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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Fader ND 24-105 Test

So along with the VMP test I tested the 77mm FND on the 24-105L today. Again, given the conditions of the upcoming series of spots we're shooting - cold, snowy and backcountry, snowshoes and snowmobiles - I wanted the option of using the 24-105 in conditions where swapping lenses might be hairy.

I've got the FND on our other lenses but not on the 24-105 and knowing that there's been a good deal of discussion about vignetting, cross hatching at wide focal lengths and softening at longer focal lengths - especially on full frame DSLRs, I thought it might be worth posting my initial results.

First off I accept that there's a little softening with the FND on any lens. It's a look that I like on the 5DII...very much like a net filter. I think it compliments the 5DII in most instances and reminds me of the look I've liked with our Mini35.

So the conditions were "perfect" to test it when it arrived today - 0 degrees with minus 25-35 wind chill, deep snow and brilliant sun. The whole world was a bounce.

So without a big formal analysis - I got no vignetting, even at full wide 24mm even at a stop below maximum on the FND. At 70 to 105mm, where I was most interested, I was able to shoot wide open f/4 and get nice closeups and optimum bokeh. I can't imagine anymore demanding conditions than these re light control and using nothing but the VF to monitor, only the brightest snow drifts had any zebras and this was mid-day sun.

So the great news is the Light Works Fader ND works very well on the 5DII from wide angle to short tele.
Now, shooting at 2.8 let alone 1.4 (as I'll be testing with the new Sigmalux this week) will definitely not work wide open under these conditions (which is why one of the cameras will live with the 24-105) but under most conditions it probably will.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #2
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It's good to hear this Jim. I have the Fader 77mm and a 58mm for my 50 f1.4 - but I haven't really used it yet because it's not bright enough!

I intend to se it for weddings where the bride wears a white dress on a bright day. I will need to play though to make sure I'm not underexposing - which is my bigger fear with these ND filters.
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #3
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I think you'll find them indispensable once you use them Ken.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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I have the 82mm Fader and then step up rings to fit the 77mm 70-200, and the 58mm 50 1.4 lens. I haven't done a whole lot of tests with it because I haven't shot anything that warranted it, but it is a fantastic piece of equipment. I do have to take the UV filter off in order to not vignette at 16mm, but with it on, I can get around 20mm without vignetting.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #5
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By the way, the difficulty of working with lens hoods and the Fader ND has been discussed in a few places. The solution is a Hoya rubber screw-in hood that will fit on the wider outer threads of the ND and expand to work from wide to short tele. They're great but they don't come any bigger than 77mm and you need an 82mm to match the front thread of the Fader ND.

If found a generic version with an 82mm thread to fit the 24-105 and it will work from 35mm to 105mm. The 62mm version works with the 52mm FND for EF primes 35mm and up. They collapse and make it easier than hauling 6 different hoods in your bag. You'll still need a screw in fixed hood for wide angle below 35 but they're also easy to find and the upside is you just grab the lens hood to adjust the ND.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 12:47 AM   #6
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Re: Fader ND 24-105 Test

I have the FND and use it with my 5DMII/ 24-105 combo as well. I find that it works well, though I don't like the polarizing I get on the corners when I use the full ND of the filter. Also the fact that I can't use the sunshade on the lens is a big problem as well. I have started to use Tiffen IR/ND filters instead because I can then put the shade on. Of course the downside is the cost as well as having to change filters it I want a different ND level.

I have also used the knockoff eBay FND filters not sold by Light Works and those are a real rip off. I was shocked how much they diffused my footage once I stopped using them and went with the LW FND and the Tiffen's.

Just my experience,

Daniel Weber
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Old February 21st, 2011, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Fader ND 24-105 Test

Daniel, these screw in hoods are less than $20 and solve the lens shade issue well, above 35mm.

And yeah, you definitely don't want to push the FND or and variable to the maximum. That said contrary to some threads I read about vignetting issues, the FND gives remarkable control under most but the most extreme circumstances where you would have to be stacking NDs to cope anyway.

Like I said in the original test, we were shooting in brilliant afternoon sun with 100% snow cover. Having filmed Olympic stuff and tons of winter sports work, it's about as challenging as it gets to get good exposure and creative DOF, and I was able to work with the 24-105 wide open at long focal length and get nice separation with it which is why I got it...to maximize the potential of that lens as a all-in-one field lens.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:21 PM   #8
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Fader ND Mark II Filter Video Test

I also picked up a Fader ND Mark II by Fader and made in Japan. Although, the name is identical to the LCW (LightCraftWorkshop) version, I found the filter performed very well in my video test for color, vignetting and any softness at focal length.
I did a quick review here...

Chad Soriano PhotoBlog: Fader ND Mark II Variable Neutral Density Filter Video Test

My Vimeo video test here...

Chad T. Soriano
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