Even in this time of 100 megapixels, 20FPS, and 14 stops dynamic range in consumer cameras, they still are unable to render an image with high spreads of luminance the way the combination of our eyes and brain can. Sure, you could image stack and blend multiple exposures together to achieve the look you’re going for, but that’s not always perfect nor practical, so what we’ve relied on has been the use of neutral density filters.
The use of filters, however, can be finicky and inflexible in use as they typically have a fixed values to how much light it can stop, and don’t allow for minute incremental adjustments in that value, so they are never really just right. However, Aurora Aperture has launched the very first variable graduated ND filter, and it looks very interesting.
It’s called the Aurora PowerGXND, and with a simple turn of a ring on the unit it can smoothly adjust up to 5 stops, allowing you to smoothly transition through every minute increment up to that point, instead of full or half stops. You will be able to easily note which stop your’e at with the easy reading scale around the filter.
The PowerGXND is also coated to repel the elements like oil and dust, and is being launched through Kickstarter. The launch sees it coming in three sizes (62mm, 82mm, 105mm) which are mounted onto your lens using either a slim lens adapter or a square filter holder adapter plate that allows the unit to be moved up and down so you can position it as needed to suit your purpose.
It looks very clever and functional for landscape shooters, and as with anything with any level of ingenuity, there’s a price to be paid. The small, medium, and large filter and adapters will range from $94 to $194 respectively if you catch the early bird specials, and at retail you can expect those prices to be double that. Likewise, there are 50% off full kits which range from $123 to $254.
Will these make it to market? Who knows, and the Kickstarter world is always a risk, but it’s good to see they’ve already doubled their target dollar amount on KS, so it would appear the chances are high this will be a deliverable.
Check out more on Kickstarter.
GND Type: hard transition
Range: 0- 5 stops
Glass material: Schott B 270® i Ultra-White Glass
L – ⌀105mm for lens filter size of 82mm and less on a 130mm square filter system (Cokin X-Pro)
M – ⌀82mm for lens filter size of 62mm and less on a 100mm square filter system (Cokin Z and others)
S – ⌀62mm for lens filter size of 49mm and less on a 75mm square filter system (LEE Seven5)
*** Maximum lens filter size recommended for covering landscape orientation with transition line in 30% of frame height.
L – For ⌀105mm filter with lens filter thread size 82mm, free rotations on both filter and lens thread, and single axis movement movement between filter and lens, included lens adapter rings of 77, 72, 67, 62, and 58mm.
M – For ⌀82mm filter with lens filter thread size 62mm, free rotations on both filter and lens thread, and single axis movement movement between filter and lens, included lens adapter rings of 58, 55, 52, 49, and 46mm.
S – For ⌀62mm filter with lens filter thread size 49mm, free rotations on both filter and lens thread, and single axis movement movement between filter and lens, included lens adapter rings of 46, 43, 40.5, 39 and 37mm.
Square Filter Adapters
L Plate – For using a ⌀105mm filter on a 130mm system (e.g. Cokin X-Pro)
M Plate – For using a ⌀82mm filter on a 100mm system (e.g. Cokin P)
S Plate – For using a ⌀62mm filter on a 75mm system (e.g. Lee Seven5)