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ND Filters & Noctilux

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When I get my new Noctilux f/.95 in the next few weeks should I get some ND filters so I can use it set to .95 during the day. Most of you say B+W are the best so what values do you think I need?

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Guest MarcRF

when I was in solms in november I had the chance to talk to Peter Karbe for a few moments. another member of the guided tour asked him about ND filters. he recommended a vario ND filter (dont know if this is the correct term...) so the ones that get darker when you twist them. he recommended the ones from B+W

 

as this is the recommendation of the creator of the noctilux I'd say follow this suggestion.

 

he also said that shooting this lens at anything else than 0.95 is a waste ("Perlen vor die Säue" was his direct quote

)

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Hmmm...I don't think B+W make a variable ND. And I've read the Vario's you can fit via a stepping ring vignette quite a bit. ???

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Guest MarcRF
Hmmm...I don't think B+W make a variable ND. And I've read the Vario's you can fit via an adapter vignette quite a bit. ???

 

I just use a 46mm 3 stop B+W ND filter. thats as far as my experience with them goes.

 

but I dont think Karbe was telling bollocks. he clearly stated vario ND filters to be the best choice for the noctilux for being able to shoot at 0.95 and gave a recommendation for B+W.

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I use a 3 and a 6 stop B+W filter in 60mm thread. They work great. The 6 does have a warm cast. The 3 is probably most useful I would say. You will need the 6 stop if you need to use flash as well, to get the shutter speed low enough to synch.

 

Mr Karbe's statement is a mystery to me then. There is no B+W Vario (at least not yet) and all my research lead me to believe that a Vario from other companies plus step down ring on the Noctilux creates a reasonable amount of Vignetting. I wish B+W did make a 60mm Vario. Best to find out for sure if you want to go that way.

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I use a 2-stop (filter factor 4x) type 102 B+W ND for the Noctilux.

If you live/work in very sunny environments, you may want to go for the 3-stop (8x) type 103.

I have no experience with any of them, but I believe Heliopan, Tiffen, Singh-Ray and others offer variable NDs. However, never seen/heard of a variable ND from B+W.

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B+W recently announced the XS-Pro Digital ND Vario, price between 200 and 280€ depending on diameter. I haven't tried yet, a B+W 103 was always sufficient for my Noctilux f/1 and the M9.

 

Well I stand corrected, that's great news. Thanks for the heads up I will get one for sure.

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Well I stand corrected, that's great news. Thanks for the heads up I will get one for sure.

 

+1. Doesn't seem to be available in 60mm, though. Will need 62mm and a step-up ring.

Edited by Ecar

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Peter Karbe [...] recommended a vario ND filter ... the ones that get darker when you twist them. He recommended the ones from B+W.

Those made by B+W aren't bad I'm sure ... but what Mr. Karbe actually recommended was the Vario ND MC from Rodenstock. It has a useful range from 2.8× to 32× (+1.5 EV to +5 EV). If you can accept some colour cast then it can go even higher, up to 400× (+9 EV).

 

Personally, despite Peter Karbe's endorsement I'm more comfortable with a fixed-strength ND filter. I am using a Heliopan ND 0.9 (8× or +3 EV) on my Noctilux and 75 mm Summilux. In very bright environments such as tropical latitudes at mid-day sunshine you might want a stronger filter ... but so far, the ND 0.9 easily was sufficient for me, and furthermore I don't need to compulsively shoot at f/0.95 always.

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Those made by B+W aren't bad I'm sure ... but what Mr. Karbe actually recommended was the Vario ND MC from Rodenstock. It has a useful range from 2.8× to 32× (+1.5 EV to +5 EV). If you can accept some colour cast then it can go even higher, up to 400× (+9 EV).

 

Personally, despite Peter Karbe's endorsement I'm more comfortable with a fixed-strength ND filter. I am using a Heliopan ND 0.9 (8× or +3 EV) on my Noctilux and 75 mm Summilux. In very bright environments such as tropical latitudes at mid-day sunshine you might want a stronger filter ... but so far, the ND 0.9 easily was sufficient for me, and furthermore I don't need to compulsively shoot at f/0.95 always.

 

+1

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You'll need a 6-stop ND filter if you wish to shoot wide open in bright daylight. A 3-stop filter will get you there (wide open) in many conditions, but not all.

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A 3-stop filter will get you there (wide open) in many conditions, but not all.

And exactly that is good enough for me.

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Many comments, many choices and many thanks

 

I am one of those people who will be putting a UV/protection filter on the end of his noctilux, because I am one of top ten clumsiest people in the world (Guinness book of records, 1972). So the question is if I stack the filters on the lens is this a no no,will I get issues with it like vignetting?

thanks again

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Nobody else has mentioned it, so I thought I would share my experience.

 

I have used the Heliopan 3-stop ND and multi-coated Heliopan 3-stop ND. I also have used a 60mm Leica polarizer. The polarizer wins, hands-down.

 

With the straight ND filters, shooting an M9, there is a purple halo surrounding any bright white light sources, or even white gloves. It's not chromatic aberration, as it surrounds the white area, not just one side radially with respect to the center of the picture. Both ND filters did this. I switched to the Leica polarizer and found no such artifact.

 

I do note that the polarizer is only a 2-stop light reduction, so it is insufficient in bright sunlight.

 

Variable ND filters are actually two polarizers, so they should not have the purple halo effect.

 

Thanks.

 

Eric

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I have all 3 B+W but here in the UK only ever have had to use the 3 stop one although the 6 is handy for abroad.....

 

The world would look very odd if you used this lens at 0.95 100% of the time ... and at close distances the miniscule DOF combined with slight softness makes many things look even more peculiar. Nice if you like that sort of look ... but hardly 'natural'.

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