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  • @mrbil
    Looking forward to hearing about your impressions of the Tiffen Vari ND - as it's so much cheaper than the Singh Ray/Heliopan.

  • @_gl:i bought the 72mm so no vignetting on my 62mm 14 - 140mm kit lens with stepup ring
  • @Rambo, thanks - does it look OK at 14mm? A lot of sellers are saying that the faders break down at wide angles (I think it's due to the way polarization changes at steep viewing angles).

    Also, can you try the LCD monitor test please? Hold it up to the screen (must be an LCD) and see if it darkens the picture as you turn the whole filter (ie. not the adjustment ring). And please check with the filter facing either way.
  • At 14mm, i cannot see the difference on stills taken with and with out, there is a slight color shift if camera is left manual white balance. At 140mm i can see small sharpness difference but acceptable to me, an unsharp mask in Vegas restores sharpness to equal.
    Yes all my Var - ND's darken a Laptop screen when turned, as far as i know ALL Vari - Nd's do this.
  • Thanks.

    > Yes all my Var - ND's darken a Laptop screen when turned, as far as i know ALL Vari - Nd's do this.

    Damn, then they're acting like linear polarizers, which isn't necessarily what you want. You can make a fader using two circular polarizers, facing each other. A circular is made of two layers, a linear polarizer, and a quarter-wave retarder. The retarder effectively unpolarizes light - so if you have the two circulars facing each other so that the retarders are on the outside, the incoming light is first unpolarized, then faded by the linears, then unpolarized again - so it should not filter incoming linear polarized light (like that from an LCD screen).
  • No one is circular, one is linear on the ones i have.

    I believe there are 3 ways of making Var -ND with polarizers, all work similar.
  • I'll have to verify my theory, unfortunately I only have one circular polarizer here.

    But I don't think many people are aware that faders act like normal polarizers, and that's especially problematic as you can't rotate them once they're screwed on, so you can't change the polarization filtering angle.
  • .. actually I'm right, two circulars facing each other work like a fader, but do not block out the LCD light (I forgot that RealD 3D glasses use circular polarizers and I have tons of those). They do introduce unpleasant colour shifts from blue to yellow as you rotate them, but that's probably due to the low quality polarizers used in the glasses.

    So the commercial faders are probably using one circular at the back (for camera metering compatiblity) and a linear at the front, that's why they act like polarizers on incoming light. Not good.
  • I do have Hoya HD CPL ... (two of them ...)
    but i think the difference is you remove just partially the light (and reflections) ...
    as when you adjust for darker sky light but landscape is not affected ...
    I think the faders impact whole visible area ?!
  • The faders have two effects - first they act like a normal polarizers (eg. just on the sky & reflections), and then they fade the whole image. Try the LCD test on yours.

    EDIT: with your CPLs, if you place them facing each other, so the camera-side of each one is on the outside, then you should be able to rotate them both together without blocking LCD light. Now try rotating just one, it should work like a fader.
  • @_gl
    the question is why CPL can not be used as fader , no steps in blocking light ?
  • @feha, a CPL has a linear polarizer layer (just like a normal linear pola filter). Two linears will gradually darken the image as you rotate one against the other (see for details).

    So two CPLs work the same way. But the advantage is that, when they are facing each other, they unpolarize the incoming light _before_ they fade it, and that makes all the difference. But it looks like the commercial ones do not use two circulars.
  • @_gl

    I tested your theory with two cpl ...
    they do fade very nice, the problem is there are still some spots that do not block a complete light as fader does ...
    But the LCD gets completely dark except some few spots if not aligned perfectly even than still some parts are just 70% darker (the spots ).
  • Fader ND filter is good for video. B+W CPL filter for photo as I prefer jacking up shutter speed. I don't stack them up.
  • Faders don't seem to work in eztreme situations because of the polarization IR shift.
    The best ND and pola line is supposed to be the INDIE filter set just developed by Tiffen. It includes higher ND filters both with and without IR filtration so you can keep from getting fog or shift. ...Just can't get a'hold of any.
    (edit: got the full set for Christmas. Thanks, Mom)
  • Here GH2 test with Marumi ND8 filter (daylight shots)
  • Good job, Mario
    The ND looked great with the smoke part!
  • @bubba

    I have the Tiffen IRND and posted samples, check my earlier post. stocks these
  • I've researched this topic so much... I didn't remember where I'd seen the good stuff.
    You're right. I remember your post. I'd ordered a set from Filmtools.
    They are on backorder. I can buy as a single from 2filters?
  • @shrigg
    Got a note from filmtools that my order has been shipped
    I ordered the ND filters without IR filtering.
  • Filmtools was almost $100 less
    I'm posting a notice as "good deals"
  • @bubba
    I removed separate topic, just because I see 77mm Tiffen filters for less than $50 a piece on ebay.
  • Just got a Fader ND Mark II from Light Craft Workshop. It is a variable ND filter based on crossed polarizers. So far I am very happy with it. I did some extensive tests that you can read about at

    In short the filter is very neutral across the speced range (almost no colour cast), and there is almost no drop in resolution when using the filter. It should be suitable for photography and videography.

    Here is a short I put together using it with my Hacked GH1 and Canon 50mm F1.8 FD lens. Everything is filmed at F2.8. It was very bright out; without the filter I would have need to use ~F11 to maintain proper exposure.

  • @kshalm
    Thank you for review, I was wondering how this Fader ND performs ...
  • @feha Thanks. I have also heard that the Fader ND is a repackaged version of the Cameron Fader ND. I can't confirm this though.