This is a strange one, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet. The new ICELAVA Warm-to-Cold fader is a new filter which offers a stepless level of white balance adjustment from 2900K to 6300K.
It works similarly to a circular polariser or variable neutral density filter. You screw it onto your lens, and then the front rotates to change the effect seen through your lens, but I’m really not getting the point.
It strikes me very much as a solution looking for a problem. If we’re shooting digital, we can already change the colour temperature to known values in order to get correct, warm or cool looks to our images. Whether shooting stills or video, we can set that in the camera before or, if we’re shooting raw, we can set it in post.
So, having a filter over the lens that sets the white balance to some unknown number that we have to guess in post just doesn’t make any sense at all to me.
Maybe, perhaps if you’re shooting on actual colour film, having a filter that could let you shoot tungsten film outdoors in daylight, or shoot daylight film inside using lights of a different colour temperature might possibly useful, but I think most film shooters would either just load the film appropriate for the lighting, or they’re shooting black & white where it doesn’t make a difference.
Possibly there’s some reason I haven’t thought of why this filter needs to exist, but there might be a simple reason why nobody’s ever made one before, and it may be the obvious one.
The filter is available in 58mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 88mm sizes, although it can only be imported from Taiwan at the moment.
With a cost of $130, I think I’ll take a pass on this one, especially given the typo shown in the video above. If they can’t even get the writing correct on a filter for a promotional video, I wonder how reliable the quality control may be on the filter itself.
What do you think? Can you think of a reason why this filter might be useful? What advantage it may offer over simply shifting your white balance in the camera? Let us know in the comments.