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Variable ND Filters - Are they worth it.

This is a discussion on Variable ND Filters - Are they worth it. within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; How do variable ND filters compare to fixed ones. I assume that as in lenses where zoom lenses lose some ...

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    Default Variable ND Filters - Are they worth it.

    How do variable ND filters compare to fixed ones. I assume that as in lenses where zoom lenses lose some quality from prime lenses that variable ND loses some quality from fixed ones. How bad is that trade off.

    I'm considering a variable 3-8 stop ND, however not sure if it is worth buying.

    Any comments, suggestions welcome.

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    which brand? got link?

    Seems a bit Gimmicky to me.
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    I may not be the right person to answer this because I'm cheap But, unless you are doing something special that requires one on a regular basis, I wouldn't bother. ND filters are used to do things like allow long exposure on daytime waterfall shots, low depth of field in super bright sunlight, etc. Unless that's something you plan to do a lot of I'm not sure if it's worth the money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post
    which brand? got link?

    Seems a bit Gimmicky to me.
    What made me think about this is that my camera club is having an outing to shoot a waterfalls. As a result I realized that there are a few instances where an ND filter would come in handy.
    I did a quick search and one I considered was Tiffen (see link at Vistek)
    https://www.vistek.ca/store/257203/t...d-filter#Specs
    Not sure that they are 'Gimmicky' as Marko says but I did a little more research and it appears that, in general, variable ND have an issue with an X pattern appearing in your image at the high ND end. How much of a problem this is probably depends on the quality of the filter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asnow View Post
    it appears that, in general, variable ND have an issue with an X pattern appearing in your image at the high ND end. How much of a problem this is probably depends on the quality of the filter.
    I had heard the same thing.

    This is a just a personal opinion, but I think "go big or go home". I went straight to a 10 stop (Marko did a podcast review of the "big stopper" back in the day). Personally , I cant imagine a situation (in practise at least) where I would use the lower density filters. Whenever I use it (which is pretty much exclusively landscapes), I also tend to have a very small aperture and lowest ISO to get the longest shutter speed possible . Like I say, this is just a personal opinion
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    Quote Originally Posted by asnow View Post
    it appears that, in general, variable ND have an issue with an X pattern appearing in your image at the high ND end. How much of a problem this is probably depends on the quality of the filter.
    I had heard the same thing.

    This is a just a personal opinion, but I think "go big or go home". I went straight to a 10 stop (Marko did a podcast review of the "big stopper" back in the day). Personally, I cant imagine a situation (in practise at least) where I would use the lower density filters. Whenever I use it (which is pretty much exclusively landscapes), I also tend to have a very small aperture and lowest ISO to get the longest shutter speed possible (although I also acknowledge that do live in fairly sunny place, which may make a difference). Like I say, this is just a personal opinion
    I welcome all critique and comments on any of my photos

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    Thanks for your input.

    I think I'm convinced. If and when I get one it will be as Runmonty said (go big), an 8 or 10 stop fixed.
    Also taking Iggy's comments to heart. Do I really need one? It's winter now so less likely to use it. Will decide by the spring.

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