The Solas Variable NDX
The First Color Consistent Variable Neutral Density Filter From Hoya
Highest Quality Materials
Japanese Engineering and Craftsmanship
The Solas NDX uses the highest quality optical glass, super-thin optical grade polarizing films, and many layers of Hoyaʼs patented multi-coatings on each of the 4 sides of glass. The result is a sharp, glare-free filter that produces superior quality images you can trust.
It's all about Depolarization
Color Consistent Throughout the Density Range
Meet “Depolarization”. A special patented layer baked into the optical formula that accomplishes the near impossible by controlling color shift resulting in a filter that maintains consistent color from 1.3-stops to 8.7-stops.
Front Filter Threads accept Additional Filters and Caps
Use Your Lens Cap
You can use your lens’ original lens cap and if needed most manufactures’ lens hoods. The lightweight aluminum filter frame sports front filter threads so you can attach lens caps but more importantly another filter when additional density or other special effects are needed.
Hoya filters are sharp, precise, and the only filter I trust to help me achieve my creative vision
- Steven Magner -
Perfect Tool for Photographers and Filmmakers
Expand Your Creative Options
Variable Neutral density filters are a convenient tool for filmmakers and photographers because they reduce the need to carry many ND filters and they allow you to precisely control the amount of light passing through the lens by rotating the outer ring for greater creative control over exposure. For filmmakers, this means shutter speeds that match your frame-rate while maintaining the depth-of-field you want. For photographers, it means you can reach longer exposures or achieve a shallow depth-of-field in bright sunlight.
All neutral density filters, straight and variable, “color shift”. Some are almost imperceptible while others are so bad they are nearly impossible to correct in post processing. Nearly all Variable ND filters color shift inconsistently throughout the density range, starting with a green/cyan shift at its brightest then shifting to magenta at its darkest for example. This creates increased post-processing time for photographers and a color grading nightmare for filmmakers. So the holy grail of variable ND filters is one that starts with a near imperceptible color shift at its brightest density then maintains color consistency throughout the entire density range.
Meet “Depolarization”. A special patented layer baked into the optical formula of the Solas Variable NDX that accomplishes the near impossible and the result is a filter that maintains consistent color from 1.3-stops to 8.7-stops. Now filmmakers and photographers can tweak density as the light changes without fear of a color grading nightmare.
2-stop ND Comparison
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4.5-stop ND Comparison
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8-stop ND Comparison
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The illustration above demonstrates the importance the Depolarization Layer plays in controlling color shift. Each image was shot with same camera and lens with the white balance set to “Daylight”. The Solas NDX ($329 retail) shows a slight blue cast but maintains consistency throughout the density range. A popular Japanese competitor ($189 retail) shows a slight yellow/green that shifts to just green as density is increased. While a popular Chinese competitor ($89 retail) starts of with a green shift then ends with a strong magenta shift at 8-stops.
The Solas NDX lets me easily switch from still to video without having to swap out my filter set-up.
- Stan Moniz -
Superior Sharpness and No Flare
The variable neutral density effect is created by employing two polarizing filters within one filter design. That is 2 pieces of glass and 2 layers of polarizing film creating 8 surfaces within the filter. As light passes through a low-quality filter it will bounce around those 8 layers within the filter degrading sharpness, contrast, and clarity. So using low quality glass, polarizing films, and little to no multi-coatings, like most low-cost competitors, will wreak havoc on your pictures.
The Solas NDX uses the highest quality optical glass, super-thin optical grade polarizing films, and multiple layers of Hoya’s patented multi-coatings on each of the 4 sides of glass. The result is a sharp, glare-free filter that produces superior quality images you can trust.
The resolution chart was shot using a 42 megapixel camera, a high resolution 100mm lens, and a wired shutter release. The aperture was set to f/5.6 and the shutter was set to 1/125th. The ISO was adjusted between 100 and 400 to match exposure based on the filters brightest density. Focus was checked and rechecked between exposures to ensure accuracy of the test.
The dreaded “X” pattern that creeps into your images as you rotate the filter is inherent in all variable neutral density filters and cannot be avoided. The ”X” pattern is an inconsistent distribution of density across the frame where corners are either under or over-exposed. Lens focal length, sensor size, and optical design play key roles in determining when cross polarization becomes visible. Wider lenses will see the pattern occur earlier while longer focal lengths will take full advantage of the filters density range.
In our real world test we have determined that a 28mm (Full-frame) lens is the widest focal length lens we can recommend you use with this filter. Wider focal lengths will work but have such a limited density range that is does not make practical sense to use it. We highly recommend shooters that use wider lenses use straight neutral density filters like the Solas IRND filters. Click Here to Learn More.