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02-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #16

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I don't think it's a great idea to use a variable ND filter on DA 15, particularly if you need 9 to 10 stops. Nor do I think it matters what the brand is. All such filters use polarization effects, which will lead to banding on an a lens as wide as the DA 15. If you need nine or ten stops, get a 9 or 10 stop ND filter. You can get a 10 stop B+W filter for $56.

02-07-2013, 10:32 PM   #17

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Ok thanks. After looking around a bunch tonight, I've decided to just pick up ND8 and ND400 separately so that they don't get in the way of the hood. Also the cost of the two separately is roughly what a single, decent, vari ND filter cost anyway.
02-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #18
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I would still be interested in knowing if a $100 variable ND can come close to the same photo quality as a 2 or 3 stop ND. My gut says that it is unlikely and it's more likely that it performs like my Hoya ND400 which killed colors. I've taken a few shots which show the difference but I've never uploaded them. Perhaps next week I'll get a chance to take a set of photos (of a waterfall) showing the quality difference between no filter, CPL, ND8, ND8+CPL, ND400 and ND400+CPL.
02-08-2013, 09:30 AM   #19

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That'd be awesome if you could post comparisons. I've only picked up the Hoya HMC ND8 right now. I was debating between Hoya or B+W for ND400 -- probably B+W since the price difference isn't huge.

So after further readings, I came to conclusion why I often see the phrase 'video guys love vari ND filters' which does not apply to photographers. Video guys use them because they are quick and convenient. However, they are primarily using it as tool to control aperture and recording speed. While that is something in common with photographers, the difference comes that we often use it either for really long exposure shots or telephoto shots. And for a photo, a single frame's image quality is much more desirable than a rolling video, and that's when these vari filters really show more issues for photographers.

02-09-2013, 05:29 AM   #20
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I don't have one yet, but a vari-ND filter is very useful for strobists. But I understand it is worthwhile to spend the money on a good quality one, or else you will likely get unwanted color casts. I believe David Hobby recommends the Singh-Ray.

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