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My main annoyance with the variables is that, with mine (also forgot the brand), it's hard to read the setting (when I screw it on to my CV35/1.2, the writing is all on the bottom side for some reason). It would be really great if it had min/max stops as well, but if you go past MAX it just drops down to MIN again.
What I find myself doing is watching the camera's shutter speed indicator go up/down as I rotate the filter, and I use that to pick an ND value, but that's kind of slow. Also it's easy to bump the filter ring while carrying the camera, so I have to check this on every shot.
The reason I use it, mostly is to avoid blowing out shots in daylight at large apertures. I ended up getting a fixed 3-stop for this though, because then I don't have to fiddle with something else during the shot.
On the positive side, you do get some of the benefits of a CP filter, I believe, along for free.