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Martin Campbell May 4th, 2011 10:19 AM

ND Filters
 
I need to buy ND filters for my Canon 70-200mm lens and also the 17-50mm lens.
I will need a 77mm and 72mm fitting, and also in different ND Filter strengths, but I don't want to have to pay a fortune for filter lenses.

Can anyone recommend filters they use that do the job well enough without costing a small fortune - perhaps picked up from ebay?

I don't fancy the fader filters as I've heard mixed/poor reports from them.

Liam Hall May 4th, 2011 10:39 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
Martin,

You're right to steer clear of the variable ND filters.

Buying a set works out cheaper. I have a couple of sets of Tiffen NDs with 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 filters.

Of the cheaper makes, Marumi are pretty decent.

Martin Campbell May 5th, 2011 01:08 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
Thanks Liam. At 30+ per filter it's a bit more than I wanted to pay to be honest, and if I need 3 of each for my 72mm & 77mm then that's 180!

Are the cheaper (10 per filter) ones on ebay so bad? Has anyone tried any of these and if so what was the result?

Tom Hardwick May 5th, 2011 01:17 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
Martin - you're shooting through what - 13 elements of 17 - 50 zoom? Now you want to add a new front element to this line-up in the form of an ND and that's fine, but remember the front element is THE most important element in the fight against flare, and adding a new one to Canon's line-up shouldn't (I suggest) be governed by ebay pricing.

The fact that it may not be neutral is not such a problem with post production, but the reduction in lens hood efficiency should mean that you head off looking for the finest mult-coated NDs you can find. A lot of peeps think flare is only a problem when shooting into the sun; not so. A piece of white paper in the frame can flare the light very effectively.

tom.

Jonathan Shaw May 5th, 2011 02:15 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
As per previous post why stick a cheap filter on the front on great lenses, if you don't want to buy multiple sets why not look at a matte box with drop in filters, yes way more expensive but you only need one set for all lenses.

Jon Braeley May 5th, 2011 08:48 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
While agree about sticking poor filters on great lenses is a bad choice, the 7D is not 'great' video (just my IMHO). I am not trying to inflame here.

I shot a doc recently on a 7D - over a one year period - maybe 120 hours and I am underwhelmed - all with L glass. On the last shoot I also took a GH2 and the difference in the same scenes was astounding. I have to soften up the GH2 images quite a lot!

So would a variable ND be so noticeable than a fixed higher quality on a 7D .... I am not holding my breath.

Tom Hardwick May 5th, 2011 09:09 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
The vari-ND makes purists frown because you're adding 6 extra elements in front of your zoom The sandwich layer doesn't need to be coated, but you're still left with four air-to-glass surfaces and you hope you're filming through four sheets of plane parallel glass. The more expensive the filter, the more plane parallel they'll tend to be.

Some folk have also remarked upon the vari-ND's ability to alter the w/b as one is rotated relative to the other, but none of this alters the fact that it's a really quick way to alter the exposure at the chip.

tom.

Jeremy Pevar May 5th, 2011 11:16 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin Campbell (Post 1645832)
Thanks Liam. At 30+ per filter it's a bit more than I wanted to pay to be honest, and if I need 3 of each for my 72mm & 77mm then that's 180!

Are the cheaper (10 per filter) ones on ebay so bad? Has anyone tried any of these and if so what was the result?

Martin - you should only buy the filters in the larger size. A step-down ring will allow you to use the 77mm filters on your 72mm lens. This will save you quite a bit of money.

Daniel Weber May 5th, 2011 12:57 PM

Re: ND Filters
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon Braeley (Post 1645931)
While agree about sticking poor filters on great lenses is a bad choice, the 7D is not 'great' video (just my IMHO). I am not trying to inflame here.

I shot a doc recently on a 7D - over a one year period - maybe 120 hours and I am underwhelmed - all with L glass. On the last shoot I also took a GH2 and the difference in the same scenes was astounding. I have to soften up the GH2 images quite a lot!

So would a variable ND be so noticeable than a fixed higher quality on a 7D .... I am not holding my breath.

Don't mean to take this off topic, but was your 7D set up properly? I have been using one for the past 1.5 years and am very happy with it. There are the know challenges, but they can be worked around. I have heard good things about the GH2, but it's codec leaves a lot to be desired. (Not that the H.264 the Canon shoots is that much better!)

My previous camera was a Sony EX1 which I liked, but I much prefer the look of the 7D. To each his own.

Daniel Weber

Daniel Weber May 5th, 2011 01:00 PM

Re: ND Filters
 
Back on topic, this Tiffen kit from B&H is good for the money. I wouldn't put anything cheaper in front of my lenses.


Daniel Weber

Bill Bruner May 6th, 2011 01:58 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
Screw-on ND filters are great, but it's a hassle to change them out if you want to use the same filter on multiple lenses during a shoot.

Instead of paying $264.50 plus shipping for a set of Tiffen screw-ons, here's a relatively inexpensive ($292.90 plus shipping) matte box solution:

Cinetactics Matteblox soft matte box: $99

Cinetactics 4X4 filter holders: 2 for $16.50

Cavision 4X4 glass 0.3 ND filter: $59.95

Cavision 4X4 glass 0.6 ND filter: $59.95

Cavision 4X4 glass 0.9 ND filter: $57.50

Nigel Barker May 7th, 2011 01:23 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
A cheaper & more compact alternative to a matte box is the Cokin filter system that uses a screw-on holder & drop-in filters COKIN Creative System - Filters A/P/Z/X - Question & Answers It's effectively a mini matte box without the barn doors using smaller sized & cheaper filters.

Jon Braeley May 9th, 2011 11:17 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
I still say its almost impossible to see much difference in filter quality when looking at 7D footage.

Anyway - here is the answer for this from Tiffen:


Steve Oakley May 9th, 2011 09:54 PM

Re: ND Filters
 
"resin" filters are plastic. in general, they suck. don't believe me ? here are some tests of charts shot thru a resin and glass filter here Glass vs Resin Filters Review

I'd recommend against using the cheap plastic filters, any of them.

with a long lens like 200mm, the difference will be apparent. the plastic filter will significantly soften the image.

you get what you pay for.

Tom Hardwick May 10th, 2011 01:01 AM

Re: ND Filters
 
Looking at it I can only put the softening down to the plastic filter having non plane-parallel sides, i.e. it's acting like a very weak lens or a soft-focus screen. I'm surprised at that because I'd expect the plastic filter to be a high pressure injection moulding,where the money's not in the filter, it's in the production tooling.

It would suggest that more expensive plastic filters are every bit as good as their glass counterparts, as 90% of spectacle wearers and 100% of cataract / contact lens users look through plastic lenses all day long.

tom.


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