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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #16
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Love my Singh Ray but just say this

I was reading a story on FreshDV and saw an ad for Genus. Something caught my eye and here is what I found.

Genus ND Fader Filter 77mm

Less than half the price of a SR. I haven't heard any reviews or feedback but it sure looks similar.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #17
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That Genus filter looks Exactly like my Fader ND from lightcraft. Which works like a dream BTW.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #18
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Some have reported, and I have noticed, that when using the Fader ND at longer focal lengths the image becomes quite soft.

This can be verified by zooming in to 10x magnification.

I wonder if the Singh Ray is any different in this regard?
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #19
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We haven't shot enough with the Fader ND that I could confirm or deny that. I think you're going to get some cross hatching as you push the filter on either or any variable ND.

What I am comfortable saying based on our experience with the SR and Fader NDS Is that I'm not seeing any loss in IQ. That jibes with what I read from Phillip Bloom, who's opinion I value, that (paraphrasing) he didn't see any degradation in footage he shot with them.

I guess the other point would be, how long are the longer focal lengths you'r referencing?
We don't shoot anything longer than 300mm with the 5DII and really shoot mostly between 24mm and 135mm, but I'll make a point of shooting some stuff with the 300mm to see.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #20
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Jim
I'd be glad of your findings (or anyone else's) in respect of image softening on the Vari-NDs . I have noticed distinct softening on a cheaper vari ND and am looking to upgrade either to the Lightcraft or the Singh-Ray, Before I drop a few hundred dollars on it, I'd like to know about softness and maybe colour cast?


Many thanks
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Old May 9th, 2010, 12:10 PM   #21
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I bought the 77mm and a bunch of step rings and I can now fit it on any lens I have. There is no softening, and no significant color casting from it. Buy and cry once, rather than cry every time you have to use a hacked solution.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #22
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Hey Wayne,

I'm with Steev on this. My world has been torn between music production and a lot of commercial work that hasn't required the Fader NDs that much lately, but it's an invaluable tool in the field and well worth it from a cost/quality standpoint.

I'm increasingly impressed with how well some small niche entrepreneurs have developed their products and QC and customer relations. People like Richard Andrewski at Cool Lights comes to mind and countless others from Red Rock etc. I guess my point is that some of these small bizes rise above the all too frequent low grade stuff coming on the market from China -point being that there's some really good stuff coming from there if it's developed and manufactured properly.

I've been doing a lot of buying and testing of LED lights in the process of building full studio and location packages. A whole other story that hopefully I can do a review of when I get a break, but there are small companies (many existing because of direct marketing through forums like this) that have top notch gear as good or better than the majors and at amazingly better prices. Fader ND is IMO one of them.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #23
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I did some testing on the fader ND after reading about the softness issue and it is very obvious that on a long lens ( anything over 40 or so but very pronounced at 100mm ) there is severe softening with the cheaper fader ND. You can see this just looking at x5 & x10 mag. However, testing through 2 decent quality polas looked fine so that's prob why the Singh-Ray is expensive. Advantage of the 1 piece unit is size and being able to work on a wide angle without vignetting. I've taken apart my fader ND and replaced the outside 82mm with a tiffen glass but haven't figured out yet how to get the first filter off so I can replace that. (I figured I already had $100 into the fader ND so it was cheaper to fix than buy a new Singh-Ray.
By the way its a linear pola on top of a circular, not 2 circulars. The latter will have much more blue bleed in the blacks. The other blue- gold filter is 2 circulars - kind of a cool idea also.

I agree its a great tool especially for shooting b roll where you need to adapt quickly.

Lenny Levy
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Old May 9th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #24
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Oops, I don't know if there's confusion now. I didn't specify which product I was referring to. I bought the Singh Ray. I have no experience with the others.

Singh-Ray Filters: Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter

Vari-ND Filter 77mm - 77mm Standard Ring Mount
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Old May 9th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
I did some testing on the fader ND after reading about the softness issue and it is very obvious that on a long lens ( anything over 40 or so but very pronounced at 100mm ) there is severe softening with the cheaper fader ND.
The Fader ND is being fazed out by the new Fader ND Mark 2.. according to the info:

"The mark II version offers a solution on the loss of sharpness when using it with tele lens (70mm or above)."

Costs a little more but not much, no idea if it does what it says on the tin or not!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #26
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Thanks for all your helps guys.

I did some testing over the weekend re no filter, static 4ND and the cheaper fader ND I got from Hong Kong. Deifnitely serious softening of the image and some slight colour casting (coolish) Not good.

I read a while ago on here somewhere that the Lightcraft was pretty much as good as the Singh Ray so I was considering that one and now the MkII is available, I read they have been addressing slight softness in the MkI so I've ordered a MkII will let you all know how it does.

I certainly couldn't be worse than the Hong Kong one which makes shot pretty much unusable,
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Old May 20th, 2010, 05:25 AM   #27
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Just done a little testing my 5D2 and 70-200 2.8 L with the new MkII Light Craft Fader ND and think it's still a little softer than when not using a filter at all. Perhaps that's obvious to everyone, I don't know. I was hoping it would be as pin sharp as the lens usually is with out an ND.

I would say it is better by quite a bit than the cheaper one I got from a dealer in Hong Kong, but whether it's as sharp as the Singh Ray, I haven't been able to test.

Apart from that, I would say that these fader NDs are lovely things to work with in an outdoor situation, very versatile, fast to use and give one a sense of real control when working fast.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 07:09 AM   #28
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Just ordered my Light Craft Workshop 77mm FaderND Filter - Mk II from Premiere Ink & Photographic in the UK, but they are out of stock at the moment. The MK II is allegedly supposed to be much improved.

There are a lot of imitations around, so try to buy from a reputable dealer.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #29
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Re: The Singh Ray Vari ND is expensive. And worth it!

a numer of people have tested the Mark II and not been impressed still soft on long lenses. I am curious about the Genus because they say they use glass filters and it might be possible to do a decent one for their price. Not for $100 though
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Old June 20th, 2011, 01:50 AM   #30
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Re: The Singh Ray Vari ND is expensive. And worth it!

FWIW I had the MK II on a 24-105 from recent filming and got a last minute call to do a magazine ad shoot. It was outdoor, golden hour, three subjects and changing light. So I decided to leave it on and got a series of really nice images for the campaign.

I had two crew with bounces and shot pretty much the whole focal range a lot of it toward or at 105mm. Stills for critical use is a pretty good way to judge IQ and it was outstanding at 3744 x 5616. The only stuff not really sharp were my missing focus while moving.

One important thing with it is the subtle, unique quality that it imparts to images. I've used it a lot on indoor TV spots with controlled lighting for that quality. It reminds me of the look we used to love using the Mini 35 on big HD cameras.

Anyway, the client thought the selects had a 60's Life Magazine look.
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