Review of the new K&F ND variable 1 stop to 5 stops

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ActionPhotoPassion Senior Member • Posts: 1,285
Review of the new K&F ND variable 1 stop to 5 stops

Hi there,

So a few weeks ago I had received a new filter from K&F Concept to play with.

I have taken the ND2-->ND32 variable one for my wide angle lens. It's a 77mm filter thread lens.

My trusty wide angle lens K-M 17-35/2.8-4

First off I will underline that I had already ordered loads of cheap variable ND filters back in 2012-2014 from ebay and with all of them I ended up having color cast issues either blueish violet to yellow in a specific corner ... Well I gave up with that

Since then in 2015 I bought a fixed 10 stops ND filter in a local shop and had no issue, or so do I thought unti I compared directly to this new ND variable from K&F the other day.

Here is my fixed 10 stops DORR on my lens:

10 stops 77mm on my wide angle lens

Now I was a bit curious to know what is the new offer from K&F concept for this type of accessories.

PACKAGING:

The first thing I noticed is the fact that the packaging is pretty cool actually. The box has a magnet to close.

The filter itself is wrapped in a pouch itself disposed in a circled plastic case. Really I find that they have improved in term of packaging if we compare with what the brand provided a few years back. It is like putting kind of a "premium" touch to the stuff. not bad.

outer box

inner box

So the filter itself is not so large if I compare it to what I knew and used a few years ago. In fact for a variable one I think we can say that the design is pretty slick and slim enough.

@ 1 STOP

@ 5 STOPS

DESIGN AND ERGONOMICS:

Obviously by its very own design of being a variable ND filter, it is still thicker than a fixed one. It is for example thicker than my fixed 10 stops by design.

This can have some inconvenient: Actually because of this 2 things happened

1- I am not able to use my front lens cap on the filter as in the end the final thread is larger than the 77mm on the front

2- obviously this prevents also to put the lens hood on my lens

which gives in image:

K&F mounted on the lens > lens thread 77mm

When it comes to ergonomics that's about what I could say, but is it a real deal ?

Well I had done some tests shots to illustrate.

So I remember perfectly those previous ND variable I had that was always giving me color cast and vignetting like impossible to correct in post processing and I was a bit anxious and curious to see the results since more than 4 years.

In fact I am pretty impressed by the results.

Color Cast ?

When it comes to color cast, I have to admit that I didn't see nothing of it

@ 4 STOPS

@ 3 STOPS

@ 2 STOPS

@ 1 STOP

@5 STOPS

VIGNETTING ?

Ah even with the example above can we see some vignetting. But that wasn't something that I really noticed on my 10 stops ND filter.

So I decided to give a full comparison 0 stop VS 1-5 stops VS 10 stops.

Here are the results:

0 stop - no filter

10 stops fixed ND filter --> Strong vignetting

1 Stop variable K&F ND filter --> mild vignetting

5 Stops variable K&F ND filter --> mild vignetting

Well I have been taught how strong my fixed ND filter is. and my lens seems to have a shy vignetting itself.

FLARES ?

On this topic I already have a handicap: my lens is an old design and very prone to flares.

Thus having the lens hood could be a good idea and in this department a ND variable won't make the job easy.

So you'll have to keep in mind not to shoot to directly with the sun.

Here is a test shot with the filter on:

try of a direct stops comparison

@ 5 STOPS

@ 1 STOP

we see the flares obviously dimishing the stronger we stop the light.

finally an edited snapshot

sunset at the cathedral

CONCLUSION:

Well I will say that since my last use of this type of ND filters (variable) loads of things have changed, in goods.

Better construction, better resilience, better coatings, and more consistency through the whole light stops possibilities.

This K&F concept is a good surprise for me. For the package the price is right and with some promotion the price is really good.

I had paid like 80euros for my fixed 10 Stops and this K&F 1 to 5 stops can be found anywhere between 40 and 60 euros on amazon or on the web site of the manufacturer.

* Amazon: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B07FL2J9RL / coupon code of 15% (available until end of august): LEPUOFEK

* K&FConcept: https://www.kentfaith.com/KF01.1063

 ActionPhotoPassion's gear list:ActionPhotoPassion's gear list
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony SLT-A58 Sony a77 II Sony a99 II Sony 500mm F8 Reflex +16 more
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