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Author Topic: ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?  (Read 6652 times)


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ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« on: May 12, 2012, 10:52:02 PM »
Hello All,

Ok just minutes ago, I pulled the trigger and ordered my 5D Mark III.

I got the kit 24-105mm L lens, and ordered also, the Canon 85mm 1.8 prime.

I'm going to want to do some video outdoors, and want to get ND filtration...

On another thread, someone posted that someone at B&H had tested and come up with that a custom set of Tiffen ND filters with 'water white' glass was the way to go.


Others, chipped in and said that they preferred Singh-Ray Variable ND filter....

So, can ya'll jump in on this, to vote your favorite, and give me the reasons behind your thinking of which way to go?

I'm about at the end of my disposible cash for this month (and the next few) as you might well guess...so, hoping to get some feed back here as to the best way to go?

The Tiffen set...from what I gather, you can 'stack' them if you need more filtration that just the top one..is this true? 

Also, the lenses I'm getting take filters of size 77mm and 58mm.  To make my dollars stretch....can I get the set for the 77mm....and use a step down ring (hope I'm using the correct term), to allow the use on the 58mm lens? Is there a ring that is better than another? 

Thank you in advance!!!

cayenne   8)

PS...wish I could do a poll on this..but I don't know how on this forum....


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ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« on: May 12, 2012, 10:52:02 PM »


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Re: ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 01:36:19 AM »
I've got the Vari-ND, and it really simplifies things, since I can tweak it up/down quickly and easily.  However, there are some issues:

- If you put it at the max setting (8 stops), I get imperfections/blotchiness (darker areas).  This basically makes the 8th stop unusable for me, but that hasn't been a big deal in my use.  I believe I read this is typical of variable filters, because of the dual polarizers.
- I once stacked a circular polarizer on top of it, because I was shooting a waterfall with a rainbow and wanted to use the CP to enhance the rainbow.  I *think* I accidentally spun the Vari-ND to full 8-stops, and suddenly everything was blue & red, which was amusing.
- It's thick, so I get physical interference/vignetting at the widest angles.  This is unfortunate, because I really like my UWA lenses.  The interference is probably around 20mm or so on FF.
- I saw someone comment that it doesn't work with the 5DmkIII at all, because they got 'muddy' results.  I think there was a link, but I didn't get a chance to check out the example shots.  I've just come back from a trip, where I rented a 5DmkIII, and used it with my Vari-ND.  I didn't notice any muddiness.  Maybe they had it cranked up to 8 stops?

I've also seen comments here and on other websites about lower IQ with variable ND filters, but I'm not sure about the details.  I haven't noticed this, but then I've only been shooting about a year and a half, still considering myself new to photography and haven't used it too often. 


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Re: ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 12:03:03 PM »
I have the Vari, and it does make tweaks MUCH easier...
if you or your DP is used to using ratios...it's impossible to dial in an exact "stop" number for the VND.  You can ball park it, and ultimately are doing it by eye.
(the dots on the barrel do not correspond to actual stops)


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Re: ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 03:23:59 PM »
I also have a 5D mk3 on order. I ordered a set of Lee filters to go with it. Main reasons for choosing Lee filters were:
  • Filters can be used with lenses having different filter diameters; I ordered a 16-35 (82 mm) and the 24-105 (77 mm) with the body
  • Based on web-analysis they seem to offer the best color neutrality
Main use will be stills though in my case.
5D3, 5D4, 11-24L, 16-35LII, 24-70 2.8LII, 24-105L, 85LII, 70-200 2.8LII, 100L, 135L, 100-400L, 35 2.0, 50 1.4, 40 2.8, Sigma 180 3.5 EX, 1.4x TC III, 600EX, 550EX


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Re: ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 05:57:44 PM »
the tiffen water white 77mm indie kit, hands down. i got that recommend from shane hurlbut after he did all his extensive testing with all the NDs out there on a 5D, so i took his advice. he also wrote and article on it.  since then i compared my image quality to others shooting with variable nds and other off brands right next to me and shane was right, there is a noticeable difference.

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Re: ND Filter: Singh-Ray vs Tiffen Kit?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 05:57:44 PM »