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.