seemed appropriate to put this in it's own thread. This is from the MF images thread where I mentioned using a Vari ND to make Live View easier and faster to work with.
I installed a Cokin Adaptor ring on each of my lens and leave them on all the time. Cokin makes a nice easy to snap on lens cap for these so you can just leave them on, and they are pretty cheap.
I have a standard cokin filter holder, and a the cheap little plastic lens hood for it (which I use some of the time). For this I have 3 stop hard and a 2 stop soft Tiffen glass split ND filters (very high quality). I don't use any Cokin filters at all. If I"m worried about flare, I always wear a dark brown wool felt hat (indiana jones style) which I can pull off my head and shade the front.
I also have a Cokin wide angle filter holder, and have glued a Schneider Vari ND filter to a cokin ring that can slide into that holder. This basically toasted the optical quality of the split ND (because I used super glue .. the fumes must have done something to the coating).However, I only use it for focusing (I have gotten some weird results with the polarizing effect using these). I should have been a little more careful and used a better solution to attach it to the cokin holder so it would still be useful (recommended if you try this).
End result, I can pop this holder with the vari ND filter on the front of the lens in a couple of seconds, dial it until the image using Live View is where I need it to be. Even in full sunlight I can get an image on the IQ180 back withe the lens wide open. I have a hoodman loupe with the 3x optical magnifier option added, and using this on the IQ180 screen I can do pretty well with Live View focusing.
I also have a full set of lee filters and I'm currently working on adapting the Lee system to pop onto the cokin adaptors so it's easier to use them. Being able to leave the adaptor on the lens and use the snap on Cokin lens caps is one reason the system is so easy to use.
I'll snap a couple of pics when I'm set up next time.