Marumi Variable ND filter - a quick review....

Started Nov 6, 2013 | User reviews thread
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cousin itt New Member • Posts: 3
Marumi Variable ND filter - a quick review....

I bought the 58mm version for about £70, mainly to help smooth out video when shot in bright light. I've used it on a Panasonic G3 with the Oly 45mm f/1.8

I chose the 58mm since I hope to get the Panasonic 12-35mm or 35-100mm sometime next year. (The new Oly 12-40mm has 62mm filter thread)

I've never played with a filter of any sort before.

It's feels and looks well-made. However, when set at max possible filter strength, which is quite a bit darker than the max suggested setting, shining a bright light through it revealed slight 'pitting' that lets specs of light through. I don't think this affects the image per se.

Interesting pitting...

It comes in a tough plastic case that's too big for the 58mm. A 77mm filter would fit it better.

There's no banding or X pattern that I can detect, but as noted above, I've just used it with a 45mm prime.

There is some colour casting, but nothing that a bit of post production can't correct.

The effect on sharpness is a problem.

As a test I shot 2 photos with flash, one with the filter at min, and one with it removed.

I then corrected white-balance and exposure (+0.25 was needed for the filtered image).

I then cropped to 16:9, keeping full width, and then exported at 1080p resolution.

Comparing the raw images (16mp) shows significant sharpness deterioration and even at ~2mp of the 1080p images it's noticeable.

No filter.

With filter set to min.

I'll, unfortunately, be sending this back. Maybe I'll try a Tiffen next, or a DIY circ + linear polarising filter combination.

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