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Thread: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

  1. #1
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    Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    Hello..there,

    Iím in the market for ND filter, as I surfed through the web, I found that Singh-Ray Vari N Duo really catch my attention which I thought it would be convenience enough to have two different purpose filters on one barrel.

    Since I never stack two different filters on one lens, I would like to have some feedback or personal experiences from those of you who have been using this particular filter. Therefore, I have few questions that I need to ask, first, does this filter dedicated for waterfall scenery or seascape photo only? Since thereís a polarizer glass mounting on this filter, can I use it to shoot portrait, cityscape or buildings, and general landscape photos? Lastly, will it decrease the IQ if I shoot other than water?

    There are two types of ring for this particular filter, regular and thin mounting ring. Since I will using this filter on 24-70/f2.8L mounting on 5D II, which types of ring do you think that wonít generate vignetting on wide focal length?

    Thank you for your opinion and feedback....

  2. #2

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    Re: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    I have not tried this particular filter, but I did try a couple of other brands, and they didn't work for me.

    The problem was that they were not neutral at all when turned to very dark, but they caused a colour shift that could not be balanced by any means.

    The root of that problem is that the filter consists of two polarisers, which are turned to either let as much light through as possible or when you turn the outer one, it increasingly blocks light to the second one, till it is as much blocked as possible. On the two outer surfaces of the filter stack, there are depolarisers (circular polarisers). When two polarisers block light, they cannot do it color neutral, so the filter is not in essence a neutral density filter.

    I found it more versatile to use a couple of ND filters for various purposes. ND8 when I want less DOF but still want to keep reasonably short shutter times, and a ND64 for long exposure times, which can be stacked with the ND8 to make ND512 if even longer exposures are required. The combined filter may seem to have a colour deficiency, but I think it might be because it does not block out IR, which then will get to the sensor increasingly when adding ND. However; unlike the polariser solution, this does not ruin the colour rendition, and it can be corrected to a reasonable degree.

    So my take on it is that the variable filter is a fader for video, while for still images ND filters are preferable.

    The vignetting problem is easiest handled by oversizing the filters and using them with an adapter ring instead of stacking them directly onto the lens.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    The one person on here that I know uses a Vari ND is Colin (Southern). He uses a Singh-Ray. It is very expensive, but is the very best quality. And with it you get no colour cast whatsoever (that's one of the reasons that you pay a lot for it).

    Colin has pointed us, in the past, to the articles he's written for the Sing-Ray blog, but I can't find any of these links at the moment.

  4. #4
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    Re: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    Donald :
    "Colin has pointed us, in the past, to the articles he's written for the Sing-Ray blog, but I can't find any of these links at the moment."


    Thanks Donald, please let me know when you find it.

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    Re: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    Quote Originally Posted by widbays View Post
    Donald :
    "Colin has pointed us, in the past, to the articles he's written for the Sing-Ray blog, but I can't find any of these links at the moment."


    Thanks Donald, please let me know when you find it.
    Colin links to his articles in this thread (3rd post)
    Ian

  6. #6

    Re: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    Hi,
    I have and use the SR filter, but with the regular filter dim. I have and use it on focal length 24-70 Nikon full frame. At 24mm you can't stack filters you see the filter ring at wider focal length. Beside that you need time to twist and turn. Normally I adjust polar function before nd, so you need time. nd will give you larger Aperture with same exp.time or longer exp.values with same aperture. It is a combination filter and I bought it spec for long exposer in landscape.
    good luck.

  7. #7

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    Re: Singh-Ray Vari N Duo filter

    Hi Guys,

    Sorry I'm late (but a man has to sleep sometime!)

    Some thoughts ...

    - The Vari-ND covers 2 to 8 stops - without colour cast. You can push it beyond that, but then you'll start to get blotchy areas diagonally opposite each other. But it's just fine up to that point. Yes, I know there are others out there that are cheaper, but I've yet to consistantly read good things about them. Personally, I'd rate the quality of my Vari-NDs (I've got two of them) (different sizes) as being on par with the quality of my Rolex (and yes, I'm quite serious about that).

    - With regards to the Vari-ND -v- Vari-n Duo ... the Vari-n Duo is the newer product. Singh-Ray kindly offered one to me before the were released to the rest of the world (I just happened to be ordering my 2nd Vari-ND at the time they were getting ready to release the "Duo"), but I turned down their kind offer. Some people swear by polarisers, but try as I might, I just don't like them (and yes, I have a couple of very expensive Heliopan ones) (that I basically never use anymore). I was primarily a landscape shooter at the time - and landscape often involves wide-angle - and wide angle + polariser usually equates to uneven skies - and that's a problem I don't need. Add that to the fact that I can't find any real world advantages meant that they just didn't make sense to me (the advantage is of course that they kill glare - but if you're getting glare then you're probably shooting at the wrong time of day. I don't shoot at the wrong time of day so it's never a problem).

    If anyone wants to read my Singh-Ray Blog articles, just click here (I must do another one ... wish I had more hours in my day!)

    Hope this helps.

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