variable ND filter experiences.

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Questions thread
akustykmagmanetpl Contributing Member • Posts: 764
Re: variable ND filter experiences.

I've only had experience with LCW Fader (still own it) and would advise you against this kind of filters for two reasons:

1. all these filters are basically two polarizers put together. single polarizer consists of 2 glass pieces and one polarizing sheet squashed between thise two. the combo is merciless to optical resolution and you don't need ubersharp 24-702/2.8 mkII to see this. I can easily see this with 24-105 at focal lengths above 50mm (focal length is determinant to how much filter quality of lack thereof soften photos). it will be visible at the long end of 24-70

2. spectral curve of Fader is bad - it is particularily distinct for greens (less strength) and pink (strong cutting) which will give you headaches to produce decent skin colors. I'm landscape guy myself so true color are understandingly very low on my scale of importance. but Fader is bad enough to put the filter away and turn to fixed NDs instead. IMHO, the second factor can play much bigger role in dissatisfaction with Vari ND filters for portrait work.

The experience is based on Fader's model, other VariND filters may have color balance slightly better or worse. In terms of sharpness - same laws of physics apply to all filters, even if some manufacturers claim immunity from that.

mad1den wrote:

I recently purchased the 24-70 2.8 v II and will need ND filters for it. I do mainly portrait work and use the 5D Mark II. This lense requires an 82 MM filter which is large and expensive. The good ones seem to run around $220. Multiple ND could get quite expensive. I was looking at the Heliopan 82mm Variable Gray ND Filter on BH and was wondering what the experiences anyone has had with them. This filter is not cheap at $499 either but if it works properly would be adjustable without switching filters. The link is below.

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