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| p.2 #13 · Fotodiox introduces two WonderPana Filter Systems |
IMPORTANT NOTE for those who are looking into the Wonderpana system with split-grad rectangular filters:
...Their next design should offer rotation...
Our next design MAY offer incremental rotation. Currently, landscape to portrait orientation is handled by 6 thumb-screws that do not require any tooling to use in the field. It really only takes 1 minute to make the switch. The current model can easily achieve incremental rotation when mounted on a tripod.
So, this new version works well.
Agreed. We worked extremely hard on this version, and we believe it is head and shoulders above any other ultra-wide angle adapter system on the market. It is also available for 13 different lenses.
However, that should be fixed in the next version, too.
We are always working to improve our products and we appreciate all feedback, however, the decision to wait on purchasing based on what we might, or might not, include in a new version is purely a personal one and should be based on your current shooting needs / desires.
We currently have no idea when, or even if, we will be able to accommodate any specific future design change requests.
Vice President, Fotodiox
The reason I say that future versions will be fixed is because I met with Kelvin (owner) to give him free feedback on the design because he wanted guidance from a professional landscape photographer. He clearrly saw the drawbacks and told me that he's going to fix the problems next time around. Granted, he may change his mind, but these are big issues that cannot be ignored.
The reason I posted here was to help out photographers, as well as your company, because any photographer who has ever used a split grad is going to expect your product to rotate. That's a huge omission. So, I educated potential customers before you'd both have to deal with returns. You should probably advertise that it's a non-rotating split grad holder.
The "incremental rotation" of the tripod doesn't solve the problem of no rotation unless you want a tilted horizon.
Changing the holder filter from landscape to portrait sounds easy on paper, but it required me to make 34 individual motions to complete the process, which was cumbersome even though I was in the warmth of your office without gloves with the camera on a tripod and a table to set and keep track of the loose screws. Plus lining up the screws with their holes is tricky. In the real world, it would be infuriating. If it took 34 motions to remove a lens cap, people would give up photography. This doesn't even touch on the fact that youl probably already missed the shot.
The reason the split grads vignette has nothing to do with the filter itself. The ears are vignetting. They're too far away from the lens. However, there's a 4mm (or so) gap between the first and 2nd filter. As I told Kelvin, all he has to do is close this gap and the problem is fixed. The gap and vignetting should have been noticed by the engineers before launching the product. It was clearly not well thought out.
Though I cannot recommend the square filter holder part of the product in its current form, I believe that if a new version is created, it'll be the answer to many landscape photographers' dreams, including my own. The product is extremely well made and well engineered. I really like the owner, Kelvin. He's a passionate guy and he seems committed to getting things right. And, I have every hope that he keeps working on this product because the quality is certainly rock solid and I believe you will get many happy raving customers.
The split grad filters are very, very nice, better than anything out there. They're longer, too (8.4" I think), which is required in order to raise and lower it and align it properly with a high or low horizon. (I personally want the option of even longer ones. Granted, they'll be 11 inches tall, but with a 14mm lens, you can't really raise or lower the filter above or below the THIRD mark, which is sometimes required.) They're also very precise in color neutrality, according to Kelvin, which is wonderful. So, excellent job with these filters! They're priced well, too..
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Fotodiox 145mm Circular Polarizing Filter with it's holder and big lens cap. This is what I own. The new version, fitted to the Nikon 14-24mm lens, shows NO vignetting and it's just a classy product. It's all metal, built tough, and doesn't scratch the lens. The only thing is that it's pink. It really is, unless you euphamistically call it "magenta." I prefer something more natural, but the color shouldn't stop anyone from buying this product. A C-Polarizer is an essential tool for any outdoor photographer. Fotodiox makes it possible with some of the coolest and best super-wide lenses out there. I am completely impressed with it!
Great work and please make it even greater!