The Hoya Variable Density filter uses two polarizing layers to control the amount of light that passes through the filter and into the camera lens. At it's minimum effect the filter passes 1/3 of the light in a scene. That is equal to 1.5 stops on the aperture or shutter speed. At it maximum effect the filter passes just 1/400 of the light in a scene. That is equal to 9 stops on the aperture or shutter speed.
After the filter is mounted on the lens, turning the filter ring between "Min" and "Max" can greatly control the amount of light entering the lens. With the Hoya Variable Density filter it is possible to shoot with fast lenses like 50mm f/1.4 lenses wide open at f/1.4 in full sun for a very shallow depth of field. Or, to slow down the shutter speed to where the shutter can be open for several seconds in full sunlight. This is enough to create artistic blurring shots of motion on water, cars, people or almost anything that moves. The creative possibilities are endless.
The Hoya Variable Density filter uses high-quality optical glass from Hoya Corporation, the worlds largest optical glass manufacturer and is available in sizes 52mm to 82mm.
For best results Hoya recommends using a tripod when photographing at slow shutter speeds.
Reviewed by 2 customers
I waited a long time before ordering a variable ND filter. I've been meaning to do so for a while now, but all the reviews I read had some negative comments to make, either regarding image softness or funny color casts. It seemed like the only alternatives were either dirt-cheap copycats or super-expensive originals. But when Hoya finally released their own variable density filters at a reasonable price, I had to give it a try. Optically, this thing is amazing. It works nearly flawlessly. There's no added color cast or softness, everything just looks beautiful. I can slow my shutter speed with the lens wide open even in bright sunlight, and the results are fantastic. There's some minor visible crosshatch when the filter is at its absolute darkest, but that's a very minor issue which can be resolved by turning it ever so slightly lighter. We're talking a difference of less than half a stop here, so it's no great loss. My main reasons for docking a star come from handling. The filter is super easy to use and well marked, but it has NO front threads. That means I can't attach a hood to the front of it. The main reason I got this filter is to use it in sunlight, which is precisely when I want to attach a hood, but this filter won't let me. If you have a hood that clips on around the lens' filter threads, then this isn't an issue for you. But if you use hoods that attach to filter threads, then you're out of luck. Also, this filter isn't available in a 49mm size. The smallest available is 52mm. This annoys me greatly, since most of my favorite lenses have a 49mm filter thread. 52mm seems like such an arbitrary number to stop at... I'm almost tempted tp knock another star off just because of this limitation. But the optical performance impresses me enough to give it 4 stars despite the bizarre limitations.
Used it once so far and great results!