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Dazz

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 2078

Dazz says:

7dayshop Variable ND

  Just before I left the forum 6or so months ago, the variable ND filter was a relatively new and popular choice as an alternative to the rather pricey 10stop filters. I recently ordered the 7dayshop.com variable filter and thought I would share my thoughts to aid your decision whether or not to buy it.

It claims to be up to 8 stops of ND filtration. (normal exposure x28) This should be dark enough to get the blurry water and motion blur desirable in landscapes whilst also giving us greater flexibility using wider appertures even in harsh sunlight. At just £20 including delivery, I doubt you will find anything cheaper (trust me, I looked). This is for the 58mm thread size and though prices vary for the larger sizes, I expect they will continue to be cheaper than comparable filters elsewhere.
My initial reaction is good. The filter is reasonably heavy; reasuringly so. And there is a nice weight to the rotation of the filter elements. The filter came cased nicely though some movement of the filter is allowed so may cause some cosmetic damage to the frame over time. The filter glass itself is recessed a little so should be fine to be kept in there. The filter thread on the outer side of the filter is bigger than 58mm though so may be a little awkward if you intended to stack another filter on top.

Initial tests

at 18mm on kit lens
On placing the filter on. At the brightest visual adjustment of the filter, it cut roughly 2 stops metering from 1/13th to 0.3 of a second. Contrast & colour remained very good with no signs of vignetting.
At roughly half way, Image quality remained very good still without signs of vignetting.
At the darkest setting however, the filter seemed to have a greater effect in the middle of the frame than at the ends- producing a hugely underexposed centre of the image compared to the outside.
It is worth noting too that kit lens also had trouble metering at darker settings (50mm prime did not).

at 55mm on kit lens
Image quality remains good throughout.
Apparent problem of uneven exposure from edges seems to have gone.

on 50mm Prime
Image seemed fine.


These are just very basic tests in my room. I will endeavour to take the filter out later in the week and see if problems persist. On taking a quick shot out of my window, Skies appeared unnaturally blue- something which will need looking into.

 

It's only banter :)

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HangTen

Joined:

Sep 05

Posts: 5854

HangTen says:

Re: 7dayshop Variable ND

I'm guessing that the variable ND comprises two polarising layers and works in the same way as stacking a pair of polarising filters?

If this is the case, then your "unnaturally blue skies" would be explained by the polarising effect.

~ Terry ~
Ανθρωποι είμαστε, σφάλματα κάνουμε ...

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Dazz

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 2078

Dazz says:

Re: 7dayshop Variable ND

 I am quite happy with some of the results I have had with the filter. at it's darkest, the filter is basically unusable due to the uneven exposure but for around 6 stops of light, the image is about spot on. The camera may take manual exposure at this stage but once you choose the right settings, the camera will reward you. The images at this exposure have the normal time blur without the horid loss of contrast and loss of colour accuracy which I experienced at the filter's darkest settings.I will post a fe images once I get a chance to go through them properly. 

It's only banter :)

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McCullin

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 1517

McCullin says:

Re: 7dayshop Variable ND

Do you have an update on this filter perchance Dazz?

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tintedglasses

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 35

Re: 7dayshop Variable ND

 your problem is the £20...........have a look at all filters and see the price range ignore the bottom end of any item and recognise the prestige buying end then look at the middle ground....these are the filters you need...........

NIKON OR CANON just make sure its switched on

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Guanajuato

Joined:

Apr 10

Posts: 146

Guanajuato says:

Re: 7dayshop Variable ND

I got one of these and can echo the review.  At the darker end, there are some strange colour effects happening.  Also, the first time I used it, I kept a normal polariser fitted, which emphasised the uneven effect past about 3/4 of the full effect.

But below 3/4 it seems fine.  Auto-focus gets slowed down, but in those situations I'd probably be using manual focus anyway.  At the darker end, the metering seems to be out a fair bit as well.  So as a variable 2-10 stop ND filter, it doesn't quite work. but as a 2-6/8 stop, its great.  For ~1/5 the price of other similar products, you can't beat it!

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