English - Espaņol
Sharpness - Bokeh
with the One Dollar Resolution Chart
Foto tutorial (English)
Foto tutorial (Espaņol)
Equipment recommendations US-ES
Flaat for Canon
Flaat for Nikon
Flaat for the BMC
Flaat for NEX-5N
Old Picture Style Tests
APS-C vs Full Frame
Badly assembled lenses and image quality
Lens mount compatibility chart
ISO on different cameras
High ISO on the 5D3
DIY: DR test chart
RGBWK Bayer sensors
Notes on DoF-FoV
Notes on crop-DoF-FoV
Custom Cropmarks for Magic Lantern on the Canon 550D
How many megapixels do I want?
How many megapixels can I see?
Quick Monitor Calibration Chart
For a general methodology description, look at my lens tests.
Here I'll only talk about the changes made for testing my ND filters.
First, a note: this results are not comparable with any of the previous ones, because the camera is different: now I'm using a Canon 550D, instead of a 500D.
I used two lenses: a Leitz Elmarit-R 35mm f/2.8, and a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm f/4, both using fotodiox adapters (from Leica-R and M42 to EOS). I picked these lenses because one is my main lens, the other is the longest lens I regularly use (and ND filters are said to be especially bad with long lenses).
The accessories I have tested are the following:
Light Craft Workshop LCW fader ND mark II 77mm ($125 on ebay, bought from lightcraftworkshop-official-store)
Fotodiox resin ND2 filter for cokin P system
Fotodiox resin ND4 filter for cokin P system
Fotodiox resin ND8 filter for cokin P system (turned out to be two stops darker than ND8!!)
Tiffen ND 0.3 filter (screw-in 67mm, $25 at bhphotovideo)
Tiffen ND 0.6 filter (screw-in 67mm, $25 at bhphotovideo)
Tiffen ND 0.9 filter (screw-in 67mm, $25 at bhphotovideo)
* The ND fader is terribly convenient, it is a delight to use, much, much, much better than the screw-in tiffen filters. But it will soften all your lenses. On a 35mm, there's a visible difference, but it's not a huge problem. On a 135mm, it is unbearable. So you only want to use it when there's no viable alternative: if you have the time to go through the pain of swapping filters, you want to avoid the fader. (edit: I sold my fader on ebay)
* The resin ND filters are cheap and convenient, not as much as the fader, but close enough, still worlds apart from the screw-in filters. But they still have a very noticeable effect on picture quality, again not much on a 35mm, but sometimes huge on long lenses. And that sometimes is part of the problem, as they offer very inconsistent results: of my three filters, one is extremely horrible, one is horrible, and the other one (the ND 0.9) is surprisingly clear... but nearly two stops darker than it should be (making it an ND 1.5 or something like that), and with huge IR issues that create a powerful color shift in daylight (you can't see it in my tests inside, and I haven't ran formal tests outside with this filter, but trust me: this makes it useless too).
* Future DIY project: build an adapter that can allow me to slide the screw-in filters into the cokin P filter holder (currently abandoned: I just forced myself to get used to screw-in filters).