Singh-Ray Variable Neutral Density Filter TEST

WOW! If that ain’t a mouthful to say… Galen Rowell, a photographer whose work I truly admire often mentions the use of Singh-Ray filters. These puppies are not cheap, but they deliver.

This August I’m bringing all my gear on vacation to Bermuda. Been thinking about that bright sun, brilliant blue sky etc and how I can capture water features with that very soft flowie feel. Under normal circumstances even stopping down to f22, your shutter speed is still hovering at 1/250 or 1/125 of a second… way to fast to give H20 that dreamy look. Enter the Variable Neutral Density Filter or “VND” for short. You can add an EXTRA 8 stops to your shot. Yes, you read that right, 8 freakin stops. So now, even at midday you can take shots and grab 1 or 2 seconds to make water “flow.”

Luckily, I happen to have a waterfall in my backyard, so took the filter for a test drive this am and really loved the results. Can’t wait to get it out in the field and snap some wide angle beach shots.

This shot was taken with a Nikon D3 @ f22 for 2 seconds. This was taken at about 11:30 am, so sun was pretty bright. I had the VND filter at about midway- I took some with it cranked up, but lost some details in the rocks and trees around the waterfall. I think this is one that as you experiment, and depending on the lighting conditions, you will get used to how it should be set.

Would highly recommend it!

Waterfall with VND Filter (c) Joseph Rowland


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