Sharpness Test: Tiffen vs Nature vs FOTGA Variable ND Filter

IMG_9817

I have three 77mm Variable ND filter now.

Tiffen 77mm Variable Neutral Density Filter-$150, purchased at b&h

FOTGA 77mm Slim Fader Variable ND filter-$15, purchased at ebay.com

Nature 77mm Variable ND filter MKII- around $80 (converted from Chinese dollars), purchased at China, This is the most expensive Chinese made Variable ND filter I find at China. However I do not see that it is being sold at ebay, amazon, etc here in united states.

All test were shot on tripod and in manual mode. jpg mode, standard setting. All three filters were set at its lowest ND stops (the brightest).

I am only comparing sharpness or resolution of each. I am not compare other parameter such as color shift, Vignetting, etc.

first test. canon 7d, 17-55mm f2.8 at 17mm f2.8

IMG_9806s

 

Click photo to view 100% to see the difference.

17mm

My bad. I lost track of which one is which…anyway they all produce very similar result of sharpness. Hard to tell difference.

canon 7d, 17-55mm f2.8 at 35mm f2.8

IMG_9811s

 

Click photo to view 100% to see the difference.

35mm

canon 7d, 100mm f2.8 macro at f2.8

IMG_9797s

 

Click photo to view 100% to see the difference.

100mm

As you can see. all filter produce excellent sharpness at wide angle 17mm (28mm in full frame). By 35mm (50mm in full frame), FOTGA lose some sharpness already, nature one look very good, tiffen one very close to no filter.

and by 100mm (160mm in full frame), FOTGA is very bad. nature one lose more sharpness but still usable, and tiffen again very close to no filter.

This is 100% pixel peep. I would think if people are use these filter for video shooting, the diffidence should be minimal.

I would say if you only use the filter for wide angle landscape photography, either filter produce excellent result. but as soon as you zoom in, the cheap FOTGA start to decline sharpness. the longer your focal length is, the worse the sharpness is. The Nature one keep sharpness quite well. The tiffen one no wonder the best. You can use it for photography and video with confidence.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jon说道:

    I just received a 77mm Fotga today and can confirm your findings that it is very soft. In fact, it softens the images so much that they become unusable.

    1. liukaitc说道:

      Yes, can not expect much from a $10 product after all.
      It is still a good option for wide angle shot. Wider than 35mm (full frame)

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