New Light Craft Workshop – Fader ND Digi Pro HD

LCW-ND-Filter (1 of 16)LCW-ND-Filter (4 of 16)

If you love to shoot outdoors on bright sunny days with a shallow DOF, you'll need to get yourself an ND (neutral density) Filter. The ND filter will cut down the amount of light that comes in through the lens so that you can tame that shutter speed, and use a wide aperture without blowing out the image. Still confused? Olivia has a short video that explains how shutter can change the look of your video here: http://vimeo.com/25851113.

LCW-ND-Filter (5 of 16)LCW-ND-Filter (12 of 16)

There are static ND filters in various sizes and densities, and then there are Variable ND filters. The convenience of a Variable type ND filter is you can simply dial in how much light you need to block out. Variable ND filters are a two piece glass filter design. Rotate the outer glass, and it will increase/decrease the amount of light passing through.

One important thing to know is that you will get different results from different Variable ND filters on the market. Because the filters are using two pieces of polarizing glass, you could suffer from color cast (reddish/purplish), also color shifting (color temp changes as you rotate the filter), and more importantly Softness of image. The more expensive ones don't suffer as much with these problems, but they can be out of reach for most hobbyist. Of course, I use what I can afford, because in some situations I feel anything is better than nothing. If you're a stickler on quality, or invested thousands of dollars on that Zeiss and Canon 'L series' glass, I think you'll want to try to maintain the best image possible by using something of higher caliber.

LCW-ND-Filter (6 of 16)LCW-ND-Filter (14 of 16)

Shown throughout this article is the latest 77mm LCW Digi Pro HD, which on the outer end terminates to a larger 82mm. This step up from 77mm-82mm design prevents obstruction when used on wider lenses. Packaged well, the LCW Digi Pro HD comes with it's own padded case and an 82mm Lens cap if you choose to leave the filter on during storage. To ensure the filter does not accidentally rotate during use and changing exposure, there's a locking pin to hold position.

LCW-ND-Filter (16 of 16)LCW-ND-Filter (15 of 16)

Light Craft Workshop was one of the first companies to really hit the DSLR Video market with a quality Variable ND filter about 3 years ago. Since then, they've improved with an Ultra Mark II version, and now has released a much more improved Fader ND Digi Pro HD. The Digi Pro HD filter was first released in a 4x4 filter used in Matte Boxes, and has now been adapted to this variable threaded filter.

I was lucky enough to have this sent over from LCW [Thanks Guys], and will be taking it out for some use. There's no question in my mind that it will provide top quality results, and i'll try to provide some still images at different focal lengths for you all. The new Digi Pro HD filter was just announced a few days ago, and may not yet be available, but you can see all their announcements at their website here: http://LightCraftWorkshop.com. As this Digi Pro HD is not a replacement for some of their other Variable ND products, you can find those products and prices already available at their official store via eBay (click here).

lcw-fader
find-price-button Light Craft Workshop Variable ND & CPL Filters



Top Selling Drones




33 thoughts on “New Light Craft Workshop – Fader ND Digi Pro HD

  1. waiting for a review... Please someone make a comparison between the Heliopan and Schneider true match vari-nd, I dont want to spend 300$ on the wrong one !!! Front tread is very important as well...

  2. Any review yet ??? I am ready to buy one but still very hesitant regarding the overall quality of those Fader ND pola-filters...

    Really hoping this one is the good one !

  3. DaveScott

    It's been awhile and I've yet to see a test with the new LCW. Like Millerslocal, I want very much to see what the image looks like beyond 100mm. When I purchased the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 is, I immediately bought the LCW mark II to go with it. That was definitely a mistake. The image is way too soft! I'm thinking of going real high end (Heliopan) - but before I do, I'd love to see a test with this new filter!

    Please?

  4. Millerslocal

    Would be great if someone can post their findings as to how it performs on longer zooms, say 100-400mm. Was the failing of the previous versions.

    About to drop $$$ on the Heliopan (to ensure sharpness at longer zooms), but would be interested to know how the LCW performs - website mentions tested to 500mm and stays sharp. Poetic license?!

  5. Pingback:

  6. SkunkWorks

    @Danyyyel

    Sorry I've been neglecting you guys. I took up a new hobby a couple of weeks ago and have been spending way too much time in a particular RC helicopter forum... and have already bought a second heli 😉

    I wil get to it though as soon as I can!

  7. Lumpy

    So I saw this post and after having only done photography never was in a specific situation to need an ND Filter so they were never important to me. Saw this post and realized how important it is now that do video started looking up ND filters came across a Fader ND in the correct filter size and then googled "Why are Fader ND so expensive" and it lead me right back here.....I guess I should have just read it.

  8. Danyyyel

    @SkunkWorks

    Yes, once you can it will be very appreciated. It could be a breakthrough in terms of price performance ratio.

  9. SkunkWorks

    Just realized my Marumi 77mm Vari ND has an 82mm front filter thread to prevent vignetting. Nice!

    One problem, though... anyone here want to trade me their 82mm lens cap for a brand new never used aftermarket 77mm Canon Ultrasonic lens cap? :(

  10. Thanks, Emm! I had pored over that review you did before my LCW purchase; I think I'll return the LCW and just get a Nature ND. Any drawbacks to the Nature as compared to the LCW? Thanks!

  11. I just picked up the LCW Mark II...and am now tempted to now return it before the return period is up. $125 for this seemed like a lot for something that does what amounts to apparently just an "adequate" job...not to mention that the new version is out...which now seems exorbitantly expensive at $300+. Is there anything inexpensive out there without the purple cast? Or is there an inexpensive option with the purple cast that's fixable in post?

  12. Pingback:

  13. Danyyyel

    SkunkWorks

    Keep us posted because until now I did not see any review of the Marumi. They have very very good reviews for their filter in general and if this one is the same we will be a winner. Don't forget to test with longer lens. It is good also to do the test in photo mode than video mode to really see the impact on sharpness if there is some.

    I hope that this LCW fader is tested at all focal length, because it is a shame how test on blogs have been done that did not do it and gave very favorable reviews for it. Many as myself have been burned by it.

  14. Gene

    I think LCW Faders have had a BAD track record. I owned the first version and it was soft with any lens above a 85mm.

    I then bought the Mark 2 version and it was EXACTLY the same as the first generation. Soft at longer focal lengths,

    So I would be weary of buying this version since the other 2 had serious softness issues.

    I tried the Genus Vari-ND also, and it suffers from the same issue.

    I then did a DIY by placing a high quality Hoya linear with with Hoya circular polarizer and NO softness issues, but when cranked down, there was some serious purple color shift happening.

    Would like to find the perfect ND filter.

  15. SkunkWorks

    @Frank Philip

    Not sure, Frank... haven't tried it yet with my Marumi to see if it varies across the range.

  16. @ SkunkWorks

    Great point. I didn't think about it that way. So do a WB after the fader is on. I wonder how far off the balance will be say going from 1 to 9 stops?

  17. SkunkWorks

    @Frank Philip

    If you don't want to do it in post (which is really no big deal if you're going to grade anyway) you can just do a custom white balance in camera. For example, I have been doing the 9 or 10 stop ND trick for long exposures (5 minute exposures on seascapes and lakes etc. looks really cool and you can remove moving people from a scene like a downtown sidewalk during mid day!) using a piece of welding glass (you see this all over the web, works great) but since the glass is tinted green you need to do whatever the process is on your camera to do a custom white balance...

    ... on my T2i I just shoot a piece of white paper through the welding glass to proper exposure and keep that picture on my camera and use it for the custom white balance in the settings on the T2i when I want to shoot through that glass. You can make this work out even better if you actually shoot that balancing image on location under existing lighting conditions.

    You can do the same process with your "tinted" Vari ND.

  18. Chris

    Anyone have experience with the 4x4 versions of these? Thinking about purchasing these for my epic instead of the Schneider IRND's at $300/filter

  19. My cheap ebay version has a slight yellow tint to it as well. I wonder if it's easier to create a color profile in the camera. Let the camera compensate versus worrying about it in post? The question is how much to compensate.

  20. By first looking at it I thought the locking pin was so you can use it to change ND strengths. Now, that would be cool! I personally have a cheaper one from ebay and it's quite tight to go from one to another. At least it doesn't freely turn like I assume the previous LCW did.

    I wonder if there's a way to put in a small hole for a pin like that but to turn from strength to another. Any ideas?

  21. D

    Anyone else look at those tests? They seem to be missing some info... At least, I'm having trouble figuring out certain parts.

  22. SkunkWorks

    @getem

    Not sure I'm following you on your fisrt paragraph... it's apples and oranges, they have different purposes and applications. I've also found I rarely use my polarizer due to the fact that it needs such specific conditions, especially on a sky. And on a sky using a wide angle lens you can pretty much forget about it unless you can live with the radically uneven tone you'll get. Interestingly though, I've noticed that my Vari ND actually does do some polariztion when I use it which makes sense because that's basically what it is.

    I know there are times when people deviate from the 180 degree shutter rule for artistic reasons... I definitely notice the difference in the way motion is captured, it's not a subtle thing to me, and to be honest I find it hard to watch for very long. And alot of us are chasing the look of cinema (in general terms) and using faster shutter speeds does take you farther away from that look (again, in general)... and so does the sharper image.

    Just my 2 cents.

  23. getem

    In my honest opinion a Polarizer is more important than a Fader Nd. Especially when controlling light as it works wonders for maintaining a blue sky and shooting through reflective surfaces.

    Further more with dslr cameras the shutter speed is actually a key component to be used for exposure. Many people tell you to use a 50 shutter speed, but the truth is unless your shooting a water fountain or water fall more than likely you will never notice the difference.

    Also shooting at a higher shutter speed will give you a sharper image.

  24. SkunkWorks

    Yes, Emm has telepathy. I was just to about to let him know I picked up a Marumi 77mm DHG Vari ND ND2 to ND400 just before the holidays... I'm probably one of the first to actually buy one... Marumi just recently put it out at the request of John at OEM Camera on amazon (he seems to be the main if not the only official reseller for Marumi in North America). If I ever get around to putting it through its paces I'll probably be the first to review it on amazon. All my other filters are Marumi, they don't get talked about alot for some reason but I think they're the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to all the brands.

    I've been looking for good quality Vari ND that doesn't break the bank (can't afford singh ray or heliopan and even those have their issues) and have been really disappointed at before and after IQ comparisons I've seen on various forums of the LCW, especially at longer focal lengths, and decided I will never even consider buying one so thought I'd try this one instead based on the IQ I see in my other Marumi filters. I've only tested it quick on my Tokina 11-16 so far and what I see is...

    - minimal IQ degradation, comparable to what I get from my Marumi CPL, ND and UV filters, which is pretty good even to hardcore pixel peepers.

    - slight yellow cast which I can easily compensate for.

    - no x pattern until you go past the "max" mark which is almost maxed out... that mark should be around 9 stops.

    At a little under $140 I consider it a keeper.

  25. Tony

    Is this some kind of telepathy or what? First I was in market for a dSLR cage...then come the PNC announcement. Then just today I got a gig to shoot a BMW outside for a client and said to myself, "well guess I'll have to finally pull the rope on a ND filter." This LCW is right on time and knowing their past workmanship and steady improvements, I have little doubt this will be better than the MKII. Hur'rup with that review and test shots Emm lol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



RSS Feed Widget