|Item Weight||1.76 ounces|
|Package Dimensions||6.7 x 5 x 0.8 inches|
|Item model number||AA802|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
Fotga Slim Fader Variable Adjustable ND2 to ND400 ND Neutral Density Filter (52mm)
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- Material: Optical Glass from Japan
- Back thread diameter (attach to lens): 52mm
- Front thread diameter (attach additional filter): 55mm
- Slim profile design. Thin filters are essential for avoiding vignetting when shooting at wider angles. Simply rotate the ring of this filter, it offers 2 to 8 stops added density
- The Fader ND filter is suggested to use with wide and standard lens to obtain the best performance. Image quality may drop when focal length above 200mm. It may not be suitable for wide angle lens <24mm,35mm film format equivalent
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|Sold By||FOTGA||HiShop||Digital Goja||zomei||FOTGA||Amazon.com|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||—||—||52 millimeters||52 millimeters||—||52 millimeters|
This FOTGA Fader ND filter is made of Optical glass from Japan, offering a better image resolution, avoiding any colour cast. This Fader ND works great both for photography and videography.
Fader ND filter is highly recommended by famous photographers and film directors. We deliver you the best Fader ND with confidence and professional after sales support. You don't have to carry a bunch of filters for shooting. One filter give you from the range ND2 to ND400.
Neutral Density (ND) filters can reduce the intensity of light without appreciably changing its color. Traditionally speaking, ND filters have different f-stop reduction numbers and transmittance thus generated can be applied for different shooting conditions, such as portraiture, water falls, etc.
Slim profile design. Thin filters are essential for avoiding vignetting when shooting at wider angles. Simply rotate the ring of this filter, it offers 2 to 8 stops added density.
Apply slow shutter speed under strong sunlight exposure. Large aperture is available to create depth of field easily. Carry ONLY a single filter with the same capability with ND2, ND4, ND8 and ND400.
The Fader ND filter is suggested to use with wide and standard lens to obtain the best performance. Image quality may drop when focal length above 200mm. It may not be suitable for wide angle lens <24mm,35mm film format equivalent.
Material: Optical Glass from Japan
Back thread diameter (attach to lens): 52mm
Front thread diameter (attach additional filter): 55mm
1 x 52mm Fader ND Filter (ND2- ND400)
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I bought this, intrigued by such a low price for the possibilities of a variable ND filter. Price. Keep that in mind. Price.
It is basically 2 polarizing filters, one that is fixed to the inner ring that screws on to your lens, and one in an outer ring that rotates. (google will give you more info on this concept). On this filter, there is a single 'dot' on the inner ring and a "scale" on the rotating outer ring like so: "Min ^ . | . | . | . | . | . | . | . ^ Max" except that instead of a "^" it's a downward facing arrow, pointing at the inner ring and it's much longer, wrapping around about ~80 degrees of the outside of the ring. So ... in theory, you screw the filter on to your lens, find the "dot" on the inner ring, then rotate the OUTER ring until the "Min" arrow lines up with the "dot" on the inner ring and it **should** be at the lightest setting of ND2. In reality, at "Min" my filter looks just slightly darker than if I rotate it a bit more so the dot is to the left side of the "M" in Min (if upload worked, see attached pic). Likewise, the darkest setting is with the index dot to the right of just beyond the "x" in Max. So what should you make of this? I dunno, whatever you want. The tiny difference between what the scale says is true minimum and the "lightest" setting is not even 1/3 stop on my Nikon D750. If it isn't enough to register, does it matter? I dunno. Maybe to you, but not to me. Also, as you make a full 360 deg revolution, the filter goes through TWO cycles of light-dark. SO, you could have it set so the "dot" points to nothing - don't let that confuse you and just rotate it 180 degrees if you really want to use the scale.
Next, at the extreme of darkness, by how these filters work, they are going to magnify any flaws in the filter that may have been completely unnoticed at less dark settings. I plan to stay away from that darkest area for those reasons. A $200-400 filter will be made with less flaws so no doubt better, but again this is a <$20 filter. I also suspected my meter might go goofy due to polarizers screwing with the light that comes into the meter, so I snapped some test shots to see. Sure enough, as it gets very dark, while I didn't see distortion or color shifts in my limited tests, my D750 meter (which is normally dead on) drifted. I shoot in full manual mode 95% of the time, using spot metering, so that's how I tested. I took a shot at "min", with the exposure meter set at +/-0, cranked it to almost to "Max", readjusted the meter to +/-0 and shot again. With the filter set to very dark, the resulting picture was about 2 stops too dark despite my meter indicating correct exposure. My D750 does not drift like that and seems to accurately judge exposure down to much darker than my test scene (ie. When it tells me it needs 10 or 20 sec for a scene at night, it's been dead on yet here I was in a sun-light room with the ND cranked to very dark and was getting 1/15 sec for what should have been 1/4. I was at ISO3200 F4 and it had no trouble focusing, so seemed to have plenty of light but still just missed the mark). That said, when I'm taking the kind of shots I would use a variable ND filter for, I'm playing with a lot of things and reviewing each shot very carefully, so if the exposure is a couple stops off, I'll adjust for it and move on. I frequently adjust by a several stops to both bracket and to vary exposure for effect anyway.
Another complaint I saw (with this and other brands) was that the gradations don't hold true to some kind of scale - like stops or something. Hmmm. Relationship between ND# and F-stop is mathematically interesting (ahem, "complex" to most folks, no disrespect meant ... and all you geeks, scientists, and engineers, get over it - not everyone likes math like we do.), but even so I'm sure someone could just calibrate the filter's "darkness" and marks stops at the right location on the ring. But then the cost would way go up, right? Also, the glass elements, at least the front element, appears to be held in place by a screw-down ring as opposed to a snap-ring. That means things might shift a little from filter to filter as they cinch it down and each filter's scale may be off one way or the other. However, a snap-in ring as many filters use would probably not hold it as securely, as this screw-down construction so I like it as it is. Basically if you expect the scale to be an estimate just to get you started, it works fine.
On the other hand, I didn't see much mention of what I consider to be some real issues in reviews or the product description, so I want to point those out. In reviews of other variable ND filters, I suspected some of the complaints to be related to how these filters in general work, and thus applicable to all of them and I imagine it's only a matter of time until someone gets one of these Fotgas, doesn't understand what it really is, and flames it. I imagine seasoned photographers know this, but for those starting out or less far along it's an important point: THESE ARE POLARIZING FILTERS. First, making a perfect polarizing piece of glass is easy vs making a uniformly dark piece of glass, so for any given price-point, IMHO, it's not a fair comparison in terms of absolute optical "quality" unless, perhaps you are in the $200-400 range for a variable ND. Second, 2 pieces of glass = double the number of air-glass interfaces which we all remember from physics class is one place where you get chromatic aberration and distortion. Given that plus low price, I have no doubt this filter will soften my pictures a little (they'll be slightly less sharp). Third, this filter, being a polarizer, could result in a picture much different than a "TRUE" ND filter depending on the situation and type of lighting. I plan to try to capitalize on this as I often use a polarizer for situations where I want a ND but that may not be true for you. For a wedding dress or a picture including a glass building or a lake, for instance, the results could be strikingly different. As polarizers can change quality of reflections, color of the image, and do other "unexpected" things, if you don't pay attention, you can loose highlights or reflections, potentiate or flatten textures, or do wierd things to the color of the sky. No one may notice, it might not matter, or you might even be pleasantly surprised because they can increase saturation ... just be AWARE so you don't buy it then hate it for what it naturally is!
If you REALLY want highest quality, minimal distortion, and precision, consider buying several quality glass ND filters (not a cheap-o $50 set, mind you...) instead of a variable. You will have precise and predictable exposure adjustments between filters instead of arbitrary lines and dots on a ring, much better optical quality (better glass, no imperfections due to manufacturing flaws in polarizing glass, less air-interfaces), and you will not have possible unwanted effects of polarization. However, to get a good set, you will spend as much as a few hundred dollars. Or you could get a $200-400 variable that would be close to the individual filters in quality. Either way, when you think $15-20 for this filter, it's almost hard to even compare them.
Personally, I think it's a great filter and it opens up lots of possibilities for very low cost. It's a lightweight, all-in-one solution that is easy to use. It's cheap enough so it's no big deal if I drop, scratch, or loose it in the woods or on some mountain. You just must be realistic about what it is and what you get for this price. I feel comfortable giving it 4 stars from having thoroughly looked it over, played with it a bit, and fired off some test shots, but the real test will be in the field. I have plans to take some snow and ice pics in the next week or so and if it is anything less than 4 stars, I will DEFINITELY post back a revision. If it's worth raising to 5 stars, I'll come back and say that too. Not only "would I recommend this to a friend," right now I am thinking of two people to whom I am going to suggest they get one of these...
update ... I'm curbing my enthusiasm about this filter. I bought a second one of these and it came in package that had obviously been opened and attempt had been made to reseal it. I might not have noticed if not for 1st one I bought. There were finder prints on it, some smears, and what looked like marks from some sort of dried mist that got on it. It was subtle - I had to look at it using light at very acute angle glancing off, but it was obviously there - I can't imagine a filter coming from the factory like this AND, again, the packaging looked to have been open and resealed.
I wiped it down with a clean (brand new, actually) lens cloth but it just created smears. I used a very small amount of lens cleaner (from reputable photo supplier, not something I brewed up myself) and after 3 applications, the filter was better, but still not perfect. There is some nasty blue-ish gray something all over my lens cloth, so I'm not sure what was on it, but it was nasty. In 30 years of cleaning off lenses, I've never had something like this. There are still slightly oily looking smears on the filter despite all this cleaning. All this cleaning got me looking at it VERY closely and there are a couple tiny nics/ imperfections on the surface. On much closer inspection, it looks as though this filter is a glass base with some type of plastic polarizing coating? Hmmm. That's not going to be very durable. I'm taking away one star for the find that it's plastic over glass. I would further caution you about buying this filter since they are obviously repackaging and selling used or returned filters as new. Mine was grubby - for optics that is a HUGE issue, at least for me. HOWEVER, Amazon was very kind to refund my purchase price. So I'm leaving it at 3 stars because of their good response to my complaint.
In using the filter several times now, it does a decent job down to about ND8. If you push past that, you will start to get dark areas and areas that have a strange blurring/fogging appearance. For about ND2-ND8, though, works fairly well. It does add a polarizing effect, but it's variable depending on how much rotation you have dialed up between the two elements.
When it arrived my first test was to hold it to my eye, choose something in the background to look at (something with a strong line,) and move the filter up and down and side to side. I hoped it would be as clear as my other filters (both my cheap and expensive ones are great,) but it is noticeably wavy. It isn't perfect, but I haven't noticed the slight waves impacting my photographs.
My next test was to compare no-filter against with-filter. I had my Nikon camera (on a tripod) auto focus on a shelf of DVDs, then switched the lens to manual-focus, and took a picture. Then loaded the Fotga fader filter and took another photo at a high ND setting. My with-filter photo looked as blurred as the worst-case example I had seen during my research. But then I lightened the ND setting, and used the camera's live-view, magnified setting to carefully manually focus the lens, reset the fader to a high ND setting, and found that the resulting photo was great and was actually a little clearer than the original auto-focused, no-filter shot had been. I am very pleased. I don't know if other ND filters change the focus of the lens when they are placed on an already-focused lens, (I sure hope not--since I wouldn't be able to refocus using a heavy ND, fixed filter, like the Lee Big Stopper.) But with this filter it is a must, (and isn't a big deal.)
On mine, the Max and Min Marks on the edge of the filter are accurate. (Some reviews have complained that the marks are rather arbitrary on their filter.) (Near the Max setting, it darkens a lot with each tiny twist.)
By the way, in determining how dark an ND filter is: remember that a "1 stop" reduction is half as much light. A "2 stop" reduction is a quarter as much light. If you have been trying to decipher the differing ways that manufacturers refer to the light reduction of an ND filter, then the following will make sense: ND2 = (0.3) = 2x = 1 stop. ND4 = (0.6) = 4x = 2 stops. ND8 = (0.9) = 8x = 3 stops. ND16 = (1.2) = 16x = 4 stops. ND32 = (1.5) = 32X = 5 stops. ND64 = (1.8) = 64x = 6 stops. ND400 = nearly 9 stops. Please note that the Fotga fader can NOT go all the way to its darkest setting without causing the dreaded dark X through the photo.
If you are trying to figure how much shutter-dragging you can achieve with various ND filters, suppose for example that you hold the ISO and aperture the same between shots, and (without a filter) the scene is properly exposing at 1/60 of a second, then using an ND64 filter will expose the same in about 1 second. This is how you gain the ability to slow down the shutter in strong light, to turn waterfall flow and crashing surf milky, and perhaps even do light painting while the sun is still up. Fun stuff!
I chose the 77mm size Fotga, because my lenses have a variety of filter mount sizes, and any filters I purchase which are not meant for a particular lens can fit any of my lenses by buying big and using a cheap set of StepUp rings. The pro lenses I dream of buying are 77mm, (that is the largest): so 77mm is my default.
My "4 Star" rating may not be accurate. There were side effects of the filter when I rotated it. I'm not sure if they were from the filter or if they were how the filter interacted with my lenses. For every shot with the DSLR I bracketed it with 3 shots, using 3 settings of the filter. It all worked out pretty well.
These filters allowed me to get shots when none of my friends were able to.