best neutral density set for 77mm diameter and canon 5d mk3 raw video

Started by swinxx, September 27, 2015, 02:44:51 PM

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as my lcw variable filter broke last month (ugh.. that hurts a lot), i want to ask the community, which neutral density set should i consider? iĀ“m not quite sure if i should get a variable again. i had always problems with the skin tones, and perhaps the issue came from my nd filter..
please get back with some insight in your sets, and let me know which would be the best choice for shooting raw video with my canon?

thank you very much. swinxx


you did not mention budget...

but a side note, why I do not use variable ND - they are 2 polarizing filters stacked together, with the pros and cons of this arrangement, and this is the problem. I use regular NDs for the same price, better picture, tough sometimes you have to change them.
Canon EOS 7D & 40D, EF-S 17-85mm IS USM, EF 28-300mm IS USM, Mir-20, Mir-1, Helios 44-5, Zenitar ME1, Industar 50-2, Industar 61L/Z-MC, Jupiter 37A, TAIR-3


yes that would be ok for me, so what do you recommend?
price range: price/performance should be good :)




Although I don't 'do' videography, I do use variable NDs, but to 'correct' for their weakness when used in the front of a lens, I, instead, use a variable at the rear of a lens.

This short post will explain:


TBH I don't really use these much unless I'm seeing fast movements since they somehow help but I often time find Circular Polarizer a fun filter to use and it seems to play it nicely with DR.

I often time use it when shooting in Dual-ISO MLV Raw... it helps minimize aliasing & what not but admittedly it's not perfect.

Basically I'm on the same boat as you are just experimenting them out and see what suits best for certain situations.

There's no right or wrong when it comes to this kind of art, imo and wouldn't you agree as well?
5D3.113 | 5D3.123 | EOSM.203 | 7D.203 | 70D.112 | 100D.101 | EOSM2.* | 50D.109


sorry. i dont know what you are talking about.
my need is video with 180degree shutter rule and open aperture in sunny situations, and therefore i need a nd filter...
as i have read 1000ths of posts about which one is good, and which one is not, i am really confused.. some cams work great with nd filters while the same filters destroy the tones of other camera sensors.. so im just curious what brands are others use successfully with the canon sensors...

thx and best wishes. sw


just get the best you can afford, I can't say anything negative about hoya, B+W, Tiffen and Cokin, but get the real thing, plenty of counterfeits. I also have couple of older soviet era filters and they perform much better than many cheep brands, tough with them you have to be aware that have more reflections than modern, more prone to flaring and ghosting. this is a reasonable review:
Canon EOS 7D & 40D, EF-S 17-85mm IS USM, EF 28-300mm IS USM, Mir-20, Mir-1, Helios 44-5, Zenitar ME1, Industar 50-2, Industar 61L/Z-MC, Jupiter 37A, TAIR-3


Years ago all photographers would use Kodak Wratten gel filters. To avoid reflections we'd cut them into little circles and tape them to the rear element of the lens. Sounds crazy but it was cheap and effective.

I recently bought a cheap variable ND just to play around with it and it is interesting to see the patterns as you rotate it. All variables, no matter what the cost will never be as even as a standard ND filter. However, if you're using it to shoot as wide open as possible and you aren't using it on a very wide angle lens you probably won't notice the unevenness of a variable ND.

I have a set of Tiffen IR/ND filters that cost as much as one of my lenses. The IR cutoff really depends on the sensor whether or not it really helps. In any case, it is probably one of the best sets of 77mm ND's. Note that in the review ansius pointed to they tested the standard ND's not the IR cutoff ND's.


thx to all

@dfort: thats shedloads of wonga :))
so i will think about that, but great to have a reference point.

do you know if there are some cheaper alternatives?

thx swinxx


You don't need a full set. One or two should be sufficient.

Another alternative is to used smoked glass or smoke your own glass. As a kid I remember holding a piece of glass over a candle to make a sun viewing filter. Kind of fragile though.

You can also get those Kodak Wratten ND gel filters I talked about on ebay.


Definitely going to get myself those Kodak Wratten ND gel filters to cut them out and fit them on the back part of the lenses...

This is going to be a fun project and thanks for sharing, @dfort!
5D3.113 | 5D3.123 | EOSM.203 | 7D.203 | 70D.112 | 100D.101 | EOSM2.* | 50D.109


@swinxx , I use PROMASTERĀ®  77mm Digital HGX Variable ND Filter #9350, Very good the best used so far for Video. Link to web site below ->

To tell the truth I have never really come across the "X" factor in video , as long as you don't go"Extreme" .

I also have  Cokin filter System "Z-Pro" with ND2,4,8 with some other Tiffen 3x5 ND glass  which is not bad.
and of course 4x5.5 glass ND Redrock micro Filter in my Redrock micro rig which is amazing, but cumbersome.
But I all way come back to my Vari ND 
Just my to cent worth ;D


Not tried Promaster Nd filters - but Red Deer City knows his stuff - so probably an excellent recommendation. :)

Personally, I've used Light Craft Warehouse (mark one was good but mark two was dreadful), Tiffen and couple of other makes - but I very highly rate GenusTech. They are not at all cheap, but if you want high quality you sadly do only get it when you pay strong money.

On the plus side, Genus Tech Vari ND seem to be on sale atm so may be worth a look - direct purchase seems cheaper than Amazon etc.

They do all cause slight colour shift but I on;y experience the X factor when pushing it over 6-8 stops of ND. Use it 2-6 and you're always fine.