Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio…Pick or Pass?

IMG_1999f/16, 24mm, ISO 50, 10 seconds – using Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio

Singh-Ray is a very good brand when it comes to filters. They have variety of filters from glass screw types to rectangular resin plastic type. When the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio came out I said to myself I have to get one of these. So I did.
The filter is a combination of three things; a variable neutral density from 4 to 8-stops, a polarizer and a color enhancer. It has 2 varieties as well, the thin ring mount and standard ring mount. The thin ring mount..well less vignetting when used in wide angle lenses. I got myself the 77mm thin ring mount of course. The construction of the filter was really good I was so impressed.

So I went north to Ricketts Glen State Park to test this filter out. Ricketts Glen is a 3.2 mile hike with 22 named waterfalls along the way. And it was a coincidence that I had field work in the area the next day. It’s a pretty awesome place I need to go back there someday. You should visit it too.

I positioned my tripod and camera to this waterfall called Tuscarora. I metered at 0.6 second exposure but with this filter on at 4 stops resulted to 10 seconds to properly expose the scene. A 10 seconds waterfall shot will result to a very soft water effect. Should I open up my aperture or increase my ISO? That’s just wrong, I will lose sharpness OMG!!

At 1/2 seconds + 4 stops is 8 seconds, 1/3 seconds + 4stops is 5 seconds, 1/5 seconds + 4 stops is 3 seconds, 1/15 seconds + 4 stops is 1 second and so on. According to experience anything more than a second will result to very soft water effect. What I’m saying is 4 stops is too much for waterfall shots. And the color enhancer is just a gimmick in my opinion. There is no color you cannot enhance with Photoshop nowadays.

Check this second photo with just a polarizer used.

f/14, 40mm, ISO 50, 1/2 seconds – using Heliopan Circular Polarizer

I posted the photos from Ricketts Glen to this popular nature photography forum for critique and everybody was saying that the water was too soft.
So which one do you prefer? Would you spend $580 for this filter? LOL!

Keep shootin’



9 thoughts on “Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio…Pick or Pass?

  1. Beautiful water shots, I bought a Light Craft variable ND filter last month, it lest you dial in 2-8 stops in one filter. I can’t wait to get home next week to play with it some more..:-)

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