Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

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Brad Ballew

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Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 5:48 pm

I usually avoid variable NDs since I have had issues with them in the past. They generally have a polarizer effect, because well... they are two polarizers stacked. This can affect skin tones, although I've heard that some variable NDs manage to minimize this effect. Also, I have had issues with color cast at higher levels which is a real pain.

I have a couple of Formatt Hitech Firecrest NDs that I absolutely love. I am curious if their variable ND is just as good or not. Has anyone used one?

Looking at this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... gIw-_D_BwE
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rick.lang

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Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 8:07 pm

Sorry, I don’t have experience with that, Brad. Here’s last year’s review of the SLR Magic Vari-ND mark II:



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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 10:31 pm

I've had good results from the SLR Magic Vari-ND mark II, but only when paired with Hoya IR cut, otherwise IR pollution is a real problem.

In fact, the Hoya IR cut is the only screw on filter I've found that completely eliminates IR problems on BMD cameras. There are, of course, some great rectangular ND filters requiring a matte box made a few different companies, but no screw in versions of those. Even the Firecrests, as good as they are, still let some IR through so that black fabric under tungsten light starts to get a bit muddy on BMD sensors.
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rick.lang

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Re: Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 5:30 am

Further to Jamie’s comment, the closest SLR Magic gets is with their Image Enhancer Pro mark II. It’s not an IR Cut with a traditional spectral response curve but it takes a chunk out of the infrared spectrum while leaving the deep red alone to improve skin tones so it may be sufficient. My tests illustrated what Jamie has said.


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Brad Ballew

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Re: Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 1:42 pm

Yeah, I had forgotten about the IR pollution problems on BM cameras. I remember getting it really bad on my pocket camera a few years ago.

Well, if no one has tried the Formatt Hitech Variable ND then I might take a chance and give it a try. I've always been happy with their products, so it's worth a shot. I do have a couple of firecrest NDs I'll compare it to and share my results. I might grab a Hoya IR cut like Jamie suggested just to have in those extreme circumstances.

Thanks guys!
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Anybody use the Formatt Hitech Variable ND?

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 6:36 am

Right, good point Rick. I forgot about the Image Enhancer Pro as another option. I've been meaning to get one to do a side by side comparison with the Hoya IR Cut.

Brad, yes please do let us know how the comparisons go. Thanks!
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