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Best Variable ND Filters in 2022

When discussing lenses or researching for a lens, you will always notice the filter and the particular size it owns. In some articles, I have mentioned the filter sizes that some lenses accept or work with.

Those filters are the main reason I am writing this article right now! In this article, you will be able to find some of the best variable ND filters that are on the market nowadays. I’ve chosen different picks, which are divided into slightly small sections.

A Quick Look at My Favorite Variable ND Filters

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Altura Photo 49mmAltura Photo 49mm
10
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Hama 49mmHama 49mm
9
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NiSi ND-VarioNiSi ND-Vario
8.6
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K&F Concept 67mmK&F Concept 67mm
8.5
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Gobe NDX 67mmGobe NDX 67mm
8.6
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Neewer 67mm MRCNeewer 67mm MRC
8.2
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Kenko 77mmKenko 77mm
8
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LENSKINS 77mmLENSKINS 77mm
7.7
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B+W 77mm XS-Pro Digital Vario NDB+W 77mm XS-Pro Digital Vario ND
7.4
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Key Takeaways

  • If you’re a photographer, you probably have a lot of experience with lenses and the filters that go with them.
  • You may pick from a variety of filters based on your needs.
  • Due to its incredible characteristics, I would choose the Neewer 67mm MRC as my ideal filter if I could.
  • The B+W 77mm XS-Pro Digital Vario ND is, without a doubt, the most incredible filter available; thus, I can’t possibly finish this section without discussing it.
  • When photographing moving things, you will require ND filters the most because they significantly impact the image quality.

The 9 Best Variable ND Filters

I’ve already mentioned that I will divide this article into sections. Well, I will be dividing them based on the filter sizes (in mm). The sizes include 49mm, 67mm, and 77mm.

Best 49mm Variable ND Filters

1. Altura Photo 49mm

Altura Photo 49mm

What I Like

  • Well made
  • Works amazingly
  • Immersive control over the depth
  • It is combined with a UV filter and polarizer

What I Don’t Like

  • Hard to remove

Here goes the first variable neutral density filter that is known as one of the most used when it comes to the 49 mm needs. As said, it is 49mm and it works amazingly with lenses that accept 49mm filters. The weight of this variable nd filter is 2.39 ounces so it doesn’t bring any kind of problem to the table.

Besides the ND filter that we need the brand (Altura Photo) brings this variable nd filter combined with a UV filter and the polarizer filter and they come at a cheap price.

The ND filter comes with a gray color and the replacement of the exposure works at 2 stops only. However, you have an immersive control over the depth of field on the picture that you are about to take. Definitely a great 49mm variable neutral density filter.

Why should you buy it?

This ND filter works amazingly with lenses that accept 49mm filters.

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2. Hama 49mm

Hama 49mm

What I Like

  • Great focus
  • Can be rotated easily
  • Lightweight

What I Don’t Like

  • Some visible reflections

Here goes the other amazing 49mm filter that is also a great choice by different photographers all over the world and the brand that created these filters says that every enthusiast photographer works with these ones.

A specialty that this variable nd filter can bring to you is that it allows you to take amazing focused pictures of a subject while making a clouded background. The focus is totally going to the subject, that you are taking a picture of.

As the other one mentioned above this one comes in gray color. The stops of this variable nd filter vary from +1 and +8 stops. It also can be rotated easily. The filter weighs only 1.41 ounces, and it is fully unnoticeable when on a lens.

What I would like to mention is that this variable nd filter is most commonly used by photographers when photographing moving objects, especially waterfalls.

Why should you buy it?

This ND filter allows you to take amazing focused pictures of a subject while making a clouded background.

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3. NiSi ND-Vario

NiSi ND Vario

What I Like

  • Compact
  • High quality
  • Plenty of adjustment
  • Water-repellant coating

What I Don’t Like

  • Adapter required for different thread diameters

The third 49mm filter is on its way, and it is the amazing must-have NiSi ND-Vario which can be also considered the best overall. It is definitely a great one, which is used not only for pictures but when recording videos as well.

This variable nd filter weighs only 1.41 ounces, which means that it is fully unnoticeable when on a lens and it doesn’t bother or tire you in any way. The filter is fully waterproof! Yes, you read pretty well. The NiSi ND Vario is a waterproof filter that once put on a waterproof lens there’s nothing in the world that can stop them.

The exposure works by 5 to 9 stops overall, and it can be easily rotated. The glass that is added to this variable nd filter is optical, and it absorbs everything that may be found on the lens.

This variable nd filter is one of the best when it comes to image quality and will work perfectly fine with any 50mm camera lens.

Why should you buy it?

This one is a waterproof filter that once put on a waterproof lens there’s nothing in the world that can stop them.

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Best 67mm Variable ND Filters

1. K&F Concept 67mm

KF Concept 67mm

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Owns an optical glass
  • Easily cleaned
  • Wide aperture
  • Amazing image quality

What I Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t work with a lens hood

Every photographer already knows who K&F does and how amazing are their camera accessories. Well, here they come with a great ND filter which is 67mm.

This variable nd filter weighs about 1.76 ounces and it is one of the lightest in weight filters that many professionals are in love with. Just as the one mentioned above, this K&F filter also owns an optical glass and it can be cleaned super easily.

The exposure of the filter works at 9 stops, and it is rotatable in any way you want. It fully reduces the amount of light that comes into the lens, and it doesn’t affect the colors in any way.

The filter in general allows wide apertures of any kind and decreases the depth of field. It is used while we deal with dynamic colors and too bright environments.

I personally was impressed by the image quality that came out while using this variable nd filter, so i’d recommend it to everyone in a heartbeat.

Why should you buy it?

This K&F filter also owns an optical glass and it can be cleaned super easily, so don’t hesitate to purchase it.

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2. Gobe NDX 67mm

Gobe NDX 67mm

What I Like

  • Sturdy build
  • Affordable
  • Owns Nano coating

What I Don’t Like

  • It cant be used with wide-angle and telephoto lenses

Here is the second 67mm ND filter which comes from the brand Gobe and nowadays is known as URTH. The filter works perfectly, and it is one of the used filters by photographers all around the world.

This variable nd filter owns a Nano Coating, which is great protection and you may have heard about it in many different lenses. This Gobe filter weighs 2.12 ounces, and it is again unnoticeable, while when it comes to the stops, it owns 1 to 8.66 stops. The glass that it owns is an Optical one.

There’s a thing that definitely should be mentioned about this variable nd filter. It cannot be used with wide-angle and telephoto lenses, so you should take into consideration this fact.

The Gobe NDX 67mm owns 8 layers of nano-coating which reduces flare and ghosting, and also brings a neutral color balance. It is one of the greatest filters when it comes to landscape photography and videos in general.

For 67mm, this is probably the best variable nd filter you can get.

Why should you buy it?

This filter reduces flare and ghosting, and also brings a neutral color balance, and that’s why you should definitely make a purchase.

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3. Neewer 67mm MRC

Neewer 67mm MRC ND Filter

What I Like

  • Very resistant
  • Great built quality
  • 42 layers of coatings
  • Totally blocks ultraviolet rays

What I Don’t Like

  • A bit heavy

Just like K&F, Neewer is also a very famous brand that deals with camera accessories and whatever needs you may have.

Neewer made this variable nd filter the most resistant one you can ever find. It is water-resistant or water-repellent, dust-resistant, and also scratch-resistant. It means that you don’t have to worry about anything in any place that you may use it. There are full 42 layers of coatings.

The weight of the filter is 3.53 ounces which makes it a bit heavier than the ones already mentioned but you can notice how many coatings it has, it definitely should be heavier.

A specialty that this Neewer ND filter has is that it is not only an ND filter! It is also a UV filter that totally blocks ultraviolet rays. The exposure stops on this variable nd filter are 1 to 8.5 stops and the glass of it is fully optical.

Why should you buy it?

This filter is water-resistant or water-repellent, dust-resistant, and also scratch-resistant, quite durable.

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Best 77mm Variable ND Filters

1. Kenko 77mm

Kenko 77mm

What I Like

  • Very protective
  • It owns Optical and is based on multi-coating
  • Lightweight
  • Owns a control lever made of metal

What I Don’t Like

  • Hard to clean

Here we are starting with the other most commonly used filters that measure 77mm, and the first one that appears on the list is the Kenko 77mm. It is definitely amazing!

It is again a multi-coating filter that protects the lens and protects the filter from almost anything that you could think of. The glass that it has is again Optical and based on the multi-coating, the glass cannot be damaged in any way.

The stops that you can use this variable nd filter at are 1.5 to 9 in order to block the light and it reduces ghosting and flare of any kind. When using this variable nd filter you are free to capture pictures or record videos in any place possible.

It owns a control lever, that is made of metal, and it grips the whole filter. With it, you have full control of the stops.

When it comes to 77mm neutral density filters, this is probably one of the best you can get.

Why should you buy it?

With this variable nd filter, you are free to capture pictures or record videos in any place possible.

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2. LENSKINS 77mm

LENSKINS 77mm

What I Like

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Owns a multi-resistant coating
  • Weather-sealed

What I Don’t Like

  • Significant blue color cast

The next 77mm filter comes from Lenskins, which just by its name, the brand tells that they are related to lenses. This variable nd filter is the lightest in weight among any other filters that may cross your mind because this one weighs 0.64 ounces.

It owns a multi-resistant coating that protects the optical glass in the best way possible. The filter is weather-sealed and it can be used wherever and whatever you want. It doesn’t care about any weather conditions. It is anti-scratch, and also it is oil and dust-resistant.

In order to reduce the light, the filter owns full ten stops in number, and it works in a great way. The filter also makes a perfect combination with the shutter speed, it helps you capture pictures in blurred motion and also in wide apertures.

Why should you buy it?

This filter is weather-sealed and it can be used wherever and whatever you want.

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3. B+W 77mm XS-Pro Digital Vario ND

BW 77mm XS Pro Digital Vario 1

What I Like

  • Well built
  • Multi resistant coating
  • Includes Nanotechnology

What I Don’t Like

  • Nothing at all

The last product, with which I will conclude this article, is considered one of the best overall filters among many different others! It comes from B+W, and they seem super proud with their launch as different professionals worldwide use this one.

Being the best overall this variable nd filter cannot miss the coating which is multi-resistant and it can withstand almost anything. The coatings are 7 layers in number and there’s the Nano thechnology included as well. The stops are between +1 and +5. The weight of the filter is 2.4 ounces, and its color is grey.

As I mentioned it is definitely one of the greatest neutral density filters that you can use!

Why should you buy it?

This filter is multi-resistant and it can withstand almost anything, so definitely worth a purchase.

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FAQ About the Best Variable ND Filters

What are variable ND filters?

As you know, a lens is a camera tool through which the light passes and goes directly to the camera. Well, a variable ND filter is another tool but it is a lens’ tool. It helps you choose and control the amount of lighting that passes through it. ND stands for Neutral Density.

Some people call ND filters “sunglasses for a lens” and they protect the lens in case there is too much light.

What do ND filters do?

The ND filters have quite important jobs but now everyone uses them. However, the ND filters are transparent, and therefore have no effect on the color accuracy of the picture taken.

An ND filter will help you with overexposure, they allow you to use whatever shutter speed you want especially lower ones, they are much-needed when you take pictures of moving objects, and ND filters fully reduce the depth of field on the picture that is being captured. 

Another job that ND filters do is safety! They protect the lens glass from any accident.

When to use a variable ND filter?

Since the ND filters are used in order to control the lighting the middle of the day is the best time to use it. However, it doesn’t mean that it should be used only then. When you will shoot in super bright environments, you will notice that an ND filter is very much needed!

Even though ND filters can be used wherever and whenever you want, professional photographers mostly use them during outdoor photography, especially during landscape photography.

Some photographers say that these filters do a perfect job when we deal with motion photography (waterfalls, running subjects), fields of flowers, when there’s fog, cityscapes, portraits, and of course when it is super sunny outside.

Do variable ND filters have to do with the image quality?

It is very well known that lenses have the main role in any type of photography but with filters, it becomes a bit confusing when it comes to the image quality.

An ND filter doesn’t affect the image quality in any way! As mentioned, their job is completely focused on the light and it doesn’t mean that it will do anything to the picture in general.

Are ND filters the same as polarizing filters?

I think that you already know what are ND filters and what their job is, right? Well, I am pretty sure that you have heard about polarizing filters as well.

A polarizing filter’s job is more related to the color vibrancy, glare and reflections, and contrast. It protects the lens as well.

There’s not a fact that one is better than the other or the best one that you could ever find. It always depends on what you are photographing and in what environment you are.

Final Words

Here we came at the end of this long article. It may be confusing looking at all of those filters but it gets easy enough once you know what type of filter, in mm, your lens needs.

How to notice? Every single lens has a number written in mm. In most lenses, you will find the numbers mentioned above and they are written with the symbol ⌀ which is followed by mm. That tells what filter the lens that you are using works with.

I really hope that this article will help you choose the best variable filters!

Further Reading

If you choose the filters and everything is more than clear, you can check some of my other articles that are related to lenses.

You can have a deeper look at some great lenses for the bokeh effect if you are a fan of bokeh and you can notice what filters go with them.

Other articles that I would suggest you check out are the prominent lenses for interior photography and also if you are a night photographers I would like to introduce you to the decent lenses for night photography.

Taras Golubov