Yesterday we brought you news of the new Aputure variable ND version of their DEC adapter. This is not just any variable ND filter, it is electronically controlled and sits in the EF to NEX/E-Mount adapter behind the lens. It can also control focus and iris of most EF lenses.
This has several advantages. Unlike a conventional screw-in variable ND filter, there is no black extinction cross when approaching maximum density. It also has a much wider range of ND and Aputure claim there is virtually no colour shift – something that plagues other variable ND filters.
Today I was able to test the filter out and publish the results. I used in on my Sony a7R II in S35 mode with a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 and Tokina 14-20mm f2.0, both wide open. You can download the 4K files directly from Vimeo.
It can work with practically any EF lens and there are no issues with different filter sizes. It also creates a dust barrier between the lens and the sensor. I was told that the ND filter also has an IR blocking layer like some other high end ND filters.
Of course none of this matters if the image quality isn’t good. So far it looks very promising. Colours look good and just as Aputure claim there appears to be little colour shift. Resolution looked to be similar to without the filter and there was no obvious softness or vignetting in the corners of the frame. We also tried it inside using the new Zeiss 21-100mm lens. There were no odd flares or obvious image issues.
This product is still a couple of months out and so we’ll have to wait for a full production version before we can test it fully, but so far the results appear extremely promising.
For more details keep an eye on the Aputure website.