ND Filter Suggestions

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras & Equipment' started by WDWFigment, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    I already have the AE/AF-L split so it just does AF. ; I almost never use that button anyway, but I set it up that way a while ago for dark rides (long story there).

    But in any case, I don't know why I didn't think of the last part of your post. Yeah, it autofocuses in live view. ; I just assumed it would have the same troubles there, but obviously if it shows the composition clearly, it follows that it should be able to autofocus on it easily. ; Jeez, I'm not thinking this morning...

    I am still torn among the B+W 6 stop, Hoya 9 stop, and this Fader ND2-400. ; More research is definitely necessary. ; The Fader would be the easy choice if I weren't concerned about optical degradation and those mentions of the "optical theorem" on the HK eBay listing. ; Even though it's probably nothing given the source, it does still worry me a little. ; Especially since I'd likely be using this filter almost exclusively with a UWA...
  2. I know I am going up in price here but I was just looking on B&H and noticed this one. ; There is no image but it is from B&H. ; (Damn it Tom now you got me on the track again). ;


    This is the direct site for that filter. ; Don't know if this is another reseller (kind of at work in between meetings) but might be another option.

  3. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    Doug - after doing a lot more reading about it (I'm in an incredibly boring 3 hour Tax class...ugh), it seems like many online recommend going for the one from faderfilter.com. ; You can find the authorized sellers on their page, and B&H is not one such seller. ; I know B&H normally only carries they recommend, but I think I am going for the Fader (which is their brand name, albeit apparently not a registered trademark, so Genus' use of the term Fader appears a bit unscrupulous to me as it amounts to them leeching off the goodwill of Fader's name, which would be Trademark Infringement had Fader registered the name--I don't buy that Genus' is just using it as a descriptive term, as these the descriptive term for such a filter is a Variable-ND filter). ; It will be less than $100 after BCB, which is much much more than I wanted to spend, but I think it will be worth it if the images I have in my head pan out. ; Gotta come up with something new and unique given all the awesome shots the new fisheye brigade have put out!

    I will keep researching and report back (2 hours left in class, so I have to do something!).
  4. Good, I am glad that you found more info on it. ; Maybe I can now get back to work. :) ; I do hope to see how this turns out for you as I am also looking (have been looking for awhile now) on a lower cost variable ND. ; I can think of a lot of great ideas with these ND filters but they seen to run quite expensive especially once you get the range of stops I would like. ; Hope this works well because I will be right behind you with a purchase. ;
  5. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    Here's some stuff I've found:

    ...don't know how reliable that second site is, as it's for filmmaking, and several folks on there didn't realize that aperture blades, not the ND filter, would cause starbursts...

    -Also of note with the second site is that many indicated they purchased versions on eBay that came from Hong Kong. ; According to the Fader Filter website, those are knock offs. ; Not sure if that might cause any difference in quality.


    In summary, here is what I've found:
    1. ; Some indicate minor vignetting at 17mm on full frame (so with the Tokina, I should be fine at 11mm...plus I really don't care about vignetting. ; The front glass is a step up, so it seems vignetting issues would be really minor.
    2. ; It seems a 50/50 split between reports of slight green color casts and no color casts (quality control? casts in the knock offs? ; Again, not a big deal for me; the sample images I've seen look great, and I usually alter WB, tint, and specific color saturation in ACR to achieve the look I want).
    3. ; Some report uneven results on UWA lenses. ; No surprise there...they're essentially polarizers. ; Not really an issue for me after seeing the sample images.

    All in all, this seems like a really good alternative to the Sing-rayh (to me at least)
  6. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    ^After doing a little more digging, I don't think there is any such thing as an "authentic" Fader filter. ; They all seem to be made in the same factory in Hong Kong, and there is a price war between a couple companies trying to beat the others (and thus they're trying to scare consumers with accusation that other "brands" are knock offs).

    That also explains why faderfilter.com wouldn't have a Registered TM. ; They wouldn't be able to get one! ; Apparently it is a descriptive term, at least for all of the variable-ND filters originating in this particular HK factory!
  7. gary

    gary Member

    ok i'm going to wade in here with a caution against always trying to go cheap, sometimes it just is not going to be a good option. i do indeed have the vari-nd filter from singh-ray, and it indeed cost me $400, but it's in 77mm so it fits all my lenses including using step down rings, what it does such as slow down water, etc, it does very well, and it's a one time purchase, barring mishap or theft, i'll have and use that the rest of my lifespan, which considering my grandfather is 102 in july, might be a few more for me. if you have optical degradation and never are satisfied with the results, was the savings worth it?? you'll probably become discouraged and stop trying that technique. now i will put into play that my circumstances are a little different, i already am retired on a good pension, and i'm able to work 10 hours a week at a well paying second career, and put that money into a dedicated photography fund. but sometimes saving steadily towards something and then getting the right tool for the job is worth the wait
  8. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    Well said. ;
  9. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    I understand exactly where you're coming from, but here is a converse to that: ; I have a ticking clock with regard to "photographic freedom" at WDW (and I don't really care about photography elsewhere). ; Sarah and I get married this year, and at some point in the near future (4-8 years), we're likely to have kids. ; That will significantly impair my ability to get the type of shots I anticipate wanting to get with this item, so I think this is one of those "something now is better than nothing" type purchases. ; Since I won't be able to purchase the S-R version for at least a few years, I want to get something now, even if it's not as good. ; Additionally, while IQ matters (as do the other issues), it isn't the end-all-be-all for me, I just want something that allows me to capture my creative vision (the 'technical stuff' in photography doesn't really interest me...I'm the "photographic raccoon"...I just take pictures of shiny stuff that I like!).

    Moreover, and while I've heard absolutely great things about it, the most common word I've seen associated with Sing-rayh filters is "overpriced" (maybe I just hang out with my fellow cheap brethren). ; I don't know that I could ever come to terms with paying $300-400 for the S-R version of the filter. ; Also, in the only completed auction I've seen for the B+W #110 (10 stop) filter (another I'm considering), the filter inexplicably sold for more than the selling price of new copies. ; No clue why, but it at least suggests that these hold their value so I could recoup much of my money should I decide to upgrade when I could afford the S-R version in a few years. ;
  10. While I totally agree with getting good quality photo gear, I must side on value though. (not necessary cheap but value). ; If I am not mistaken then this is what I think Tom is looking for. ; While I also would like to drop >$300 on a filter, I am not sure that it is really "worth" that much money. ;

    I would be willing to accept a slight drop in "picture quality" for a little bit extra in my pocket. ; I guess it would really depend on how and what type of quality I was compromising on. ; If it a small amount of Pixels on the micro level I am never going to see or notice or can fix in post then I will do it. ; If it changes the complete color range or blurs the photo then maybe not so much. ; I have compromised on a lot of gear and spent where I think it is needed. ; I am sure that this ND Filter is not as good as a $300 one but does it degrade "enough" that I would be dissatisfied with the pictures. ; I don't know yet. ; That is why I am waiting for Tom to take the plunge first (Just joking Tom). ;-) ;

    From my understanding of some of the links that Tom posted above these shots were taken with these filters and to me I am “likingâ€Â
  11. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    Just remember, esp. in photography, there are no free lunches. ; There are some hidden gems out there but sometimes you need to spend the money (and some of this stuff ain't cheap!)
  12. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    I agree with Tim and Gary. ;

    Those who have read The Millionaire Next Door will know that their intinsive research on the millionaire (defined as an individual who has more than $1M in easy to reach cash [bank, CD's, etc) discovered that many of them will forgo cheap for higher price if they could get a longer life out of the product.

    For example, many would pay more than $400 for a pair of "dress" shoes because shoes of that caliber can be resoled while an equivalent style of shoe purchased at a discount retailer like Payless Shoes cannot. ; So, during the life of the expensive shoe one would actually spend more in replacement shoes if you went the cheap route first. ; I've also heard this argument made in the PC vs Mac debate when the only hangup is price. ; The argument amongst those who have made the jump is that they had to buy new PCs every 2-3 years due to slowdown and other problems while their Macs just kept trucking at the same pace for years.

    The study also found that the millionaires considered to much time doing research was a money sink because time is money to them. ; That is time they could be spending working, enjoying their family, working in the yard, etc. ; They looked for the product with the features they wanted and the best quality and bought it if they could afford it and if they couldn't they didn't buy it.

    Not to knock Tom but the amount of research he's doing (and to turn the table on myself the amount of research I'm doing about buying an iMac or Macbook Pro) would turn the stomachs of the people surveyed for that book....haha

    My camera equipment purchasing credo is that if I cannot afford the best product I don't buy it. ; I made the decision to look for a cheaper equivalent once and that lens is sitting in a closet never having been used since because I hate it. ; I should've paid the extra for the 18-200VR back then and I would've been happy. ; Instead I ended up eventually getting the lens and now have a lens that I could care less about
  13. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    millionaire next door should be REQUIRED reading for all of today's high school kids.
  14. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    I absolutely, positively agree with this as it pertains to millionaires. ; The difference between me and the individuals in that book is the value of their time versus mine. ; However, at this point in my life, my time has very little value except when I am at work.

    It also should be noted that it is not all sunk research time. ; Of the approximately 3 hours I've spent researching filters, I would say that approximately 1.5 hours of that has been an enjoyable learning experience applicable to all ND filters (I also did not include the time spent posting results here, as I enjoy that). ; That knocks the total down to 1.5 hours of research time. ; The difference in price between the filters I'm consider and the Sing-rayh is $300. ; Let's say the quality difference is $200 and you pay $100 for the name. ; Let's also assume it'll take me 1 hour to resell the Fader if I so choose in 3 years. ; The value of my time right now (in class), I would peg at $10/hour. ; The future value of my non-leisure time isn't quite as easy to peg, but it's definitely over $100/hour. ; But, I also get 2-3 years use of the Fader in which would otherwise have no ND filter. ; I'm willing to pay at least $100 for that (that's the FMV, even though I'd likely pay $150). ; I don't intend on actually doing any math here, just throwing those numbers out there...

    I understand what you all are saying, and if I were a millionaire, I would have bought the Sing-rayh without blinking an eye and without thoroughly researching either. ; However, it's difficult to reconcile the millionaire's advice with my circumstances, thus I think my point still stands. ; I cannot afford the Sing-rayh. ; That option is entirely off the table. ; My options are to either buy the cheaper alternative now, and use it for 2-3 years (or more if I like it) and upgrade then, or wait, and buy the S-R in 2-3 years when I can afford it. ; The latter option might ultimately be more expensive, but it allows me to take pictures with it now. ; There is, undeniably, value in it. ; It might cost more in the long run, and the pictures I get now may be of lower technical quality, but I still have those pictures...

  15. Sorry I started to write this before I saw Tom’s remark but I think it is saying the same thing. Also I don’t want to anyone to think I am being harsh as that is not my intent. ;

    I totally agree with you on purchasing a better quality product in place of a cheaper one. ; I have not read this book (looks like I have some reading to do). ; I think this philosophy is spot on if you have the cash on hand to purchase the higher Quality (usually Price as well) item. ; The issue is that if you don’t have the money to make the purchase and have to choose either 1) waiting to buy the higher priced item until you have the money or 2) purchasing a lower priced item and taking the risk on it not lasting as long or working correctly, etc. (There are other options but I won’t go into that now) ; In your example of shoes, if I could not afford the higher price shoes at the time I needed them. ; I could wait but now I don’t have shoes to walk in. ; I would not get use out of either product because I have nothing. ; No matter how much the better quality the upgrade is I still have nothing now. ; Now once I have enough money I agree I would buy the higher quality but for now I am walking around without shoes. ;

    The exact issue I had on my last trip to WDW. ; I needed (okay “wantedâ€Â
  16. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    My simple philosophy, concurring with or notwithstanding the millionaire's advice, is this:

    I buy the best I can afford at the time I need it, and upgrade to better if I can afford it in the future. ; That way I always have something that can do what I need, and always have the best I can afford at all times. ; The more money I happen to have, the more I can afford, and therefore the better I will buy.

    That philosophy works with pretty much everything I buy, from gumdrops to houses! ; :)
  17. Tim

    Tim Administrator Staff Member

    AMAZON has it! ; (wink wink)
  18. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    I most likely didn't do a good job explaining the philosophy the book was trying to convey as a result of their research because it is a heck of a lot more complicated than I wrote. ; The points Tom and Doug raised are factors many of these people took into their purchases.

    For example, Doug said that with his purchase of a lesser expensive lens (I hate the use of the word cheap because it comes with the negative connotation of lesser quality which isn't always the case as has often been found with the 3rd party lenses) he was HAPPY with the results. ; He didn't say he settled for the results.

    I should also point out that their rather extensive research study found that the largest concentration of millionaires are entrepreneurial BLUE-COLLAR workers. ; In fact, I think it specifically mentioned professions such as lawyers and doctors make up a minuscule representation in that population which they found shocking since those are two non-celebrity-related professions they thought for sure would have a large representation of professions held by the millionaires.

    I agree with Tim that it should be a must read for High School Students, but I also think that all high school students should be made to take 4 years of financial management classes (which I hear some school districts in the country are actually starting to float to their boards)
  19. WDWFigment

    WDWFigment Member

    I STRONGLY agree with this (not having read the book, I can't comment on whether I think it'd be beneficial reading for them). ;

    With regard to doctors and lawyers, is their proportional representation lower than it is in the general population? ; The issue might be that there are very few lawyers and doctors in comparison to blue-collar workers (even though everyone complains that the world has too many lawyers, there really are not that many). ; The issue might also be the amount of debt some people incur in making it in those professions. ; Just throwing out possibilities.

    In any case, I think we're all fairly well on the same page. ; ;
  20. Grumpwurst

    Grumpwurst Member Staff Member

    The book did explain how they got their survey pool, I just don't remember the exact methodology.

    I do remember their first attempt to do the scientific study failed because they originally only surveyed people of certain professions that they were absolutely sure constituted the majority of millionaires. ; In that pool were doctors, lawyers, athletes, celebrities, and other professions that when you look at them you say to yourself, "They are loaded".

    So, when they did their second attempt they took this new knowledge into account and when they found their large pool of millionaires they went on to figure out why the first assumption was wrong.

    What it came down to was lifestyle and debt assumption.

    For example, doctors take on HUGE debt to become a doctor and then they take on huge debt to survive their residency, and then once they get to the point where they are making the big bucks, they often fall prey of living the lifestyle of a person in that paygrade (luxury cars, expensive suits, large homes, country clubs, etc). Same was true for lawyers, real estate agents, CEO's, etc.

    Sam Walton was an example of the exception to the rule.

    On the other hand, the plumber down the road, bought used vehicles, suits at Sears and paid cash for almost everything and were very conservative with their purchases because they were more concerned with 20-30 years down the road than right now.

    So while he only made 60-100K per year (or more) they were saving a lot of it and it quickly amassed into a fortune.

    It was also interesting to note in the book that many of them didn't have college degrees, and if they DID they were on average C students. ; That was because they didn't put a high value on a higher GPA and was using that time that others were spending on studying to perfect skills that they used once they graduated. ; In other words, they did teh bare minimum to graduate. ; Because you know the saying,"What do you call the guy who graduated last in his medical school? ; Doctor"

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