I’m still meandering around the California’s country side for another week and had a little free time yesterday to drive up to Mt Tamalpais State Park just north of San Francisco. At 2400 feet I though the peak would be high enough to keep the Bay Area fog from bothering me. It worked for a little while but eventually the fog drifted up high enough to start interfere with filming. I didn’t end up getting to film all of the test I wanted to because the fog kept misting up the lens filter.
The filter in use is the Cheap Polaroid Variable ND filter I’ve had for awhile. Sitting at the post office right now is my Light Craft Fader ND II filter that I ordered a few weeks back and as soon as I get home i’ll try and run through some back to back tests using both of these filters side by side. If you watch carefully when I’m adjusting the filter you can see a little bit of vignetting in the corners. This isn’t a big problem with normal focal lengths, but it does start to become very noticeable on wide angle lenses like the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. I’ve been told that the Light craft Fader ND II models don’t have this problem or that it is a lot less noticeable. I’m interested to see if this is actually the case.
If you’re on the fence about spending more on a higher end Variable ND filter or going with something cheaper like the Polaroid Variable ND filter. I can say that I’ve been happy with my the Polaroid filter and that any Variable ND filter is better then nothing. If you don’t have $100 plus to spend on a higher end Variable ND filter, you’ll probably still be pretty happy something lower price. Do you really need to drive a Mercedes Benz or can you be comfortable in your Hyundai Accent? I’ll let you know how the Light Craft Fader ND II turns out once I get a chance to mess around with it. Unless something changes I wont be home until the first.