Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
  • 257 Replies sorted by
  • Hello!, i just wanted to say that, the problem that danyyyel describes, can also be found on these:
    Ly shi branded, ebay seller: jiakong

    because i own one :p
  • Does it make any difference if put a polarisation filter in front or behind a ND filter?

    (No vari-ND, just a play ND filter.)
  • @Psyco, I don't think so, the ND filter shouldn't have any effect on polarized light.
  • Any recommendations for (cheap) 4x4 polarisers? I'm thinking of buying 2 and using them like a fader ND: its easier than having carrying around multiple ND filters and quicker to change, plus you always have a polariser with you if you need it.

    I already have a couple of 77mm (threaded) polarisers; might see if I can make a mount to hold them in a 4x4 slot.
  • I bought the Opteka 62mm HD Multi-Coated Variable Neutral Density (2-8 Stops) and I'm very disappointed, a total waste of money in my opinion, you'll lost all the details at about any focal length.

    Why are ND 2-4-8 so popular ? If we shoot with 1.4 lenses in sunlight we need about a ND256 or a ND128, are they so bad in general ? Are there better solutions ?

    For 1080p at maximum 200mm (m43), are optical glass ND really needed or are resin filter just fine?

    What set of 3 ND do you suggest to shoot 160 ISO with very bright lenses (1.4) under sunlight ? (4"x4", GH2).

    (please suggest specific filters, not generic suggestion like "buy from ebay"..., thanks)

  • @robbie75vr: The reason those amount of ND stops are popular are two-folded:
    1. You don't shoot that wide-open. Up until the rise in DSLR filmmaking, most people did not want to shoot that wide-open (and in professional filmmaking don't). Most Hollywood films are shot at around T4-5.6 and low-bugdets around T2.8. This gives you much sharper picture and some depth-of-field (1.4 allows very little movement). Shooting that wide-open is crazy IMO. Stills photographers doesn't need that much ND too, as they will have a higher shutter.

    2. The main issue though is IR filtration. Beyond three stops of ND filtration, you get problems with the infrared spectrum. This causes major color shifts in the picture, which is very bad. Then you need to use an IR filter. They are rather expensive (but they exists, there are also ND/IR filters combo).

    My tip is to just stop down some (if it's above T8 it'll be fine). Shooting at 1.4 is a bad idea in the long run anyway.
  • you mean that ND filters light but no IR right ? so in proportion there is too much IR when using a dense ND.. ? it's about the same problem with dark and cheap sunglasses, they stop light but no IR and at the end of the day your eyes are red because wide open pupil didn't stop ir...

    I agree 1.4 shooting is difficult, but it's a creative choice
  • Exactly.

    I understand. Is it the softness or the short DoF you like with it?
  • @robbie75vr
    Tiffen makes 77mm ND filters made for stacking. (the Indie line)
    You can get them with & without IR ... so you don't get the mud.
    When you get up to 3 filters stacked ... it becomes evident which way you need to go.
  • @Gabel
    Yes in some cases I want 1.4 for the shallow dof more than a light factor...

    thanks for the suggestion
  • I have a Light Craft Fader ND Mark II, but it gives reflections inside. It's 46mm for the 20mm Panasonic. If I point it at reflective objects or light sources, I see a green/purple image of the object reflected by the Fader ND. So it's sometimes difficult to get a clean image. Is this normal?
  • @John_Farragut
    'Fraid so...
    Faders are not really ND filters in the classic sense. However, Most of the time they work OK.
    If yur committed to them, you just have to get used to the limitations.
    I'm not paid by Tiffen, but the INDIE series is the best overall sollution.

    Designed by a DSL photog and well know HDSLR DP: Shane Hurlbut, ASC
    Sold out everywhere, however.
  • I don't know if anybody have seen that . It could be the affordable high quality vari-nd filter I have been researching. Marumi is a Japanese filter company that has very good reputation (not well known in usa/europe it seems). Until now I did not see any test, I hope someone reviews it soon.
  • Marumi is good.
    But you must be sure that this is real thing, and not some Chinese stuff rebaged by sellers request.
  • I think the Marumi variable ND is real. 2Filter and Amazon are carrying it as well. I'm considering picking one up based on the quality of previous filters I have purchased from them in the past. No front threading though...
  • Has anyone tried the Marumi fader from ebay? I would be interested in any experiences, thanks :)

  • Has anyone tried the Tiffen vari-ND filters? B&H carries it here's the link:

  • @Gabel

    Gabel, about the ND with IR filter combined that you said before, I saw some ND filter with combined color correction, this one for example: , is this what you were talking about or maybe you have some link to suggest.. ?

    I'm placing an order today or tomorrow, they have few brands, Formatt - Lee - Schneider - Tiffen , which is the best one in your opinion ?

    About gradual ND for compensating the brighter sky, if I have to buy just one, do you think a 0,6 grad ND is a good choice as first gradual filter ?

    Thanks guys.

  • @robbie75vr: That's the one! However, you wouldn't need an IR with an ND 0.6. You need it once you get past 0.9 (like 1.2 and up).

    All of them are good, I'm looking at Formatt myself, mostly as they cost the least (European), but I've used Tiffen and they work well.

    I'm not a big fan of grads. For sky-compensation I'd recommend using a pola instead.

  • @Gabel

    yes but pola with wide angles is not very good (you see darker at north brighter at margins..) , also it works well just when you keep the sun at your six and only in some time of the day, and it doesn't work when it's cloudy (my favorite weather for filming..).

    I'm trying to decide between 1,5mm think (for cokin holders) or 4mm for a mattebox that I should buy eventually..

    As photographer I always worked with P and Z Holder with my Hasselblads and Nikons with no problems, I don't know in outdoor documentary videos how useful a mattebox can be compared to a simple and easily transportable Cokin filter holder... what do you think ?


  • I heard Heliopan Variable filter has no color shifting. It has a hard stop for repeatable setting. The latest one has the front filter thread. Some claim it's better than Singh-Ray.

    77mm one was 200 euros plus shipping. Not sure how credible the info is.

  • Hey guys,

    Some good tech info on a bunch of vari nd's and ordering details here:

    The Heliopan of course seems to be out of stock. They provide pretty good service here and reply to emails pretty fast in my experience. Also keep an eye out on the Schneider Variable True-Match Vari-ND filter 77mm seems also to claim no color shift.


  • Jow to order Heliopan Vari filter from a german site

    I don't know the german site, and I don't know how credible the ordering process is. The price is relatively cheap. 200 euro + shipping for Heliopan Vari 77mm "New" design with front filter thread. I hope someone clarifies it.

  • For me, I am still waiting for a test of the Marumi vari-nd because it could be the answer to a high quality low cost variable density filter because of the brand quality.

  • I recently ordered a cheapo ND filter to play with, made by "Fotasy." Haven't gotten it yet. How would I go about testing it? I'll post the results if people are interested. It was about $25.