Polaroid Variable ND Filter review, Part 2
Last week I posted my first impressions of the Polaroid Variable ND Filter which you can see HERE. My initial tests were basic indoor still life shots and showed pretty favourable results for the price of the filter. For part 2 of my review I got out into the environment and put the filter to use in the sort of real life situations where I would be likely to use it.
To really test the filter it headed out to the coast on a cold and windy day. I’m not going to go into too much detail on the location or the individual shots here as they are pretty unremarkable, the purpose of the day being to put the filter through its paces and Maybe grab some nice images if things were going well. Unfortunately as you will see things did not go well.
For the first test shot I wanted to try the classical shot of the old rotted jetty supports in the water so I found something pretty similar and framed up. Took my test shots to get composition and exposure right and you can see it bellow.
So happy with the scene in front of me I screwed on the filter and set to maximum. Using the exposed App on my phone is calculated the appropriate exposure time and went to bulb around 30 seconds later here is what I had.
The first thing that’s obvious is the blue colour cast. Then there’s the uneven exposure down the edges. Now these 2 things I wasn’t to bothered about as I planned to crop nearer to the posts and also envisaged this as a monochrome shot. What really put me off was the big dust spot shouting at me from the centre of the image.
I took of and cleaned the filter and both front and back lens elements. I even flipped the mirror up to see if something had gotten on my sensor. All looked clean so I tried again.
No luck dust spot still there. My eventual conclusion is that there is dust between the two layers of the filter although I may be missing some other issue, what I do not is a identify see this spot when the filter isn’t on and I’ve looked carefully for it. The other problem you will notice is that this image is much bluer.
Consistency seem to be an issue with this filter and even a slightly different setting on the filter can cause a big change in colour on the end shot.
I decided to try a different scene and so I went low and wide on the waves hitting the shore. In setting this up I managed to get soaked to the knees with the occasional surprise big wave. Normally I don’t mind this but on this occasion I was rather annoyed to wind up wet and cold as the final shots the filter made just weren’t worth it. here the before and after shots. Need I say anymore.