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Thread started 10 Apr 2012 (Tuesday) 21:06
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Filters ND4,6, or 8 vs NDx400 9stop

 
celowbe
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Apr 10, 2012 21:06 |  #1

Been thinking of getting an ND filter but I wanna ask the general POTN population whats better. I have my eye on an ND8 and an ND400 9 stop filter. The ND400 as you know can change the shade with a twist of the dial so means more handy. Anyone used both these filter? Inputs?


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goldboughtrue
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Apr 10, 2012 23:09 |  #2
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I looked up the types and assume you're referring to the Hoya brand. The ND8 is 3 stops which is a good starting point. I couldn't find ND400 on the Hoya website, but did see NDx400 which is only 9 stops and not variable from what I could tell.

If the ND400 is variable it will be thick. It will probably vignette just a little on the wide end of your 17-55mm lens on a 7D.

If you have the money, a variable ND filter is certainly more convenient, but it had better be very good glass so it doesn't degrade the image. I use Singh-Ray and don't have any experience with Hoya, but I've read good things about it.

If I had to choose between a 3-stop or 9-stop non-variable ND filter, I'd probably choose the 9-stop because it would be easier to use a longer shutter speed rather than have to use a small f-stop and fast shutter speed with the 3-stop filter.


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celowbe
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Apr 15, 2012 00:10 |  #3

Thanks for the info. Ill definitely be getting a variable ND filter now. I know ill be upgrading to L glass but still gotta decide what brand. Yea im referring to Hoya. They seem to be a good filter from the reviews ive seen. Thanks for telling me how itll react with my gear. Forgot the 17-55 will give it a darker vignette. Thanks again


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argyle
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Apr 15, 2012 06:27 |  #4

thirdkid wrote in post #14244832 (external link)
Been thinking of getting an ND filter but I wanna ask the general POTN population whats better. I have my eye on an ND8 and an ND400 9 stop filter. The ND400 as you know can change the shade with a twist of the dial so means more handy. Anyone used both these filter? Inputs?


? As far as I can recall, the ND400 is a straight 9-stop filter...it doesn't have any dial to twist to vary the density.

That being said, I wouldn't recommend a 9-stop (or a 10-stop, for that matter) filter as your only ND filter...filters of this strength are generally used for a more creative effect and will almost always require the use of a tripod. It may work if you're a landscaper and smoothing water, but will likely be too much if you're a portrait shooter using a large aperture for DOF control in bright light. I'd go with the 4 and 6-stop (or 3 and 6-stop) ND filters for more flexibility to start with.


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celowbe
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Apr 15, 2012 06:56 |  #5

argyle wrote in post #14268373 (external link)
? As far as I can recall, the ND400 is a straight 9-stop filter...it doesn't have any dial to twist to vary the density.

That being said, I wouldn't recommend a 9-stop (or a 10-stop, for that matter) filter as your only ND filter...filters of this strength are generally used for a more creative effect and will almost always require the use of a tripod. It may work if you're a landscaper and smoothing water, but will likely be too much if you're a portrait shooter using a large aperture for DOF control in bright light. I'd go with the 4 and 6-stop (or 3 and 6-stop) ND filters for more flexibility to start with.

Sorry about that, yes the ND400 is a straight 9 stop. Ive mistaken the ND400 to be variable as i was looking at 5 other ND filters. But the variable ND filter ive found are Polaroid and Kenko. From experience you guys have had, 3 and 4 stop are more handy than 6 and up? And has any one used the variable filter and compared to the set stop? Of course with respect to branding and etc.

EDIT: has anyone also used the Polaroid variable ND filters? Its 5 times cheaper than the Kenko one and yes i know, better to get a more expensive one but is it 6 times better?


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argyle
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Apr 15, 2012 07:37 |  #6

thirdkid wrote in post #14268445 (external link)
Sorry about that, yes the ND400 is a straight 9 stop. Ive mistaken the ND400 to be variable as i was looking at 5 other ND filters. But the variable ND filter ive found are Polaroid and Kenko. From experience you guys have had, 3 and 4 stop are more handy than 6 and up? And has any one used the variable filter and compared to the set stop? Of course with respect to branding and etc.

EDIT: has anyone also used the Polaroid variable ND filters? Its 5 times cheaper than the Kenko one and yes i know, better to get a more expensive one but is it 6 times better?

Do a search for posts by hollis_f on this topic. He's even posted pictures taken with the Polaroid, IIRC. And yes, when it comes to filters, you do get what you pay for.


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thedge
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Apr 16, 2012 01:30 |  #7

I have an ND400 and have been quite happy with it. Not much of a color tint.


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Logicus
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Apr 16, 2012 02:47 |  #8

argyle wrote in post #14268533 (external link)
Do a search for posts by hollis_f on this topic. He's even posted pictures taken with the Polaroid, IIRC. And yes, when it comes to filters, you do get what you pay for.

Definitely not on a wide angle... tried a friend's Polaroid variable and it gives a crazy pattern... big "X" shape of varying strengths.. not good.


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asamimasa
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Apr 16, 2012 04:19 |  #9

I've heard mostly good things about the Lightcraft variable ND.

Depends a bit on what application you want to use the filter for. For landscape, a stronger ND filter would probably do you better.

I use them only for outdoor portraits, and while at first I liked having a variable ND filter, but it quickly became annoying to have to reposition the filter after focusing. It doesn't help either that the decrease in light isn't linear, so the markings aren't indicative of how many stops you're at.

I only have B+W MRC ND filters (in 1.8 and 0.9ND) now, and am thoroughly satisfied with them.


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argyle
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Apr 16, 2012 17:12 |  #10

Logicus wrote in post #14273201 (external link)
Definitely not on a wide angle... tried a friend's Polaroid variable and it gives a crazy pattern... big "X" shape of varying strengths.. not good.

Under certain combinations of focal length and filter density, all variables will give an "X" pattern, the good ones as well as the crappy ones...its just the nature of the beast. Its just that generally the lower quality filters will show the X-pattern much sooner than a higher quality filter.


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Filters ND4,6, or 8 vs NDx400 9stop
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