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Best Multipurpose Variable (ND) Solution Review

Best Multipurpose Variable (ND) Solution Review

Best Multipurpose Variable (ND) Solution Review

A little known fact is you can actually build your own multipurpose (DIY) Do-It-Yourself variable ND filter.
It is also possible to build a multipurpose DIY fader (ND) Neutral Density adjustable variable filter using some standard polarizing filters you may already have in your camera bag. For this you will need 2 filters of the same size, 1 circular polarizing filter and 1 linear polarizing filter that allows for rotation. First you will mount the circular polarizing filter to your lens. You will then mount the linear polarizing filter over the circular filter. Once you have mounted the last filter you can then rotate the linear filter for the Variable ND effect.

These filters have the same combined effect as a standard off the shelf Fader (ND) Neutral Density Adjustable Variable Filter. The multipurpose application for this configuration is great because each filter can still be used for their individual intended purposes. In many cases even the top combined pricing of these two filters is less than a top end fader (ND) Neutral Density adjustable variable filter. If you do not already own a fader (ND) Neutral Density adjustable variable filter or a circular polarizing filter and a linear polarizing filter Circular Polarizing Filter, we recommend taking the multipurpose direction.

Required Parts for this Build:

  • Step Down Ring Set
  • Step Up Ring Set
  • Circular Polarizer
  • Linear Polarizer

Fotodiox 7 Metal Step Down Ring Set

Fotodiox 7 Metal Step Down Ring Set $12.95:

Fotodiox 7 Metal Step Up Ring Set

Fotodiox 7 Metal Step Up Ring Set $12.95:

When building your own multipurpose DIY variable ND filter, it is recommended to build it so you can use it on all lenses. You can purchase 52mm filters that are an exact fit for your 50mm lens and save money, but what do you do with your Tokina 11-16mm that requires 77mm filters. If you build your multipurpose DIY variable ND filter the right way from the start, you will save a lot of money in the long run. This is because you can use larger filters on smaller lenses. The ideal plan is to purchase the largest filter size you expect to use and purchase step up or down ring sets to adapt to any lens configuration.

Most popular lenses on the market fall between 49mm to 77mm, making 77mm filters an ideal purchase. If you shoot professional sports you might have some lenses requiring 82mm or higher. For these situations you can simply order the 82mm filters and use a 77mm to 82mm add on adapter.

In our research the best solution we found is purchasing the Fotodiox 7 metal step down and up ring sets. These two high quality sets are inexpensive and will allow you to adapt up or down any combination of filter from 49mm to 77mm. For Domain-Cheap.com it was $29.00 well spent.

From the Manufacturer

  • All Metal Design
  • Precise Thread
  • 0.75 pitch size
  • Anodized Black Finishing
  • 24 Month Manufacture Warranty

Step Down kit includes - 77-72mm, 72-67mm, 67-62mm, 62-58mm, 58-55mm, 55-52mm, 52-49mm
Step Up kit includes - 49-52mm, 52-55mm, 55-58mm, 58-62mm, 62-67mm, 67-72mm, 72-77mm

The Step up ring allows bigger size filters to fit on your lens with smaller filter thread size. The Step down ring allows smaller size filters to fit on lens with bigger filter thread size. Spacing ring added space between filter and lens.

Circular Polarizing Filter

B+W Kaesemann 77mm Circular Polarizer

B+W Kaesemann 77mm Circular Polarizer $147.87

When it comes to circular polarizing filters, the B+W Kaesemann is the best we’ve used. Our methodology on this is if we are going to use this filter on all lenses, we can afford to purchase the best quality 77mm filter. When you consider the number of lenses you expect to have in your kit, then multiply that times the price of even a cheap polarizing filter that adds up tremendously. So considering you now only having to buy one filter, buy the best you won’t regret it.

From the Manufacturer

  • This filter uses our standard B+W F-Pro filter mount, which has a front accessory thread and is made of brass.
  • MRC by B+W is not only an extraordinarily effective multiple layer coating, it is also harder than glass.
  • So that it protects filters from scratches, and it is also water and dirt repellent, thus facilitating filter maintenance.
  • It protects filters from scratches, and it is also water and dirt repellent, thus facilitating filter maintenance.
  • Manufactured from Water-White Schott Glass.

Circular polarizing filters are made for all cameras with beam splitters in the light paths of their TTL exposure meter and with autofocus lenses. Circular polarization has the same pictorial effect as linear polarization, but allows for proper exposure metering and/or autofocus distance settings.

Käsemann polarizing foils are neutral in color, have a higher efficiency than conventional polarizing foils, and are cemented between high-grade plano-parallel optical glass, using a special cementing technique that resists delamination in humid climates. The resulting sandwich is then precision-polished again to achieve highly accurate plano-parallel surfaces. Discriminating photographers regard the B+W Käsemann Polarizer as the very best polarizer on the market. They are well suited for applications that require the highest possible imaging quality, especially with high-speed telephoto lenses and apochromatic lenses.

B+W Polarizers increase color saturation and reduce reflections. The filter factor varies according to how the filter is positioned in relation to the sun. Exposure compensation is about two f-stops.

Linear Polarizing Filter

Tiffen 77mm Linear Polarizer

Tiffen 77mm Linear Polarizer $41.95

Linear polarizer’s were designed to work with older non auto focus cameras. We will be using a linear polarizer in an attempt to promote a cross-polarizing effect or the effect of a variable ND filter. Due to the limited production of the older linear polarizer design filters, we selected the Tiffen 77mm linear polarizer for its balance of price and quality. Over all a linear polarizer is an inexpensive purchase, so even a high quality designed filter won’t break the bank. For the purpose of creating a multipurpose variable ND filter, try to select for quality over cost.

From the Manufacturer

  • Essential general-use outdoor color filter
  • Can be rotated to achieve desired effect
  • 77mm diameter
  • Reduces glare and reflections from nonmetallic objects and glass surfaces
  • Minimize haze in both color and black-and-white photography
  • Minimize haze in both color and black-and-white photography

Polarizer’s provide color and contrast enhancement. Reflected light often shows up as whitish glare that washes out color in an image. A Polarizer corrects this problem producing deep, dramatically blue skies. It also removes glare from non-metallic surfaces, such as windows and water. Color saturation in general, especially outdoors, can be improved significantly.

Even though it was built with high quality off the shelf parts this is the Best Multipurpose Variable (ND) Filter solution in our video website building tool kit. When we create a website video, we want those tools we use to have the greatest flexibility in their application and this 3 in 1 solution fits that model perfectly. If you liked this Multipurpose Variable (ND) Solution please like this article and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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