Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter arrives!

480sparky

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Scored a deal on ebay last week..... a 77mm thin Singh-Ray VND. It showed up in the mail yestiddy, but I didn't have time to mess with it until this morning.

My first test run in the sun today went just as I expected. I took a control image at (ISO 100, f/11) at 1/80 sec of my yard, and included a gray card in the scene. I then popped on the VND and started taking shots while dialing it down further and further. To my delight, I was still getting good sharp images at 9 stops (manufacturer states 2-8 stops)!!!! And peeping at the pixel level shows very little loss of IQ. I did notice, however, that as the exposures get longer, they tended to warm up a bit as well (camera was set to Manual WB: Direct Sunlight).

So just for S&G, I sandwiched my B+W 10-stop ND between the Singh-Ray and the lens and pulled out the wired remote. Set the camera to bulb and timed a 963-second shot (that's 16 minutes for the chronologically challenged). As expected, there's a more noticable IQ loss with all that glass, but it's still quite manageable. Fact is, for most real-world shots, it's a non-issue. In addition, the image was very warm but easily corrected with the inclusion of the gray card since I was shooting raw.

Vignetting? Even though it's a 'thin' filter, it's still much thicker than a normal filter (All VNDs are). I can easily see vignetting in the VF on my 17-35mm up to 20mm. But given I tend to 'shoot wide' anyway, the vignetting will most likely be cropped out in post as a matter of course. If it's still visible when it comes to saving the final JPEG, then it's time to haul out the Clone & Heal tools.
 

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