Back in April we talked about a crowdfunding campaign for a pretty interesting lens mount project from Thomas Läräng called HolyManta VND, which was designed to give you a variable ND filter of around 12 stops inside a Canon EF to Sony NEX or Canon EF to Micro 4/3 lens mount adapter. That campaign was successful and adapters have been shipped to backers, and new HolyManta adapters are now available to order. Click through for more on the adapter and how it could benefit your productions.
Here's the introduction video from HolyManta:
Some footage shot with the adapter:
This was shot in July on the island of Väddö, in the Stockholm archipelago in Sweden. A prototype of HolyManta VND was used which can be noticed by the corner light leakage in some of the shots.
Filmed in during 10 min break (except the cloud intro filmed just after), this goes to show how much more effective the workflow gets with the adapter - both due to step-less exposure adjustement and making lens changes much faster.
Canon EF 18-55mm 3.5-5.6
Canon EF 70-200mm 4L (This lens had to be returned since it was extremely soft after 150mm).
Camera used: Sony NEX FS100
Here is a quick review from Daniel Peters:
Apparently there isn't really color shift until you get near the limit of the adapter (around 12 stops), but many variable NDs have color shift far sooner. Something that should be noted is that this a dumb mount, which means there is no communication between the camera and the lens. Thomas mentioned this last time:
I gave the smart adapter idea a lot thought when I started working on this idea, but since I’m neither a software specialist nor a digital hardware specialist I focused on a dumb adapter.
This means that any EF lens without a manual iris will only be usable wide open, unless you attach the lens to a camera, set the aperture, and pull the lens off without turning the camera off (which isn't the safest thing for the contacts on your camera, but you could also put it on something like a Metabones EF to NEX adapter and change the iris). While it's not a perfect solution, if you know you're shooting outside all day with this adapter, it's probably safe to set the lens on another camera a few stops closed down to f/2.8 or f/4 for better image quality and easier depth of field, and keep it there until very late in the day when the sun is just about going down -- changing exposure only with the HolyManta.
There are some Canon lenses now with manual irises like the Samyangs/Rokinons, but you could also adapt Nikon or Leica R to this adapter very easily, and avoid the above scenario altogether. This adapter should also give better wide-angle vignetting performance because you don't have the filter rings or matte box to worry about.
Thomas also said this about infinity focus:
There is no clear glass when inactivated. The filters are very thin however, so although there is a focus shift, it’s hardly noticable unless using very fast lenses. Infinity focus is not lost, it just takes place slightly before hitting the end on the focus ring.
HolyManta VND is being sold in either a full kit with variable ND for $315 (Micro 4/3 or NEX), or separately so that you could buy just the lens mount adapter for multiple cameras at $95, and then buy only one VND filter module for $230 (which saves you money only if you're buying multiple adapters or multiple adapters for different cameras).
For more information on the adapters and how they perform, check out the HolyManta website.