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Showing 1-10 of 27 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 32 reviews
on February 20, 2011
ND filters reduce the amount of light that gets to your lens. They let you shoot at a slow speed in daylight so you can capture movement of water or people against a fixed background, for example, or at night when you want to capture the movement of lights on cars, etc. You can buy ND filters of various strengths, or buy a
variable ND filter that gives you a wide range of adjustment

Light Craft's Fader ND filter is the variable type. This is a lower cost alternative to Singh Ray variable ND filters. I can't make a direct comparison with Singh Ray products, but I did run the Light Craft Fader through some tests on a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-105mm lens and it's certainly satisfactory - designed well and made well. There was no loss of sharpness, based on comparing images shot with no filter and about a dozen images shot with the Fader filter at various degrees of ND. The filter shifts color slightly in the warm direction. It's not hard to compensate for this on your computer, but it's probably a good idea to take a shot without the filter so you have a baseline for making adjustments. Adjusting is easiest if you shoot in RAW, because you can reduce the color temperature slightly as a first step in processing.

The filter consists of two polarizing filers mounted in a ring so that the outer filter can be rotated. That allows you to vary the degree of density from about 2 stops to about 9 stops. The inner ring is the same size as your lens threads. Light Craft puts a slightly larger diameter filter into the outer ring to reduce the risk of vignetting. The 77mm Fader has an 82 mm outer filter and there was no vignetting with my 24 -105 mm lens set at 24 mm. The filter comes in a plastic case and it's supplied with an 82mm lens cap because the maker realizes that the cap from your lens won't fit the larger diameter outer ring. Another nice touch is that the outer ring is threaded in case you want to attach another filter. There's a small leaflet in the case with instructions written in perfect English that explains that the amount of increased density available varies depending on the focal length of your lens. On a very wide angle lens, you can't use the full 9 stop potential. With my lens set at 24 mm and the filter set for maxium density, the vertical edges of the frame are darkened more than the center. You can see the effect in your viewfinder especially if you use Live View, so it's not hard to avoid, and it the limitation vanishes as the focal length increases. I could get about 5 stops of density at 24mm and the full 9-stop effect was available at 50mm without any unevenness across the frame.
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on May 22, 2012
I have both this VND as well as Polaroid Optics 77mm HD Multi-Coated Variable Range (ND3, ND6, ND9, ND16, ND32, ND400) Neutral Density (ND) Fader Filter - 6 Filters in 1!. I bought this item at ~$129, and the Polaroid Optics one at ~$55.

If you shoot run-and-gun video, or event video, or anywhere you don't or can't control the lighting elements, then a variable ND filter is a must for video shooters as your shutter is usually set, along with your aperture preferences, and you generally have only a little room to work with ISO. You must have some way to correct for light differences and not lose consistency with your footage.

That being said, I give this item 4 stars, though I may be closer to 3.5 stars (I gave the Polaroid version 4 stars, if you know what to expect, even though it's really only at most a 3 star item).

+Solid construction
+Packaged well
+Comes with a lens cap that will fit the filter so you don't have worry about removing the filter to put in it's case whenever you are done shooting
+Good enough glass to still keep consistent bokeh
+Moderate cost (this is also in the negative section, because it depends on your budget and what you think expensive really is)

-Still lose sharpness, though not as bad as cheaper glass VND (like the Polaroid), but still a noticeable difference from the original image without the filter
-Lose some contrast (though this may be beneficial for those of you that color your footage in post)
-As noted by some others, fine dust can enter into your two glass elements, which you will not be able to remove
-Moderate cost (this is also in the positive section, because it depends on your budget and what you think expensive really is)

Overall, if you are going to the desert, like some of the other reviewers, save a headache and get a cheap VND filter that you can throw away in case fine dust does get inside it. But if you need a decent "every day"/"every activity" filter for video shooting, I can recommend this.

A solid entry from LightCraft.

In the image section I have some images to help show the differences between an image with and without the LC Fader ND Mk2.
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on May 12, 2014
While the quality of the glass and coating is great, there are some things that I don't like:

1. the moving ring part doesn't have a stop so you can keep going around and around
2. the moving part not only rotates but has a little play that makes it feel like it is going to break
3. with a wide angle lens I can't use the filter at the highest setting without getting a cross pattern in the image
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on July 7, 2015
This worked great, until it somehow came unhinged early 2014, about 1.5 years after owning it. It basically will not vary the ND amount, and has no effect anymore. I took great care of it, my circular polarizer has never had any issues after 3 years of use. I'll be switching to Lee Filters soon, much more costly but they should last many many years. I'll probably never buy a variable ND filter again.
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on August 23, 2010
Top notch product. I used this in conjunction with my 5dmkii and7D on a week long shoot in Yellowstone National Park, and it performed wonderfully in the bright sunlight, each time able to get me down to the 1/60th I need for video.
It is also a great tool for long exposures during the day, such as riverscape scenics where you want some motion in the water. I wish it could go just a bit darker before having the noticeable spots on the top of the frame, but that is
all the way at the max value markings and just before so, no biggie. I will definitely be purchasing the higher stop Variable ND from Lightcraft as soon as I can. Wonderful people to deal with and an overall great product.
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on May 10, 2012
This is my second copy, the first one was damaged in shipping and Light Craft refunded my order very quickly so I could order another one!

I love this filter, I shoot video and some landscapes with ND filters, I just wish it could go to the highest settings all the time. You just have to read the instructions and you'll see that sometimes you can't turn it up to the darkest setting or it will ruin the shot. Not a fault of this filter, just a byproduct of putting 2 polarizers together.

Very well built and good optical quality!
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on January 2, 2014
great as fader for doing long exposures during the day. get step up rings so you just buy this size and use it on all your other lenses, if that's what you want to do. note, that for really long exposures, expect some color shifts if you are maxing out the filter..just the trade off with this type of filter and you can adjust in post, or just enjoy some of the interesting reactions...like watching a Polaroid image developing in front of you...
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I took mine to the W. Texas Chihuahuan Desert to shoot landscapes and a short film. It worked fine in the beginning but I soon realized that there was no seal between the two ND filters -- and more importantly -- just enough space between the filters to allow tiny dust particles to become lodged. After a few days, I ended up with circular scratches in the filters that DEFINITELY showed up on the video. It became so bad that the filter was useless. Can't recommend this filter for dusty environments. A waste of money! A hundred-fifty bucks down the toilet. Even if the filters had been properly sealed, there were two characteristics that bothered me: 1) At extreme amounts of filtering -7 to -8 stops, there was an X that was more effected than other areas, and 2) Sometimes the fader didn't work, as if the filters were sliding together instead of independently. This second one was very annoying. I think will either invest MORE money in a matte box system with individual ND filters or try the Singh-Ray device which runs 300-400 dollars, I believe. This Lightcraft filter is just not up to the task in a harsh environment.
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on May 28, 2014
I use this adjustable neutral density filter a lot for my photography of flowing water. It comes with a graduated scale of stops to dial the amount of filtration you need. I saw no color shifting or other artifacts from my images. Comes with a strudy case.
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on February 13, 2012
The lightcraft fader ND mk2 has solid construction and good performance. Vignetting is gone in crop-sensor cameras like the 7D which I'm using(I don't know if FF has some). Good value and is must for filmmakers!
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