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Author Topic: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review  (Read 6234 times)

revup67

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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).

Discrepancies:

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.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 08:19:25 PM by revup67 »
Thanks
Rev
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 09:58:58 PM »
Thanks for the review!  I previously mentioned the unevenness (Maltese cross effect), but I didn't know it would be that evident on a crop body with the narrower angle of view. 

In the other thread, a little further down I gave a link to the Schneider Optics 82mm 10-stop ND (one stop darker than the ND400) - might be worth a look.  I posted a quick sample with mine a while back.
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revup67

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 11:33:00 PM »
Hi Neuro - you are welcome.

Yes, I distinctly recall your recommendation and that is next on the list.  Is there a single coated and multi coated version on this one?

With respect to the above tests, I figured let me go for one of the best Vari's and newest (Light Craft stated the one I had tested above replaces their MKii's) and .. well the results speak for themselves.  So I think I'll get this 10 you recommended and need one in between like a Hoya ND64 unless you have another recommendation
Thanks
Rev
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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 01:55:59 AM »
I had the original LCW Fader and it was soft on any lens starting around 80mm.

I then got the Fader Mark 2 hoping that the softness would go away, but it didn't.

I don't think LCW has the best track record at this point.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 09:53:29 AM »
Is there a single coated and multi coated version on this one?

I believe it's only available as uncoated.  I haven't noticed any issues with ghosting or flare.
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revup67

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 04:47:05 PM »
Hi Neuro - I just did a test with a Hoya ND400 with and without a Marumi Polarizer.  The polarizer was stacked on top, not first.  The Polarizer added 2 stops as expected and actually balanced and improved the ND400 on its own (that was suprising).

With those results in hand and since there is no 82mm Hoya ND400, I think I'm going to try the Hoya Pro Digital HD ND64 (6 stops)(this was the most I could find at 82 in Hoya brand) and then add the Marumi Super DHG Cir. PL for an additional 2 stops.  Hoping that this total of 8 will be enough with my daytime shots.  With limited budget in hand (couldn't get all 3 meaning the added 10 stopper), I felt the Polarizer was key for most daytime shooting whereas the ND's are a 2nd priority.  Still mouth watering over the 10 stopper though just perhaps a bit down the road.

I'll post some results once they arrive..
Thanks
Rev
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 07:07:03 PM »
Sounds good. Just keep in mind that stacking a CPL onto an ND on the 16-35L will most likely give you mechanical vignetting on FF. At 16mm on FF, 8.5mm mount thickness increases optical vignetting, 10mm mount thickness and more gives mechanical vignetting - not sure about Hoya mounts, but for B+W a regular filter is 5mm and a regular CPL is 8mm.  So, while the solution you propose will work on your current camera, you may not be as happy with it on FF. 

I agree that I'd prioritize the CPL over the ND, but you may want to consider the 10-stop over the 6-stop.  That comes down to why you want the 10-stop.  Personally, I use it mostly to 'eliminate' people from scenes, and sometimes for cloud motion - the longer the exposure, the better.  For things like waterfalls, you will likely find the CPL alone is enough - keep in mind that with FF, you basically gain an extra stop since current FF cameras have an ISO 50 setting.
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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 07:07:03 PM »

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 09:00:35 PM »
I had the original LCW Fader and it was soft on any lens starting around 80mm.

I then got the Fader Mark 2 hoping that the softness would go away, but it didn't.

I don't think LCW has the best track record at this point.

I've got the fader mk2 I dont find it soft
here is a test shot i just took at the max setting jpg out of camera no processing fader on max then backed off a tiny bit 24-105 on 5d2
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revup67

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2012, 02:10:19 AM »
Neuro -  as expected, you raise some very good arguments with MM thickness of the filters stacked.  The Hoya HD Pro ND64 is 3mm though I am not sure about the Marumi Super DHG CPL.  The test I did was on a 7D and at 15mm (with the 15-85mm lens so I am really at 24mm (approx).  It sounds like the 5D Mkiii is coming out later this month though I suspect I will get it in April after a tax refund.  If there is vignetting with the two stacked then yes, I won't have a choice but to move to the 10 stopper. 

Wickid..I didn't think the fader was soft I just found that on Max ( and near max) it was uneven with light distribution (see tests above). Per the Light Craft Facebook page, the tech rep stated I would only get 3-5 stops maximum on that Light Craft Digi Pro HD Fader filter with the 16-35 mkii lens on 16mm.  Wish I would have known that in advance.
Thanks
Rev
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wickidwombat

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 03:54:28 AM »
Neuro -  as expected, you raise some very good arguments with MM thickness of the filters stacked.  The Hoya HD Pro ND64 is 3mm though I am not sure about the Marumi Super DHG CPL.  The test I did was on a 7D and at 15mm (with the 15-85mm lens so I am really at 24mm (approx).  It sounds like the 5D Mkiii is coming out later this month though I suspect I will get it in April after a tax refund.  If there is vignetting with the two stacked then yes, I won't have a choice but to move to the 10 stopper. 

Wickid..I didn't think the fader was soft I just found that on Max ( and near max) it was uneven with light distribution (see tests above). Per the Light Craft Facebook page, the tech rep stated I would only get 3-5 stops maximum on that Light Craft Digi Pro HD Fader filter with the 16-35 mkii lens on 16mm.  Wish I would have known that in advance.
yeah i know you weren't complaining about sharpness, i do think its strange that the one claiming to be 2-1000 seems to not go much darker than the one i have which is only to ND400 isn't it? I only really use it for slowing water down to blur, so it works ok for me and the uses i use it for,
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revup67

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 05:11:18 AM »
Wickid - I do agree and the specs on this are rather strange as you suggest.  It's probably one of those things where they got results of an ND1000 on one lens therefore can propagate the filter can go that high.  They wouldn't dare put a disclaimer stating won't work on 99% of the lenses out there cause then sales would bomb.

In either case, I'm not sorry I acquired the filter, it was clearly worth a shot, I knew it, took the gamble and the seller had agreed to do a full refund.  Only loss was the shipping.
Thanks
Rev
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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2012, 05:17:59 AM »
Wickid - I do agree and the specs on this are rather strange as you suggest.  It's probably one of those things where they got results of an ND1000 on one lens therefore can propagate the filter can go that high.  They wouldn't dare put a disclaimer stating won't work on 99% of the lenses out there cause then sales would bomb.

In either case, I'm not sorry I acquired the filter, it was clearly worth a shot, I knew it, took the gamble and the seller had agreed to do a full refund.  Only loss was the shipping.

at least you can return it, let us know how you go with the search for a replacement
it seems to be the superzoom of variable ND's
i wonder if the dark end offering is any better the 9 to 12 stop one
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revup67

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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 02:28:30 PM »
Quote
at least you can return it, let us know how you go with the search for a replacement
it seems to be the superzoom of variable ND's
i wonder if the dark end offering is any better the 9 to 12 stop one

OK here's what I decided and did get a full refund of $320:  I acquired the Marumi Super DHG Polarizer $100, the Hoya ND64 HD Pro Digital ($80) and I bit the big bullet today and bought (Per Neuro's recommendation) the B&W 10 Stopper for $226 through filterconnection.  Andrea there is such a pleasant individual to work with.  Just prior I had bought the Cokin graduation P121 Series (L,S,M) plus a ring adapter and holder.  She offered to take them back and offer a credit of 95% of the purchase price toward toward the 10 stopper..how could I refuse..those Cokins were a bit disappointing anyway with the purple hue when stacking more than one.  I've lost my only set of graduated but gained a set of great ND's..I think it was worth the swap.  Staying away from the Fader types then across the board..just not for my taste and also hiding my wallet :)
Thanks
Rev
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Re: Light Craft for Canon 16-35mm Mkii: Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Round 82mm Review
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 02:28:30 PM »