Feat. Freewell Magnetic Filters
This is part II so if you missed part one (or part three), you know what to do:
We talked about Variable ND filters, but we are not over yet. This time we have not one but multiple filters. An interesting magnetic offering us various options. 2 Variable ND filters, from 2 to 5 and 6 to 9 stops, a circular polarizer, and a Mist filter that you can all mix together or sort of. Let me show you how I recently integrated these filters in my work, in both photography and video. If you watch the Intro carefully all the images made with the van were filmed with the VND and Mist filter! Yes, we used the Mist and 6 - 9 stops for all the footage you just saw combined with the Mist filter. That allowed us to film wide open with the R5 at RF f/1.2. Freewell’s Magnetic concept lets you have at your disposal these filters in one unique package: VND2-5丨VND6-9丨CPL丨ND32/CPL丨VNDXMIST2-5丨VNDXMIST6-9丨GLOW MIST The Magnetic system makes it easy to swap them on and off and lets you stack some of the filters. I am using the 82mm version with various Step up rings to suit my different lenses. In my first video about filters, I talked about my first filter that was a CPL. I basically used it when I needed to get rid of reflections in glass or water, especially during very bright sunny days. I also used it to minimize haze and to boost the color of my skies and even darken it giving it a more dramatic look.
Photographing my partner through a window with a Freewell's CPL filter.
Photographing my partner through a window without any filter.
The mist filter is also very useful. I use it a lot for my videos to reduce the digital effect but I also use it for my photography. The filter is not too strong, just enough to make it useful in a lot of situations without being distracting. You will notice the halation when shooting directly into a light source. With a stronger mist filter, this can quickly become overwhelming unless the effect has a real meaning in the image you are creating. I also sometimes use it for portraits, when they are backlit, to give that slight dreamy effect.
Photographing Charline without any filter.
Photographing Charline with Freewell's Glow Mist filter.
And of course, you have the 2 VND’s. With my single PMVND II being limited to 2-5 stops, here I have both in one package. Recently, I had to have my portrait shots for my website, which will be updated soon. And I wanted an overly dramatic shot of me and these filters come in handy. I could only do these in the middle of the afternoon, so we decided to shoot into the sun and did our best to bring out all the textures that were present in the sky that day.
The VND filter was set around 7 and 8 stops, and Marlène, our photographer of the day, used the mist filter too for the bloom and slight halation. The VND filter helped us shoot at f/1.2 ISO 50 during the day without pushing our shutter speed to high. We avoided the HSS mode with the Godox Ad300pro to use all the power. What I love about this set is how easy you can set things up. I love having all the filters in one place, both for my film and photography work. The other great news is the price! For the 82mm set it will cost you 399$. In my previous video, I talked about the PMVND Edition II and the fact they also made a VND with a mist effect. If you want the full range of the PMVND II filters you will need to buy 4 filters costing 279 euros each here in France (with a discount if you buy all of them at once on their website), which makes the set worth over 1 grand! This doesn’t mean these Freewell filters are cheaply made. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The metal frame construction feels strong, these filters are made of high definition optical glass. And they are all stored in a nice little case. You also have included a magnetic lens cap and a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. So far I haven’t had any issues in terms of color cast or vignetting, the filters are not neutral but the effect on your image is negligible. I currently use them a lot for my video work and occasionally for my photography work. If you are looking for an affordable set of filters and these ones, in particular, the Freewell Magnetic VND is a safe bet. We will push things a little further in the final part of these videos about filters… So rendez-vous in part III!