Aputure is about to raise the bar once again, this time with a DEC VariND version of their popular line of lens adapters. This thing is capable of bringing the functionality of Sony’s FS5-style electronic ND filtration to any E-Mount camera. The DEC VariND Lens Adapter We just have discovered another very interesting device, this time at the Aputure stand at this year’s IBC. The new version of their lens adapter, the DEC VariND works just like the DEC Lens Regain focal length reducer, but instead of a lens they’ve put in an electronic Variable ND filter. This allows you to smoothly dial in just the right amount of ND reduction for any given shot. It works quite similarly to the vari ND built into the Sony FS5 camera, where liquid crystals are used to achieve the smooth transition without the weird colors and cross-effects caused by manual variable NDs. With this adapter, you can upgrade any E-Mount camera to support a variND filter, which is very cool indeed. Plus, it also allows you to control focus and iris with most EF lenses, just like with the other versions of the DEC adapter. You control the DEC VariND with the included wireless control grip or, if you’re using it on a shoulder mounted setup, you have controls directly on the adapter itself. No need to use the wireless control unless you want to do so. To me this is a really straight forward product which bridges the gap between the very innovative electronical VariND of the Sony FS5 and other cameras still lacking it. It will be available in about 2 to 3 months and it will be around $650. For more information, make sure to visit Aputure’s website and watch out for updates. UPDATE: I’ve forwared your questions regarding the DEC adapter to Aputure’s Ted Sim. Here are his (very promising) replies: 1. On release there will be two versions: an EF to E-Mount and EF to MFT Mount. 2. You are able to control the adapter without the remote control. There is a wheel on the adapter itself to control everything except focus, which can be adjusted just manually. 3. There’s an On/Off switch. 4. At the minimum setting, there will be 1 stop of ND applied. However in the future we think we can make it so the ND is removable when needed. 5. Battery life: 4 hours for the receiver/adapter, about a week for the remote control handgrip. The adapter can be charged via 5V USB, even while in use (you can use a gimbal for charging it while shooting, for example).Read more
Upgraded from your mirrorless camera to a RED Raven, but still frustrated with up front ND filtration? KipperTie may have the answer with their 6 piece drop in rear ND filters. KipperTie first entered the filtration scene with their Infrared and Soft Diffusion OPLFs (optical low pass filter) for the RED Epic. They’ve continued their venture into ND filtration, this time specifically for the RED Raven. Unlike conventional Neutral Density filtration, the KipperTie Raven Internal NDs are drop in filters that sit between the cameras sensor and back of the lens. A simple grip tool is supplied that holds the filter tight until you release upon insertion of the camera. A neoprene edge ensures a snug fit around the sensor housing without damaging any part of the camera. Of course, adding any amount of glass between the sensor and lens is going to affect your focal distance. KipperTie therefore supply a set of self adhesive shims that sit around the contact point of the lens to ensure focus markings remain accurate. Rear filtration can be great for alleviating the need to add ND on the front by means of a mattebox or screw on filter. This is great if you are running about and changing lenses often, or need to save weight and could do without a cumbersome mattebox, making it perfect for drone use. If you do want to change the amount of ND, this kit comes in a set of 6: ND 0.6, 0.9, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 2.1 are all included, meaning you have a range of 2 to 7 stops neutral density. I can see this workflow working well in addition to up front filtration. Proper filters are expensive: a set of 5.65″ Firecrest 1-3 stop filters are over $1200 for example. On a bright sunny day, you’d need a 4-6 stop kit too, therefore doubling your investment. Throw a KipperTie drop filter in the back instead, and you’ll be able to moderate fine exposure with your 1-3 stop front filters once again. The 6 set of KipperTie drop in ND filters comes with 6 shims, insertion tool and custom foam hard case, retailing for £460+VAT.Read more
At NAB 2015, Sony didn’t have any big camera news – the FS7 had their US premiere but it has already been in the market for a while since it was introduced about 6 months ago. However, we discovered something really interesting, an easy oversight, when Sony’s Bill Drummond was giving us a walk-through at their booth: the Sony X180, a semi-shoulder camcorder similar to the dated EX3, features an extremely intriguing feature that we have never seen in another camera before: It’s a unique kind of combination of an electronically controlled fader ND that automatically adjusts to the exposure set by the aperture that can be adjusted manually. The effect is an image that seemingly keeps the same exposure but the depth of field changes as the aperture is adjusted. This kind of combination is something we haven’t seen before in a camera and it allows creators to make shots that we truly haven’t seen before. For now, this is only in the X180 camera but we can clearly see this being implemented into future Sony cameras down the line. How and if this can be integrated into interchangeable lens cameras remains to be seen though.Read more
Screw-on filters are a fundamental part of a photographers kit list. Whilst the potential and versatility of image filtration needs no introduction itself, the function of the screw-on filter is often flawed; thick filters causing vignetting, poor optics leading to clarity loss and sticky threads are all common issues. Breakthrough Photography attempt to solves those issues, and you can help production with their Kickstarter for the X-Series Traction Filters. Filters are like many (if not all) bits of gear – you get what you pay for. With screw-on filters, that is often paying for thin, optically supreme and well coated filters to ensure your image is not impaired in any way. Breakthrough Photography is promising all the aspects of an expensive filter, but at a currently very affordable price. What’s more their traction frame designs look to solve the common problem of thread sticking. They are currently producing three types of UV filter, the X1, X2 and X3 (flagship being the X3). I’ll touch on how the ND lines interact later. All X-Series Traction Filters are double threaded, weather-sealed with laser engraved and serialised lettering. Multi-resistant coating starts at 4 layers with the X1, and up to 16 layers for the X3. Nano coating kicks in at the X2. All three are constructed from an ultra thin 3.5mm frame that Breakthrough Photography state completely eliminates vignetting on full frame 16mm setups. The X-Series Filters utilize similar German and Japanese optics as top manufactures such as B&W and Hoya, and aim to become available in 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm. The unique anti-stick frame is where they get their name. Offering a traction surface around the edge (full on X3, half on X2) to ensure the frame does not stick. Made by photographers, for photographers: “Our state-of-the-art 16-layer Multi-Resistant Coating process hardens both optical surfaces, increases light transmission, reduces reflections and achieves true color neutrality while maximizing contrast fidelity. Translated simply: the filter doesn’t impart any color shift and flaring is incredibly well controlled.” Their initial goal is for $50,000, which will provide enough funds to fully produce the full line of UV X-Series Traction Filters. Their stretch goal is $100,00, which will ensure 3-stop and 6-stop ND filters in 9 of the most common thread sizes. Both types of ND will be available in X2 and X3 frames only. A further stretch goal of $150,000 will see the production of slim circular polarizers. There’s a whole host of rewards available, perhaps the most important being the initial low prices of the X-Series Filters themselves. $20 gets you an X1 UV in any thread size, $30 for an X2 UV and $50 for an X3 UV. Check out more information on the Kickstarter page.Read more
Check out Syrp’s latest product, a variable neutral density filter. The New Zealand based company are best known for their successful Kickstarter campaign – the Genie timelapse device. They’ve now entered the filter market with an affordable fader ND. The filter comes in only two sizes, 67mm (small) and 82mm (large). Included with both filters are step up rings to expand compatibility with other thread sizes; the 82mm ships with 72mm & 77mm step ups, and the 67mm ships with 58mm & 52mm step ups. What I like about the Syrp ND filter (which of course will be the most important aspect to all filmmakers) is the very smart leather pouch it ships with; nice. Syrp claim the filter has an effective range of 1-8.5 stops adjustment. Priced at $139 & $189 for the small and large filters respectively, it comes in at the middle range to others I’ve tested; I’ll be keen to try this one out against the Heliopan and the Tiffen filters.Read more
We only send updates about our most relevant articles. No spam, guaranteed! And if you don't like our newsletter, you can unsubscribe with a single click. Read our full opt-out policy here.