Guide: Best variable ND filters for video 2023


Updated May 12th 2020 with the inclusion of Moment Variable NDs

If you’re using your DSLR or mirrorless camera to shoot video like me, you have probably wished for an in-built ND filter – a.k.a. neutral density filter – like the ones you find on selected camcorders and high-end cinema cameras.

Unfortunately, built-in ND filters are not common in DSLR and mirrorless cameras, which is also the case with the Panasonic GH5 and GH5S I own.

The second best thing for shooting video, in my opinion, is to use a variable ND filter (a.k.a. VND). But there are a lot of variable ND filters on the market, so which are the best?

I’ve done a lot of research and testing, and have come up with a selection, I will dare to recommend.

If you’re not sure what a VND is or why you get one, I’ll start with a general guide to ND filters.

If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the guide, and jump straight to the recommendations by clicking here.

What is an ND filter, and why should you use one?

ND is an abbreviation of “Neutral Density”. ND-filters filter out a certain amount of light in order to reduce the exposure. In that way, an ND filter is like a pair of sunglasses for your camera lens and sensor.

Because of this, ND-filters are an incredibly useful tool for video – especially if you’re filming in bright sunlight – because they make it possible to capture footage even at fast apertures and shallow depth-of-field without overexposing the image.

If you’re a photographer ND-filters is an incredibly creative tool, if you want to capture long exposure photographs. So if you’re looking to capture that silky look of waterfalls, the glass-like look of lakes or blurry streaks of clouds, an ND-filter is the way to go.

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An ND filter is a great tool if you want to take long-exposure shots in bright daylight, e.g. to achieve the silky smooth look when capturing a waterfall.

If you’re a videographer then the use of ND-filters is usually slightly different.

Of course, ND-filters for video still lowers the exposure. But the creative use of ND-filters for long exposure times are usually more suited for landscape or cityscape photography.

In video, we are often working with a fixed shutter angle of 180 degrees or a shutter speed which is approximately double the frame rate.

In other words, what we are left to play with is the ISO and aperture.

If you want to shoot at a wide aperture for a nice bokeh and shallow depth-of-field outside in bright daylight, there’s a good chance your image will be overexposed. You might try to set your camera to the lowest possible ISO, but most often that still won’t be enough.

This is where you bring out your ND filter.

What is a variable ND filter and why should you use one?

SLR Magic Variable Neutral Density Filter front view
SLR Magic 77mm Variable Neutral Density Filter front view

Regular (non-variable) Neutral Density filters stop a specific amount of light from passing through. One filter might filter out 2 stops of light, and another 10 stops of light. I’ll get into all the technical stuff about stops of light and how they’re written on the filter in a minute.

The point here is to understand that if you have a regular ND filter mounted on the lens which filters out two stops of light, and you need a filter of four stops then you need to exchange the filters, which takes time.

Variable ND-filters allows you to continuously adjust the density of the filter by twisting a ring on the filter. This changes the density of the filter – and thus the amount which is let through to the lens.

I find VNDs which doesn’t have hard stops at the minimum and maximum range of stops the easiest to work with, as they prevent me from setting the filter to extremes and avoid severe cross patterning. More on that later.

Variable ND-filters overrides the hassle of exchanging filters in run-and-gun situations

When it comes to mounting a neutral density filter, there are three choices:

  • screw-in filter (you screw in the filter using filter threads at the end of your lens)
  • matte box (or slot-in in photography)
  • clip-in (sits just in front of your mirror in DSLR cameras in the camera body itself). Somewhat similar to the placement of in-built ND-filters on cinema cameras, though these can be operated and exchanged by a switch on the camera.

Matte boxes are handy for a quick exchange of filters – or when you want to stack several types of filters (like an IR-filter, a polarizer, and an ND).

If you want a quick overview of different types of filters for video, I recommend you read our guide The Five Types of Lens Filters You Need For A Cinematic Look.

ND-filters are also available as graduated filters, which you can read more about by following the above link as well. But I’ve yet to see a graduated variable ND-filter, so I won’t get into those type of filters in this article.

Even though matte boxes are great in controlled environments like a studio or a film set, they are also big and clunky. If you’re going handheld e.g. for a documentary where you do want to draw too much attention to yourself then a matte box is not the best choice as it screams film.

Clip-in filters aren’t great either, because they take a long time to remove and attach as you need to remove the lens first and then reach into the camera body to pull the filter out and replace it with another.

For run-and-gun scenarios, this leaves you with screw-in ND-filters as your best option.

I would definitely recommend a variable ND-filter for such scenarios, and here’s why.

Even though I own several regular threaded screw-in ND filters, I don’t like the fact that it takes quite some time to switch between them when I shoot video.

Regular filters can have a tendency to get stuck in the filter thread and can be hard to remove and exchange, which means I might miss my chance to get the footage I want.

That’s why I prefer to work with VNDs for most run-and-gun scenarios.

How To Attach A Screw-In Variable ND Filter To Your Lens

So how do you attach an ND filter to your lens?

Well, it sounds simple right? You just buy one and screw it into your lens.

In reality, it is just as simple as that when the filter matches the diameter of your lens.

But what if it doesn’t? In that case, you need something called step-up rings.

For example, if your lens has a filter thread with a diameter of 72mm, and you get a 77mm filter (a common size) then you need step-up rings, to take the diameter of the lens from 72mm to 77mm.

Step-up ring from 72mm to 77mm filter thread
Step-up ring from 72mm to 77mm filter thread

Brass rings, such as these from Luzid, are typically a better choice than metal rings, as brass don’t get stuck as easily in the metal threads of your lens or filter.

Also, it is always a good idea to get larger filters. For example, if your lens is 72mm and you can choose between a 77mm and an 82mm ND filter then it can be a good idea to get the 82mm.

Not only can this reduce the risk of vignetting (especially with wide angle lenses), but you will also be able to use the filter on bigger lenses – for example, cinema lenses – in the future.

Does An ND filter Affect The Image Quality?

The quick answer to this question is “no, but…”.

As the name implies, neutral density filters should be neutral in color and only reduce the exposure.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Cheap filters tend to have nasty color shifts, shadows, and/or vignetting.

That is why it isn’t wise to cheap out on your ND-filter. Don’t get lured in by those cheap filters you find all over the internet. If that is all you can afford, it’s better to not use a filter at all, and wait till you’ve saved up the money for a good filter.

This is an even more pronounced problem in variable ND-filters. The reason for this is how a variable neutral density filter is constructed.

In essence, a variable ND-filter consists of two polarizer filters (a.k.a. CPLs) combined.

A quick note on polarizers

PolarPro ND8 filter with a built-in polarizer, which I use for my Laowa 7.5mm f/2.0 wide-angle lens.

As you might know, polarizers will only allow light to pass through from a certain angle and work best at a 90 degrees angle from the sun.

Polarizers are great for reducing glare from windows or the reflective surface of the water. They are also great if you want to saturate the colors fx of the sky or a field of flowers.

There are two types of polarizers: linear and circular.

Circular polarizers are actually linear polarizers with a quarter wave plate on the back, which turns linearly polarized light into circularly polarized light.

In theory, and in some rare circumstances, linear polarizers can confuse the autofocus system of digital SLR cameras with mirrors, which is why circular polarizers are recommended. For mirrorless cameras, I can’t see that it should make a difference. But please correct me if I’m wrong.

It is beyond the scope of this article to dive into more detail about polarizers. But now you’ve hopefully got an idea of the constructs of a variable neutral density filter?

So Does A Variable ND Filter Affect The Image Quality?

The short answer is “yes”. Variable ND filters will always affect the image quality.

On low-quality variable ND filters artifacts such as vignetting, color shifts or a cross-pattern in the middle of the image when the filter is at maximum density are more pronounced.

The cross-pattern can even be found on high-quality VNDs as well, which is why it is always wise to not fully close the filter if possible.

Variable ND filters may also suffer from infrared pollution. But this can easily be negated by stacking an IR filter in front of the VND.

The point to make here is that a variable ND filter is only as good as the quality of the linear and circular polarizers combined. But even the most expensive filter can still suffer from either a bit of vignetting, color shift, softness or cross patterns – or all of them combined.

The question becomes how much the filter suffers from it and if e.g. the change in color or softness is pleasing one or not.

Whatever type of filter you choose to go with, it is always wise to invest a bit of extra money in a good ND filter.

How does an ND-filter work?

ND-filters stops a certain amount of light from passing through, which can be written in different ways depending on the manufacturer.

Before I get into the semantics, let’s talk about the general way to know how much light the ND-filter stops – which is actually called “stops”.

On photographic lenses, the amount of light passing through is described in terms of f-stops.

Here you can see a typical range of f-stops for a lens:

How aperture is related to the depth of field
The wider the aperture, the more light is let through the lens. Wider apertures are described with lower f-stop numbers. Lower f-stop numbers also equal a shallower depth-of-field.

A stop is either a halving or a doubling of the amount of light which is let through to the sensor.

For example, a lens with an f-stop of f/1.4 will allow twice the amount of light through compared to a lens with an f-stop of f/2.0. An aperture of f/2.8 will allow half the amount of light through compared to as a lens with an aperture of f/2.0, etc.

If you’re new to apertures and want to learn more about exposure, apertures, f-stops and t-stops, I would recommend you start by reading my guide How to Choose the Right Camera Settings for Video Production, which will guide you through all the basics.

Equally, an ND-filter of three stops will allow only half the light through compared to an ND-filter of two stops.

And an ND-filter of three stops will allow double the amount through compared to an ND-filter of four stops.

By this follows, that an ND-filter of two stops will allow four times more light through compared to an ND-filter of four stops. And an ND-filter of one stop will allow eight times more light through compared to an ND-filter of four stops.

If you want to compare the amount of light which is let through a filter (fx 2 stops) to a filter with another number of stops (fx 7 stops), it is important that you add each halving of the light sequentially.

ND filter in stopsAmount of light let through compared to no filter
0 (no filter)0
7 ½*½*½*½*½*½*½=1/128
8 ½*½*½*½*½*½*½*½=1/256
9 ½*½*½*½*½*½*½*½*½=1/512
10 ½*½*½*½*½*½*½*½*½*½=1/1024

So an ND-filter of 10 stops will only allow 1/1024 of the light through compared to using no ND-filter.

And an ND-filter of 10 stops will only allow 1/512 of the light through compared to an ND-filter of 1 stop.

And an ND-filter of 10 stops will allow 1/256 light through compared to and ND-filter of 2 stops and so forth.

You can find ND-filters which filters above 30 stops of light. You can also find regular ND-filters that are measured to a fraction of a stop (like 13 1/3).

Variable ND-filters without hard stops lets you continuously adjust the amount of light reduced between full stops.

With me so far? Great! Now it gets a bit confusing.

What the numbers on ND filters mean and how to read them

Okay, so let’s say that you change your aperture from f/2.8 to f/1.4, but want to maintain the same exposure.

That’s two f-stops, which equals four times as much light passing through the lens to the sensor.

Okay, so now all you have to do is grab the ND-filter in your bag, which says “ND-filter reduction of 2 stops of light”. Easy right?

Well, if only it was so easy. Manufacturers have decided it would be awesome if they used the terms ND filter factor or optical density instead, which each corresponds to a specific amount of stops. You know, to separate the wheat from the chaff or something.

So here’s a chart for you, which compares the different numbers to each other.

Reduction of Light in StopsOptical DensityFilter FactorAmount of light let through compared to no filter
0 (no filter)000
1ND 0.3ND21/2
2ND 0.6ND41/4
3ND 0.9ND81/8
4ND 1.2ND161/16
5ND 1.5ND321/32
6ND 1.8ND641/64
6 2/3ND 2ND1001/100
7ND 2.1ND1281/128
8ND 2.4ND2561/256
9ND 2.7ND5121/512
10ND 3.0ND10241/1024

The numbers for Optical Density and Filter Factor are sometimes written with an “ND” before the number itself and sometimes not. For example, it might say ND2 – or it might just say 2.

So before you buy any ND-filter you need to carefully read the fine print from the manufacturer. Because as you can see from the table above, if the ND-filter only says ND2, it could mean both 6 2/3 stops of light (optical density) or 1 stop of light (filter factor). That’s quite a significant difference.

And just to make matters a bit more confusing, an ND-filter of 10 stops is also known as an ND1000.

My Hoya ND1000 Neutral Density Filter. Here I’ve blown out the sky in order to show how dark an ND10 actually is.

I’m not exactly sure why that is the case, so my best guess is that it has to do with the fact that 10 stops of light correspond to a filter factor of 1024 (or 1/1024th of the unfiltered light). If you know the answer, please share in the comment section below.

Something which seems to support this case is, that a six-stop filter is also known as an ND64 because it only lets through 1/64th of the unfiltered light.

For the sake of sanity, for the rest of this article, let’s just talk about how ND-filter light reduction in terms of stops.

And let’s hope that one day all the manufacturers will sit down in a room together, and agree upon the same. I’m sure the day is just around the corner. Or, maybe not.

How many ND filter stops do you need? And within which range?

With ND filter stops ranging from below one to over twenty, you may have been wondering “how many stops ND filter do I need for video?”

The thing with VNDs is that even though some filters might advertise 9 or 10 stops of light reduction, they’re rarely usable in the last two to three stops because of heavy shifts in color and/or cross patterning.

So for instance, if you’ve bought a VND with 9 stops, you might only get good usable results up to six or seven stops.

Some manufacturers – like SLR Magic – have decided instead to not make VNDs with so many dense stops because of these problems. So their filters have a shorter range in stops.

Here’s a quick test to see the number of stops available on the SLR Magic Variable ND Mark II in action:

So expect about the same usable range in stops for all of these filters – about six or seven.

In terms of range what range, I would say a good rule of thumb is from around 0.5-1 to 6 or 7 is a good place to start.

If you need filters, which are denser than that, you can stack a regular ND on top of the VND. That way you won’t get the weird color shifts at higher densities.

So for example, if you own a VND which goes from 1 to 10, you will be able to get a better result by dialing the VND up to maybe stop six, and then add a regular ND with an extra four stops.

The best ND filter for time-lapse videos with longer shutter speeds

If you’re shooting time-lapse videos with long shutter speeds then I wouldn’t recommend a variable ND. Instead, I would probably go for regular ND1000 first (depending on the conditions of course).

The reason for this is, that variable ND filters which go all the way to 10 stops are not common. This is probably because at those densities color shifts are prone to occur due to the way variable ND filters are constructed.

Also, timelapse videos are rarely run-and-gun scenarios. They usually require quite a bit of planning and setup. So you’ll have plenty of time to set your exposure and choose the right ND filter for the job.

So what are the best variable ND filters for video on the market today?

Variable ND filters come in a variety of different sizes and price points. And as VND are prone to color shifts, vignetting and cross-patterns at higher densities, you definitely don’t want to buy the cheapest on the market.

However, that being said, there are some excellent mid-priced options, which make it hard to justify buying the most expensive ones on the market because the difference in quality is hardly noticeable.

So in order to help you pick a VND, which fits your needs, I’ve rounded up seven of the best variable ND filters available today – from budget-friendly options to high-end options.

My focus has been to only pick the filters, which offer the best image quality within its specific price range.

Remember, it’s better to buy bigger and use step-up rings in order to reduce vignetting at wider angles. That way you’ll also be able to use the same filters in the future if you get lenses with a bigger diameter than the ones you currently have.

So here are some recommendations for variable ND filters. There are a couple of my favorites in between, and the rest are brands I know my fellow videographers and cinematographers swear by.

1. SLR Magic Variable ND Filter Mark II

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Sizes: 52mm, 62mm, 77mm, 82mm

Stops: 1 1/3 to 6 stops (Optical Density 0.4 to 1.8)

Pros: Excellent build quality, no decrease in sharpness, pleasant warm color shift, only slight vignetting, no cross pattern at highest densities, multi-coating reduces lens flares, numbered markings on the filter rings makes it easier to repeat positions, large front filter ring to avoid vignetting, side lever makes it easy to rotate the rings, internal locking ring prevents the rings from accidental rotation and change in exposure, hard stops at the minimum and maximum end of the range, comes with a lens cap which fits the outer ring.

Cons: Limited range in stops compared to competitors. It’s not clear what the numbered markings mean, even though SLR Magic claims the markings are calibrated.


The SLR Magic Variable Neutral Density Filter MKii is my personal favorite variable ND filter. It offers great image quality for a very reasonable price.

The filter has a slight color shift, but it is a pleasant and warm one (no nasty greens or magenta). And it is easily corrected in post.

It doesn’t offer as wide a range of stops compared to some of the other filters on this lens. But this is a deliberate choice from SLR Magic and makes the filter usable within the whole range.

But it does mean that you’ll have to stack another ND filter on top if you’re shooting in very bright conditions with a shallow depth-of-field. This can cause a bit more vignetting especially if you’re shooting at wide angles, but it is still usable.

The build quality of this filter is excellent, and I love the lever on the side. It makes operating this filter a breeze, and you can even do it while recording without having your fingers showing up in front of the lens or risk greasing the glass.

I use this filter all the time with my Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, which is a razor sharp lens. And the filter doesn’t seem to reduce the sharpness at all. That’s pretty incredible.

The SLR Magic Variable ND Filter Mark II is highly recommended, and I only wish that I had bought the 82mm version instead for reduced vignetting, and also because I could use it on cinema lenses with larger diameters also.

I also love the fact this filter comes with a lens cap, which fits the outer, larger ring.

Check the current price on Amazon: 52mm, 62mm, 77mm, 82mm.

2. Tiffen Variable ND Filter

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Sizes: 52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

Stops: 2-8 stops (Optical Density 0.6 to 2.4)

Pros: Neutral color throughout the range. Minimal vignetting. Thick buttery ring for easy rotation. Nice and sharp.

Cons: Markings for reference only. Dot markings for reference only. Severe cross patterns at higher densities. No hard stops at the maximum and minimum range. Doesn’t come with a lens cap, which fits the outer ring.

Description: The Tiffen Variable Neutral Density Filter is a popular choice among my fellow videographers.

The Tiffen VND has an even coloring throughout the whole range of stops.

It would have been nice if the markings were numbers because it is easy to forget, which dot you set it to before. Also, the dots are for reference only and doesn’t correspond to a specific stop.

No hard stops at the recommended maximum and minimum range make it possible to accidentally twist the filter to unusable results.

From my experience, you’ll start to see bad cross patterns at higher densities, which become especially noticeable with wider angle lenses.

Check the current price on Amazon: Tiffen VND

3. Aurora-Aperture PowerXND Mark II Variable Neutral Density Filter

Sizes: 37mm, 39mm, 40.5mm, 43mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 86mm, 95mm, 105mm

Stops: Available in two versions with 1 to 7 (Optical Density 0.3 to 2.1) and 5 to 11 (Optical Density 1.5 to 3.3)

Pros: Nice color accuracy, no significant reduction in sharpness, smooth turning ring, hard stops at maximum and minimum range, a lever mount option, nano-coating keeps helps reduce flares and reflections, thin profile.

Cons: Equally sized front thread (please read the description), symbols on the filter are for reference only.

Description: Aurora-Aperture made a splash in the industry when they launched their first iteration of this filter through a Kickstarter campaign.

On this second iteration, they’ve improved upon most of the critique points from their first filter, and have made a great filter, which is reasonably priced.

The major and most apparent difference is that they’ve decided to split the range of stops (from 1 to 11) of the first filter into two separate filters.

This is a wise choice because it makes the cross patterning much less apparent at higher densities. And there’s an overlap in stops between 5-7 so you can choose the filter, which gives you the best results.

It does, however, mean, that you’ll have to purchase two filters instead of one if you want the full range. But you’d had to do anyway because the higher densities of the first filter were unusable.

The filter gives you a very natural color rendering and is on par when it comes to sharpness with the SLR Magic and the B&W already mentioned.

The Aurora-Aperture VND also has hard stops at the maximum and minimum settings and symbols, which makes it easy to dial in a specific setting. The symbols are for reference only though.

I also really like the fact that you can remove the lever. That way you won’t have to worry about it breaking off if you decide to transport your camera and lens with the filter attached.

Aurora-Aperture points out that the filters come with equally sized front thread. They claim this as a special feature because most other brands have a larger size front filter, which means you can’t use the original lens cap of your lens.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of this design choice, because it makes the filter prone to vignetting when stacking other filters on top and when you’re shooting wider angles.

I much prefer to just have a second lens cap, which fits the outer ring thread of my filter.

But all-in-all these are great filters at a very affordable price.

Check the current price on Amazon: Stops 1-7 version, stops 5-11 version.

4. Genustech Eclipse Variable Neutral Density Filter

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Sizes: 77mm, 82mm

Stops: 2 to 8 stops (Optical Density 0.6 to 2.4)

Pros: Very sharp, smooth ring, great build quality, thin, large front filter thread.

Cons: Greenish color shift, no hard stops, no lever option, doesn’t come with a lens cap, which fits the outer ring.

Description: Despite its name, the Genustech “Eclipse” is not meant for photographing or recording an eclipse or the sun. For that, you’ll need a much higher density filter.

This filter renders a sharp image. I have not been able to see any difference in sharpness with or without this filter.

The filter has a great build quality, and the ring is smooth to turn.

I do wish they’d added a lever option, and also added hard stops at the minimum and maximum ranges. A cross will appear at wider angles or when you go above the maximum recommended stop.

The larger front filter thread helps reduce vignetting.

If you’re after sharpness and don’t mind correcting for the green tint in post this is the filter for you.

Check the current pricing at Amazon: 77mm, 82mm

5. B+W XS-Pro Digital ND Vario MRC-Nano Filter

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Sizes: 40.5mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 95mm.

Stops: 1 to 5 stops (Optical Density 0.3 to 1.5).

Pros: Excellent build quality, minimal vignetting, buttery smooth ring, no cross patterns to speak of, no degradation in sharpness, multi-coating to reduce glare and flares, hard stops at maximum and minimum range.

Cons: The stops are for reference only, price, doesn’t include a filter cap, yellow color cast.

Description: The B+W XS-Pro Variable ND filter is a high-end product, and also the most expensive filter this list.

It has an excellent build quality, and no vignetting from what I’ve seen. Vignetting only starts to show wider angles and when you’ve added another filter on top.

The ring is buttery smooth to work with, but as I’m a fan of levers, I do wish they’d added this option.

I’ve also not seen any cross patterning, which is probably due to the limited range. Like the SLR Magic filter mentioned on this lens, B+W has made the wide choice of limiting the range of stops for best optical performance through the whole range.

It does have a slight yellow tint, which you have to correct for in post or by using white balance while you record.

And I feel that at this price point, B+W should have included a filter hood a.k.a. lens cap, which fits the larger outer ring.

All-in-all though, this is a higher-end product, which offers great image quality and build-quality for the price.

Check current price on Amazon: 46mm, 77mm, and 95mm.

6. PolarPro VariableND Peter McKinnon Edition

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Sizes: 67mm, 77mm, 82mm

Stops: Two types available: 2 to 5 stops (Optical Density 0.6 to 1.5), and 6-9 stops (Optical Density Range 1.8 to 2.7).

Pros: Excellent build quality, no vignetting down to 16mm (Full-Frame), smooth ring, hard stops at maximum and minimum range, no degradation of sharpness, no cross patterning, filter cap included, both hard and soft bag included.

Cons: The stops are for reference only, no lever option, pricy.

Description: I’ve used a lot of PolarPro filters – ND, polarizers and more. I own some for my DJI Mavic Pro, and I also own a couple of sets for my Laowa 7.5mm lens. And the filters have all been of good quality.

So I was excited to learn about this new set of variable NDs from PolarPro, which are endorsed by famous YouTuber and filmmaker Peter McKinnon.

The filters are available in two versions. A 2-5 stop version (ND4 to ND32 / Optical Density 0.6 to 1.5) and 6-9 stop version (ND64 to ND512 / Optical Density 1.8 to 2.7).

PolarPro has made a wise choice here by limiting the density range and adding hard stops to each version of the filter, because it gives you the best optical quality with no vignetting (unless at wide angles) and zero cross-patterning.

I’m always wary when a brand tries to push a product with the help of an internet celebrity. But from what I’ve seen so far, PolarPro actually has created a high-quality product, which is highly recommended.

So for once, the influencer and brand symbiosis has actually paid off for the benefit of the consumer (a.k.a. you and me).

Unless you only own lenses with a diameter of less than 67mm, I would recommend you buy the 77mm or the 82mm version and then buy step-up rings. That way you’ll be able to use these great filters on a lot of lenses.

The 2-5 stop filter is a bit cheaper than the 6-9 stop filter.

Check current price on Amazon: 77mm (2-5 stops), 77mm (6-9 stops), 82mm (2-5 stops), 82mm (6-9 stops).

7. Moment Variable ND Filters

Sizes:  67mm, 77mm, and 82mm

Stops: Two types available: 2 to 5 stops (Optical Density 0.6 to 1.5), and 6-9 stops (Optical Density Range 1.8 to 2.7).

Pros: Excellent build quality, hard stops at maximum and minimum range, no degradation of sharpness, no noticeable color shifts through the ranges, no cross patterning, nice flaring, and lifetime warranty.

Cons: The laser engraved stops are not on top of the lens, no lever option, no filter cap included, slight vignetting on the 6-9 stops filter.

Description: Moment has made a set of high-quality variable ND filters that complements each other well.

Moment did the right things and made two filters with hard stops – each within a limited range of stops – instead of making a single filter to cover the whole range from ND4-ND512.

This has resultet in filters with no cross-patterning, no color shift through the ranges, and minimum of vignetting (only on the 6-9 stops filter at maximum densities).

I couldn’t get the laser engraved stops to be where they were supposed to be with my lens and step-up ring.

I would also have liked a (detachable) lever and a center pinch lens cap to be included with each filter.

But all-in-all these are excellent filters.

You can read the full-review of the Moment variable NDs here.

Check the current price on Adorama
Check the current price on the Moment official store

So that’s it. Did I miss any? Do you have a good or bad experience with any of these filter yourself? Please let me know in the comments.

Me myself and I profile

About the author:

Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

4 thoughts on “Guide: Best variable ND filters for video 2023”

  1. Great review Jan! I’m glad you mentioned the SLR Magic Variable ND Filter Mark II! I have the 67mm and 82mm versions. What’s your experience with the NiSi 72mm Filter ND-VARIO Pro Nano 5-9 stops Enhanced Variable ND Camera filter?

    • Hi Mark

      Thank you. I’m glad you found the article useful. I don’t have any experience with the NiSi, and none of my videographer friends use them (as far as I know). So I haven’t included them yet. That might change soon because I see a lot of videographers mentioning them in discussions. So I have to test them soon.

      If you purchase them, feel free to share your thoughts here.

      Best, Jan


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