Landscape Photography Using Singh-Ray’s Vari-ND Filter

Singh-Ray Vari-ND FilterI love flowing water. Images of flowing water speak to me more than any other landscape photograph except perhaps for sunsets. There is something both dynamic and serene about water flowing gently down a stream or the surf crashing against the rocks. Water just speaks to me.

To get that smooth flowing look when photographing running water, I’ve found that a shutter speed of about 1 second is usually required.

Singh-Ray’s Vari-ND neutral density filter allows me to control the amount of light which passes through my lens from 2 to 8 stops of exposure. With the filter mounted on my lens and set to its lowest setting (minimum density) I can frame my subject (the rocks and flowing water) and use my camera’s auto focus system without any trouble. When I’m ready to shoot, all I need to do is turn the outer ring to increase the density until my long shutter speed provides the effect I’m looking for in the running water. I could achieve the same effect using a conventional neutral density filter but it’s a much more time consuming process.

More Running Water

Running Water at Pedernales Falls, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on manual using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 32mm, f/11 for 1 second at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 using Nik Software’s Viveza plug-in filters. Click on the image above for a larger version.

8 thoughts on “Landscape Photography Using Singh-Ray’s Vari-ND Filter

  1. I have one and I’m vary disappointed. It doesn’t plat well with really wide-angle lenses.
    It creates a uneven band across the image. I plan on returning it.

    • Travis,

      Sorry to hear about your experiences with the Vari-ND-Duo. I’ve used mine on Canon’s EF 24-105mm and EF 17-40mm without any trouble but it does take some practice to obtain good results. It sure beats stacking ND filters like we did in the old days.


  2. Great functionality…but it’s not cheap!

    I think I’d prefer to get the B+W #110 ND filter for less than 1/3 the cost of the Vari-ND filter…even though the Vari-ND is a lot more flexible.

    • Martin,

      Thanks for reading. I agree. Singh-Ray filters are very expensive but the design, quality and usability are superb and they last for years and years.


    • Sharon,

      Thanks for reading. Yes, most Singh-Ray filters are very expensive but I’ve found them to be top quality. You have to be a landscape fanatic like me to pay this much for a filter.


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