect.
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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 01:51:26 PM »
Yes, it will have the X problem, when wide enough lenses are used (i.e. 24mm) and if you push the filter hard enough.  I have a Schneider 77mm VND (parent company of B+W), and I can get 8+ stops out of it at telephoto ranges.  The X problem also limits how much of filter you can use.  I get about 2 stops at 24mm, about 3 at 35mm but I can get 8 stops at 70mm before the X appears.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 01:54:03 PM »
...no, not all variable ND filters have the X factor. I have the Heliopan 6 stops version and have not seen this effect.

I respectfully disagree that some variable ND filters lack the 'Maltese cross' artifact.  They will all have it, just to varying degrees.  The B+W reportedly has a darker maximum (they claim 11 stops) than other variND filters, meaning you won't see the artifact until you get to very dark settings.

There are two factors which increase the visibility of the 'X' - the density to which set the filter, but most importantly, the angle of view of the lens it's used on.  At ultrawide angles and darker settings, you'll see the artifact.  With better filters, you only see it at the widest angles and darkest settings. 

FWIW, here's an image from a customer review of the Heliopan variND on B&H:



He doesn't indicate the lens used, but based on the fact that there's also mechanical vignetting due to the thickness of the filter, it's probably an ultrawide lens.

Bottom line, if you plan to use it with only moderately wide angle or narrower lenses, a good quality variable ND filter works well.  I'd define 'good quality' as B+W, Singh-Ray, Heliopan, and Tiffen (Tiffen isn't known for high quality filters, but their variND is an exception).  For example, shooting portraits with flash outdoors (where you need ND for a wide enough aperture at Xsync or lower to overpower the sun).  If you plan to use it for long exposures with a wide or ultrawide lens, I'd go with standard ND filters of varying strengths (or maybe go straight to the 10-stop!).
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eli452

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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 02:37:12 PM »
...no, not all variable ND filters have the X factor. I have the Heliopan 6 stops version and have not seen this effect.

I respectfully disagree that some variable ND filters lack the 'Maltese cross' artifact.  They will all have it, just to varying degrees.

I accept the optical existence of 'Maltese cross' artifact at some point. My experience with the Heliopan is on 24mm lens without removing or otherwise pushing beyond the screw that stops at 1.8 (6 stops).
7D; 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye; 100mm f/2.8L macro; TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II; 24-105 f/4L; EF-S 10-22mm; 70-300mm f/4-5.6L; 50mm f/1.4, 600EX-RT & ST-E3-RT; lots more stuff.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 02:42:37 PM »
I accept the optical existence of 'Maltese cross' artifact at some point. My experience with the Heliopan is on 24mm lens without removing or otherwise pushing beyond the screw that stops at 1.8 (6 stops).

Fair enough.  But I suspect if you tried it on the EF-S 10-22mm (listed in your signature) at 10-13mm, you would not have said you, "...have not seen this effect."    ;)
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eli452

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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 02:53:36 PM »
I accept the optical existence of 'Maltese cross' artifact at some point. My experience with the Heliopan is on 24mm lens without removing or otherwise pushing beyond the screw that stops at 1.8 (6 stops).

Fair enough.  But I suspect if you tried it on the EF-S 10-22mm (listed in your signature) at 10-13mm, you would not have said you, "...have not seen this effect."    ;)

I do know better than try such filter on that ultra wide angle lens...
7D; 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye; 100mm f/2.8L macro; TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II; 24-105 f/4L; EF-S 10-22mm; 70-300mm f/4-5.6L; 50mm f/1.4, 600EX-RT & ST-E3-RT; lots more stuff.

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Re: Searching for a review on the B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC nano filter
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 02:53:36 PM »