On a Budget – SLR Magic IEND 1.2

September 15, 2017

A quick update to the SLR Magic lineup of extras, the 4-stop IEND which aims to boost their Variable ND MkII up to 10-stops as opposed to the original 6.


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No ND vs 1 stop

No ND vs 2 stops

No ND vs 3 stops

No ND vs 4 stops

No ND vs 5 stops

No ND vs 6 stops

No ND vs 7 stops

No ND vs 8 stops

No ND vs 9 stops

No ND vs 10 stops

Tito Ferradans here for a quick episode! Today I’m gonna talk about the brand new – announced just a few days ago! – SLR Magic Image Enhancer ND 1.2. This 86mm linear ND filter cuts down four stops of light, which by itself is already pretty good. This filter is designed as an add-on to SLR Magic’s current Variable ND MkII, which ranges from 1 1/3 to 6 stops of cutting power. The IEND’s 86mm threads go seamlessly in front of the VariND and turn it into a 5 1/3 to 10 stops ND. This leads to the question of “then why not make a new Vari ND, with increased range?”. The answer is by combining a smoother Vari ND with a fixed ND, you avoid cross effect and massive color shifts – either to green or magenta. If you have any ND that goes further than 6 or 7 stops and you pushed it that hard, you have surely witnessed its effects.

The Image Enhancing part of the name means the filter has a special coating for treating infrared pollution which becomes more and more visible past 6 stops of filtration. I recently worked on a short film called The Annalisa, and we stacked a pair of 3-stop linear NDs, the filters weren’t that great and the image turned out suuuper red, so I was eager to see how this 10-stop combo ND would do.

My base lens was a 28mm Contax Zeiss, wide open at f/2.8, which is another challenge for Vari NDs, just because I wanted to see the world burn. I had to change shutter speed and ISO to keep exposure constant as I turned up the ND, but you can track all changes on the bottom of the frame. On the top we have a 250% crop of the paper, just for sharpness checks. Unfortunately the lens itself isn’t very sharp, but you can watch for further degradation.

Alright, here are the image comparisons. On the left I have a non-filtered image and on the right we have increasing filtration. I shot this under 1pm sun, so highlights were HOT! Anyway, the s-log images aren’t the best to see color shifting so I added a neutral grade, boosting contrast and saturation, and here we are again for comparisons.

What really matters for me is the naked images compared to the most filtered one. Side by side I notice the filtered image is slightly warmer after 10 stops. To my taste, it’s more pleasant looking than the original one, as skin tones feel more natural and healthy. The paper crop easily shows this shift. In terms of sharpness, the text looks the same, meaning the two filters aren’t noticeably messing up with resolution. No massive color shifts and no cross effect. Awesome.

I’ve been using the VariND MkII since I reviewed it last year, and I’m happy that now I can boost it up through the IEND without losing image quality. The filter will be available on the market in October of this year and it retails for $149.

In the upcoming weeks I’ll review the SLR Magic Compact Anamorphot 1.33x-40, so subscribe to get an update on that. If you have any questions about the IEND, or just questions in general, shoot a comment below! If you like the channel, you can support me on Patreon and get some neat rewards. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week with some anamorphic gear!