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Variable ND Filter ND2 to 400

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Luap, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Luap

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  2. 4wd

    4wd

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    Some of these will show a kind of shadowy cross over a still image in some light conditions.
    It's a technical issue due to the way they work and not really a fault.
    It might not be so much of an issue in video, and better ones will minimise it I expect

    That kit has the regular ones too at modest price so worth a try.
    I'd caution that filters are not a magic solution to every issue and used inappropriately can cause more problems.
     
  3. numbphoto

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  4. Pierrot78

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    These variable ND filters are made of 2 polarizers. When both are parallel, there is a minimal darkening due to the combined density of each. And when you rotate one vs. the other, the amount of light transmitted decreases and tends to zero when the polarizers are perpendicular.

    An elegant solution at first glance. But because of their polarizing effect, this will have an impact onto the scenery: in certain areas they will be "enhanced" like by any PL filter, on other areas they wont.

    Plus, generally speaking combining 2 filters means 4 air/glass interfaces, thus problems of diffraction (image tends to become slightly hazy).
    Plus, a PL filter adds a faint color cast. Two superimopsed filters add more.
    And finally, these cross-type filters are made of acrylic resins which are not as good as optical glass. And the cheaper ones may be made of not perfectly planar parts, and not (multi)coated.

    For all these reasons true stills photographers don't use this system and prefer real ND, to keep a high picture quality.

    You could also consider that if this is critical for hi-res pictures made by DSLRS it is not of such importance for video, which is very "low res" compared to stills.

    I (as a photographer using high end DSLRs) wouldn't recommend this kind of cross-type filters, and do not use them. But again: I'm a photographer, not that much in video. So, just my 2 cts.
     
    #4 Pierrot78, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
    Toddzilla, witold, SENC and 1 other person like this.
  5. Zelda 1

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    Ok... so as a beginner with P3p video and stills... what are the most reliable middle ground 3 filters I should use in most situations? The new dji 3 filter combo for 69.00?
     
  6. Pierrot78

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    For video: ND8 and ND16 for sure. They'll help to avoid the infamous high shutter speed jello effect. And help to obtain a much less 'video' and much more 'cinema' rendition. ND4 is too weak to have a real influence, except on grayish days. ND32 is useful too, in bright sunshine. ND64 is very dense (maybe too much), you really won't use it often.

    For stills, no filter is requested (imho). As for the polarizer: with an angle of view of 94° the Phantom lens is a very wide (nearly an ultra wide) angle lens. Thus a PL filter will enhance a part of the scene but have little effect in the opposite corner. This flaw may not be noticeable when looking at it on your controller"s tablet or smartphone but believe me, when you'll download your pictures and see them at home on you computer you will be surprised.

    Thus, my choice for video+stills is : ND8+ND16 for sure, ND32 useful too.

    Another kind of filter is very useful, both for still images and video: gradual ND. Gradual filters help enhance (darken) a part of the scene while leaving the other part untouched. This is very helpful to keep details in the high lights without darkening the other zones. Typiacal use: when your image or film includes the sky and the ground. With such a gradual ND you can keep details in both areas.
     
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  7. Luap

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    I finally went for this one for this one
    DJI PHANTOM 3 ADVANCE/PROFESSIONAL VARIABLE ND 2-400 FILTER - Freewell Gear
    What I like is that you can dial in the nd stop by turning lens around. I did not notice additional haziness or image degradation.
    Its heavier though but P3 gimbal has had no issues (yet) - jello and vibration free. Still early days but I was expecting worse.
    Any one else using these filters?
     
  8. apsphoto

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    As has been stated the variable ND filters are not that good optically, I would also suspect that unless you taped it or it had some sort of locking mechanism that it might rotate the ring and change the density while in flight. Neewer does not have the best reputation and you may end up with color casts as well, you would need to test it to be sure.

    Alan
     
  9. EsteeNJ

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  10. Shaiful Rizhuan

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    How do you like this filter? Does it screw in perfectly? I got another brand, but many people complaining it won't screw in well. Got a little gap on the threads
     
  11. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    ND400?

    Holy cow, how many f-stops would that be?

    My ND32 is 5 stops ...

    I'm with those that are concerned about the optical fidelity of sandwiched materials, especially if some elements are just resin filters as one person suggested.

    Chris
     
  12. msinger

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    For the few adjustable ND filters I own, the quality is greatly reduced when you get near the top range.
     
  13. dmark1867

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  14. bkay24

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    I've good results using the ND32 filter from DJI. Works great on those bright days in the sun.

    See link to video in signature. All shot with the ND32.
     
  15. dmark1867

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    Do you leaving your settings in auto or lock in your shutter speed?
     
  16. bkay24

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    auto.

    Worth noting I'm still a beginner.
     
  17. Shaiful Rizhuan

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    Hi, would you rephrase this please? I can't understand it well. Thank you
     
  18. msinger

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    Most adjustable filters are pretty useless when adjusted close to ND400.
     
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  19. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    My take on what he means: Adjustable ND filters go from a low (least effective) to a high (most effective) range. At the low end, it does almost nothing to the light, so it effects the image only a small amount. At the high setting, it has a much greater effect on the image.

    If the optics (visual fidelity) of a variable ND filter is not that great, especially on a high setting, it is reducing the fidelity of the light getting through and therefore the quality of the image.

    ND means Neutral Density, neutral meaning that it will change the exposure value only without changing anything else (color cast, sharpness of image, etc.).

    I think a safe general consensus is that 'variable' ND filters are not as good as prime (non-adjustable) ND filters. That is, a straight prime ND32 filter is almost always going to be better quality than an variable ND filter set to a ND32 setting.

    Chris

    PS: I have not used this product though, so I personally cannot say. I give you only my interpretation of what you've read.
     
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