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ND variable filters


johnmac 9 148
18 Feb 2020 9:49AM
I just traded my Nikon D500 in for a Nikon Z6 to go with my D850. The Z6 s lens has 72mm filter thread and my good quality Nikon glass is 77mm. I was about to purchase a 72mm ND variable filter more for videoing for Z6 but was thinking may pay to get 77mm ND variable filter and buy a step down ring to use the 77mm on the 72mm S lens. I was wondering if I did that would the 77mm filter cause vignetting on the Z6?

I would appreciate any help anyone can give

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pink Plus
16 6.3k 8 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2020 10:21AM
As the filter is larger than it should not cause any vignetting on the smaller diameter lens.
Be careful when buying a variable ND filter as the quality does vary, the cheap ones are cheap for a reason!
LenShepherd 12 4.1k United Kingdom
18 Feb 2020 10:23AM
The is no easy route to confirmation - other than try it and see.

As Nikon video records in 16:9 format hard vignetting that might be possible shooting on 24x36 stills should get cropped out.

The 77-72mm step down should be no thicker and probably a little thinner than a 72mm screw in filter.
The specification for the 24-70 f4 lens (likely the one you got in a Z6 package) mentions no hard vignetting (black corners) using a relatively thin 72mm Nikon NC. I would not expect the step down ring to be a problem.

A variable ND is usually relatively thick - and despite being 77mm might result in some hard vignetting on a 72mm step up ring - especially if your other lens is a wide angle combined with 24x36 format stills photography.

If you already have a 77 mm filter you can experiment with your camera on a tripod photographing a white card with the 77mm filter hand held roughly where you expect a 77mm variable pol would be - to see if you get hard vignetting. This is not a 100% reliable but might provide a useful guide.

If you have not used a variable ND before - as they primarily need a light source parallel to the sensor to work at their best one or 2 screw NDs of different strengths might be a better option.
johnmac 9 148
18 Feb 2020 10:45AM
Thanks both thatís useful advice. Iíve never used a variable filter before, apart from my graduated ND filters I have a 6 stop round Gobe filter. Now that Iím retired and donít have the income I used to have, I was looking at the Gobe 1-5 stop 3 peak variable filter priced at £80. I wouldnít use it for stills heard it gives soft images?only video and canít see me using my D850 for videoing now I have Z6. I tried doing video with my D500 at a horse event, it was one of those very rare days when the sun was blindingly bright and extremely hot and couldnít get the shutter below 5000 a variable would help getting the shutter down.
sausage Plus
15 635 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2020 3:37PM
I would never use a variable filter again, had a couple but the image never looked ok - colour shift etc. I just use a couple of different NDs
Fma7 4 1.0k United Kingdom
22 Feb 2020 7:35PM
I got a free variable ND when I bought a lens, so undoubtedly a cheapo, but it works a treat
johnmac 9 148
22 Feb 2020 7:54PM
Thanks all for your help and advice. I would use it mainly for videoing with the Z6

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