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Old June 21st, 2010, 08:27 AM   #1
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Fader ND Question


I've just jumped into the DSLR arena with the purchase of a Canon 5D.

I've been researching Fader ND options, and was about the purchase the Light Craft Workshop Fader ND when I read this:

"The Fader ND filter is not suggested to use with lens at 90mm focal length or above due to focusing may be affected."

Does anyone know what this is all about? I haven't read anywhere where folks are having issues using this on a 70-200mm lens at 200mm.

Can anyone chime in here?


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Old June 21st, 2010, 09:03 AM   #2
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If you are having doubts then why not go with Singh-Ray Vari-ND? The reasoning that it is expensive simply sounds ridiculous especially coming from people buying $2.5K cameras, $1k lenses and spending thousands on camera rigs. If you can afford those why not spend $300-$350 on the best possible ND filter money can buy. I've been using Vari-ND for a long time and never had any problems with it. It does not soften and does not produce any color casts.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 10:46 AM   #3
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The science behind the faders is all the same. The quality of the glass is not.

Adorama sells a Genus ND for ~$100, it's what I got. I can't compare to the Singh-Ray, but looks good to my eye.

As to the "how could you spend $3k on a camera and not $500 on a filter" mentality, well, I bought the 85/1.8 instead of the 85/1.2 also. How could I skimp out on a $400 lens instead of a $1400 lens? The thousand bucks sure looked good in my pocket. That's how.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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The Mark2 version that FaderND is offering now supposedly fixes the issue.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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The issue is with thickness of the glass and the fact that they very likely do not check the flatness of their filters. A fader ND from any brand is two polarizers crossed and therefore two peices of glass.

At long telephoto, flatness of the filter is important (on a 1/1000th of an inch scale) can cause inaccurate focus. This is why big Canon or Nikon Tele lenses have rear drop-in filters.

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Old June 21st, 2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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I have the new MkII fader ND and it's pretty good. I wouldn't say it's pin sharp on a longer lens but it's waaay better than the cheaper one I got off eBay.

Haven't tried the Vari ND from Singh Ray.
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Old June 28th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #7
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As Wayne and Jerry say, the Mark II version is supposed to fix the long focal length/softness issue.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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I'd love to see somebody comparing all the different supposed official versions of the fader ND. I originally got a LCW (Light Craft Workshop) version of the 77mm. It seemed fine but I guess it may have had the resolution problem at long focal lengths, I really don't know.

Then recently I got a supposedly 'faderfilters' version of the Fader, the "HD" version, supposedly made in Japan, from an official Faderfilters.com dealer, who warns not to buy off brands or imitations and who's dealers say the same thing.

I'd really like to know the scoop on the actual problems. Has anybody ever shot a resolution chart at different focal lengths, with and without the 'Fader' or their version of the fader on and off? This would really be helpful as I think most of the DSLR folks have or are considering either the expensive and prone to vignetting Singh Ray or the "hard to tell who actually makes them" but less expensive Fader ND.

If I have some time I may do a test between my original LCW fader and my new HD 'Not from LCW' fader. But if anybody else has some resolution tests please post them, thanks!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 03:11 PM   #9
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I ordered the Fader ND and it may be here today. Via amazon via another outlet place in Florida. There was no mention of it being the "Mark 2" so maybe it was the pre Mark 2 version. It was right at $200 for the 77mm size though 1 to 8 stops variable....

It came - it's a "77mm VAR HD ND by Fader Filters Made in Japan" Kinda negates the lens hood since the only way to get the lens hood on is put the filter on after the lens hood and then the filter is a bear to get off - but that aside cna't wait to sunny day at wide apertures!!
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Last edited by Harry Simpson; June 30th, 2010 at 06:25 PM.
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