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Fotodiox announced new WonderPana FreeArc filter system for Nikon wide angle lenses

Fotodiox-announced-new-WonderPana-FreeArc-filter-system-for-Nikon-wide-angle-lenses
Fotodiox-WonderPana-FreeArc-filter-system-for-Nikon-wide-angle-lenses
Fotodiox-WonderPana-FreeArc-for-Nikon-DSLR-cameras
Fotodiox announced new WonderPana FreeArc filter system for wide angle Nikon lenses. For more information check the two videos and specifications below:

Specifications:

  • Core System: mounts our 145mm round filters; Circular Polarizer, Neutral Density 4-32, UV, pinch cap
  • WP66 square filter upgrade: mount our exclusive 6.6” filters – hard and soft edged ND gradients
  • FreeArc rotates square filter at any angle: mount 1 round & 1 square filter, or 2 square filters simultaneously
  • Options for mounting Lee & Cokin XL Creative Filters
  • All aluminum build – two component collar system for secure mounting
  • Ultra wide angle construction to eliminate vignetting
  • For prices and availability check the Fotodiox Amazon store

See also this related review of the f the Fotodiox Wonderpana 145 filter adapter kit.

Via Photographybay

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  • Bonetti

    Break one of those filter and it will be Cheap to replace!!!!!

  • patto01

    While the holder looks pretty good, I can’t find any reliable reviews for the filters but Olivia looks good using them. You should have posted her video as well. :-)

    • lorenzo

      If you missed it, on this previous NR
      http://nikonrumors.com/2013/09/07/fotodiox-wonderpana-145-adapter-kit-for-the-nikon-14-24mm-f2-8-lens-review.aspx/

      there was a detailed review that didn’t include the new square filter holder, just announced :-)

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

        I did mentioned the review in the post.

        • patto01

          Lorenzo and NR:
          I did see that but I don’t know that guy (doesn’t mean he’s not reliable) and he doesn’t really go into great depth about the filters themselves. Even the CPL is only tested for sharpness. I’d like to see more reviews and especially comparisons to similar products.

  • Jeffrey

    they should have done this right at the beginning……the current users have to buy new system to use it….

  • Spy Black

    Is it me, or does anyone see this as the most blatant unashamed rip-off?

    • lorenzo

      I do it too.
      Except for the polarize filter effect, shooting in RAW, I can fix enough over and under exposures areas, recreate all the effects on the sky and horizon, even without using layers in CS6 but just LR and Viveza 2.
      I might be wrong but not crazy. They are very nice filters of 145 mm and of course very expensive but don’t think they are a must have.

      • patto01

        Don’t sell yourself short; you’re fairly crazy too ;-) As for polarizers being inappropriate for UWA lenses, if you watch the video, he doesn’t use it for skies,for which it would be inappropriate, but for water and greenery, for which it’s very useful and not replicable in post. Just like the guy in the video, I use polarizers more for that purpose than for skies.
        And finally, “must have” is relative. I’ve gotten by without it but I’m gonna start saving for this for my Tokina 16-28.

        • robert

          fine lens that tokina if you find one with out QC issues. on backorder in many places for a long time. must be an issue with the nikon version though.

          • patto01

            I’d heard some people had issues but I can’t find a single flaw with mine. Maybe God just loves me more than those people! ;-)

            • robert

              It will seem like the issues with the lens is such a high number because we read people who have issue with the iq. But the vast majority are happy and their opinions arent heard. Im waiting for stock to come in. Thkphoto said they get stock once a month from japan which is bs imo. I think theres a big issue with nikon mount though

            • patto01

              Well, good luck with that. I’ve spoken with the service department manager at THK (I had water damage with an 11-16mm I had) and they were very helpful at the time. He spoke freely about the QC issues with Tokina lenses and was just really nice. I liked the 11-16 a lot which is why I bought the 16-28mm when I moved to Full Frame.

    • patto01

      Rip-off of what? Is there another holder, like this, that rotates freely?

      • Spy Black

        Um, that’s not what I meant…

        • patto01

          You think it’s not worth the money? I guess that depends on what type of photography you do and what kind of quality you want. I’m sure a lot of people can’t understand why we pay thousands of dollars for a camera that doesn’t even have a lens.

          • Spy Black

            I *KNOW* it’s not worth the money.

            • robert

              overpriced thats for sure.

              my friends 14-24 had a stuck zoom. yes he dropped it. he brought it in to the repair shop. the guys eyes lit up cause obviously if you buy this lens you have tons of money. he charged him a huge amount to fix the lens but never even replaced a part.

              this is a complete rip off. $250..ok, but $450+ GTFOH!

            • Spy Black
            • patto01

              I would love to have it at that price but I probably wouldn’t buy it. I’d be afraid it was poorly made. That’s the problem with new products: there just aren’t enough reviews to judge them fairly.

            • patto01

              Hmm. Bob is a crook (in your estimation) so Sam must be too. Yeah, that sounds logical.

            • neversink

              why didn’t your friend take / send it to Nikon repair. That’s where I take any equipment that needs work. Never had a problem with them. Quick turnaround, good communication and they tell you exactly what they are going to do, what parts need replacing etc…

            • robert

              I live overseas. we dont have many options here. nikon here wanted $1000 to replace an AFS motor in a 2.8 lens. so photographers pretty much dont go to them.

              from what I know he was recommended this repair guy from a friend.

              I agree though, I would have sent it to nikon melville.

            • patto01

              Oh. Well as long as *YOU KNOW,* that’s good enough for me. Do you mind if I pass all my prospective purchases by you to make sure I don’t get ripped off?

            • Spy Black

              You’re free to do what you like with your hard-earned money.

            • patto01

              Gee thanks! ;-)

      • Sam

        Yes, Lee System circa 2009.

        • patto01

          I’m not really familiar with their, or anyone’s, holders. Do they work the same way or is there some practical difference? It seems like there would have to be or Lee would sue Fotodiox for patent violations.

  • Harry

    is it just me or does anyone else see purple colour hue? And I also found this review online which shows the ND filter has severe colour shift issues… I don’t know, the system looks promising for 14-24 but the photos in the video and the review are holding me back…

    Here’s the link:
    http://feedthewant.com/blog/2013/8/30/fotodioxs-wonderpana-66-system-review

  • Director of Purchase

    This is a great product, but priced high like nikon pro-grade lens… or like profoto reflectors… Bring it under 100 f-diox

  • Kimaze

    Does anyone know if it can be used with my old version of Wonderpana?

  • John

    I still don’t get why people go through all this trouble and spend all that money just to use filters on lenses that weren’t designed for them (14-24mm 2.8).
    16-35mm is much more suited for filtered landscape work, and at the apertures you’d normally shoot a landscape nobody could tell them apart sharpness-wise.
    And if it’s the 2 extra mm you need, it’d still be much easier to stitch 2-3 shots with a longer lens instead of trying to fit a filter on top of the 14-24 beast…

    • Jeff

      The 14-24mm lens is significantly sharper than the 16-35mm lens. This has been well documented.

      • Drazen B

        Not by much though.
        Also, the whole ’14-24 f/2.8 for landscape work’ idea is overrated. This lens wan’t designed for it,anyway.

        • Remedy

          That’s complete bullshit. Some of the best landscape works were done with either Nikkor 14-24mm or Samyang 14mm. Those are fantastic lenses for landscape. Heck, Sigma 12-24 might be even better.

          • heptagon

            Actually I see more beautiful landscape pictures with the 16-35, due to the ease of using filters. Long exposure is crucial. The 14-24 is ideal for milky way shots and indoors, but less ideal for outdoors where direct sun light might cause serious flare for the bulb front element.

            • Jorge

              HEre! HEre!

            • Pablo Ricasso returned

              Exactly. Try to deliver this point to this airhead Remedy…something’s telling me it won’ t be easy.

          • Drazen B

            “That’s complete bullshit.”

            Reading your replies here, I’d say you’re full of it.

            • Remedy

              Dude wake up! It’s You writing idiotic claims about 14-24. “It was not designed for that or that”. What an utterly stupid thing to say about a lens. I proved you wrong and yet you keep yappin. Get some grip with reality.

            • Drazen B

              You proved who wrong? All you’ve been blabbing about here hasn’t got much to do neither with reality nor facts. And if you don’t know where to use the 14-24 f/2.8 lens, your loss.
              You should go out sometimes and shoot something.

            • Remedy

              Drazen again you proved you have no clue what you’re talking about. You can’t grasp the concept of using 14-24 for landscapes and I’m the one who doesn’t know what to do with it? Did you lost connection with your brain? You said stupid things about 14-24 and you said stupid things about 16-35. Now you say stupid things about my comments. Seems like every time you “open your mouth” stupid things come out. How many more times do I have to prove you wrong?

            • callibrator

              Dude you need to get your head checked. For starters try taking some sedatives.

            • JakeB

              There’s nothing idiotic in his statement, it’s you who are having difficulty grasping the fact.
              Or are you one of those couch photogs full of web reviews knowledge and no real experience?

            • Remedy

              You might wanna read all that again then.

              …and it’s not me wondering what to do with lens and why people try to use it for this or that. You seriously can’t draw any kind of reasonable conclusions? Sad.

            • Pablo Ricasso returned

              Remedy, not sure what is your problem with 14-24 and it’s use. No one is saying the 14-24 f/2.8 wasn’t to be used for landscape work, quite contrary…but what most here are talking about and you somehow have problem comprehending is that this particular ultra-wide lens was’t intended for landscape work as its primary target.
              The 14-24 f/2.8 is a specialist lens, made exclusively for high-accurate architectural and low light interior work, than anything else. Heck, even Nikon talks about it in the lens marketing material.

              You should stop attacking others, and refrain from knee-jerk bad-mouthing ‘technique’. We’re all here to play, discuss and argue, but your tone has been decidedly negative and insulting towards others during good majority of this thread.

          • Jorge

            hey Look Mr. Remedy. If you own the 14-24 and need to justify it that’s cool. I have shot with both, landscape work, and honestly, at 20 x 24″ prints, stopped down I could not tell the difference. And guess what? Neither can anyone else looking at my gallery prints. Possibly, maybe, another pixel-peeping photographer who shoots charts and walls but other than that — No One can tell and quite honestly no one gives a crap.

            • Remedy

              I don’t own the 14-24, that’s first thing. Second I can shoot the same thing with 18-105 VR and no one would tell the difference too. There is one problem tho, neither the 16-35 nor 18-105 can go as wide as 14mm. Period. And if anyone can’t tell the difference between 14mm and 16mm then he is a severe case of idiocy. Why do You all even compare 16mm bullshit to a 14 mm?

      • John

        No it isn’t…at least not for anything over f/5.6 (landscape work). I tried both side by side on a D800 before purchasing the 16-35, there really is no difference at all.

        The 16-35mm is sharp edge to edge on the D800 for A2 prints. If you must have more resolution, then again, use a longer lens and stitch.

        • Remedy

          Hey I just had a call from scientific facts and reality, they wanted me to pass a message for You: fking ridiculous bullshit.

          http://www.photozone.de/images/8Reviews/lenses/nikkorafs1635vrff/mtf.png

          vs

          http://www.photozone.de/images/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_afs_1424_28_ff/mtf.png

          Wide angle vs wide angle.

          Failing much?

          • heptagon

            Actually photozone might have got a bad copy of the 16-35mm. As per dxomark measurements, the 16-35mm can be indeed a tad sharper than the 14-24mm at f8-11. I have both lenses and I can not tell a difference tbh. Still, I do not see reliable and easy solution of a 10-stop ND for the 14-24 without worrying about the light leakage problem.

            • Remedy

              At f8 (not to mention f11) 14-24 is loooooooong past it’s peak performance. And as for the light leak with ND 10-stop filter my friend and I we built a custom rig for filters with proper sealing and there is no leakage. Of course I do understand that not everyone can or want to build something.

          • TNT

            “Scientific fact” with one sample? What an idiot. Roger Cicala tested multiple samples of each for the D800 and, at the time, posted higher average res for the 16-35. The 14-24 was even labeled soft corners. One may get a different result with a different batch though.

            • Remedy

              Sorry but it’s pure nonsense. Don’t know what they define as a corner but from my own experience 16-35 in the far corners is really, really mediocre, some people may even call it pretty soft. Plus the atrocious distortion at wide angle makes it even worse when You correct it. The 16-35 is such an average lens at it’s wide angle

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            Well actually, if you look at the data, they are about the exact same at f8.
            However, if you look at f5.6 the performance of the better lens improves markedly and holds most or all of the improvement at f4. The other lens becomes softer at those apertures.
            It is another example of what I have found where the better lens doesn’t seem any better if you already have the other, until you learn how to use it. I test my lenses on landscapes and find that the apparent depth of field is longer when shooting the better lens at 5.6 than either at f8. It happens because everything is a little sharper. The image also has better saturation and the colors are more distinct.

        • Jeff

          Multiple published sources and many other users disagree with your evaluation, just sayin’. But as long as you’re happy with the 16-35mm that’s all that really counts.

      • robert

        not it isnt.

        • Jeff

          I’m not judging the lens. I did copious amounts of research before deciding on which lens to purchase. My statement is based on the judgments and user experiences of many others. Not having the opportunity to use both and compare for myself what else am I suppose to do?

          • JakeB

            Aha, another case of a couch photographer.

            Thanks for your wise contribution to this thread.

      • Maji

        One person whose words I trust is Roger Cicala of Lensrentals.com. He and his company handles multiple copies of every lens which give them a better perspective. Here is an excerpt from Roger’s blog from a year or so ago. I think sharpness wise the 16-35 is comparable with the 14-24, but the 16-35 needs a lot of help from software to handle distortions.

        http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/03/d800-lens-selection

        The resolutions listed below are the center and average resolutions of some select lenses.

        Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 ED (1181 / 831 @ f/5.6 – note: the corners are rather soft)

        Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR (1136/952@f/5.6)

        Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 AF-S ED (1107 / 902 @ f/8)

        Zeiss ZF.2 21mm f/2.8 (1180 / 940 @ f/4) — note: it was nearly as sharp, 1140 / 905 at f/2.8, making it the sharpest lens at f/2.8)

        Zeiss ZF.2 25mm f/2.0 (1216 / 1017 @ f/4)

        Zeiss ZF.2 100mm f/2.0 Makro Planar (1091 / 1030 @ f/4)

        Nikon 105 f/2.8 VR Micro (1050 / 990 @ f.8 Tested at Macro distances)

        The last two are here because I have both and really could never pick out the winner between the 100ZF2 and teh 105VR in blind tests. The rest are for people trying to compare wide angles.

    • Remedy

      First You say You don’t get why people use 14-24 for landscape and few lines later You state as if it was an absolute that 16-35 is better.
      You don’t get it so drop the subject and go back to photographing… cute kittens or whatever floats Your boat.

      Why do You think companies make all this stuff for lenses like Nikkor 14-24? Because there is a quite big demand for it. Because people make beautiful things with this kind of lenses. Because they get it. Get it? :)

      • groucher

        That’s an incredibly expensive way of doing the job. You’ll get better results with a prime such as the old 24mm f2.8 Ai plus stitching if you need the extra width. Saves on backache too.
        The ultimate landscape lens is the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 pancake – very light, compact and sharp. You need quite a few images to get the angular view of say a 20 mm lens but the advantage is that, because each frame is re-focussed, the whole resulting stitched image is in sharp focus. PTGUI and an i5 processor will stitch the images in a few minutes – nine D800 images for example take about 5 minutes to process if max res is selected, but of course you can stitch to a lower and more manageable res if required.
        Another advantage of using the stitching method is that polarisers work correctly on the sky – not the case with super-wide lenses. Graduated filters can’t be used so you have to rely on the camera’s DR.

        • John

          Exactly what I’ve been trying to say.
          You can handle pretty much any landscape shot with a D800 (extreme DR), the 16-35mm and a 50mm prime, plus only a 77mm ND/polarizer and a rail (for parallax correction).

          The 14-24 with that filter holder is probably bulkier than all the above alone :)

        • Remedy

          Stitching is not always an option, actually it’s rarely an option with dynamic scenes.

        • LRX

          You said: “Another advantage of using the stitching method is that polarisers work correctly on the sky”. This is wrong! It’s a Physics problem, not a wide angle lens problem, when you pan a 50mm lens to cover the same field of view of a wide angle lens you will hit the angles where the polarizer has no effect on the incoming light. Same for the reflections, the polarizer is only effective on a narrow angle of view.

      • John

        Please read carefully and try and comprehend what other people write before dismissing everything.
        I never said the 16-35 is better, I said it’s better SUITED for the kind of photography that requires filters (and I have the feeling that Nikon engineers agree with me, otherwise they would have supplied a proper filter holder for their 14-24).

        The 14-24 is perfect for weddings for example, where speed is a must (and even on that end, the 16-35’s VR allows you to take as good low light shots as the 14-24, subject motion is less pronounced at these focal lengths anyway).

        A good photographer can make beautiful pictures with even the cheapest of equipment, that’s not the point, the point is we don’t have to obsessively buy the most expensive of equipment if a cheaper alternative serves us better.

      • Dpablo unfiltered

        I would like to have both the 14-24 and the 17-35. The one has better performance over 20 and the other under 20. None of the other lenses compare, really. I could justify the expense by using the 35-70 rather than the 24-70. The 17-35 is sharper and with less distortion in that range. And you could always leave out the 14-24 if you wanted to go light and be carrying much less weight than if you had the trinity combo.
        Having both would mean that I could default to the one if I needed filters and share the filters with the long tele. The 14-24 has less distortion under 20 and the 17-35 has less distortion between there and 35 than any other lens. It is always a simple barrel distortion and less than with a prime lens. for all lengths other than the magic 15mm.
        The best manual lenses are the 15 f3.5, 18 f3.5, 20 f3.5 with 52mm filter, 24 f2.8 and the 28 f2. I would prefer to carry them all with the 35-70 zoom, so It’s nice having just a couple lenses that can mainly beat or equal them… You can’t beat the 15 for perfect squareness if you want it and you probably can’t beat the 28 at 28 for sharpness. You can probably beat it at 30 or 31… You can probably get a lot of pictures with the primes that you wouldn’t with the zooms, so the advantage of anything is going to come or go with the situation…

        • Dpablo unfiltered

          The 17-35 2.8 has less better sharpness than any AUTO FOCUS lens over 20 except for the mega expensive 24 and 28 f1.4 lenses and the somewhat reasonable 28 f 1.8. It only beats those lenses for distortion. It has less distortion than any prime or zoom in it’s range save for the 18 and the 14-24. The distortion is simple compared to that of the 18. The 14-24 has less distortion yet, beating any lens except for the 14 and 15 primes at the very widest. It beats those lenses for sharpness…

        • groucher

          I have the 17-35 f2.8 and 35-70 f2.8 combination. The 35-70 is incredibly sharp but a bit odd mechanically (70mm when the zoom is closed). Certainly a gem of a lens for what I paid.

          I’m a bit less impressed by the 17-35 though as it doesn’t out-resolve the D800 sensor which is why I’ve moved to primes/PTGUI for super-wide work. I would sell the 17-35 if it wasn’t afflicted with motor whine (which it has had since new)

          • neversink

            I have the 17-35 and use it all the time on the D800. I also have the 14-24 and have used it for all sorts of subjects, including, (God forgive me) subjects with the sky in it. Yes, I wish Nikon had designed this with filter, but there can be all sorts of problems with filters that have to sit so far away from the lens. The curvature of the lens makes filters rather difficult to use on the 14-24 in certain lighting conditions.

            Both lenses are superb. The 24 1.4, which I also use is incredible.
            The old manual 15mm f/3.5 is incredible if you are looking for a rectilinear lens. I use it still on occasion as there is little to no distortion. However it is not as sharp as the 14-24.

            Some of the statements here have just been inane in comparing the 14-24 with the 16-35. A better combination, as has been suggested would be having both the 14-24 and the 17-35. However, if money is an issue just get the 16-35. I need the Pro lenses for my work, much of it in dusty areas or wet areas of sub-saharan Africa. The 16-35 just wouldn’t hold up as well.

    • FACTS

      You are right… its over priced!

      77mm UV china quality = $2.99

      this 145mm UV china quality = $80

      Agreed that 145mm is nearly twice the size of 77mm, and has a smaller customer base

      But, selling 145mm at 26 times higher price??

      • Dpablo unfiltered

        That’s a minimum of 4 times the glass. Probably ten times the metal. And a lot less buyers. The same grade of filter acts like a better grade the larger it’s size, so quality shouldn’t be an issue. But you know filters vary a lot in price and 77 filters can cost even more.

        • patto01

          …and to tack onto your reply, there’s little indication as to the actual quality of the filters.

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            Agreed

    • Jon Ingram

      Look, everyone has got to come to their own conclusion about 14-24 vs 16-35. Some people don’t like the distortion on the 16-35, others aren’t bothered by it. Some people don’t care about the aperture and weight differences, others do. Some people fall in love with the measurable (and unmeasurable) optical characteristics of the 14-24, other people don’t see why it’s such a big deal. Some people like the extra 2mm, some people don’t care. Some people like the vr for the 16-35, others don’t care. I could go on. For many people, they see the 14-24 as the perfect lens, aside from minor flair and not being able to take filters. I’m one of them. For these people, a filter solution is the best of both worlds and means you don’t have to buy an entirely different lens just to use filters.

      • neversink

        “A better combination, as has been suggested would be having both the 14-24 and the 17-35. However, if money is an issue just get the 16-35. I need the Pro lenses for my work, much of it in dusty areas or wet areas of sub-saharan Africa. The 16-35 just wouldn’t hold up as well.” – This was taken from part of my post above….

  • Carlo Sim

    Oh yes, and all the extra vignetting that you get for free with this kit…what’s not to love!

    ;-)

  • robert

    Hi Admin.

    I noticed this happens here and there, but its annoying when you click on the image wanting to see a larger image and you get a smaller or same sized image. maybe you can fix that please.

    • patto01

      It’s not something that needs to be fixed. Rather, it’s in the design of the site. Seeings as how this site is free (to us) and serves an otherwise unfilled niche, it’s a minor annoyance. And generally, if you want a larger image, you’ll probably want more information, as well, so you’ll end up “googling” it anyway.

      • robert

        Wow a free site. U make it seem like nr is doing us a favor for being here. Nr profits from traffic and we profit from the site it works both ways. Dont play it off like its one sided. We say ty for the site but nr says ty for our presence.

        And no i simply clicked out of curiosity on the image to get a closer look. If there isnt a bigger picture then disable the html code on it. WEbsites can always make things more efficient and user friendly and wheb websites stop investing in that, thats when they start failing.

        I rember when the site started years back. It was too primitive. But when sites stop investing in the ui they will fail.

        • robert

          Having issues editing so will finish here

          These are small things that make a website elite. Its only about ui and easy navigation.

          • patto01

            Sometime, I have issues posting too. Now THAT is frustrating.
            Anyway, look how lazy your typing is. It’s much more work to make, and constantly update a website. I understand your point and I’m always trying to improve my own html sites (not public) but I’m used to being alone that way.

            • robert

              Iphone… Enough said.
              I only want nr to be better.

              Notice why they dont censor bad language/cursing cause people like that and it makes more traffic. I respect that because other sites who censor heavily is just suppressing peoples true emotions. When its raw, its real and true. When its free from that its psyches people up and pushes them into a frenzy. More traffic. Engadget doesnt censor much if any. Crazy traffic there.
              Forums that censor are tiring.
              Its all “happy happy joy joy” fakeness.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I do not have a larger version of those images.

      • neversink

        Thank you – sometimes the comments can be inane. Admin has always been open to suggestions in improving this site.
        Admin – don’t forget to send me a complimentary new D4x when it comes out for saying this ;–}

  • robert

    thats some crazy prices there. id rather stitch 2 pictures than pay those prices.

  • RichMonster

    Massive filters for a massive lens! Nice!

  • Sam

    Yes it’s a rip off of the Lee System introduced in 2009.

  • Hawkeye

    Hey Look! It’s the Cokin Creative Filter System. But this time it’s more expensive! I’m going to be as dubious about this as about Cokin’s system until I see actual optical data on the filters. Still won’t buy it, but I’ll put it in my “I Approve” category.

    • patto01

      Unfortunately, Cokin’s filters aren’t very good which is why they’re not very expensive. I’m not technical enough to understand “optical data” but I want to see a lot more reviews before I consider buying it. In either case, nobody cares if I approve or not. ;-)

      • Hawkeye

        Me neither, I’m just a loudmouth

        • patto01

          Wow! I always thought I had a missing brother… ;-)

  • dave

    It looks interesting, but don’t have the kind of money to test it out.

  • Peter Mueller

    This filter kit also looks cool, which should be a good selling point as well. Of course, there are situations when a photographer, especially a professional one, wants to be unobtrusive and melt into the background and not draw attention to him/herself, etc. but many hobbyists like to have important looking equipment. The Wonderpana certainly fits that bill.

    Even with the tongue taken out of my cheek: part of what I love about photography as a hobby is the beauty and functionality of the equipment I get to use. I like the surface feel of some gear and I can take joy in handling beautiful lenses or a nice tripod (like the RRS TVC-33 with the BH-55 head). I could imagine that using the Wonderpana, playing around with a gigantic polarizer or the huge rectangular resin filters might just be plain fun and that is part of the reason some of us have this hobby. Of course, if the pictures suck all bets are off, but there is a fair chance that the Wonderpana will make possible a few spectacular shots that would otherwise be difficult to get.

    Granted, it is a lot of money, but I am seriously tempted…

  • Joseph

    What’s that, you want the best ultra-wide-angle system and filters to boot?
    Well for the price of JUST the average full-frame digital camera, you could get:

    Toyo/Calumet/etc. monorail 4×5 camera and bag bellows
    47mm Schneider XL lens and center filter
    LEE square filter system w/ 100mm push-on adapter / 90mm donut
    A few boxes of film

    There you go, the equivalent of a 13mm lens on a 35mm-sized sensor, sharper than you can possibly imagine, and easy usage of filters, with way more resolution and better colors.

    Thank me later ;)

    • Jeff

      Post processing high def RAW digital files from now on will always exceed the image quality of any film. Digital image enhancement will forever exceed film’s capabilities. Film’s days are OVER!!!

      • Jeff

        I can make photos now that were never possible with film!

      • Joseph

        Dude, no, not even close.
        Anything you can do with a RAW file you can do with a high-quality TIFF scan.

    • neversink

      First and foremost – Film or digital – it’s the final image that counts. Nothing else.
      Now at the risk of being less succinct: Despite the naysayer (Jeff) film is so incredible and I miss using it. However, I love the convenience and for my work digital is an absolute must. And because I travel so much, with digital, I don’t have to worry about protecting my film from overly-powerful x-ray machines at airports. However, Jeff is correct that there are so many things one can do with digital that is hard to do with film. I used to spend days working on a certain image in the darkroom. With post-processing, it takes less time but the post-processing experience is less organic than the darkroom and the digital software is always being “improved.” I always get headaches and backaches with post processing as compared to standing in a well-ventilated darkroom.

  • leonrenstfeld

    In the first video they show shots of steady objects, taken with regular ND filters in bright sunlight. They claim “That’s the kind of visual quality you can’t bring back in the computer later. You need an ND to get skies and bright stuff look right the first time, right in the camera.” I call bullshit. You need to know how to use manual mode or exposure compensation, and an ND won’t even help with that (except your image is still too bright at 1/8000s).

  • DonD

    Now you tell me. I just bought the LEE SW150 and a few filters.

  • Stan Chung

    For skies, just get a tripod and exposed for the sky for a 2 shot HDR.

    Unless something is flying over or you really think you’re limited by not having a proper CPL/ND on a huge thread UWA for silky/fog water.

    IME grad filters degrade quality noticeably. [back in film days].
    Not sure I care much for this item to take the few silky water shots. Literally 1/100,000 pics.

    For video, you gotta have it.

  • Martyn William

    It’s kindergarten all over again – they are both great lenses!

  • bohus

    HI everybody. My name is Bohus – I’m the guy in the videos about the WonderPana FreeArc. I’ve read the comments here, and thought I’d check in with a few clarifications and some of my (admittedly) random thoughts.

    The first thing I’d like to remind everyone of is that Fotodiox has a 14 day return policy. As we all know, so much of what we love about photography is subjective. Reams of facts and figures can’t replace the experience of working with a piece of gear for a while to see if it’s right for you. It’s simple; we don’t want to sell you something that you don’t want.

    The FreeArc isn’t a simple name change, it’s a new product with the ability to freely rotate square filters. If you’re an owner of the prior version of WonderPana, get in touch with us about an upgrade to the FreeArc. It’s really easy, you just need to replace one component.

    The FreeArc fills an interesting niche – it’s not designed to be a mass-market product. FreeArcs are actually made individually, with a lot of the work being done by hand. It’s all aluminum, and to me at least looks and works as well as any first party product I’ve used. A lot of time and research has gone into getting the WonderPana product line right. Our priority with the FreeArc was to create a filter holder that rotates freely and offers more filter mounting flexbility (i.e. one round + one square, or two square mounted at the same time.)

    The glass filters are made in our own factories to keep quality control high, and the rectangular filters are manufactured by a European optics company.

    I do a lot of television production in my work, and the WonderPana system has been indispensable for me. In video we don’t have the same sort of options as a stills photographer to do a lot of post work to bring back parts of an image that are blown out. Even when I do still work, I often have deadlines that preclude a lot of tweaking in post. Also, I personally prefer to see something closer to the finished product in my viewfinder.

    I recently did a shoot with a DSLR mounted on a moving car. No way was I going to have a stray rock hit my expensive lens – the WonderPana’s UV filter made me feel a lot better about having my camera hanging off the car.

    We’re glad that more and more folks are talking about the WonderPana, especially since the launch of the FreeArc. Even more gratifying are the nice reviews we’ve seen out there. We realize that the WonderPana line (there are more Wonderpana products to come over the next few weeks) is an investment, and that’s why we offer our return policy. We want you to see the quality first hand, and we want you to feel good that the WonderPana is going to help you with the kind of work you do. We’re proud of the WonderPana, and we don’t mind showing off a little. :)

    Thanks for this chance to answer some of your questions here. Always feel free to give us a jingle at Fotodioxpro.com, or leave a comment on our new forum, Facebook page or on YouTube. We’re happy to help you make the call whether WonderPana is right for you.

  • Mike MacDonald

    Today, I played with the new Fotodiox WonderPana FreeArc with the Nikon 14-24mm lens.

    THE GOOD:
    1) The square filter holder now rotates and it’s quite smooth. No brainer, but it didn’t exist before.
    2) New square filter holder no longer vignettes. They took my advice and made the suggested fixes from their previous model.
    3) Rectangular split grad filters seem long enough for most up-down adjustments for the horizon (same filters as before).
    4) Rectangular split grads are nice and thick.
    5) The system is not flimsy like most of the more expensive competition. It’s very strong!
    6) If you keep the round filter holder on the 14-24mm lens, it’ll help block stray light that can hit the lens from the side. Plus, the big lens cap will protect the lens from damage. Note, I like the old metal cap because it doesn’t pop off when the lens bounces against my leg as I walk with the camera over my shoulder. But, the newer plastic one is good, too, but you have to keep an eye out.

    THE FAIR:
    1) The holder the rectangular filters could be more secure. I only played with it for a short time, but the filter fell out twice onto the ground. Granted, I didn’t have much practice, but if I would have purchased the filter, I would have been mad as hell if I would have broken it. So, they need to shore this up. After a while I did get the hang of it, but the system shouldn’t allow the filter to slip right through. Even cheaper Cokin equipment doesn’t have this issue. So, if you buy their split grads, be aware of this and practice over a soft carpet.

    THE BAD:
    1) You cannot combine the C-POL with a rectangular split grad. PERIOD. It’s not because you cannot stack them, because you can. And, it’s not because the two together causes additional vignetting. It’s because the polarizing filter reveals what’s called “retardation” or wild color fringes in the plastic split grad filter that result from “residual stresses” in the plastic.

    When a split grad is needed and a polarizer can be used to darken the sky, it is ideal to combine them. That’s because, the polarizer will darken the sky and, unless you have bright clouds, you won’t need as strong a grad to do the job, ultimately reducing the appearance of the “line.” So, it’s a bummer that the plastic is not up to the task. But, if you have a Nikon D800E, you may never need to combine the two filters because the camera has such a high dynamic range. The camera only needs help from a split grad when there’s a shadowed land and the burning sun in the same shot. But, that’s when you would NOT be using a polarizer. Because I do own a D800E along with the previous WonderPana holder and C-POL, I’m considering adding a couple of grads and new holder.

    OVERALL: It’s a MUCH better product than the previous model that didn’t even turn. Duh! But, that’s because I visited them last year, found three problems, and told them how to fix them (rotation and two problems of vignetting). Today, I returned and discovered the color fringes. If they want to attract professional photographers, they need to work out these very obvious bugs before they put out the product. Nevertheless, I’d recommend this product for anyone who uses a 14-24mm lens and wants to use a polarizer, standard ND filters, or up to two split grads, but without a polarizer.

  • perfrode

    The
    filter holder called Novignett will eliminate all vignetting. Check
    out photo.net and search “per johannessen”. Look at the pictures
    and read the description. “freephotoguides” has this on their
    forums under Gear Talk.

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