2010/07/03

H&Y Fader ND - a short review

I got a comment that the "H&Y Fader ND" is an imitation from the "Light Craft Workshop fader". To be honest, I have no clue which one is the original, but I think it's the "Singh Ray Vari ND" because this is the most expensive. I read Phillip Boom's post on these faders (this is the post) and decided to get the cheap one. I paid $79,19 (=64,42€, ebay seller "anne14389", shipping took 2 weeks to Germany) for my 72mm sized filter. I think this prize is unbeatable. But as I said before, I don't know if this is a genuine filter. 
 
Here's a sample video of the H&Y Fader ND on my Canon 550D with a EF 50mm 1.8 II lens. The setting was 1080, 24p, 1/50s, f/1.8, ISO100 and I twisted the fader from it's minimum to the 8th stroke (the maximum is on the 10th). It was really really bright when I shot the video. I had to choose f/20.0 to get the same image without the fader. By the way, the colors are flat because of my camera setting.



The thread on the outer side (e.g. for a lens hood) is 77mm. Build quality is really good (metal and glass) and the box it comes with is also really nice. Only negative thing so far: it doesn't come with a lens cap so you have to get one seperately. I ordered one for 5,98€ on ebay. I also ordered a 3 way rubber lens hood for 4,45€ to avoid lens flares and to protect the fader.

I will use this fader with my EF-S 18-55mm kit lens and with my EF 50mm prime lens. The kit lens has a 58mm filter thread, the 50mm prime has a 52mm thread. So I ordered 2 stepping rings (each one less than $2 on ebay) which make it possible to thread the Fader ND to these lenses. I decided to buy a bigger fader because I want to use it with lenses I will get in the future, too.

What are these faders used for? They make it possible to darken the image like normal ND filters. The only difference is that you can adjust the density of the filter (range from ND2 up to ND400 with this fader). This makes it possible to shoot videos with a wide open lens in bright sunlight without changing the shutter speed. Another nice thing that you can do with these faders is to take a long exposure picture in bright sunlight without getting it overexposed. This is a nice technique to shoot a sight on a crowded place if you don't have the chance to shoot it without people in front of it - the people will be blurred and you can see the whole sight. Another thing that many people do with this type of filter is to shoot water with longer exposures to make it look smooth. 

What can I say about the optical quality? I think it's great. Colors are nice and I can't see any distortion or vignetting at all. Only when I twist the fader over it's maximum - but this is not what it is supposed to do. I will use this filter for shooting videos primarily, but it also works nice for taking photos. 

If you want a really cheap Fader, get this one. Maybe the more expensive faders will give you even better quality, but the price-performance ratio of the H&Y fader is excellent for people on a very tight budget. My rating: 5/5.


Cheers,
jonni

22 comments:

  1. H&Y? I think this brand is just some kind of imitation made in China. Without mentioning the quality of the filter itself, I never support and buying imitation.

    Why don't you get the original Fader ND from Light Craft Workshop or even the Singh ray.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read some reviews and decided to get the cheapest one. This is what you have to do with a very limited budget.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jonni, Thanks for all the great info.

    Question: Does the 72mm Fader ND with step-up ring on the Canon 550D with a EF 50mm 1.8 II lens cause any vignetting. I would also like to purchase one Fader ND to use on multiple lenses. I have the EF 50mm 1.8 II lens & the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM that has a 77mm filter size.

    Henry

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Henry, thanks for your post.

    I haven't noticed any vignetting so far. One big Fader ND for all your lenses should be okay.

    Cheers,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  5. I bought this one. I'm very happy with it. I compared it with a lcw and couldn't find a differençe in quality, weight, finishing, performance, or any other feature that could have made me thing I've chosen the wrong way.
    I like to buy original things (i.e. Canon batteries) but sometimes there are good options as well that are worth the savings.
    Thanks jonni
    Cheers
    Esteban

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad to hear that the quality is comparable to a LCW filter - thanks for your comment, Esteban.

    Cheers,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey man!

    Are there any specific converters for the movie files for this camera (550D)? Im having difficulties with their codec in my Mac computer and I wonder if you know anything about any good converters!
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think what you're searching for is the "Magic Bullet Grinder". Check it out on www.redgiantsoftware.com.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post. Hey, I'm new to photography and don't know much about "stepping" rings. I assume they're a kind of lens size adapter?

    I have the original kit lens on a 550D. So, am I correct that I should buy a 72mm Fader ND with one "step-up" ring? Are these rings all the same? A link would be super helpful! Thanks guys.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Cristopher,

    a stepping ring is just a slim metal ring with two different threads on each side. It makes it possible to thread a filter to your lens that doesn't have the size of the filter thread on your lens.

    If you have the kit lens, your filter size should be 58mm (written on the lens). If you don't plan buying other lenses you can buy a 58mm Fader ND which is cheaper than the bigger ones. But if you buy lenses with bigger filter threads in the future you will need a step-down ring to mount the smaller filter to your lens. This is not good because it will cause vignetting in the corners of your image.

    You should buy a Fader ND that fits your biggest lens and mount it to your smaller lenses with step-up rings. So you can use one Fader with all your lenses, you just need the right stepping rings. The quality loss you always have using this rings is not significant in this case.

    Just type "step up 58 72" into ebay and you'll find a lot of results.

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi,

    I've been looking at getting the H&Y Fader ND and have a few queries that I'd love answered by anybody with experience of these.

    Currently have a 10-22 (77mm thread) in addition to the 18-55 and 55-250 (both 58mm thread).

    1. My most important question is, do you think a 58mm Fader ND will cause vignetting on my kit lens and 55-250? Would I have to get a bigger filter and step up or would stepping up just have the same effect?

    2. Also, has anybody actually tried the 77mm H&Y on the 10-22? I have the Hoya Pro1-D Polariser and it's fine, but that is only a few mm thick. The Fader ND looks REALLY thick!

    Actually, how thick is the filter?

    Loads of questions, but no answers!

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi snarff,

    1. A 58mm Fader shouldn't cause any vignetting on your kit lens. But I can't guarantee that. I would recommend to spend a few more bucks and go for a 77mm Fader because the 58mm Fader will definitely NOT work with your 10-22.

    2. I don't own this lens (10-22) so I can't tell you about vignetting on this lens, sorry.

    3. The H&Y Fader ND is thinner than the LCW Fader - 10mm without thread.

    Hope this helps,

    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks jonni,

    I'll post my results when I get one of these.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Have you shot any stills with this? Does it still hold up.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Josh,

    no stills so far, but I'll try it (as soon as the sun says hello) and post the results on my site.

    Cheers,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi. I also live in Germany (Landshut) and thinking about getting a variable ND filter. The one you got seems pretty good. I am aware that the original lens hood will not fit, but I dont want to use it without the hood (for the same reason you said). Can you send me a link to the rubber hood you got? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Check this link: http://shop.ebay.de/in.camera/m.html?_nkw=rubber&_sacat=0&_odkw=&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3911.c0.m270.l1313

    Hope it helps,
    jonni

    ReplyDelete
  18. Vielen Dank Jonni.

    ReplyDelete
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