Friday, October 17, 2008

NEW Vari-N-Duo filter from Singh-Ray combines LB Polarizer with the Vari-ND

When fine-art nature photographer Tony Sweet made this beautiful image, he was able to slow his exposure down to 10 seconds to convey the surging action of the mountain stream while he also controlled the specular highlights reflecting off the stones and moss to reveal their true colors -- and he did it all with one filter. The new Vari-N-Duo filter combines the ability of the classic Vari-ND filter to slow your shutter speeds anywhere from about two to eight f-stops along with the glare and reflection control of the LB Warming Polarizer. To better appreciate the value of the polarizing feature, click anywhere on the image above and make your own 'with-and-without' visual comparison.

“I’ve been very happy shooting with the Vari-ND for the past couple of years,” says Tony, “but I’m ready to say Singh-Ray found a neat way to upgrade it. For my needs, it’s much better to have the LB Polarizer in the same filter. When I was making this image of the stream in Provo, Utah, for example, it was really impressive to see how beautifully the Vari-N-Duo cut out the glare off the rocks and moss.”

Until now, Tony and many other outdoor photographers have been "stacking" their Vari-ND Filter with an LB Warming Polarizer to slow the exposure times -- by anywhere from 2 to as much as 8 stops -- at the same time their LB Polarizer blocked the glaring light reflections from the sky, water, and glossy surfaces. "Stacking the two filters worked OK," says Tony, "but controlling both filters at once required patience. The new Vari-N-Duo gives me easier and better control. It has the 'Min/Max' density control ring on the outer rim (see photo above) with the polarizing ring right next to it. It didn't take long to figure out how to use them together."
The Vari-N-Duo will be available only in a 77mm filter ring. Because of the filter's deeper profile thickness, the filter may not be practical for use with very wide-angle lenses. The Vari-N-Duo has filter threads on its front rim to accommodate either the Mor-Slo 5-stop ND Filter or a filter holder for ND Grads. Ordering details are available on Singh-Ray.com and watch this blog for more example photos.