We’re onto the final gift guide of the holiday season. We’ve had cameras, lenses, lights, tripods sliders and gimbals, but now it’s time for those essential accessories and doohickies we often find stuffed into our camera bags or on our desks that we just can’t live without. This year we’ve picked some of our favourite new tools of 2020 and those that have been the most useful to the team here at DIYP.
Filters, such a useful tool for allowing more control over your exposure. Some things are simply can’t be done with a camera alone. But with so many manufactures, types, and price differences buying a filter might get a little confusing.
While it would be nearly impossible to test every filter around. I did manage to assemble a decent collection in the hope to see the differences between cheap, expensive, square, screw-in and variable NV filters.
As you can see I have a mixture of square and circle ND filters that are 10stop in strength. I also added two 6stop filters and variable ND into the mix.
I’m a big fan of step-up rings. I buy all my circular filters in 77mm diameter (the largest diameter of all the lenses I own) and then use step-up rings to be able to use them on lenses with a smaller diameter. It’s a great approach that saves you an absolute fortune because you don’t have to buy your polarizers and variable NDs in five different sizes. You buy the largest size you need and then spend $1-2 each on step-up rings.
But this new device, the REVORING looks like it wants to be the only step up ring you’ll ever need. It’s currently launching on Kickstarter, where it’s already more than quadrupled its goal, and it’s a pretty interesting concept. Although, it’s not going to be ideal for everybody just yet.
Normally when we think of Variable ND filters, we think about a circular filter. One that gives us the ability to change the exposure simply by rotating the front element. Something like this K&F concept one I recently reviewed here.
But what if you wanted both the convenience of a Variable ND filter AND the ability to use graduated or other filters. This would give you far more control over the scene that you are going to capture?
Well! Haida has released a brand new filter the ‘Insert Variable ND filter‘.
Variable neutral density filters have become invaluable tools for many photographers and filmmakers. They allow us to carry less kit to be able to extend our shutter speed in a variety of lighting conditions vs big holders and multiple square format filters. In recent years, their prices have fallen quite dramatically, too, while their overall quality has greatly improved.
Moment’s recently released variable ND filters have come in at a very attractive price, but do they hold up to scrutiny? With the lockdown in Scotland, I haven’t been able to get out to play with them properly in the wild yet, but I have been able to do some testing to get an idea of their capabilities. So, here’s what I think.
Z Cam’s eND filter is now available to pre-order. It’s an electronic variable neutral density filter designed for use with the Z Cam E2-S6, E2-F6 and E2-F8 cinema cameras. It was first shown off at IBC 2019 last September and offers a range of 1.7 to 6.7 stops of neutral density in 1/3rd stop increments.
We swung by the Z Cam booth when we were at IBC last year to check out the then-newly announced Z Cam E2 S6, F6 and F8 along with the eND electronic neutral density filter.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the creative benefits of using ND (Neutral Density) filters in photography. This can be viewed here. Although I love ND filters they can require a larger initial investment which could be a barrier for people who want to play around with long exposures photography.
What if there was another option that let you adjust the strength of the light reduction which costs less and still offers decent image quality?
Attaching the NiSi Vario filter to a lens basically means that we have added a fourth dimension to our camera. The exposure triangle; aperture, iso, shutter speed, has been expanded with a fourth variable with which we can play to achieve a desired effect or outcome. This of course opens up for new creative opportunities in our photography, and also adds a lot of flexibility to our shooting.
Neutral density is a fact of life for filmmakers. Sometimes it’s built into the camera, sometimes you need to pop a filter onto your lens, whether it be a straight up or a variable. But Panavision is taking neutral density to the next level with their new LCND filter. It’s a liquid crystal variable ND with 6 stops of range and it’s all controlled electronically.