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Neutral Density Filter Question


Christopher Short

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Before I invest in ND filters, I have a quick question. Is it always better to have an exterior clamp at the end of the Anamorphic to attach your ND filters or can the filter be applied to the front of the taking lens (thus eliminating the need for the exterior clamp).

What are the pros and cons of each method (ie. added vignetting potential, focus, ease of use, etc)

Thanks so much for your help!

Chris

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Here is what’s best I’ve found from over the years...

Option 1  Shoot with a camera that has internal ND feature.

Option 2  Instal fixed ND’s upfront in a rail mounted mattebox - or VND/ circular ND using a filter tray adapter.

Option 3  Rear mounting a fixed or VND (between Anamorphic rear and taking lens front) can work perfectly well, providing the setup is on rails. In bright conditions a collapsed rubber lens hood can also be used to create a lightproof donut that is compact enough to not introduce added vignette. Flares are not affected or dulled...at most an added faint green line is added to the streak flare from the ND’s multi-coating.

Option 3  If rail mounted setup is not used - front mounting ND’s can be attached to front of scope lens by using clamp adapter, or screwing into native thread if using iscorama lens types. If using clamp adapter, some added vignette might be introduced if using wider taking lenses. Fixed value ND’s are usually best used in this scenario since they are usually thinner. VND’s can sometimes introduce issues if used on the front clamp of scope lenses that rotate whilst focusing, since a shifting polarising effect can be introduced. Sometimes front mounting ND filters can introduce added flare effects, usually an added faint green streak line flare is apparent when exposed to intense direct light source.

 

Always best to get the best possible quality filter budget will allow - especially if mounted to front of a rotating scope, since some lower quality ND filters can introduce unwanted texture to bokeh. When these are rotated it can be very distracting to see this artifacts in bright light as well as ugly colour shift. A very decent budget solution is the Hoya PROND64 (six stop fixed ND) - quite capable in bright daylight and easy to rear mount in a rail setup as described previously.

 

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