SANDMARC, the American company specializing in GoPro/smartphone movie accessories, has just released its first product for DSLR/mirrorless/cinema cameras: the SANDMARC Motion Pro variable ND filter. With an ND range that goes from ND8 to ND64 (3-6 stops), the company claims that this is the only vignette-free filter with such range on the market. Let’s take a closer look at it!
When it comes to lenses and filters, SANDMARC is not a newcomer. Indeed, the company has been manufacturing accessories for GoPro and smartphones for years, including iPhone 12 lenses/filters. Also, SANDMARC already had a motion variable ND filter for the iPhone.
For filmmakers that use cameras with no built-in ND filters, a variable ND filter is a must-have in your toolkit. Let me sum up quickly (and by taking shortcuts) what a variable ND filter does. In short, a VND filter allows you to quickly and precisely cut the amount of light hitting your sensor. It works like a regular ND filter, but if you turn the filter, you can adjust the ND strength. That way, you can keep your shutter angle at the correct setting while maintaining a shallow depth of field by shooting at a wide aperture.
Pushing things a step further, SANDMARC has just introduced its first filter for more “traditional” DSLR/mirrorless/cinema cameras: the SANDMARC Motion Pro variable ND filter.
SANDMARC Motion Pro variable ND filter – Features
The SANDMARC Motion Pro variable ND filter is 7.2mm thick, so it’s a pretty thin filter with a frame made of aluminum. It is available in various diameters, including 58/67/77/82mm. As always, we recommend you choose a 77/82mm filter and use step-up/step-down rings on your lenses. That way, you don’t have to buy various sizes for each filter, and you speed up your workflow.
The aluminum frame is laser etched with precise markings that indicate “Stops of light” for easy adjustment. You can adjust the SANDMARC Motion Pro variable ND filter from 3 to 6 stops (ND8 to ND64). There are hard stops, so you avoid the commonly known cross vignette (X bar) that can happen on other VND filters if you over-turn the front ring.
According to SANDMARC, the Motion Pro variable ND filter is “engineered from a cinema glass yielding true to life colors.” Also, they claim that this is the only vignette-free filter on the market with such a range. We’re curious to see if the filter truly holds its promises with minimal color-shift when adjusting.
Price and availability
The SANDMARC Motion Pro VND is available for pre-order now, and it should start shipping on April 20th. The filter comes with a filter pouch and a lifetime warranty. Prices range from $129.99 for the 58mm version and go up to $159.99 for the 82mm version.
For more information, please visit SANDMARC’s website here.
What do you think about this VND filter? Do you often use VND filters? What is your go-to filter brand? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!