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02-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Vari ND Filter on DA 15 and 35 Ltd

Now that I'm pretty sure I would never sell these two lenses, I've started to look into filters. I was wondering if anyone has experience with Marumi Vari ND Filter, or any other variable ND filter that would work with the DA 15 and 35 Ltd lenses. And how do the end results turn out? Looking at Marumi version from the pictures, it seems like the build in hood would not work with it since the top of the filter is wider. Am I stuck in getting multiple filters? I'm essentially looking to have 3-4 stops and a 9-10 stops filter eventually.



I know Singh-Ray, LCW2, B+W are recommended but they are a bit high price wise for me right now. Any other recommendations?


Last edited by ruggiex; 02-06-2013 at 01:57 PM.
02-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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I would be a little concerned about using this filter because of the design (it may, without me knowing completely, be an issue because of the built - in hood). What is the price point of them? Hoya is a great filter and is under $25 from B&H. And Hoya is a great brand.
02-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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I know that Marumi filters are probably the best bang-for-the-buck filters out there, especially their polarizers. I don't know anything about their vari-ND filters though as these vari-NDs are an entirely different beast. I know video guys love vari-NDs so they would be able to give you the best advice.

The DA 15mm and filters is another issue entirely. The built in hood will interfere with a thick sided filter that sticks out of the sides of the element. I suggest going into a store and trying out some filters to see which profiles fit best. When I had the 15mm, I used a B+W 49mm 10 Stop filter and a Cameron ND Fader filter with no issues. They both fit inside the hood.
02-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ari Quote
I would be a little concerned about using this filter because of the design (it may, without me knowing completely, be an issue because of the built - in hood). What is the price point of them? Hoya is a great filter and is under $25 from B&H. And Hoya is a great brand.
I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a 3-4 stop filter and a 9-10 stop filter essentially. The 9-10 gets pretty expensive from what I have seen.

02-06-2013, 02:38 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sol Invictus Quote
I know that Marumi filters are probably the best bang-for-the-buck filters out there, especially their polarizers. I don't know anything about their vari-ND filters though as these vari-NDs are an entirely different beast. I know video guys love vari-NDs so they would be able to give you the best advice.

The DA 15mm and filters is another issue entirely. The built in hood will interfere with a thick sided filter that sticks out of the sides of the element. I suggest going into a store and trying out some filters to see which profiles fit best. When I had the 15mm, I used a B+W 49mm 10 Stop filter and a Cameron ND Fader filter with no issues. They both fit inside the hood.
To deal with filters on the 15mm, I took on old cheap filter and removed the glass, then use it is a small extender to put the filter on above the hood.
02-06-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
To deal with filters on the 15mm, I took on old cheap filter and removed the glass, then use it is a small extender to put the filter on above the hood.
That's a pretty cool idea!!!!!
02-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
To deal with filters on the 15mm, I took on old cheap filter and removed the glass, then use it is a small extender to put the filter on above the hood.
Good idea! How's the vignetting though?
02-06-2013, 03:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sol Invictus Quote
Good idea! How's the vignetting though?
You know, I did it to be able to use a larger filter with an adapter ring (IR filter...not going to buy one of those for more than 1 thread size!), so the filter itself was wider so I can't say - with a thicker filter like the one in the original post I'm guessing there would be some vignetting, but again you could do the same thing, get a step up ring and get say a 55mm filter to use. I think I used a 58mm filter in these images with the 15mm limited:

Also, Pop quiz without looking - which one is from the K-5 and which from the ist DS?!





02-06-2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
You know, I did it to be able to use a larger filter with an adapter ring (IR filter...not going to buy one of those for more than 1 thread size!), so the filter itself was wider so I can't say - with a thicker filter like the one in the original post I'm guessing there would be some vignetting, but again you could do the same thing, get a step up ring and get say a 55mm filter to use. I think I used a 58mm filter in these images with the 15mm limited:

Also, Pop quiz without looking - which one is from the K-5 and which from the ist DS?!
Second one is definitely the K-5.
02-06-2013, 07:02 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sol Invictus Quote
Second one is definitely the K-5.
OK, not much of a game to play I guess! But, your guess is not correct

The 6mp sensor in the DS (and other bodies - DL, k100/110d) is significantly more sensitive to IR. The result is that in similarly lit conditions, the k-5 needed iso2500 and 1/6 shutter speed, while the DS used 1/25 and iso200, making about 5-6 stops of IR sensitivity for the DS (both shot at f5.6)!
02-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
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Very interesting! It's amazing the niches these old cameras carve out for themselves. I have an old Nikon D70 which I sometimes use for outdoor portraits for it's insanely high flash sync speed. It has no other uses other than that.

By the way, I totally guessed. I figured making it sound definitive would make me look that much smarter if I guessed correctly!
02-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
To deal with filters on the 15mm, I took on old cheap filter and removed the glass, then use it is a small extender to put the filter on above the hood.
I've read others done that from the previous thread as well. Too bad it wouldn't work with the 35mm Ltd since the hood is longer. But maybe it's not that big of a deal unable to use it on the 35mm since most of these would be landscape shots and generally 15mm is more useful in those cases. Still frustrating... lol
02-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a 3-4 stop filter and a 9-10 stop filter essentially. The 9-10 gets pretty expensive from what I have seen.
I have the Hoya ND8 and ND400 (8+ stop based on my numbers, 9 stop according to Hoya) for $25 and $75. They aren't cheap but hardly prohibitively expensive like getting a set of 77mm filters.

I think the more important consideration is how well does the variable filter perform. I notice a considerable difference in color between the 3 stop and the 9 stop filters. If the variable filter performs like the 9 stop then I would not be happy with it. The 9 stop is more of a novelty filter imo.
02-07-2013, 09:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ruggiex Quote
I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a 3-4 stop filter and a 9-10 stop filter essentially. The 9-10 gets pretty expensive from what I have seen.
I had a variable ND filter a long time ago... I don't even remember who the manufacturer was, but I didn't have much luck with it. It produces inconsistent exposure across the frame. For whatever that is worth.

I have never had the need to go past 4 stops, but I would consider stacking filters first. It should be cheaper as a good variable ND filter is nearly $200 I think?
02-07-2013, 08:31 PM   #15
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The Marumi Vari ND filter is about $90. I have their CPL at different size which to me is 'good enough' quality that's why I was wondering about the ND filter. I have read horrible review of the cheap Polaroid ones and then good reviews for Sigh-Ray. But their prices are on the two ends of the spectrum. I am just hoping to find a compromise.
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