LightCraftWorkshop Fader ND - New Mark II Version
LightCraftWorkshop FaderND - What is it?
A new and innovative solution to carrying multiple Neutral Density filters one ND filter with an adjustable range from ND4 to ND400 (though the range will depend on the focal length youre shooting at please see below for more details).
LightCraftWorkshop FaderND - How does it work?
The Light Craft Workshop FaderND filter is constructed from two sheets of opposing polarizing glass, with the outer sheet mounted in an independently rotating frame. The outer sheet of glass is of a larger diameter, with the overall frame having an innovative conical shape, so as to reduce the chances of vignetting.
By rotating the outer sheet of glass, the amount of light passing through the filter can be varied, within the range from a fraction under ND4 (2 stop reduction) to just over ND400 (between 8.5 and 9 stop reduction).
LightCraftWorkshop FaderND Are there any limitations to using this filter?
Unfortunately, yes. There is much conjecture and debate about the limitations of these filters this is our attempt to try and explain what happens, and help you make an informed decision as to whether this type of filter is right for the type of photography you undertake.
A consequence of filtering light through two sheets of polarizing glass in this way is that when the filter is set to its maximum density, a dark cross will appear on your images. For this reason, we do not recommend using the filter at its maximum setting. The point at which this cross will appear is also directly related to the focal length being used. On wide angle lenses, especially when used on full-frame cameras, this cross will begin to appear at densities of less than 9 stops. The point at which the shadow begins to be observed depends on the exact camera & lens combination, but below is a guide (based on our own testing) of the recommended range of densities which should be sought at varying focal lengths. When used within these ranges, you should achieve even exposure across the image:
12mm: 2 stop (ND4) 3 stop (ND8) operating range.
15mm: 2 stop (ND4) 4 stop (ND16) operating range.
18mm: 2 stop (ND4) 5 stop (ND32) operating range.
24mm: 2 stop (ND4) 6 stop (ND64) operating range.
35mm: 2 stop (ND4) 7 stop (ND125) operating range.
40mm: 2 stop (ND4) 7.5 stop (ND175) operating range.
50mm: 2 stop (ND4) 8 stop (ND250) operating range
70mm: 2 stop (ND4) 8.5 stop (ND350) operating range.
100mm: 2 stop (ND4) 9 stop (ND500) operating range.
The test results above are based on an APS-C camera. On a full frame camera, the operating range will be slightly smaller at any given focal length. For example, at 35mm on a full frame camera, the maximum density is likely to be something in the region of 5 stops.
If your intended use for the Fader ND filter is wide angle photography at high densities, then in all honesty it is probably not for you. For this application, we would recommend using a fixed density ND filter, such as the 9-stop Light Craft Workshop ND500MC the extra-slim frame makes it particularly well suited to wide angle photography.
LightCraftWorkshop FaderND - Why do I need one?
Put simply, using a FaderND filter will allow you reduce the amount of light entering your lens allowing longer exposures or wider lens apertures to be used.
Long exposures often simply arent possible during daylight there is simply too much light entering the lens. Using a FaderND filter allows you to achieve longer exposures, blurring motion such as running water, passing clouds, or anything that moves!
A popular application for a FaderND filter is allowing fast lenses to be used at their widest aperture, even in bright sunlight, and without overexposing the image. Being able to use such lenses at their widest aperture gives full control over depth of field allowing backgrounds to be blurred if required.
Another use for a FaderND filter is in macro photography, where mounting flashguns close to the subject can cause overexposure. Simply adjusting the FaderND will help you achieve the desired exposure.
The most important aspect of the FaderND filter is the level of simplicity and flexibility it affords - and the level of creativity it allows!
LightCraftWorkshop FaderND - MkI vs MkII filters.
Light Craft Workshop have been producing FaderND filters for over a year now, but the FaderND filters were first launched in the UK at the Focus-on-Imaging Show, in March 2010. The response was overwhelming, with the majority of our initial stocks selling out at the show. Despite this success, we specifically asked for critical opinions on these filters - and two areas were identified where imrovements would be beneficial:
- A slight vignetting on extreme wide angle lenses.
- A slight softening of the image at longer focal lengths.
Light Craft Workshop are not a huge company - and we're please to say that they have listened, and have developed the new MkII
version of the FaderND filter.
version still features a conical filter frame, but the frame is just over 1mm thinner than on the original version, to help further reduce the chances of vignetting on extreme wide angle lenses. This new thinner frame is exclusive to LightCraftWorkshop filters.
The production process of the MkII
version utilises a new polishing technique, and revised polarising film on the internal surfaces of the two glass elements. This has largely eliminated the image softening problem at longer focal lengths.
LightCraftWorkshop FaderND - Genuine?
Premier Ink & Photographic are the SOLE
authorised importer and retailer of genuine LightCraftWorkshop filters in the UK.
Such has been the success of the LightCraftWorkshop filters, a number of copies are now appearing - but none feature the improvements found on the LightCraftWorkshop MkII
For further information, please visit : www.lightcraftworkshop.co.uk