PostHeaderIcon Does the Continuously Variable ND Filter Spell the End of the Lens Iris?

The advent of the continuously variable neutral density filter (VND) raises an interesting issue: Do we still need a lens iris at all? The iris ring and underlying mechanism fitted with fragile rotating blades are at constant risk of damage from shock, moisture, and dust penetration; the iris itself adding cost and complexity while also reducing sharpness from diffraction artifacts when stopped down. The new Sony FS7 II features a VND that isn’t quite efficient enough to eliminate the lens iris entirely – but the day may be coming. For shooters, this could mean much better performing and sturdier lenses at  lower cost.

The Sony FS7 II VND offers insufficient light attenuation to eliminate the lens iris entirely – but the day may be coming.

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