[GCM Photographic] STC Clip IR-Cut ND1000 Filter

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We have been put in the enviable position of being loaned another STC clip filter to test.

This time, an IR Cut-ND1000 (10 stop) clip filter.

The STC clip filter fits inside the camera in front of the mirror. Having first set the camera into Live View, focusing is performed in manual mode and in Live View. Full details of this process are described in our earlier STC clip filter reviews.

Having previously tested the IR Cut – ND64 filter, we were eager to see whether this new filter maintained the same extremely high standard.
As with all STC clip filters, this filter has a matt black stainless steel frame, making it both very lightweight and virtually non magnetic. The glass of the filter is 1mm Schott B270 crown glass, multi coated, including an optical interference coating (blocking IR light) to protect against colour shift associated with long exposures, and an anti static coating.

Testing set up

We tested the following filters: STC Clip IR Cut- ND64 and STC Clip IR-Cut ND1000 filters and Camdiox ND1000 screw in filter.

For this particular test we ventured onto the Ashdown Forest, taking with us a Nikon D800, a Cosina 19-35mm lens, a heavy duty tripod, a screen magnifier and a remote release.

We used the Nikon D800 with the following settings: f8 in aperture priority, lens set to 19mm, ISO at LO1 (equivalent to 50 ISO), white balance on Daylight, and each image was manually focused in Live View.

Mark fine focusing image

Results

Using an unfiltered image as our benchmark, we made the following observations: There was no colour shift with the STC Clip IR Cut-ND64 IR, giving an even sharp image. The STC Clip IR-Cut ND1000 Filter produced a cooler image, but it was even across the frame and sharp. The Camdiox ND1000 produced a warm, but acceptably sharp image. However it caused very noticeable vignetting making it unacceptable, even when utilising the Nikon in camera lens correction software.

Control image

STC IR- Cut ND64 Filter

STC Clip IR-Cut ND1000 Filter

Camdiox ND1000 Filter

Sharpness comparison

Conclusions

We were surprised to note the colour difference between the STC filters. However, individually neither was a problem. Again, the beauty of a clip filter is the freedom to use any lens on the camera. Interestingly there is a focus shift when using the STC filters. It is therefore essential to focus manually in Live View, not rely on just setting the lens on infinity.

The Camdiox filter, as previously mentioned, caused us concern due to the colour shift and vignetting produced. We would not recommend adding any other filters or filter systems on top of the Camdiox filter.

Once again the results from the STC filter were outstanding, and again we were very impressed.

Would we use, and could we recommend, the STC Clip IR-Cut ND1000 Filter ? Absolutely! This filter definitely has a place in our camera bags.

Factoring in the price, the cheapest screw-in ND1000 filter on Amazon USA is around $25, compared with $90 for the STC clip filter. However, when you consider the fact that more than one screw-in filter may be needed, combined with the fact that cheap filters may be of variable quality, the price difference is more than worth it.

If you take care of this clip filter, it will last you a lifetime, making it excellent value for money.

Final proof if needed!

Source: GCM Photographic (http://gcmphotographic.com/?p=1196)

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