Today we are talking about the new Tiffen Neutral Density (ND) filter and polarizer kit that just came out. I’ve been working with them for the last few days and I’m happy with how it looks. Now if you’re wondering why you would need this kit, I’m going to tell you, there’s a few different reasons to use ND filters and polarizers. For ND filters it’s mostly for video, and the point is to slow down the automatic shutter speeds on the Mini in order to expose video in accordance with the 180-degree shutter rule. Now if you’re not familiar with the 180-degree shutter rule, what it means is that shutter speed should be set to double the frame rate for the motion to look cinematic.
For the Mavic Mini, since you cannot expose manually in video mode, and since it lacks an aperture, you can only control shutter speeds by using ND filter. What these do is limit light without effecting the colors. Since the Mini lacks an aperture, limiting light is normally handled by increasing the shutter speeds which results in an unwanted stutter when it’s very bright out. In a lot of cases you can control the light in other ways and not need an ND Filter, this is why a lot of people like to shoot on overcast days, or at the Golden Hours during sunrise and sunset. So if you’re like most of us hobbyist, you probably just want to fly when you can fly and you may not care about the cinematic look. I have seen some people complain about the stutter on the mavic mini and using ND filters is one of the only ways you can combat that, although there are some post production techniques I can show you in Davinci that helps blend the frames together better, but that’ll be in a future video, let me know in the comments if that’s something you’re interested in. The other reason to use an ND or polarizer filter is for long exposure photography, which this kit could be used for on an overcast day, otherwise the ND effect isn’t strong enough to counter the sun on a bright sunny day, you need a higher ND stop, which this kit only comes with a 1, 2 and 3 stop filter. For polarizers, the main reason is to cut glare from the sun, usually when you are shooting the sky, water, snow or any other highly non-metallic reflective surface. It can be useful in both photography or videography so that’s why I recommend the 6 filter kit, depending on what you’re doing with your mini.
So here’s the 6 filter kit, there’s also a 3 filter kit which is just the Polarized ND filters. Thing is about polarized filters is they are variable, and you have to rotate them relative to the position of the sun in order to increase or decrease the polarized effect. There are advantages and disadvantages to the polarizer, and depending on what youre attempting to do, you have to setup the polarizer in certain ways. A polarizer works best at 90 degrees from the sun, a way to figure out where that is, is to point at the sun with your hand like a gun, and anywhere your thumb is pointing is where you want to point your camera for maximum polarization. There’s also a ring on the polarizer with a white line, which you can rotate to increase or decrease the polarize effect. The thing is, in the cinematic world, you would need to set this up for every single shot to get an even effect, and I’m gonna guess that 90% of Mini owners shouldn’t worry about that. I am a big fan of Tiffen, I use their Mavic 2 Pro kit as well on really bright days to control light, or if I want a certain kind of shot, like a close up with some shallow depth of field, but that’s not something that would be achievable with the mini. I also use a Freewell ND1000 for long exposure day shots or long exposure time lapses with the Mavic 2 Pro. These are the only filters I have tried out for the Mini, I have heard that other ones do not work with the gimbal, like the PGYTECH set that was recalled. I am looking for a kit with higher stop ND filters so I can do some long exposure time lapses and photography.
Unnecessarily long facts about myself
Drones I use:
DJI Mavic 2 Pro (https://click.dji.com/AOIftlUp6KcHV6V98jdmiw?pm=link)
DJI Mavic Mini (https://click.dji.com/AKgDxK5e2ItJ3dJN3nns_A?pm=link)
Autel Robotics EVO II Pro
Cameras I use:
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k (https://amzn.to/2Ei6m8F)
Panasonic Lumix G9 (https://amzn.to/2LZEUAB)
DJI Osmo Pocket (https://click.dji.com/ANNZq8R6Lib27_a7c8be2A?pm=link)
GoPro Hero 8 Black (returned) (https://amzn.to/2YOhwvg)
GoPro Hero 7 Black x2 (https://amzn.to/36Fm7CM)
Insta360 One X (https://amzn.to/2PsVv25)
iPhone XS MAX (https://amzn.to/34mjeVS)
iPad Pro 10″ (https://amzn.to/2YQ3B7S)