Using the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo

Here’s a short video clip that I made to explain how you set up and use the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo filter. This filter allows you to dial in up to 8 stops of light-blocking action, which enables you to use very LONG shutter speeds to blur water and moving objects.

Here’s a shot I made with the Vari-N-Duo in Colorado Springs during one of my photography workshops.

Branch over the stream, slow exposure made with Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo variable ND filter.

10 thoughts on “Using the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo”

  1. Very good review of how the ND filter works. I know Sing-Ray is very good (the best), but it is very pricey. Do you have suggestions of alternatives for the hobbyist who wants the effect of ND, but at a more reasonable price? Thanks, Doug

  2. Thanks for your tutorial. A couple of questions, what about using Live View which has automatic mirror lock up? Does using long exposure NR preclude using it?


  3. Live view locks the mirror up, but then it lowers it when you take the image. Live view is very useful IMO for composing shots when you’ve got the camera in low or other awkward positions.

  4. Doug-
    there are lots of solid ND filters out there, including options up to 10 stops. They don’t cost nearly as much as the Singh-Ray, but they are not as convenient to use. Also, you have to be careful about vignetting with any thick filter. If you start stacking ND filters, you’ll have to watch out for vignetting.

  5. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the tutorial, very nice. I bought a Vari-N-Duo a few weeks ago after listening to the podcast. I’ve used it a few times with inconsistent results. After watching the video I think now I know what I’ve been doing wrong. The AWB and noise reduction advice was great.

    One question, you mentioned closing the back of the camera to limit stray light. Can I do that on my D300. How does that work?


  6. Hi Jason

    My name is Bhushan and I came across your video post on SinghRay Vari N duo. I might have watched this about 10 times to make sure I am understanding right and last week I got my Vari N duo from B&H, it works great and thanks for the video.

    Comparing your video to the datasheet, the procedure is exactly opposite. I called the SinghRay company tech support and they say once you change the polarizer, we need to hold the outer ring and turn the inner ring for ND change. But you show to change the outer ring. Can you please comment which one is correct.

    The company says their data sheet is accurate and Polarizer is in the front and ND is in the back.

    Any help here is greatly appreciated.

    Regards, Bhushan

  7. My Vari-N-Duo filter is arranged as such: innner-most ring attaches to lens. Middle ring rotates polarizer. Outer ring controls the ND intensity. I’m not aware that anything changed, but I did purchase mine several years ago. The filter is clearly marked as to adjusting the ND darkness, so I’m sure whatever you get will be self-explanatory.

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