Fader ND review follow up

Following the comment of PH Photography on the quality of the Fader ND, I decided to do more extensive testing. As I was stating in my original review, I was having great results while using the Fader ND in video mode with my 24-70 (main video lens).

So, today, I decided to review what I have shot so far in Iceland with the filter. Up until this morning, everything was shot with the 17-40L4 and was good enough to be put on the web at 720p. So I was having different results than what PH Photography was getting. Then, I reviewed the clips shot with the filter mounted on my 400L5.6. Oh boy!

These clips are not sharp at all. While very usable for web display in a downscaled window (as on Vimeo), the 100% crop was not satisfying at all.

I understand that using a variable filter at such a long focal range is not common so this might be the reason why so few people have reported the issue. That being said, I am getting very good results with my other lenses. If someone has a 400mm lens and a Sihn Ray, I would love to hear your results.

Now that I think about it, anyone else experienced sharpness issues with the Fader ND on a telephoto lens?

Should you forget about the Fader ND?

Fortunately, the Fader ND manufacturer is coming very soon with a revised version of the product which will be using much higher quality glass. Cant wait to test these out. Until then, I will not use the filter on any of my long focals.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • I had some severe problems with the h.264 codec when using a polarizer. The sky looked beautiful on the 3″ lcd, but when looking at the video on a large monitor, there was terrible compression in the sky. Dangit!

    • admin

      This is not the fault of the filter but the fact that the color in the sky has a gradient, which means that it uses a lot of color to change form the pale to the dark and the H.264 codec (and any other destructive codec) does not have enough colors to render this grading so it tries to group colors in segment, hence creating the banding. And yes, it sucks!

  • I’ve read a bunch about this filter since I saw your first post. Even though it’s way more expensive I’m going to keep saving my pennies until I can afford the SR filter. I finally found a sample of the big plus sign you get when using the filter at +8 and that’s a deal breaker to me.

  • Tom Abel

    Important question (well, at least it is to me):

    I also ordered the new fader ND, but as it is attached direct to the lens (in my case several 77mm lenses) the use of a mattebox becomes a pain. I mean, when you use the ND filter frequently to adjust the right exposure (and assuming that the shutterspeed remains the same all the time (on one fiftieth)), It is very timeconsuming to move the mattebox out of the way every time.

    Or don’t the owners of the fader ND use a mattebox or any other kind of hood?

    Maybe I am just an idiot and overlook a simple solution.

    Anyone to give this a thought???


    • admin

      IF you use a matte box, the best way to manage exposure is to use square filters. Sorry but you cant have the best of both world ;-) Unless someone has found a practical solution to this problem.

  • Tom Abel

    Yep, too bad that I am not stupid and didn’t overlook a simple solution. Don’t you use a mattebox?

    Thanks anyway

  • I went out and bought this “200458426021” on ebay to try out the whole fader ND for video on my 7D.

    Now I first slapped this on my 100-400 and I was horrified! I instantly thought this was a waste of money! Until your post just now, I thought I got ripped off bad. But I just tried it on my 17-40 & 24-70 and it works just fine.

    My 2 cents..

  • here is my review on lightcraft fader nd ultra II on tokina 11-16mm ultra wide angle

  • Gordon

    You should never front filters with anything longer than a 200mm as it screws up the focus scaling of the lens, and can also cause image degredation. In the film industry (where i work) all lenses of 200mm plus are supplied with rear filters for precisely this reason.