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SLR Magic Variable ND mkII
  • Having used a variety of bad variable NDs, I was quite surprised with the quality of this SLR Magic Variable ND. At $180 (for the 77mm version) it's not the cheapest ND available but it fixes a lot of the issues I've encountered using other variable NDs: sharpness, polarization, ghosting, etc. Definitely worth it if you want to invest in something that's going to give you good results.

  • 16 Replies sorted by
  • How it fixed, for example, polarization? Making new physics?

  • @vitaliy_kiselev You can rotate and lock the filter in a different orientation in order to control how the polarization is affecting the image.

  • You can rotate and lock the filter in a different orientation in order to control how the polarization is affecting the image.

    OK, but it is not fixing polarization, you still have polarizer in front.

    How about to compare it to cheap and mid range ND filters (not variable ones)? How about making slow gradual fade until cross appears.

    I also have question. It is item bough or provided by SLR Magic?

  • @vitaliy_kiselev

    I didn't want to make a video comparing to everything as the video is already plenty long but at some point I could compare to regular ND's. Just seemed like variable to variable was the most equal and simple comparison.

    I never ran into any cross issues with this filter as it has hard stops limiting your range.

    SLR Magic provided it for review so I didn't buy it but I state that in the video pretty early on.

  • Looks pretty great. The ability to rotate the polarization beats the abilities of my Heliopan variable ND filter, so I might acutally sell it and get this instead.

  • Thanks Vitaliy! I didn't know something like this existed

  • found another favorable review of the slr magic filter. seems pretty good indeed.

  • I received this filter about 2 weeks ago. Bought it on the strength of comments by John Brawley and others. Been using it mainly on stills and very happy with my results so far, especially on a long lens. Tomorrow I'm heading down the coast to try it out with 100-300mm on some mates surfing. I've been using 4x4 glass filters in a holder from RJ over the last 2 years (and have been more than happy with them) so I'll probably make a comparison to them as well as let you know how the SLR Vari mk2 holds up. At this stage I will say that there is good polarisation adjustment with the mk2, and being able to lock it in to where you want it is great, and I also like the lever and hard stops on the ND adjustment, and anticipate I'll be trying to ride it (pun intended) somewhat tomorrow.

  • ...sorry - I reposted the video in the first post...removed.

  • @JanH

    Present in top post

  • WB 5600, Long lens, AFS, Min ND. Min Polarisation. & Min ND. Max Polarisation comparison. Hope these file sizes are ok ?

    P1200266 polar min (1024x683).jpg
    1024 x 683 - 218K
    P1200267 polar max (1024x683).jpg
    1024 x 683 - 244K
    P1180147 (1024x660).jpg
    1024 x 660 - 383K
    P1180217 (1024x683).jpg
    1024 x 683 - 428K
  • Sorry I stuffed up with adding 2 more shots ND, WB 5600, AFS, 100-300mm, hand held. Focus seems ok.

    I have some good skin tone shots but they are young women in bikinis.

  • Went and shot some video with the filter today, and have just started to sift through the files. Had a enjoyable experience but need to get one of those filter release tools? because twice I locked the filter up on the step up ring, or maybe the heat caused it. Surf was pretty ordinary so I've got a lot of cutaways for the library.

    Focus seems to be as good as what the operator is, so the filter is good for focus.

    No color cast that is noticeable... but there is a caveat concerning it, and that's the polarizing effect.

    If your minds eye likes the colour of the blue sky on the day, you will get a shift in the blue, even at min polar adjustment. The water will take on a greener feel to it, but today that was a bonus as I had so much blue to contend with.

    It takes a bit of practise to adjust the polarizing, and hold that position and then lock it up.

    Had to clean the salt of it a few times and it came off easily with water..some glass is harder to clean.

    The lever on the ND adjustment is just great, and the hard stops a big bonus. Tried riding the ND lever a couple of times and with more practice it will be a great option to have, and your fingers stay out of shot.

    I can only compare the SLR Vari ND 2 to RJ's Glass 4x4, and from what I've looked at so far, there is not a lot of difference in quality. I only used RJ's 1 and 2 stop nd, sometimes stacked.

    So once I've sorted my files, and get my head around a free trial version of MAGIX nle, I'll put together a couple of minutes and post it. Will also show some clips with it from RJ 4x4 filters for comparison. If you need 4x4 filters I can link you to the last vid I shot with them.

    The real buzz I got today is that for the first time I could stay on my preferred f stop and shutter speed, and that's something I've never been able to do until today.

    EDIT: After viewing half the footage I took I forgot I shot some clips @ 100, 200, & 300mm with ETC and I am so pleased with the focus and video quality ( surprised really ) Also the white balance at 5600, sunny conditions, was what it should be, so I think WB as normal will suffice.

  • The purpose of my test was to see how focus held up on long focal lengths, and if there was any colour cast or artifacts. All files are Straight Out Of Camera, no colour adjustments, grading, scaling, cropping, or straightening of clips. More details on Youtube video. You be the judge of the filter.

    EDIT: Used ETR instead of ETC in titles. Bad proofing by me.

  • Came across this camera test that John Brawley did and see that he used the SLR Magic Vari ND. If you open the link, scroll down to the second video. He lists all the equipment used on the test for the EM-5mk2.

    I shot again with it last week for the Disabled Surfers Association, and I'm liking it more and more in the outside light. It just lets me set my camera settings and eliminates me constantly stopping to adjust them.