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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neewer 52mm Variable ND Filter
Customer Video Review     Length:: 2:53 Mins
Reviews usable range, sharpness, and color shifts.

Update:

I recently got three new lenses (50mm, 85mm, and 135mm) which allowed me to test sharpness for 100mm, 170mm, and 270mm full frame equivalents. At 100mm, the filter is a little less contrasty, but still good. 170mm equivalent starts to get a little hazy, and by...
Published on April 19, 2012 by Ashun

versus
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid NDs are a better choice, usually.
I purchased this Vari-ND filter for a trip to the Caribbean. It was priced right and there were no long waiting periods like you have for the Lee Big Stopper. The distributor claims ND2 to ND400 usable range, but my results were significantly less. To be honest, this is sold as the "Neewer" brand, but there is nothing on the packaging that indicates that it is. In...
Published 23 months ago by Belpherion


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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neewer 52mm Variable ND Filter, April 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: NEEWER® 52mm ND Fader Neutral Density Adjustable Variable Filter (ND2 to ND400) (Electronics)
Length:: 2:53 Mins

Reviews usable range, sharpness, and color shifts.

Update:

I recently got three new lenses (50mm, 85mm, and 135mm) which allowed me to test sharpness for 100mm, 170mm, and 270mm full frame equivalents. At 100mm, the filter is a little less contrasty, but still good. 170mm equivalent starts to get a little hazy, and by 270mm, the picture is fairly soft.

So it's best to stick to shorter (less than 100mm FFE) focal lengths, but this is still a good deal.

Also, with the sun in or just outside the frame, contrast will drop. It's noticeable, but I don't know how well a more expensive filter would do.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Value; Some Things to be Aware Of, December 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Summary: It does what it is advertised to do; that is, provide a variable neutral density filter to decrease light and allow extending exposure times, usually in bright settings. It does that for about 5% of the price of another "name brand" VND.

A typical use for this type of device is to allow flowing water or ocean tides to be rendered during daylight photography with a very soft, "cotton candy" appearance. In the past to achieve this I have stacked 2 or more ND2 or ND3 filters on top of my circular polarizer to get this result but a variable filter like this one allows it to be done much more easily with the ability to fine tune the light decrease with a mere twist of the front element of the filter.

Detail:
The on-line description says a range of ND2 to ND400 which is between 7 and 8 stops of light. ND512 would be 8 stops; ND2 (what you get by just screwing it on), then ND4 (plus 1 stop), ND8 (plus 2 stops), 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512.) So that would indicate that I should be able to get a 7 stop lengthening of exposure but at 8 stops it might not be useable. I have to say that the advertising claim is accurate because while I got about 8 stops of additional light decrease, only about 7.5 of those stops are useable because at max light reduction I got severe shading in an "X" shape, from corner to corner across the image. HOWEVER, the filter provided PLENTY of range.

Pros:
> Definitely allows for long exposures.

> Build quality seems great for the price that is paid. Indeed, it comes in a fitted, clamshell case just like Hoya filters.

> Rotation is smooth with no tendency to shift.

> Minimum to maximum light transmission rotation is 120 degrees.

> Thin enough that corners showed no vignetting with wide-angle lens.

Cons:
> The filter is larger than the lens diameter which means that your lens hood won't be useable which can be an issue because you are using this in bright settings much of the time. I know that many people don't use lens hoods (even though I highly recommend that you do) so this may not be an issue to them. Instead, I guess I will just use something else to hold over the lens and shade the front of the lens to keep that stray light from altering my image.

> Also because the filter is larger than the lens diameter your lens cover cannot be used. Mine "seemed" like it had snapped in but I realized later that it was just barely caught on an edge that really didn't provide the grip that was needed.

> As far as I can tell the front of the filter is not threaded. This means you cannot stack filters but I don't think you would ever need to with this filter.

> It seemed like only about 1/2 turn of threads were available to screw the filter onto my lens. So, even though it is screwed on seemingly tightly it wouldn't take much to loosen it SO, always adjust the filter by turning it counter-clockwise (when viewed from the rear of the camera) which will tend to keep it tight to the camera lens.

> The "X" issue mentioned earlier.

Bottom Line: Get one and try it out if you want to experiment with long daylight exposures.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GReat Price, Descent Performance, October 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Initial Review (after 3 weeks of heavy use)

Overall, I have been pleased with this product. It has a very reasonable price, works well overall, and provides a great way to capture time exposures, even in full sunlight. Below are greater details:

Pros:
Great Price, Good ND range, Good design to accommodate wider angles, little loss of image quality
I bought this product to experiment with ND filters. For the price, its a great way to get started. I have now been using it for about a month and overall have been very pleased. I have used it to shoot traffic, waterfalls, and a variety of other moving subjects in full sunlight and even direct sunlight. The range on this filter is great (as an example shooting full daylight 50ISO 22A, I can bring the shutter speed down anywhere from 1/100 to about 6 seconds - any more than that and you get dark and light areas in the corners of the image). Overall, there are no real added aberrations or loss of quality, depth or saturation, except when shooting directly into the sun or other very bright light sources.

Cons:
Glass shifts, relative dark and light areas at very highest ND, major lens flare shooting into direct sunlight
One annoyance is that the bottom glass can sometimes shift - making the guides on the filter not line up with the actual ND amount. Also, at very high ND (I would estimate 95% light blocked and above) you get relative dark and light areas in the corners. If you like lens flare when shooting into the sun, then you might like this, but it does add a whole lot of flare in that specific setting.

The Verdict - I would buy it again - it does a great job, with only minor issues, for a great price.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid NDs are a better choice, usually., August 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this Vari-ND filter for a trip to the Caribbean. It was priced right and there were no long waiting periods like you have for the Lee Big Stopper. The distributor claims ND2 to ND400 usable range, but my results were significantly less. To be honest, this is sold as the "Neewer" brand, but there is nothing on the packaging that indicates that it is. In fact, the case that my filter came in says "dHD Digital High Definition, Low Profile Filter Ring, High Index Optical Glass, Maximum Light Transmission." On the back of the case, it says it is a circular polarizer. First, it is a low profile ring, but I'm not sure maximum light transmission is what I'm looking for in a filter that is supposed to block light. It's a small oversight, but I'm used to Neewer products coming with their branding on the product. Second, the glass is pretty good. I didn't notice any significant degradation or softening of the images using it. Sure, the pixel peepers will see some, but it isn't significant.

The rings are thin, but not crazy-stupid thin. The scale markings are fairly clear, but there is no index mark on the outer ring, so the scale is fairly useless. Since the markings are not very helpful or accurate, I'm guessing that this filter will provide about 6 stops of light reduction at best. At f32 and ISO 100 on my Nikon D7000, the slowest shutter I could get in direct light was about 4 seconds. The longest shutter I could achieve at any daylight hour was about 15 seconds. The filter could be turned to make it black, but you will get the black X of death in your photo due to polarizer interferance. This is a design flaw that happens with almost all variable ND filters regardless of price or brand name. I've seen the same thing happen on $500 filters from major brands.

This filter shifts everything to the blue end of the scale. No quantifying is needed. It isn't even worth talking about how bad it is. The darker you make it, the worse it gets. The color shifting is significant. If you shoot raw, it can be corrected in post, but if you shoot jpeg or tiff, you ARE boned.

Overall, I've seen worse products sold in the outlet stores like Best Buy or Wal-Mart but this is still just a toy, not a serious product. If you just need an ND filter for rare or one-time use, this one isn't the worst on the market. If you are serious about your photography, you won't stick with this type of ND filter for very long. A single density ND filter will give superior results every time. Period. I'd honestly recommend you save for a 4 stop, 6 stop and 10 stop dedicated filters than waste money on any variable ND filter. You can make the vari-nd filters work, but it is difficult to get consistent, color-neutral images with them.

As with most things in photography, if you buy cheap, you buy twice.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great product, July 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 0:54 Mins

This product works great... I had a slight film issue with mine but the seller has even offered to let me have it for free and issue me a refund.
I am writing them now and declining because I want to do business with them and I want this filter as it is smooth and for the price cannot be beat.
I do recommend this product and seller.
I have made a u t u b video and it shows how smooth this product is minus the one defect and how I still want it...
You can find that v i d e 0 by searching my name etiennekai on y tub.
search for MVI_7760 MOV filter issues.
It will show you how really nice this filter is... Also, I just made a quick review here with a short video using a ring light to show how nice this product works.
I do recommend this seller and this product ( I just had one manufacturer defect which the seller more than compensated me for). Outstanding customer service so anyone considering purchasing from this seller can rest easy knowing they will honor and stand behind their sale(s).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the price, but noticeable color change and sharpness loss., January 22, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've wanted a "Fader" filter for a while now. These originally sold for about 400-bucks (the "Singh-Ray" model), then came an alternative for about 1/3rd the price (Lightcraft Workshop Fader) and now they're available for under 15-bucks. With that said, these are obviously not all equal, they're simply alternatives. For 15-bucks you have to be willing to accept some problems.

First off, an ND Fader is made by combining 2 filters. One stays still (the part closer to the lens, the outer-filter rotates (like a polarizer filter) and adjusts the strength (from ND2 to ND400). The more you turn, the darker it gets.

There are 2 real purposes that people use these for:

* Landscapes/long-exposures/waterfalls/pinhole: These give you a long shutter speed so that you get motion in the photo (motion in a waterfall opposed to 'frozen in place' water), it gives a 'ghost town' look on long exposures of cities or a dreamy look with the motion of subjects moving.
* Portraits with prime lenses and flashes: If you have an f/1.4 lens and try to take a photo in the daytime (with flash you're often limited to a 1/200 shutter speed. In the daytime at f/1.4 you're getting about 1/4000 shutter speed. This darkens the image so you can get the shot at 1/200 and use your flash (instead of having to move to f/11 (example)).

The downside of this version is that there is a loss of sharpness (I matched exposure both with and without the filter and it is very noticeable). If you're doing landscapes at f/11 or f/16, it probably won't matter. The times it does matter is when you're using it for portraits at f/1.4 - the images look quite a bit softer. I didn't consider it a deal-breaker (I'd rather have a soft image than not be able to get it at all because the shutter is too fast).

It also creates an odd color cast (for landscapes it can probably be adjusted and provide better results than for portraits with flash (since you'll need to gel the flash to balance it out, and it will take some work to figure out what the color-cast is and what gel to balance it with).

Long story short:
Price is great
Sharpness/color-cast are annoying but not necessarily dealbreakers (especially if for landscapes, waterfalls, etc.. bigger deal for wide-aperture portraits)
Recommended
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depends Upon What You're Shooting (Revised Review), July 24, 2012
By 
D. Metzger (Santa Barbara, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I used this variable ND filter to shoot some beautiful long exposures of waterfalls with a Canon 7D and an 18-135mm Canon lens. I had no trouble at all with it, the darkness was uniform, and I was able to focus with the filter at its lightest setting (manual focus), dial in the darkness I wanted, and shoot. I need to watch the video in the 1-star review, I guess, to find out what that customer's problem with the filter was. For me, it's been great, and you can't beat the price.

Update (7/24/12): I watched the video in the 1-star review, and I can see why that customer was so unhappy with his filter. The video is short and is definitely worth watching.

Update (7/26/12): When I wrote my original review, I had only used this filter for waterfalls, and for that it behaved beautifully. This afternoon, when I finally aimed it at the sky for the first time, it did exactly what the video in the 1-star rating shows: darkened unevenly, with shifting X-shaped patterns.

So, it depends entirely upon your planned use of the filter. For long exposures of waterfalls and non-sky shots, I still give it five stars. It was fantastic for those situations. If you want to blur moving clouds or smooth out smoke from chimneys with long exposures, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst product, April 2, 2012
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Length:: 0:15 Mins

WARNING. I have in my hands this product. Watch this video please.

What do you think? The worst product... :(
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Barely okay for the price, October 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the price you really can't ask for much. I encounter a little bit of color shift and at certain points the fade was not even from center to edge. If you need a fader but don't use it very often, at this price you can't go wrong. If an ND fader is a big part of you photography you will definitely want something better.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works, but with a purple cast, February 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ordered this on faith because there weren't many reviews so I'm now reviewing in attempt to help other people.

This filter is great if you want a cheap way to learn how a Neutral Density Filter works. I was able to stop down to a 2 second exposure at 2 in the afternoon in full sun.

HOWEVER, the filter has a terrible purple cast to it when used on the higher settings that WILL show up on your photos. I thought I could fix it in post-processing but I couldn't, at least not at my level (amateur). If you don't mind having a very vintage photograph look to your photos, the purple cast will speed up the process, but you'll probably never be able to post process to recover your true colors (and yes, I shoot in RAW).

So like I said, if you want a cheap way to learn how an ND filter works, this is a good route, but if you really want more than a 5 stop filter, spend the money on a brand name. On the safe, lower settings, this filter effectively extended my slow shutter shooting time by about 1-2 hours.
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