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Archive 2011 · Variable ND filters
  
 
gerov
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p.1 #1 · Variable ND filters


Hello all, and happy holidays.

I am considering a variable ND filter and have looked at the Heliopan and the Singh-Ray. Have any of you used these filters for your landscape work, and if so, what has been your experience. I'm particularly interested in hearing about how they affect sharpness and any issues with color casting.

Thank you,
Gero



Dec 19, 2011 at 05:18 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #2 · Variable ND filters


I have not used the Heliopan. I have the Singh-Ray; it is excellent. As far as I am concerned, the Singh-Ray filter is the one to beat. It is, however, expensive.




Dec 19, 2011 at 08:51 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #3 · Variable ND filters


You may also want to check out the new Tiffen variable ND. Adorama has it for $169 approx


Dec 19, 2011 at 08:55 PM
bitmaker
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p.1 #4 · Variable ND filters


I have the Singh-Ray and been happy with it. Excellent build quality (as expected from Singh-Ray). I have experienced color casting at settings greater than 6-7 stops in cool (shade) light... not really a problem in open sunlight. WRT the filter's affect on sharpness, I don't do anything special with input or output sharpening... of course YMMV given that everyone's post processing technique is different. But don't expect a big hit on sharpness. The Vari-ND is always in the bag when I shoot landscapes.


Dec 19, 2011 at 09:11 PM
ecidi
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p.1 #5 · Variable ND filters


howardm4 wrote:
You may also want to check out the new Tiffen variable ND. Adorama has it for $169 approx


I have this filter and so far I have not seen any color cast.



Dec 21, 2011 at 01:32 PM
sjms
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p.1 #6 · Variable ND filters


i also have the Tiffen VND and its quite nice in its range


Dec 21, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Mike Ganz
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p.1 #7 · Variable ND filters


Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo (VND with integral polarizer) here. Excellent results with it...no noticeable color cast, nor do I see any other IQ degradation whatsoever. Its what you'd expect from Singh-Ray.

As with any VND, you need to be careful when using this filter at or beyond its max density AND while shooting at a very wide focal length. At these conditions, you will see an X pattern...nothing to be alarmed about, its just the nature of the best. On a FF camera, this usually goes completely away once you get to 35mm or so focal length. You could always reduce the amount of ND to also get rid of this pattern when shooting wider than 35mm, but if your composition depends on it that may not be possible. Just something to be aware of when using this type of filter.

Can't comment on the Tiffen or Fader VND, but vignetting is another concern. I use the slim version of the S-R Vari N Duo, and I will get vignetting from the filter up to about 28mm or just under on a FF camera.



Dec 21, 2011 at 07:25 PM
dasams
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p.1 #8 · Variable ND filters


Mike Ganz wrote:
Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo (VND with integral polarizer) here. Excellent results with it...no noticeable color cast, nor do I see any other IQ degradation whatsoever. Its what you'd expect from Singh-Ray.


+1 dave



Dec 21, 2011 at 09:02 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #9 · Variable ND filters


Not to be too much of a fan-boy but here is what 2filter says about the Tiffen

The 77mm VND, now available, is aimed at the photography and DSLR video market and provides 2 to 8 stops of light control within a thin 9mm ring. Designed and manufactured in the USA, it comprises only high quality optical glass and uses Tiffen's established ColorCore Technology. The VND includes a wide outer optic to help reduce any vignetting effects when using wide-angle shots and is supplied in Tiffen professional packaging in a padded pouch.



Dec 21, 2011 at 09:11 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #10 · Variable ND filters


Heliopan


Dec 21, 2011 at 09:23 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



3D.Doug
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p.1 #11 · Variable ND filters


I love Heliopan filters, I have not used, nor did I know they made a vari-ND filter. I thought Singh-Ray's was the only one. I own the Singh-Ray and it's been great, but of course, their pricing is strong. If Heliopan makes one and it's less money, I would not hesitate.


Dec 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM
sjms
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p.1 #12 · Variable ND filters


on Heliopan- nicely made as they are the 77mm is over $400 (for essentially the stops). at that point i'll invest in the square schneiders instead which lifts a lot of limitations.


Dec 21, 2011 at 11:02 PM
sjms
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p.1 #13 · Variable ND filters


Tiffen VariND 24mm maximum ND FF. it does start to get a little funny






without DXO







With DXO



Edited on Dec 22, 2011 at 08:46 PM · View previous versions



Dec 22, 2011 at 03:17 PM
HerbChong
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p.1 #14 · Variable ND filters


one advantage of the Heliopan is that it has physical stops for min and max density and it is calibrated so that they are accurate. that is why i am getting one for certain work i do. i can set the density by sense of feel without having to look. it's not less money than the Singh-Ray though.

Herb...

3D.Doug wrote:
I love Heliopan filters, I have not used, nor did I know they made a vari-ND filter. I thought Singh-Ray's was the only one. I own the Singh-Ray and it's been great, but of course, their pricing is strong. If Heliopan makes one and it's less money, I would not hesitate.




Dec 22, 2011 at 04:48 PM
gerov
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p.1 #15 · Variable ND filters


Guys,
thanks for your comments and feedback on these filters. I'm looking primarily for landscape work, but would also like to use them for some time-lapse projects where I'd like to get low on the shutter speeds without having to stop down to the point where diffraction becomes an issue.

I'm leaning toward Heliopan at the moment, but will wait to see a few more comments on it. Lukeb - if you have any further comments, I'd appreciate hearing them.

I'd like to get away from stacking ND's in my cokin system as I've seen pretty bad color cast.



Dec 22, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Jack0207
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p.1 #16 · Variable ND filters


I have had the heliopan vary-nd for about 4 months and have only good things to say. Excellent build quality (the filter is damn heavy!). Optically pretty close to perfect, just if you use it at extremes with wide angle lens you do get a little bit of X but that is to be expected with any very-nd filter.

The range of the Heliopan is great also. I use mine for mainly video work but have been using it for Landscape shots when I get the chance.



Dec 23, 2011 at 02:01 AM
gerov
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p.1 #17 · Variable ND filters


Jack,
could you post an example which would show the "x" effect you are referring to?
Thank you,
Gero



Dec 23, 2011 at 04:48 AM
sjms
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p.1 #18 · Variable ND filters


what happens is that a curved darkened area starts to show beginning from the corner areas (both right and left) heads towards the center and back again on wide field lenses. some more so then others. it will vary

image 24-70/2.8 2s f8 D700 untouched jpg right out of the camera. the above images i put up were originally raw converted by ACR or DxO

the wider you go the more pronounced it gets under varied conditions. hence the X factor/effect. they all end up doing it. and that means all.








Dec 23, 2011 at 07:44 AM
Jack0207
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p.1 #19 · Variable ND filters


Gero, you can see in the pic posted above what happens with all the Vari-nd when using wide angle. The widest lens I have is the 17-55mm for my 7D and it only starts to get the X at the very ends of the Vari-nd filter range @17mm. I get about 99.5% usable range of the vari-nd but this would decrease the wider you go.


Dec 24, 2011 at 07:27 AM
sjms
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p.1 #20 · Variable ND filters


now he is referring to 17mm in the 1.6 crop view which is of course approx 27.2mm FF


Dec 25, 2011 at 07:20 AM
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