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Want to eliminate odd color casts from an ND filter? There's (another) filter for that

Shooting with a neutral density filter is often a necessity for videographers as well as for many still techniques such as long exposures, but the problem is that ND filters — even the high-end ones — can often distort colors and cut clarity. That’s an issue that a new filter from the lensmaker SLR Magic is aiming to solve.

The SLR Magic Image Enhancer Pro (IE Pro) helps correct color shift caused by using a neutral density filter as well as the shift that occurs on several types of cinema camera sensors even with a bare lens. Released last week, the new filter eliminates the extreme ends of the light spectrum so that the light passing through to the camera’s sensor is only light that’s detectable to the human eye.

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The issue is most noticeable on black shades that aren’t truly black as well as across skin tones. While both UV and IR filters are used to correct similar color shifts, SLR Magic says that those filters also cut out the red spectrum, which creates that blacker black but also leads to unnatural skin tones. The manufacturer added that the same filters create a red or green color shift on wide angle lenses, while the IE Pro is designed to work at all focal lengths.

The IE Pro uses 50 different layers to minimize flare while cutting out the light that’s invisible to the human eye, letting light from 200nm and 1,200nm pass through. The circular filters can be used on top of variable neutral density filters, but are not designed for use with other IR and UV filters. According to the manufacturer, the filter is designed to cut out the subtle color shift that occurs shooting without a filter or with high-end NDs — it cannot correct the green, red, and blue tints many inexpensive NDs create.

The filter doesn’t yet have a release date, but the 52mm version is expected to cost around $70.