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Viewkopter.com ND filter

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by rbhamilton, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. rbhamilton

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    I ordered the ND Lens filter from Viewkopter.com. The actual filter looks like a professional metal Zeikos PL 30mm ND filter. Sadly the mount to the Phantom is rather rough. There's a blob of material (glue? Plastic?) inside the filter housing that prevented one side of it from fitting snugly against the Phantom lens. As a result it goes on the Phantom crooked so one side of the filter is obscuring part of the frame of view and wrecking the video.

    If it had a decent mount for the Phantom it would be really nice. I might be able to fix it if I took a razor knife to it but I suppose that would probably void any warranty.

    Anyway I sent them an email on Wednesday and got a message back saying they would have to "check with a supervisor". Then nothing. Today I emailed them again but still no reply.

    I'm tempted to just call the credit card company and start a charge back based on a defective produce but I guess I should wait a few more days. What do you think? Anybody know anything about these guys?
     
  2. rbhamilton

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    Just a quick update. I finally called Visa to start a charge back. Visa gave me the phone number for the company. I gave Viewkopter a call and now it looks like we are back on track. They claim to have replied to all my emails but there was some error that prevented them from reaching me. I am a bit skeptical about that claim. Google's Gmail is fairly reliable. But I'll let that slide.

    The main thing is they say they will send out a replacement right away. I'll keep you posted.
     
  3. Dirty Bird

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    Keep us posted on the replacement. I was just about to order one when I read your post. I am going to hold off for now.

    Is it really as light as they claim?
     
  4. AerialIris

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    I've done business with ViewKopter, they were responsive and easy to deal with. I have their original version of the ND filter, which was good but a little heavy. The newer lighter version is in the mail, just waiting on it to get here from Canada.
    I will post a review, when it gets here.
     
  5. RedRyderMedia

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    I'm interested in knowing what you're thinking you're going to solve with this ND filter. Are you filming in too bright an area and need to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor to allow for longer exposure? Something else? Not obvious to me what this will accomplish.
     
  6. AerialIris

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_density_filter

    Something tells me you already know what ND filters are for, considering your experience.

    Do you fly during the day, outside, in sunny conditions? Then you could likely benefit from a polarized or better yet, ND filter.
    ND filters can help capture the elusive motion in bright conditions, where the shutter has to be so fast that motion is frozen instead of neatly blurred, a waterfall for example.

    What does it do specifically for me on the Phantom? De-harshes super sunny Texas conditions, specifically the sky. It also reduces lens flare (often found in Phantom video when the Phantom faces the sun, washing out the entire picture, except when the blades break it up creating lines in your imaging).
     
  7. RedRyderMedia

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    Thanks.....the waterfall idea is interesting, I don't understand how it helps with jello, but I can easily see how it could help in some very bright conditions as the Phantom camera struggles with exposure control.
     
  8. timtown

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    I don't have my copter in front of me, but if the lens diameter is about equal to those used in Phones, you might be able to get one that uses a magnetic coupling to a very thin steel washer that has a mild adhesive on the lens side. I used one for my iPhone5 and found it acceptable.
     
  9. rbhamilton

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    ND Filter

    Viewkopter.com sells a very well made little ND filter perfectly fitted for the Vision 2+

    [​IMG]

    The ND filter seems to reduce those horizontal bands you often see in bright light. But otherwise I'm not so sure it really makes the pictures any nicer. If anything I think I like the no-filter look better.


    What do you think:


    No Filter used:
    [​IMG]


    ND Filter used:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. aartsf

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    Re: ND Filter

    I agree!
     
  11. MapMaker53

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    Re: ND Filter

    I had always thought the horizontal bands that show up in some shots was the result of a spinning prop shadow effect on the lens -- which is why I just invested in a lens petal. Had that effect show up in a recent video but only when facing diagonally into the sun. Went away as soon as I turned my view little.
     
  12. DrJoe

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    Re: ND Filter

    Sounds like the best solution, but viewkopter's website was down for a while. Its back now, but the page still says the ND filters will be available in "late October". Its just about late November, and they haven't responded to my emails. Anyone know of any other options beside a "DIY custom job" ?

    I really want something to help cut out prop shadow and reduce jello, and from everything I've read, a neutral density (ND) filter is just the ticket.
     
  13. lsteigerwalt

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    Re: ND Filter

    Sry but I cant tell the difference...can someone please point it out to me...I noticed that the clouds/sky are a little less contrasted with the filter on. But what is the advantage if using still shots?
     
  14. DrJoe

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    Re: ND Filter

    An ND filter really won't help you with single photos. It works by reducing the light entering the camera, which in turn slows the shutter speed.

    The P2V+ camera does not allow us to change shutter speed, so sometimes it is in sync with the prop blades and you get horizontal dark bars on video. Also, many have reported a decrease in jello artifacts with an attached ND filter on GoPro's , the P2Vision camera, and other "rolling shutter" cameras.

    From Wikipedia article on rolling shutters:
    • Rolling shutters can cause such effects as:
      Wobble. This phenomenon (also known as the jello effect) appears when the camera is vibrating, in situations such as hand-held shots at telephoto settings, or when shooting from a moving vehicle. The rolling shutter causes the image to wobble unnaturally.
      Skew. The image bends diagonally in one direction or another as the camera or subject moves from one side to another, exposing different parts of the image at different times. Skew is a minor manifestation of the wobble phenomenon described above.
      Smear. This effect can be easily viewed with a cell phone camera and something rotating quickly, such as a propellor. The smear of each blade is caused by the propeller rotating at the same or near the same speed that the frame is read by the camera. Viewed perpendicular to a fan spinning clockwise, the blades on the left side appear thinner than usual while the blades on the right side appear thicker, and can even appear as if they aren't connected at the center.
      Partial Exposure. If a camera flash goes on for only part of the time of the exposure, the illumination of the flash may only be present for some rows of pixels in a given frame. For example, the top 1/3 of the picture may be brightly lit by a flash, while the bottom 2/3 of the picture is dark and unlit, as the flash was off by the time that part of the CMOS was sequenced. The difference between the two distinct parts of the frame can look odd. Similar problems can arise with fluorescent lighting, strobe effects, lightning, or any extreme situation where very fast motion or very fast bursts of light are seen in the time between when the CMOS chip sequentially records a frame.
      Spatial and temporal aliasing.

    Rolling shutters do really weird things to images, sometimes:
    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVwmtwZLG88[/youtube]

    The best way to combat jello is to slow the shutter speed, or increase the frames per second. That is where the P2V+ is at a disadvantage. We can only shoot 60FPS in 1080i, or 720p, but not 1080p. I see much less jello with 720p at 60fps.

    So... I'm trying to find a good ND filter without having to make one myself. Viewkopters seems great, but they aren't responding to email and their site and facebook page hasn't been updated in a while.

    I know SOMEBODY out there has an awesome mod that works really well. How 'bout it?
     
  15. Paul K

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    Re: ND Filter

    I replied several times in regards of ND filters. I always recommend Polarizing the filter instead.
    The horizontal bends are related to the sun-propeler -lens surface.
    The major issue is the lens glare (lack of lens shade). I am casting a very durable lens shades (the weight is 2 grams) for GoPro, I have had them tested by guys from the film industry and they are very happy with it. The next step will be to insert the Pol. filter or Grad.ND filter (the Grad will darken the sky by approx. one third of the upper area; same thing with the top part of the windshield on your car).
     
  16. DrJoe

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    Re: ND Filter

    Thanks for the reply, Paul, I hadn't seen many threads on this forum about this. Most were for the P2V. I am specifically asking about a kit for the P2V+, or a solution that someone else has come up with.

    At this point, I'd love to try one, even if it means always adjusting the polarizer for optimum angle. But a ND filter would fit my needs fine. Honestly, that debate has been covered. I don't care which, But how to get one ?
     
  17. detholm

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    Re: ND Filter

    I bought this one http://viewkopter.myshopify.com/

    I got it and it was filled with DUST

    I emailed back and forth and they were nice in emails BUT NO FOLLOW THROUGH


    I am still stick with my bad filter 6 months later


    VERY disappointed
    detholm

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  18. detholm

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    I bought this one http://viewkopter.myshopify.com/

    I got it and it was filled with DUST

    I emailed back and forth and they were nice in emails BUT NO FOLLOW THROUGH


    I am still stuck with my bad filter 6 months later


    VERY disappointed
     
  19. rbhamilton

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    Have to admit I'd probably be stuck with my faulty filter if it wasn't for the mention of a Visa charge-back. These guys are a bit sketchy. Like everybody from Quebec. But in the end I did get a quality product so I shouldn't complain.