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High stopping power VND for GH6 extended DR mode?

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    High stopping power VND for GH6 extended DR mode?

    GH6 extended DR mode has base ISO 2000. I need to shoot outdoors on field remote in bright sunlight at wide aperture (1.4-2.8). Most VNDs don’t stop down enough for this. I really need VND due to the type of content I’m gathering in fast paced environments.

    Aurora Aperture PowerXND II 5-11 stop VND looks like the right range, however, I’ve been back ordered since March from BH and I’m starting to suspect they went out of business and I will never get the filter.

    The next best I can find is PolarPro Peter M edition with 6-9 stops… both a narrower range and less stopping power. Is that the best I can do?

    Any recommendations? I need something soon, by October at the latest.


    #2
    Unfortunately, I don't know of an alternative VND that cuts more than 9 stops. But I'm really enjoying the Freewell magnetic VND system that comes with a 6-9 and a 2-5 stop filter. Switching between them is very quick because they attach magnetically. An added bonus that I hadn't appreciated before using the system is that the filters can be reversed and turned into a circular polarizer (in the case of the 2-5 stop) and a circular polarizer + 5-stop ND (in the case of the 6-9). That benefit is sort of tangential to their main purpose but it's made it easier and much faster for me to employ polarizers.

    One thing I really like about these filters which may help you out is that the coatings are really excellent, which might make it possible for you to stack a fixed ND behind it and cut more light. I've had trouble with interreflections from filter stacking in the past. So, I was pessimistic about putting a diffusion filter behind my Freewell on the Sony 135 gm (which gives me way more detail on CU portraits than I want). I put on Tiffen Black Satin and pointed the camera at a window and thought there was no way it was going to work based on the flare I saw with just one filter. But when I put the Freewell on top of it, it totally muted the flare and was more usable than the Tiffen alone.
    www.VideoAbe.com

    "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

    Comment


      #3
      Yeah I’m not seeing much either. Thanks for the help, Abe!

      That freewill system looks cool, sort of a successor to the now discontinued Manfrotto Xume magnetic connectors. Incidentally I have my whole lens setup rigged together with over $1000 in Xume magnetic gear, so I’m bummed they discontinued the line. However it also appears the freewell VND likely wouldn’t be compatible with mine anyway. Luckily I bought spares on the Xume stuff so I can adapt more filters and lenses to it.

      So it appears the Freewell 6-9 or PolarPro 6-9 might be as best as it gets for high stopping VND then?

      Comment


        #4
        I will say that Polar Pro II mist edition is very cool - I might have to consider that in the future. I’m not ready to commit to 1/8 diffusion on everything yet, but then it has me considering the discounted 4 pack at $850 whoppers. Geesh.

        especially considering I have both Xume stepped up at 77mm (m43) and 82mm (FF) that’s $1700 for that.

        It does seem that post processed diffusion is getting better and better with plugins though, and I’m looking forward to a future where external NDs are increasingly a thing of the past. So I’ll talk myself down from the ledge and stick with the $250 filter…

        Comment


          #5
          Put a fixed density ND on as your base, like 2 or 3 stops, then the VND on top.

          Comment


            #6
            By the way, I can't vouch for the the polar pro because I only have the free will VND but diffusion f Base 4or the free Well is way too strong and It's not a look I really like. It's too bad because I think it's a great idea but I rather put a diffusion filter of my choice underneath the VMD
            www.VideoAbe.com

            "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ahalpert View Post
              Unfortunately, I don't know of an alternative VND that cuts more than 9 stops. But I'm really enjoying the Freewell magnetic VND system that comes with a 6-9 and a 2-5 stop filter. Switching between them is very quick because they attach magnetically. An added bonus that I hadn't appreciated before using the system is that the filters can be reversed and turned into a circular polarizer (in the case of the 2-5 stop) and a circular polarizer + 5-stop ND (in the case of the 6-9). That benefit is sort of tangential to their main purpose but it's made it easier and much faster for me to employ polarizers.

              One thing I really like about these filters which may help you out is that the coatings are really excellent, which might make it possible for you to stack a fixed ND behind it and cut more light. I've had trouble with interreflections from filter stacking in the past. So, I was pessimistic about putting a diffusion filter behind my Freewell on the Sony 135 gm (which gives me way more detail on CU portraits than I want). I put on Tiffen Black Satin and pointed the camera at a window and thought there was no way it was going to work based on the flare I saw with just one filter. But when I put the Freewell on top of it, it totally muted the flare and was more usable than the Tiffen alone.
              +1 on Abe's statements. I have the 2-5/6-9 twin pack and have been very happy with them so far. I chose them over the Polar Pro for one reason only. Quality wise I couldn't pick any noticeable difference between them. The one reason I went with the Freewell filters is that their rotational resistance is tighter than the Polar Pro filters and was far less resistant to accidentally having your ND value changed if you brushed up against the filter ring while on the move.

              Chris Young

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cyvideo View Post

                +1 on Abe's statements. I have the 2-5/6-9 twin pack and have been very happy with them so far. I chose them over the Polar Pro for one reason only. Quality wise I couldn't pick any noticeable difference between them. The one reason I went with the Freewell filters is that their rotational resistance is tighter than the Polar Pro filters and was far less resistant to accidentally having your ND value changed if you brushed up against the filter ring while on the move.

                Chris Young

                Any noticeable colour shift with the Freewells? I've got a B+W solid ND (B+W F-Pro 106 1.8) which was in a whole other price category from the Freewells and still has a very warm colour cast (I reckon about 1000K). I recently found out that B+W even acknowledges this. This is from the "Manufacturer's description" on Adorama:

                "...Because of its higher transmission in the red beyond 660 nm, this filter brings a slightly warm tone to color photographs. If this effect is undesirable, a B+W UV-/IR-Blocking Filter 486 in front of the neutral density filter (not behind it!) remedies that situation.”

                I've messaged B+W and not got a reply so I'm looking elsewhere for a replacement. The reason I wanted solid NDs to begin with was because I thought I'd be avoiding colour casts. If that's not the case I may as well get VND.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Andy9 View Post

                  Any noticeable colour shift with the Freewells?
                  Nothing that's caused me any concern on auto AWB and nothing I've been forced to correct on manual WB. Happy so far.

                  Chris Young

                  Check out Oastler's comments on color shift from 10:52 in this video:



                  He has also done a run-through on the VND kit:



                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Andy9 View Post

                    Any noticeable colour shift with the Freewells?
                    I remember thinking that what I read in reviews was true. The reviews said there was a small color shift, slightly more on the 6-9, but no shifting within the range of each VND. If it warms the image, I'd say it's by less than 100K. More noticeable is maybe a slight magenta shift I think... but all in all I'm pretty pleased with the color performance and I think it compares favorably to my Tiffen VND in terms of neutrality
                    www.VideoAbe.com

                    "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

                    Comment


                      #11
                      So the freewell does not require their magnetic system then, is that right? This is the filter (77mm, 6-9)?

                      https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1526678-REG

                      at less than half the price it is much more reasonable, if the quality is about the same. I don’t care about a slight, if consistent, color shift. I always color correct anyway…

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yes, same thing. I have one of their screw-in 2-5 stop VNDs, which is how i became aware of their glass and coating quality. (They're one of the few 95mm VNDs available, to fit the Sony 28-135.)

                        I was just suggesting the magnetic version because you could dial down below 6 stops faster that way.

                        They also make a magnetic "quick swap" system with fixed NDs
                        www.VideoAbe.com

                        "If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech." - Noam Chomsky

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ahalpert View Post
                          (They're one of the few 95mm VNDs available, to fit the Sony 28-135.)
                          Yes, the 95mm VNDs have really boosted the usefulness of the 28-135 and the 18-110 with mirrorless cameras. Luv 'em!

                          Chris Young

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have an Aurora-Aperture Power XND Mark II, but haven't used it much, as I mainly use my SLR Magic VND. There's crosshatching toward the max attenuation, despite it having hard stops, and it doesn't cut polarized light when you rotate the entire filter like the SLR Magic does.

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