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ND filters comparison
916 3 2016-11-6
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dobmatt
Captain
Flight distance : 1700092 ft
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Despite my selfconfidence in amateur photography I was surprised to find that the so called Neutral Density filters (a must in our business) aren't actually neutral. After examining rough footage taken during first summer season with my Inspire 1 Pro I was under impression that the material is somehow tinted with yellow-ish, sometimes purple-ish haze. I was using mainly a pair of Polar Pro filters from basic 3-piece set, ND8 and PL. The issue is fixable in post production process, but only to a degree. Smelling a fish, I took some test images without any filters attached. As expected, images were much better balanced, without false coloration.

To confirm my suspicions I've purchased a similiar pair of filters made by renowned german B&W brand and did the comparison. Here are the results:
compilation.jpg
Bracketed images of neutral gray board were taken in cloudy daylight with White Balance set to 5600K, during 10 minute session. Indeed, Polar Pro filters exhibit strong warming coloration (with strange exeption of ND16 filter which provides equally brutal cooling properties). As expected B&W filters are much more neutral, introducing only very subtle and palatable cooling effect. For change Promaster Variable ND filter, used on my Oly 45mm lens, is delivering a horrible yellow/magenta tint.

The set of Polar Pro filters I owe is probably 2 years old and by now - perhaps - the company already refined the manufacturing process. I don't know that for sure ... It's also possible that I'm trying to split the hair here, suffering the "uncurable perfectionist" syndrom ...
2016-11-6
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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Nice comparison, thank you for sharing. It is possible that the more current versions of your ND filters are improved, given that advancements in cameras and their accessories are quite frequent.
2016-11-7
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dobmatt
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Flight distance : 1700092 ft
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2016-11-8 03:58
Nice comparison, thank you for sharing. It is possible that the more current versions of your ND fil ...

Jamie, thank you for noticing my post and your optimism ... As much as I admire classic American Dream  story behind Polar Pro brand, Jeff Overall - founder and CEO - 3 years ago probably couldn't tell the difference between true ND filter and a candle smoked glass for watching solar eclipse . Said that their products are successfully filling the niche of insanely popular GoPro and Phantom camera accessories. Unfortunately I don't belong to a selfie generation, although I wouldn't mind at all ...
2016-11-7
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Farnk666
Captain
Flight distance : 1711394 ft
Australia
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The dyes used in filters can shift over time - not saying that is the case with your PPs, but I've thrown out a number of NDs and coloured grads in my DSLR and Film SLR days.
The old ilford multigrade contrast filters used to shift quite markedly - would need replacing after a couple of years of use.
2016-11-7
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