Testing the Singh Ray VariND with various Canon EF lenses on the 5d Mark II.
Setup: Singh Ray VariND 82mm
Caemra: Canon 5d MKII
Lenses Used: All Canon EF lenses - 24 1,5 16-35 MKII 2.8, 50 1.4, 85 1.2, 135 2.0
Indoor, I was able to shoot incredible low light footage with manageable control over the aperture with no additional glass. I was surprised to find out that outdoor was going to be the more challenging environment. After lots of reading, I came to realize that the only way to shoot bright days is with ND filters if you want any form of control over the iris. After more reading, it became clear that the easiest way is to use a VariND which will give me the flexibility of losing 2 to 8 stops.
Well, here are sample shots I did yesterday at around 10am. My kid was still vegging at home when I dragged him to Vazquez rocks. As you can see, he looks sleepy. LOL!
I used step up rings for most lenses to use the 82mm VariND. My first disappointment was the 24mm. As you can see, vignetting was a problem. This is with a 77 - 82 step up ring. Oh well, sigh... The 16-35 mkII did ok after maybe about 25-36mm. All the others were just fine.
I know some of the shots are out of focus or over exposed but that was just operator error and first time use. I'm also busy making sure my babies do not fall of a cliff. (Babies - my cute kid and my 5d). ha ha ha!
In the end, I concluded to myself that there is no other way I'd shoot outdoors in daylight without the Singh Ray VariND. It made it really easy to dial in the aperture and iso I'm trying to set and lock - not to mention it would not be possible to get any kind of shallow DOF without NDs.
Yes, there's the vignetting on really wide angle lens @ 26mm - bummer for my 24 1.4 which is one of my favorite lens. but it's really all about finding the limitations and working with what we have. So if I need a 16mm shot, I just don't use the variND. Ill put in a circular polarizer and use deep depth of field. Nothing wrong with that. I had some problems with initial focus assist sometimes but I think I should focus first before making it dark.
So now that I have the VariND, I can't live without it. That's what I got out of this fun little test.
I'm sure there's a lot I didn't cover so feel free to ask any questions. I do not work for any of these products I mentioned.
Introducing the first installment in our new video series: Do More With Your DSLR.
This in-depth tutorial shows you how to make the most of the lighting conditions in your shooting environment. For anyone wondering about white balance, in search of ISO info, or freaked out by f-stops, this one's for you.