Add another Variable ND Filter to your market choices: Hoya has entered the game with a 1.5- to 9-stop variable ND filter in sizes from 52mm to 82mm. Vari-ND filters are essential in shooting video, but also a required piece of equipment for our Big Sur, Yosemite Spring, and Eastern Sierra & Owens Valley workshops, where we spend a lot of time working in capturing the beauty of the blur in water motion.
B&H Photo lists the 77mm Hoya Variable ND filter at $199; that’s cheaper than the Singh-Ray, but more expensive than the Lightcraft Workshops.
There haven’t been any true reviews of the new Hoya filter as it is so new. In fact, even though it is listed on the B&H website, it’s not even on the Hoya website yet.
As for quality, the Lightcraft Workshop (LCW) filters are considered the go-to filter for most DSLR videographers. The quality of the LCW filter is very good, and much better than the more expensive and well-established Genus brand, as I can personally attest to from recent testing. Most photographers still lean toward teh Singh-Ray simply because that is the “must have” brand for photography.
There have been a few comparison reviews between the LCW and Singh-Ray filters, however they have been marred by the fact that the reviewer didn’t purchase the LCW filter from the manufacturer in Hong Kong but rather obtained a cheaper knock-off, which are quite prevalent. In fact, the LCW site has a short list of verified resellers of their filters, and oddly B&H isn’t on that list even though they sell “LCW-branded” filters. Not sure where they are getting their supply.