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Old March 3rd, 2016, 01:22 PM   #1
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ND Filter Suggestion

I just got the Metabones Speedbooster XL in and I now need an nd filter to use for my canon lenses and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or advice for me. I have one for my GH4 lenses, but I didn't put too much thought into it, but I wanted to make sure I got something nice for my canon glass.

I am leaning toward something like this and would assume it would be really nice, but I don't know if anyone here has any experience with it.
Tiffen 77mm Variable Neutral Density Filter 77VND B&H Photo
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: ND Filter Suggestion

I don't have the Tiffen one, but I got a H&Y MKIII 77mm (as well as a 82mm) variable ND filter when I was in Hong Kong about 4-5 years ago. They have been doing a great job for me, no issues at all. It's like adding another control ring to my lens. I use them mainly for controlling depth of field/focus when shooting under sunny conditions. I would expect the Tiffen brand to perform at least as well, if not better. I paid about $300 for the pair, so I also think the price looks pretty good. When I was doing my research, I came across a video by Philip Bloom, and he mentioned another brand of filter, Heliopan I believe, but the price was a little high for me. Point being, there may be better ones available, but I think the price goes up a lot.

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Old March 4th, 2016, 05:27 PM   #3
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Re: ND Filter Suggestion

Personally, I prefer fixed ND filters. Unless you want to go wide open at noon in Phoenix, 3 stops is nice. Get more for wide open shooting and much more for long-shutter timelapses. The two main advantages are consistent color and the ability to use very wide lenses without odd polarization effects. (Note that for normal or long lenses, you can add a normal circular polarizer for another stop or so of loss.)

But it depends on the use case. If you're doing run-n-gun in and out of the shade, a variable ND could be great - especially if you walk from sun to shade. In my case, I find a fixed version to be a simple choice - if it's bright and I want shallow DOF, I put it on. Otherwise I don't. I find that I change lenses (and have to move the ND) much more often than transitioning between ND and no ND.

For your ad project, I'd go with fixed as you're likely to take your time finding and setting up interviews. Want top quality? Go fixed. And don't forget to use a lens hood or matte box. Filters present one more layer of glass to flare the incoming light. Shade your glass.

But for a general purpose solution, the variable might be best. It all depends on your requirements and scenarios.
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Old March 10th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: ND Filter Suggestion

I'm in Tucson and if anything it's worse than Phoenix at noon in the sun - I usually find four stops about right and have even used six on occasion. I use an 82mm with step up ring from the Canon 77mm because it fits my Zeiss 18mm. Biggest problem around here is seeing anything at all on the LCD screen.

I like the variable ND but if you go too dark you will get strange effects. I think a four and a six stop pair are enough for me here - add a two stopper and you're probably OK anywhere.

I always thought a minus ND filter would be useful in the Great Northwet in the winter.
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Old March 10th, 2016, 01:31 PM   #5
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Re: ND Filter Suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I always thought a minus ND filter would be useful in the Great Northwet in the winter.
From my experience, the "minus ND filter" is also known as "newer camera body". ;)
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Old March 10th, 2016, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: ND Filter Suggestion

I keep the 82mm variable ND on my TS-E 24mm tilt shift lens. When I set up the shot, I use the exposure meter and simply rotate the filter until I have a proper exposure. This allows me to keep the aperture wide open, which helps me obtain the blur effect from the tilted lens. Trying to do this with a stack of different ND strengths would be a hassle. A cloud come by and I simply make a quick adjustment, too easy.


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Old April 4th, 2016, 01:02 AM   #7
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Re: ND Filter Suggestion

I have a Genus Eclipse ND filter. So far its been great, I haven't noticed any color shifts but its way better than my old previous cheepo ebay one. I got the 77mm filter w/ the step up ring set because it was on sale but I kind of wished I had gotten the 82mm in the event I borrow some nice expensive 2.8 zooms.
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