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Variable ND filters for video?


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Guys, I'm wondering if you can advise me about Variable NDs for video. The prices of these vary wildly. Is there any reason a cheap $20 one will be significantly worse than a $200 ? 
Surely they are just a device to block light... ? 

Are there any specific things I should look out when purchasing a variable ND? 

Thanks~!
 

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You generally need some type of ND when shooting outdoors at wide aperture. For scripted shooting, a matte box and drop-in fixed filters may work, but for documentary, news, run-and-gun, etc. a variab

Don`t waste your money and time with cheap chinese crap, get a Tiffen, they are very good for the price, I have a variable ND and I can assure you will satisfy all your needs...

Heathen!

The typical caveats of cheap ND filters is color cast and excessive flaring. I started with a $20 variable on the E-M1 but when I moved to A7rii the quality loss due to color cast was just too much so I moved up to the ~$60-80 price range in order to get acceptable results for my use. If you want to buy just once and have the best results then you will have to spend the money cause it does make a difference. 

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Also, the cheaper the ND, the more likely that it will produce a weird cross effect across your image at its darkest settings. After trying a couple of cheaper ones I went to the next level up, buying the SLR Magic variable ND, which is excellent with none of the aforementioned issue and very little IR pollution that I can discern. There are, of course, other, more expensive, solutions available!

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1 minute ago, Tim Sewell said:

Also, the cheaper the ND, the more likely that it will produce a weird cross effect across your image at its darkest settings. After trying a couple of cheaper ones I went to the next level up, buying the SLR Magic variable ND, which is excellent with none of the aforementioned issue and very little IR pollution that I can discern. There are, of course, other, more expensive, solutions available!

Doesnt the slr magic have the cross effect at darkes?

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23 minutes ago, hijodeibn said:

Don`t waste your money and time with cheap chinese crap, get a Tiffen, they are very good for the price, I have a variable ND and I can assure you will satisfy all your needs...

This.

I have two Tiffen VNDs (52mm and 77mm) and any colour cast - only discerned it once, perhaps because of poor exposing - is easy to correct in post.

 

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Thanks for the advice guys. It seems like I should go for a more expensive one like the tiffen. 
 All the brands mentioned here seem around the same price. 

Does anyone have any experience with any of the Japanese brands like Kenko?
 

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This might be bad advice but after using every type of ND filter possible I've decided to not use them and control exposure by cranking up the shutter. Cue the 180 degree purists to unleash on my technique but honestly it works for me and I've been shooting professionally for over a decade. Been doing this for a year and it's so liberating not having to screw on ND's when shooting an event or a wedding. Side note - this works really well on my a7sii  - cant tell the difference between this and using an ND but on my GH4 I'll admit the effect is noticeable. Comes down to 'motion cadence' I guess.

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11 minutes ago, 64mulford said:

This might be bad advice but after using every type of ND filter possible I've decided to not use them and control exposure by cranking up the shutter. Cue the 180 degree purists to unleash on my technique but honestly it works for me and I've been shooting professionally for over a decade. Been doing this for a year and it's so liberating not having to screw on ND's when shooting an event or a wedding. Side note - this works really well on my a7sii  - cant tell the difference between this and using an ND but on my GH4 I'll admit the effect is noticeable. Comes down to 'motion cadence' I guess.

Heathen!

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Well it seems like Variable NDs aren't a thing in Japan. I've just been to a big camera store and they didn't even know what they were! After I explained it to them, they understood but said it would have to be special ordered from the manufacturer and could take quite some time... 

I guess I'll have to order off ebay then. 

 

1 hour ago, ntblowz said:

SLRMagic VND is pretty nice, I got Zomei VND with MC coating and it is nice too, no more ghosting/reflection from lightsource vs uncoated VND.

Have you compared the Zomei to more expensive ones? It is only about $25, seems like it would be too cheap. 

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