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Author Topic: Variable ND question  (Read 4828 times)

87vr6

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Variable ND question
« on: August 18, 2012, 09:17:41 PM »
Ok, so I'm looking to buy a Variable ND. I've rented the SinghRay from lensrentals a few times (4 or so) and have loved it. I'm not a pixel peeper by any means, so to me, it doesn't seem to affect my images in any negative way.

Now, I've "heard" that the Heliopan is better. Is it noticeably better? Since I'll be buying the 77mm version of either, that's a 100 dollar difference.

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Variable ND question
« on: August 18, 2012, 09:17:41 PM »

Andy_Hodapp

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 09:27:46 PM »
I would have to recommend Neewer for their ND faders, AKA variable ND filters.  I got a 52mm thread one for my Canon 50mm 1.8 II and love it so much, it only cost $5 with another $5 for shipping, I would say I have gotten a lot more use out of it then $10.  Just one photo using it earned me enough money to buy over 10 of them.  It does not reduce sharpness all that much, it is almost unnoticeable, you are more likely to lose sharpness from your subject or your tripod moving slightly.  My only complaint about it is that it changes from a 52mm thread to a 54mm thread so I can't put on my hood for my 50mm but most lenses have another mount for their hoods so this isn't even that much of a problem.  Here is a link to the 77mm Neewer ND fader on Amazon for $11.32, http://www.amazon.com/NEEWER%C2%AE-Neutral-Density-Adjustable-Variable/dp/B0059ATVJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345425685&sr=8-1&keywords=neewer+77mm .  Neewer does a great job of making ND faders and I would recommend them to anyone because of their cost and performance.  You might have to do a little bit of color correction in post but that is something you should do no matter if you have the filter on or off and at high densities it suffers from weird pattern problems, but not worse then $400 ND faders, if anything better then them. 
Here is just one of the amazing shots I've gotten from this great filter

 


Also, love the name, I've got a '11 GTI, LOVE the sound of a VR6, what is it in?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 09:32:34 PM by Andy_Hodapp »
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K-amps

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 03:02:19 AM »
When cranked up to the max darkness level, I get a black X mark across the screen on my vivtar variable ND... do you guys see this in any of your Variable ND's at max  setting?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 10:50:43 AM by K-amps »
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Andy_Hodapp

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 08:13:56 AM »
When cranked up to the max darkness level, I get a black X mark across the screen on my vivtal variable ND... do you guys see this in any of your Variable ND's at max  setting?
Yes, this is something that will happen with every variable ND.
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K-amps

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 10:51:17 AM »
Sucks... but thanks. Looks like I need to order a $$$ fixed ND1000.
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MRLinVA

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 11:19:58 AM »
K-Amp,  I did a lot of research on this online after getting the "X" effect with several of the high-end variable filters on a my 1Dx.  I had not previously experienced the problem on my 7D for some reason, but after getting the 1Dx have checked it on the 5D MkII and MkIII and get a similar problem.  My conclusion was it was better to go with the std ND filters. 
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 11:46:26 AM »
I've mentioned the 'Maltese cross' effect in many posts (6-7 times, at least!) - it's the main reason I don't use a variable ND filter.  Anyone who's used a CPL on an ultrawide lens is familiar with the uneven polarization you see with wide and especially ultrawide angles.  A variable ND filter is basically a stacked pair of polarizers (one linear, one circular), and as such, that uneven polarization gives rise to the dark cross.  MRLinVA, you didn't see it on your 7D because of the crop factor - the same lens gives a wider FoV on FF, meaning more susceptibility to the effect.
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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 11:46:26 AM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 12:50:51 PM »
I've dabbled with vari ND's, and I have not been that impressed.  The performance on my 18-50 was ok until the cross tipping point, on anything wider or more telephoto the ones I have used have been horribly soft.

If I could find one which would work on my 70-200 f2.8 I'd pay top dollar.  I can see they would be very very handy for my video work, but I'm not willing to drop the money on one based on my experience so far.

I prefer using square filters on the front of the lens, though never stack ND's as the weird colours start kicking in.

This does mean having an ND2, ND4, ND8 solid and then ND grads as well, but the end result is better, so for me it's a no brainer.

The_Arsonist

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 02:29:18 PM »
I would have to recommend Neewer for their ND faders, AKA variable ND filters.  I got a 52mm thread one for my Canon 50mm 1.8 II and love it so much, it only cost $5 with another $5 for shipping, I would say I have gotten a lot more use out of it then $10.  Just one photo using it earned me enough money to buy over 10 of them.  It does not reduce sharpness all that much, it is almost unnoticeable, you are more likely to lose sharpness from your subject or your tripod moving slightly.  My only complaint about it is that it changes from a 52mm thread to a 54mm thread so I can't put on my hood for my 50mm but most lenses have another mount for their hoods so this isn't even that much of a problem.  Here is a link to the 77mm Neewer ND fader on Amazon for $11.32, http://www.amazon.com/NEEWER%C2%AE-Neutral-Density-Adjustable-Variable/dp/B0059ATVJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345425685&sr=8-1&keywords=neewer+77mm .  Neewer does a great job of making ND faders and I would recommend them to anyone because of their cost and performance.  You might have to do a little bit of color correction in post but that is something you should do no matter if you have the filter on or off and at high densities it suffers from weird pattern problems, but not worse then $400 ND faders, if anything better then them. 
Here is just one of the amazing shots I've gotten from this great filter

 


Also, love the name, I've got a '11 GTI, LOVE the sound of a VR6, what is it in?

I have the 77mm Neweer variable ND filter. It reduces my sharpness way more than I am comfortable with, especially for video work. I can't say I would recommend it over a normal ND filter
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HoneyBadger

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 03:42:30 PM »
I would only buy heliopan if you have great glass you are putting it in front of. I personally will be going with a non-variable one when I start buying my ND filters. Most likely a b+w 3, 6, and ten stops ones. I suggest you look at hoya and tiffen if you arnt using L glass, they make some variable nds and arnt too expensive. If I were you though, I would buy the ND for the biggest lens filter thread you have that you might one day use it on and then use step down rings to fit all your other lenses you might ever want to use it on.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 03:45:05 PM by HoneyBadger »
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87vr6

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2012, 12:42:55 AM »
Thank you for your replies.

I'm torn as to what I want to do. I use only L glass (70-200, 24-105, 24), so I know I want quality glass to be putting in front of that quality glass  :P

Now, I'm honestly torn between getting the SinghRay (like I mentioned, I have good experience with it, and my friends over at http://www.wagenwerks.net/ and http://www.awol.tv/ also use it on their videos, which turn out fantastic) or getting a 2-stop in addition to a 5 stop.

I can't honestly remember using the variable to either of it's extreme settings, so I don't think I need anything more than a 5 stop on my 24 f1./4 and a 2 stop would be fine on the 70-200 f2.8.

Decision needs to made soon, I have a huge photographic weekend coming up (one month) where I'll put close to 2000 images on my cards...

The_Arsonist

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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 12:12:14 PM »
Thank you for your replies.

I'm torn as to what I want to do. I use only L glass (70-200, 24-105, 24), so I know I want quality glass to be putting in front of that quality glass  :P

Now, I'm honestly torn between getting the SinghRay (like I mentioned, I have good experience with it, and my friends over at http://www.wagenwerks.net/ and http://www.awol.tv/ also use it on their videos, which turn out fantastic) or getting a 2-stop in addition to a 5 stop.

I can't honestly remember using the variable to either of it's extreme settings, so I don't think I need anything more than a 5 stop on my 24 f1./4 and a 2 stop would be fine on the 70-200 f2.8.

Decision needs to made soon, I have a huge photographic weekend coming up (one month) where I'll put close to 2000 images on my cards...
Try "renting" one and trying it out. I often buy lenses or other big items used, then sell them on Amazon if they're not what I wanted. I had a Canon video camera for two years, and after I sold it I about broke even, even after selling fees/shipping. Look at the used prices on Amazon and see if you can pick one up for a similar price. Selling on Amazon is really easy
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Re: Variable ND question
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 12:12:14 PM »