ND Filters EXPLAINED | Featuring PolarPro + Peter McKinnon Variable ND

okay let’s just get this set up
perfectly okay I think we got that perfectly shallow depth-of-field
looks great right what is up people Dunna here and in today’s video we’re gonna be
talking about ND filters how you can be using them to improve your photos and
videos and a couple of helpful little tips on choosing and using ND filters
the folks over at PolarPro were nice enough to sponsor this video and to hook
me up with some nice new filters so I can show you the amazing things you can
do with them first let’s break down what ND filters are there are thousand videos
out there that say a similar thing so you may have heard this before if you
want to step up your filmmaking game you have to have these make your footage
look more cinematic with this amazing tool and the bottom line is they’re
right but since there are so many of them I’m gonna try and keep my
explanation brief and focus more on the practical stuff later in the video the
short explanation that a lot of us have heard is that ND filters are like
sunglasses for your camera they don’t work very well as actual sunglasses nd
filters or neutral density filters are a piece of glass that you put in front of
your lens to make the image darker if you’ve seen my video on the exposure
triangle you know that you can manipulate your light using your
aperture shutter speed and ISO but having an ND filter gives you one more
function of control making your exposure triangle into an exposure square for
video it allows you to keep your aperture where you want it for that
shallow depth of field without having to adjust shutter speed from the optimal
setting for photography it allows you to adjust the shutter speed for creative
motion blur while again maintaining your aperture however there are different
types of ND filters out there there are fixed ND filters that offer a specific
number of stops of darkening like these PolarPro quartzline filters I have
the nd 16 which makes the image darker by 4 stops and I have the nd 1000 which
makes it darker by 10 stops but sometimes fixed nd filters can be
limited you need to have a whole set of them to make different darknesses and
it takes a whole bunch of time to screw them on and off of your lens that is
where variable ND filters come in handy and polarpro just release these brand
new Peter McKinnon variable ND variable nd filters consist of two
pieces of glass and the front one is rotatable as you rotate the front piece
the filter makes the image darker hence the variable part of variable ND
filter it’s fairly obvious how convenient this can be by being able to
screw on one filter and just twist it to change the light now in the past I liked
using my fixed ND filters because they often produced better image quality
because of the way that variable ND filters work with the two pieces of
glass even with some of the more expensive ones you can still get
vignetting loss of sharpness and that crazy black X if you push them too far
these are things that you don’t see on fixed nd filters with a single piece of
glass the nice thing about the Peter MccKinnon filters is that they take all
of those problems and they just toss them out the window the Peter McKinnon
variable ND filters or PMVND as I like to call them name might catch
on use polarpro’s premium quality fused quartz glass elements with the lowest
refractive index on the market let me break that down because I know it
sounded pretty complicated you spent a decent amount of money buying a nice
lens right that lens is a tube with a whole bunch of expensive pieces of glass
in it that makes things look nice someone took a lot of time and care to
pick nice high quality glass to make that lens with Polar Pro filters you’re
not putting some cheap crappy glass in front of your nice glass and ruining it
you’re putting super high-quality fused quartz glass in front to retain that
quality so when they say the lowest refractive index on the market basically
what that means is that it isn’t going to ruin your sharpness or your color
like some cheap quality filters all that being said because I know someone’s
going to say something in the comments these things aren’t necessarily cheap to
pick up if you want to make sure that you’re getting premium quality you’re
gonna have to pay a premium price just like so many things in life I’ve
gradually stepped my way up from really cheap filters to more expensive ones and
I’m super glad that I did because it makes a huge difference but only you
know what makes sense for you the variable NDS from polar Pro come in two
different darknesses there’s a two to five stop and there’s a six to nine stop
filter for different situations but Dunna how can I use ND filters to make
my photos and videos better I’m really glad you asked
that question Steve you always have the best questions first of all how do you
choose which ND filter is going to be best for the situation whether you have
fixed NDS or variable ones it’s nice to put the right one on the camera the
first try eventually this is something that you’ll get a feel for in each
situation and you might be able to guess the right filter but I have a quick
trick that you can use to make sure you’re right and potentially to help you
choose which filters you might need to purchase first of all set up and frame
your shot put your ISO as low as it can go and set your aperture and shutter
speed where you think you’ll want them for the shot if you’re overexposed at
this point you need an ND filter in this case I wanted a nice shallow depth of
field so I’m shooting at f/1.4 and I’m gonna be shooting at 24 frames
per second video so I want my shutter speed at one fiftieth of a second now
we’re gonna dial our shutter speed up until the exposure is correct but we
need to count how many moves we make on my camera and on many cameras the
shutter speed is set to move in one third stop increments this means that
every three moves is one stop of light so we can count exactly how many stops
we changed it before the exposure was correct once you’ve done this you can
dial your shutter speed back down and you’ll know exactly what ND filter you
need in this case I would have normally used my polar Pro nd 16 filter that cuts
the light down by 4 stops and then adjusted some settings after that this
works great if you prefer to use fixed filters but now with the variable NDS I
have the option to use the 2 to 5 stop filter and dial in the exposure even
more precisely without having to adjust more settings one of the coolest new
things about the new variable ND filters is that they’ve marked exactly how many
stops of light you’re cutting on the ring so setting up can be really quick
now this whole calculation process is a lot less necessary when you’re using the
variable nd filters since you have a range to play with thus making it even
easier with these filters the 2 to 5 stop is typically perfect for most of my
run and gun video needs and the 6 to 9 stop is handy if I want to shoot at F
1.4 on a super bright day or if I want to do some creative photography which
brings me to my next point nd filters can also be used to take long
exposure photography to get a long exposure you set your shutter time to a
slower speed and it captures more motion blur in the image but it also lets in a
whole bunch more light potentially over exposing your image
this technique is awesome for smoothing out moving water doing light trail
photography or for trying to remove people from photos for this use I could
use the 6 to 9 stop variable ND filter or in my case I’m going to use polar
pros nd1000 PL which not only cuts 10 stops of light but is also a circular
polarizer and I can cut some of the glare off of the reflective surfaces and
as if that wasn’t already enough you can do some really cool creative things with
variable ND filters in video too you can create in camera fades or you can change
the brightness when moving from a bright area to a darker area or vice versa the
possibilities are basically endless maybe not endless but they’re pretty
cool what you can do with them but as always I want to know what you guys
think are you using ND filters for your videos
or your photos using variable ones fixed ones any cool tricks you want to share
leave a comment below and on your way down hit that like button and subscribe
to the channel for more thanks so much for watching I’ll see you guys next time ND Filters EXPLAINED | Featuring PolarPro + Peter McKinnon Variable ND

84 Replies to “ND Filters EXPLAINED | Featuring PolarPro + Peter McKinnon Variable ND”

  1. Steve here! THIS is the video that should've come out 3 days ago (and F-Stoppers, because they did a pretty good job with it as well). Awesome video and great explanation of the use of ND filters, and why my broke ass might want to purchase one.

    If I had to choose, as currently my interest lay in more in photography, which version would be better for taking shots outside in bright sunlight, if I'm not trying to capture motion as well? Primarily looking at landscape; so static subjects.

  2. I remember in the day buying a Cheap VND filter and as I would turn it at certain stops,
    it would cast a horrible vignette or "X" across the entire video (Not very smooth looking and I wasted $89)
    So I quickly learned that you "Get what you pay for"
    Putting Premium filters in front of my expensive glass just makes sense and now that I bought premium filters my photos and videos look awesome
    So my advice to anyone who thinks that there's no difference between a $89 VND and a $289 VND……………..Think again
    I currently own a complete set of NISI 4×4 V5 pro Filter system ($800 worth) and they just work………..again you get what you pay for 😉
    Thanks, Dunna for this great explanation on VND's……..and Thanks to Petter McKinnon for helping make awesome products for us to use
    I really hate to see people waste money on cheap junk when for a couple hundred more they could have the best quartz Glass on the market
    Best regards, Rick

  3. This was well put together. I like that there were actual comparisons with other ND Filters and that you were using the 6-9 stop version of the PMVND which is the real test of how image quality holds up at 9 stops.

  4. Not sure why there are so many dislikes. This video was very informative and helpful! The PM ND filter is very overpriced but it looks like the best you can get which explains the high price tag. Just wait until Black Friday or Xmas to buy it

  5. PMVND!!!??? Sounds like a new Wandrd bag concept man! lol. Great video! VND's make run and gun video life so much easier. Love your thumb and nicely articulated talking points. That little 1/3rd stop count hack to know what ND to apply is also super helpful.

    HELPFUL! that's what this video is!

  6. Isn't it funny the thumbs down warriors have not bother posting a comment? Lol even they know this is an amazing, well prepared, detailed video that provides a lot of information, comparison and knowledge. They are just upset that 1 it's a pricy ND and 2 you got it for free.

    People needs to realize how much work you have put in to get here. A success is rewarded in public for a hard work which one puts in private.

    As always great video Dunna. Can't wait to get my 6-9 PMVNDF

  7. Alright, am I the only one that feels when he takes us to school on something he needs to be wearing a lab coat with a chalk board behind him? Great vid bud

  8. I have been following your channel for a couple of months now and don’t usually make comments, but this time I have to. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t understand the 26 dislikes (or thumbs down) that you got on this video, what is there to dislike? (I couldn’t fine anything to dislike on any of your videos). I’m sorry I made you waste your time reading this but I had to comment.

  9. I have seen many videos on this filters and what they can do. Your explanation is on point, the end results are incredible.

  10. Is this going to be better than Hoya Variable ND filters? I'm using those and had no issues with them, they cost about 60% less. I wish this video was a bit more specific when comparing to other brands, because in the filter market there are quite a few brands that overprice themselves while underperforming, so price point does not indicate quality, at least for me. If you can make a separate video that tests those filter against competition, this would be more convincing, otherwise it's just a promo for PolarPro.

  11. When you do a product review of this, I'd hope you cover the fact that the PM ND filter is going to require a step-up ring for some of the popular APS-C lenses. I would maybe buy one of these except for that. Hopefully they will release something that will fit my Sigma lenses natively or maybe at least hit that 72mm for my Sigma 18-35 Art lens. I've used ND filters before and they can be a lot of fun. So far I've used them in night shots in Washington DC or London.

  12. Good general overview on why ND Filters and some use cases – which so many miss in their video blogs. I have some old ND filters from years ago that don't fit my newer lenses, I need to consider what steps to take, thanks as always for the clear explanation and the time you take to put these informative posts together. Always helpful. 🙂

  13. Awesome video, Dunna! Quick shout out to Sidney too, sucks to hear about all the rough comments. Give him a high five next time you see him!

  14. Good stuff! You expanded nicely upon Peter's release video, and did it in a justifiable 8 minutes. Next is the YTMND filter, which adds a variety of memes to your in camera images as you turn the ring.

  15. One thing to add, that I learned today, is step up rings (yes I am a Photography newb). These allow you buy one large size ND filter and buy the much cheaper step up rings to fit all your lenses. This would be one thing I would add to this video.

    Great stuff, I learned so much from this and your exposure triangle video! Thanks again for your hard work!

  16. Great video as always Dunna! <3 just recieved my PMVND 2-5 stops as i was tired of cheap ones, had some serious issues in Iceland last week, can't wait to try it out! No crossing?! OH THANK YOU POLAR PRO! 😍

  17. Which Variable ND would you consider using the most from the Peter McKinnon edition filer? 2-5stops or 6-9stops?

  18. I refuse to pay 250 US for a filter, it’s a bleeding rip off. If they hadn’t send you those you’d never shell out that much…

  19. Great video! I currently used fixed ND filters, but I'm definitely tempted by the variable ones you showed in this video.

  20. Thanks for this explanation. I know nothing about filters so this was very useful to me. Subscribed to your channel and looking forward to checking out more of your videos.

  21. Finally thank you! At least someone showed a slight example of whether this thing color shifts. We need more tests like that to show if this thing is consistent with color and how it effects gamma/contrast, hues, etc…. my breakthrough fixed solid nds are very accurate in terms of hues and contrast.

  22. Please show a comparison of this vs polar pros own fixed solid ND filters. Want to know how well it stacks to a solid Nd filter.

  23. Feeling that in the balance of an informative commercial IMHO this one tipped too far to being commercial.

    Dunna why you did it, but maybe it's your experimental nature, which is why I've enjoyed your videos, thanks for this one too!

  24. Woww, Best review so far! Thanks for sharing! For sunny days, sunsets and snow, you think 2-5 stops is enough ? I'm really thinking about get one. Kind regarss

  25. sensei, can i ask , this is out of topic but i want to know.
    why u still use a6500? why don't change to a7 series (full frame camera).
    btw i have a6300 and sigma 16mm f1.4
    could u suggest what camera should i buy, i want to upgrade my camera and get a better video quality.

  26. good but they cost as much as the lens i want to buy, i’m definitely going to keep my chinese ones

  27. Great video, and not sure if I just missed it.. I am looking st buying one of the PMVND but I don’t know if I should by the 3-5 or 6-9? Which would you suggest for outdoors cine shooting?

  28. This is a great video! I am considering these ND filters, however I am new to vlogging and have a question I hope you can help me with.

    I will be shooting with the A6400 and primarily two lenses – the Sigma 16mm 1.4 and the Sony 10-18mm f4. The Sony lens will be the primary lens for shooting my vlogs while the Sigma lens will be used to add some more dynamic shots, time-laps (like eating) and reviews like videos with blurry backround. Most of my footage will be outside and vlog like so these really come into play.
    Which ND filter (2-5 or 6-9) would you recommend for this type of goal?

    I was thinking the 6-9 would be best and in another comment you mentioned I could always crank up the ISO if needed. Would this impact video quality? I will shoot in the 4k mode primarily.

    Thank you for the awesome video!

  29. Is the 2-5 the preferred choice for an all-round filter? Thinking about pulling the trigger on a nice filter like the PMNVD

  30. Is the 6-9 best to get for typical bright sunny day shooting between 1.4-2.8 video 1/50? Or is 2-5 stop Nd enough ?

  31. People buy a $3000 dollar camera body and have 4 lenses that each cost over $1000 dollars but they're afraid to spend $250 on a filter that improves their creative options and is worlds ahead of other shitty filters.

  32. i have a sony a6400 and a sigma 16mm f1.4 lens. I want to shoot a video in 30fps at the widest at f1.4. which variable nd filter do i need the 2-5 stops or the 6 to 9 stops? thanks in advance! i think you mentioned on the video the 6 to 9 stops but i just want you to confirm.

  33. +Dunna Did It, I purchased the polar pro 100,000 (15 Stops), but when I attach it to my canon lens I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING. I also purchased the 72-82mm step down ring by polar pro. I guess it only works with polar pro nd filters. I tried to use it on with my Tiffen nd filter and it just won't fit. Any suggestion would be helpful.

  34. Hello, can anyone explain me what's the value of all "stops" written on a 2-400 variable nd filter please ? (like if I want the nd64, which stop should I use). Thx for your help !

  35. Hey! I am undecided from buying a ND500 (9stops) or ND1000 (10stops) Also, do you know if both are more useable for photography instead for filming? My Idea was to have one like (6 stops) for video and (9 or 10 stops ) for photography. Please let me know what you think.. Thanks!

  36. Hey man, awesome video! I now want to get the Mckinnon Filter and am having trouble deciding between the 67mm, 77mm, or 82mm. I have a 50mm 1.8 fe sony lens and 35mm fe 1.8 sony lens preordered. 67mm mckinnon filter is all i need due to compatibility, but wouldn't 82 be the better choice due to versatility with step up rings? Is there a negative to this?

  37. Do you recommend getting the largest filter then adding a step down ring for VND or getting one for the lens I utilize the most?

    By the way, you're hands down my favorite reviewer for all things photography…thank you for all you do my good sir!

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