Fotga Variable ND Fader Filter Sample

I wanted to test out this cheap variable ND filter from Fotga (found here on eBay), and so I purchased a small 46mm filter to fit my Sigma E-Mount lens on the Sony NEX7. Major major fail today because I left that camera at home.

So today I just held it in front of the Canon 40mm F/2.8 pancake shooting with the T4i. I wanted to see if there was a purplish color cast (normally found on cheap variable ND filters), but was very relieved to see it didn't! My camera was set to manual at 1/50th shutter speed, F/2.8, and ISO 100. You'll see a section of the video where I pull the filter away. To keep this ideal shutter speed and still shoot at a wide aperture, you can see how overexposed the camera would be without an ND filter.

The next test everyone is wondering about would be loss of sharpness, especially when shooting at longer focal lengths. Unfortunately I only ordered a 46mm which doesn't fit any of my longer lenses. It looks pretty good so far, so i'll place another order for a 77mm filter size. I'm happy with this $13.00 dollar purchase, even though it took several weeks to arrive, it's a perfect little ND filter for my little Sigma 30mm F/2.8.

Fotga Variable ND Filter
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42 thoughts on “Fotga Variable ND Fader Filter Sample

  1. Jon

    I just received the 77mm and it softens the image so much that it is unusable. IMO this filter is not worth buying at any price.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Barry - It is not the best Variable ND I have personally worked with, but it is very good for it's price. The more expensive ones have better sharpness.

  3. Barry

    Hi
    Would you say that this is the best IQ ND variable fader that you have tried to date...I see on youtube that you have tried others.
    Is this sharper than the Nature version with less colour cast etc...Many thanks.

  4. Blaze

    Got a 77mm for my 35mm f1.4 rokinon. Seems to do the trick nicely.

    Anyone know the size of the outer filter ring? Is it 82mm like LCW? Going to order one of those rubber hoods.

  5. Yaniv

    @Emm
    Oh oh...
    I didn't knew that I should not step down on aperture.

    I've just ordered another ND :-)
    Will try to cancel

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Yaniv - This is a Variable Fader, and mostly used for keeping your aperture wide open. You have your aperture stopped down quite a bit. You will have that same 'X' problem with other 'variable' ND filters also. For what you are trying to achieve you should use a static.

  7. Ćamile Manchini

    Hello.
    Thanks for review I just bought 77mm one. By the way brother, can you share that music in background(full). I like it a lot. You brother in law is good if you ask me,.. don't know if you ask anyone else, but if you ask me he is good.

    Cheers,
    Ćamile-javi se-Ćamile.

  8. VJ

    Hey Emm thanks the the tip. I just bought the 62mm thread and bought the rubber lens hood and the step up rings that you recommended in that video. Can't wait to use it on some outdoor shoots.

  9. Ian

    Hi Emm, I just received mine (67mm) and it looks good.
    Pretty happy, smooth turning and the coating looks good.

    One issue though, there appears to be a 'blotch' on one side (camera side) on the very edge of the rim. Looks like the coating hasn't set properly or something.

    Going to play with it this weekend and i'll find out if it actually makes a difference!

  10. Clive Barrett

    Please report back on the Amazon Neewer version. I want to get a 58mm but how does the Neewer compare to Emm's Fotga version?

  11. I bought mine yesterday. Wanted to try a cheap one out on my new nex 7, so this is perfect for me. I will post some results when i get in on twitter.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @Jerry - It comes in a plastic retail case. That's decent for keeping it scratch free. I carry a few different types of filters, filter sizes, CPLs, etc. so I'm using filter cases.

  13. Lu

    Here is my latest experience with ND's
    just in case it may help someone...

    Got a $200.00 Light Craft Workshop MK II

    On shorter lenses it's kinda okay.

    On a 70-200 - terrible - impossible to focus.
    Seems that the two layers of glass interfere
    with the way the lens focuses.

    Also there are resin-type ND's (cheapest),
    then inexpensive glass (cheap), and then - higher quality
    glass - high-transfer (cost a bit more - but worth every penny).

    Many filmmmakers use a single layer NDs rather than
    a Vari type - especially on longer lenses.

    So, I've tried a Tiffen 1.2 ND - and what a HUGE
    difference compared to the Vari ND on a long lens.
    Steve Oakley's recommendation.
    http://steveoakley.net/

    A non-Vari seems to be less convenient, but when
    focusing problems crop up - the answer is clear.

  14. AndyH

    One of these would be great for my India trip but I'm off next week so not enough time for delivery :( I'll have to make do with the 4 stop ND filters I have already.

    Thanks for the quick test Em, colors look fine to me.

  15. Jerry

    Hey Emm, I´m really thinking about getting some of these in the future. I have a question, does it come with a case? Like Lightcraft NDs? If it does, what is it made of?

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Ulaba - That's actually a beat my brother-in-law made on a keyboard. Not sure there is a name.

  17. Gary C

    I ordered this from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0059ATVJW

    It was labeled as: NEEWER® 77mm ND Fader Neutral Density Adjustable Variable Filter (ND2 to ND400)

    What I received looked exactly like your Fotoga packaging. The pricing sticker on it even said Neewer. What's nice is I got mine in one day due to Amazon Prime.

  18. Robert

    Also...re: longer focal lengths. How does cropping come into play? In terms of quality loss is it by absolute focal length or by crop factor? In other words will the quality drop off be greater with the same lens on a APS-C vs. full frame?

  19. Robert

    Thanks Emm! I'm hoping this will fit inside my 25/1.4 pany/leica's hood and not vignette on my 14/2.5 MFT lenses. If it's close to my Light Craft Workshop in quality I may just order more and ditch the step up rings.

  20. Just ordered a 77m for canon 24-70 IS Lens, from ebay.
    12-20 days delivery window is a bit harsh, spend ages looking to see if anyone had them in stock, would have happily paid an extra £10 as they are cheap to start with, if it meant getting it with in a week.

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @Kosh - Maybe someone else can run the test, but I have to order a larger filter. I'm sure it will reduce sharpness in some degree, even high end variable ND filters do this. To retain maximum sharpness, you can use a static single density ND filter.

  22. Kosh

    Hi, if it's possible make a quick test: two photos with 50mm or longer with the same aperture. One with filter and second without in right expose. It's is better way to see sharpness. Thanks

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Gwim-tao - I assume you want to just get one 77mm ND filter. If so, don't get the step up ring kits that need to be stacked together. Just get single ones that go from one size to the next immediately. I purchased some cheap ones and don't have any issues with paint flaking off, they all seem to be well plated or anodized.

  24. Rafael

    Another thing... How many stops you really got with this ND400(max) ??? Should be 8 or 9 right ? Tks !

  25. Gwim-tao

    Emm,

    What step up rings do you suggest? I don't want to get a cheap set that flakes of aluminum filings, but I also don't want to break the bank.

  26. Cinemate

    I tried, just never point to light source or shoot with tele, I just tried at 50mm and it is very soft already. You will never get something good without paying more. I still prefer the original brand.

  27. cinemasteve87

    Thanks for the tip, Emm!

    I've been looking for a reliable and affordable variable ND for my Lumix lenses: 20mm 1.7 & 14mm 2.5 which both have a 46mm filter.

  28. Mike C

    Order placed on the 58mm! Thanks Emm. I've noticed that with a handful of these Chinese dealers, the ETA dates can vary quite drastically. The one I just ordered was $15.95, Free Shipping w/ an ETA of "Between Thursday, Jul. 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 1". There was 1 cheaper, however, the ETA was a little longer, and I'd prefer to pay the extra $1 for the time difference.

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @Sergio - I don't know. It might be. There's quite a few of them out there, but of all the ones i've purchased, they haven't been the same.

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