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Thread: Variable ND filter

  1. #1
    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Variable ND filter

    Hi
    I will need to get a Variable ND filter for my IQ 180 to use for live view and affects.
    Which will be the best brand to maintain IQ. I have seen Schnieder, Sign-Ray, Formatt, Hoya, and Heliopan.
    I am thinking that the Schnieder (1.3 - 11 stops) should be good as they make the lens for MF.
    Thanks
    Phil
    Last edited by alajuela; 6th September 2012 at 22:11.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Variable ND filter

    The Schneider is very good, as is the singh ray. I haven't tried the others.

    the downside to these is they aren't a "true" ND filter, but crossed polarizers. Thus you can also see some other effects such as reduced reflections. I've never done a comparison of using these vs straight ND, and the results are usually really good, but to avoid this I've gone with straight ND filters. I use the glass Tiffen's with IR versions or resin 4x4 filters, easy to slide in and out for live view.
    wayne
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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Variable ND filter

    Thanks Wayne - that might be the way to go.
    BTW - You have great Photos, fantastic colors and really nice!!

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    Re: Variable ND filter

    At maximum extinction, you may get a black X effect. The is more pronounced with wider lenses. Do your research if you are wanting to use any of these at their maximum density.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Variable ND filter

    The live view brightness range is not all that critical, usually a 2 or 4 stop ND works well enough.
    Much less bulky than the holder plus schneider set which I own but somehow don't manage to have around when I think I might need it.

    Be careful about those nominal 4 inch filters, depending on your holder they fit or do not.
    The Lee 100mm filter is exactly that, and the schneider is actually 4 inches which makes it a bit over a millimeter wider than the Lee, so if you are using something like the arca filter holder for their 6x9 compendium you will find that the Lees fit and snugly, but the Schneider glass filter won't.
    The quality of the Schneider Vari-ND set, though is superb.
    -bob

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    Re: Variable ND filter

    There are really only two reasons to use IQ live view, composition and focusing. Focus for me is much easier with the focus mask so I only use live view for composition on the tech cam. And I just stop down the lens instead of using any filter. Much easier, IMO.

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    Re: Variable ND filter

    Alan, I respectfully disagree, on longer focal length (90-120mm and above) - there is only one way to get correct focus IMO, and that is live-view, which works well with a ND filter (I use a 5 stop Tiffen IRND), and I'm pretty pleased with it. In fact, it changed my view on IQ live-view, I like it a lot now. Yes - it takes a bit of practice to use, refresh is slow and subjects in motions do not work well, but once you get the hang of it - it's easy to nail focus. Focus masks give a decent indication, but not pin-point accuracy. Stopping down is in general not a great idea, focus shifts may or may not be a problem, but if you're after real critical focus I would not recommend it. Just my $0.02 worth.

    Focus in the wide angle (35mm-47mm) range does not work well with live-view in my opinion, but you rarely need it at those focal length.

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Re: Variable ND filter

    E-bay has very cheap ($15 - 25) variable ND filters in many sizes that work well for Live View but not good for imaging.

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Variable ND filter

    Quote Originally Posted by alan_w_george View Post
    And I just stop down the lens instead of using any filter. Much easier, IMO.
    easier than putting on a filter, but isn't it harder to actually see your exact focus since your adding depth of field?
    wayne
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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Variable ND filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    The live view brightness range is not all that critical, usually a 2 or 4 stop ND works well enough.
    Much less bulky than the holder plus schneider set which I own but somehow don't manage to have around when I think I might need it.

    Be careful about those nominal 4 inch filters, depending on your holder they fit or do not.
    The Lee 100mm filter is exactly that, and the schneider is actually 4 inches which makes it a bit over a millimeter wider than the Lee, so if you are using something like the arca filter holder for their 6x9 compendium you will find that the Lees fit and snugly, but the Schneider glass filter won't.
    The quality of the Schneider Vari-ND set, though is superb.
    -bob
    Thank you Bob - I am leaning towards the Schneider Vari-ND. Thanks for the "heads up" on the 4 X 4 filters as I will be getting the Cambo Compendium. I am a firm believer in lens. hoods

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    Re: Variable ND filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    easier than putting on a filter, but isn't it harder to actually see your exact focus since your adding depth of field?
    I only use live view for composition on tech cam, not for focus. For focus, even with a 90mm at f/8, D5 measurement, adjust focus, exposure, check out the spread of the green blob, double tap for confirmation, is much easier that using a filter and live view, IMO. Some will only "trust" GG and a loop, in my experience this is simply unnecessary. Anyway, to each his own.

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