Polar Pro Quartzline Review – Start using ND Filters on your DSLR

Polar Pro Quartzline Review – Start using ND Filters on your DSLR

ND Filters should be a crucial part of every Camera Bag. If you are shooting Video on a DSLR you’ll need ND Filters in order to achieve the 180 degree Rule. Only then will your Video footage look smooth as butter. Today we talk about why ND Filters belong into every Camera Bag and why you should start using Polar Pro’s new Quartzline ND Filters. 

Best ND Filters for DSLR Video 

The annoying truth about ND Filters

Over time I bought a bunch of different ND Filters for my DSLR. Some of them did a great job, others unfortunately not so much. Cheaper ND Filters tend to have multiple Flaws. Most of those Filters use Aluminum in their Frame. The first time you cant remove an ND Filter From your lens you’ll know why Aluminium is a cheap choice. Others sometimes have uneven shadings or have a certain tint. Bored with those issues with my Drone I never wanted to take any chances, so I straight went for the Best there is. Polar Pro. When I learned that they decided to get into to the DSLR Filter Business I got quite excited. Finally filters with incredible quality that I can slap on my Camera Lens and forget about them.

“A good Photographer doesn’t need ND Filters!”

This statement is only partially true. It’s true that in Photography you can compensate in bright daylight with the help of your Aperture and Shutter Speed, but if you want to take Pictures of shiny surfaces/objects or you enter the world of Long Exposure you hit your limits. To get rid of the reflections for example on a car or water surface you need a polarising Filter (short called CP/PL Filter). For washed out skies and shores you’ll need a really dark ND Filter in order to get your Exposure Time up. The Moment you shoot Video ND Filters even become a necessity.

Shooting Video and the 180 Degree Issue

When you are shooting video most of us want those smooth cinematic movements that don’t look choppy or jumpy. You can notice this phenomenon especial in combination with high speed movements. For example if you are shooting with 24fps your ideal Shutter Speed would be twice your Frame Rate (48). The closest thing on most DSLRs is 1/50. Considering your outside you probably lowered your ISO to 100 anyways. So the only other thing that can affect your Exposure is the Aperture. Sometimes even f22 can’t cut it and that’s where ND Filters come into play. If you want to know more about the golden 180 Degree Rule, check out my Video Settings Basics Tutorial. By the way the same rules apply for Drones.

Polar Pro Quartzline – The Knight in Shining Armor

Polar Pro released an incredible product with their Quartzline Filters and the funny thing is I’ve never seen so good looking ND Filters. Their Filters are fitted into a Brass Frame which prevents them from getting stuck to your Lens or other Filters. For itself the Frame already looks great, but the Color shimmer you have on the Filter is just mesmerizing. Even though the colour is rather prominent on the glass you can’t see any kind of colour distortion within your footage. Those Colors come to life through Polar Pro’s special coating which reduces distortions, unwanted reflections and have a hydrophobic and oil repellent effect. I’ve never seen an ND Filter that is as easy to clean as the Quartzline Filters.

All Types and Sizes

Polar Pro’s Quartzline Filter Lineup hase pretty much everybody covered. Only the 37mm and 46mm Filters are limited up to ND16. The ND1000 and above are every Long Exposure Photographers best friend.

Overview of the available Polar Pro Quartzline ND Filter Lineup
The available Quartzline ND Filters

Quartzline Test Footage

Down below you find five Test Shots. The first being the our reference Picture. I took all shots right of the Canon 5D Mark IV they all are untouched and have not been edited. Picture three and five were both taken with the polarising effect on its highest point. Number two and three were taken with the ND8 Polarising Filter. I took Number four and five with the ND16 Polarising Filter. Having ND Filters that don’t alter your footage in an unwanted way is crucial. The Quartzline Filters passed this Test with flying colors. You can’t find any kind of artificial tint or shadows in the pictures. It’s also incredible to so how well the polarising effect is working on all the reflective surfaces like the water, the roof on the right and even the fog in the distance gets reduced.

Footage from the Canon 5D Mark 4 without Filter
5D Mark IV without Filter Exif: ISO100 f5.6 1/500s
5D Mark IV Quartzline ND8 Exif: ISO100 f5.6 1/60s
5D Mark IV Quartzline ND8/PL Exif: ISO100 f5.6 1/60s
5D Mark IV Quartzline ND16 Exif: ISO200 f5.6 1/60s
5D Mark IV Quartzline ND16/PL Exif: ISO200 f5.6 1/60s

There is more in there for you

Polar Pro is known to have some great products but they are also known for their packaging. This time in my opinion they even outdid themselves. Every other Filter Manufacturer ships their ND Filter in a plastic box. Not Polar Pro. Yes you get a plastic box, but a very high quality one that most certainly can withstand a lot of force. You also get a cleaning cloth and a little pouch where you can store your Quartzline Filter if you have to save space in your camera bag. The pouch even has a cleaning cloth sewed into it so you don’t have to carry around additional gear. 

Final verdict

It’s been a while since I last replaced something so willingly in my Camera Bag. The Quartzline Filters are absolutely taking over my ND Filter Setup. The best gear is always the one you don’t have to think about. They do what they were designed to do and they do it flawlessly. So if you liked this review, feel free to check out Polar Pro’s Quartzline ND Filter Lineup under the following Amazon links. If you would like to know anything else about the Filters hit me up in the comments.

ND8 PL 82mm
ND16 PL 82mm
Step-Up Ring 77-82mm

 

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