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Broken vari nd filter quick question


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I just cracked thr front element of my vari nd filter. I'm in a shoot and would ideally want to retain some nd capacity. Can I rip off the broken front element and continue using the back filter? I know it's technically supposed to be a circular polarizer (which I haven't ever used so far).


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Chipped off the front element of the tiffen with a screwdriver (took me 15 minutes - I guess I'll buy that brand again) and the back element does seem to take off about half a stop of exposure. 

Second question: I suppose I could just buy a polarizer filter that fits the front element and have a DIY spare vari ND?

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Don`t do that, certainly the back part of the vary ND could reduce a little bit the light, but trying to do a DIY vari ND most probably could generate some artifacts that later you will discover in your footage, just don`t waste time and get a new Tiffen vari ND and continue shooting safely….

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  • 1 month later...

As little report, I did end up trying the DIY solution -- bought a cheap-ish Walimex circular polarizer, which didn't have any effect when I screwed it into the broken Tiffen's front thread. But alas, flipping it and then taping it to the leftover piece did the trick ;)

It looks and feels seriously DIY, but seems to work fine, at least as a backup filter. Here's some highly unscientific (and not necessarily the sharpest - camera was moving) screen grabs of the improvised vs the Tiffen filter which I bought again. At first glance, the difference seems to be mainly the lower contrast of the DIY, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. ND value was close to maximum on both filters.











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