Neutral Density Shootout from Dave Dugdale: Which Variable ND Filter Should You Buy?
By now Dave Dugdale and his site Learning DSLR Video should be fairly familiar to you because of his honest personal experience and no-nonsense gear reviews. In our modern, lovely era of acquisition technology — particularly regarding the proliferation of low-cost, high native ISO cameras — the need for Neutral Density filters inevitably arises. That said, there’s quite a few options out there, but like lenses themselves, quality concerns must be heavily weighted against price-point. Dave has recently created an ND filter shootout that incorporates both of these key considerations into his conclusion. Read on to find out which ND filter just may be the right choice for your needs.
Here is the list of the NDs Dave shoots-out in his great review, followed by the video itself:
- Polariod ND Fader Filter — $50
- Genus ND Fader Filter — $150
- Lightcraft Fader ND Mark II — $180
- Tiffen Variable ND — $220
- Singh-Ray Vari-ND Filter — $420
- Heliopan 77mm Variable ND Filter – $500
Dave makes a lot of good points, and it’d be fairly difficult to argue with how he arrived at his findings. That said, you may choose the less expensive Genus, for instance, if it better suits your needs and the finer (and therefore more obvious in revealing imperfections) resolution of stills simply isn’t something you work with in the industry. As is the case with any such shootouts, you may simply need something even cheaper, or you may prefer the higher quality options for your standards –but this review is certainly a good foundation to build upon in your own search.
Which among these ND Filters have you guys used, and preferred, in your past shooting experiences? Have you used any alternatives not reviewed by Dave, and if so, do they compete in price-range and quality?