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M2P ND filter Skyreat vs FStop Labs vs Polar Pro

Chopstix Kid

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As with many of us, I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on the @Skyreat and @fstop.labs ND filters for the M2P. I did not have direct access to the @PolarPro filters however having a set of the Cinema Series Vivid filter for my P4, it gave me the opportunity to do a loose comparison. I am a hobbyist. While I do semi-professional photography as part of my day job, my knowledge and skill level is intermediate at best. So please take that into consideration as you read this review.

Fit and finish: The Skyreat and FStop Labs are nearly identical. Both companies did indeed address the gimbal fit that was discovered with their Gen 1 filters. The DJI gimbal fits with no interference. The FStop Labs filters have serrated edges which does allow for some grip when installing/removing the filters--while they may appear to be minimal, I can attest that they do make for somewhat an easier effort. All the filters I sampled fit about the same. Some were slightly easier to "click" in place while others had slightly more resistance. The occurrence was across both brands. Then there is the obvious; color. The Skyreat are metallic red while the FStop Labs are a metallic grey. Both are very pleasing in appearance on the AC.

20181013_183007.jpg20181013_130856.jpg20181013_131043.jpg20181013_182328.jpg

Light reduction accuracy: Now that we know both brands fit like they should, do they reduce the proper amount of light? Day 1 of testing was a wash. Poor lighting due to weather gave false readings. Day 2 was sunny with sparse cover and went like this...

I took two baselines (ISO-200 and ISO-400) with no filter, moving the aperture 1 stop at time to verify shutter speed:

ISO-200
======
f/2.8 -- 1/1000
f/4 ----- 1/500
f/5.6 -- 1/240
f/8 ----- 1/120
f/11 --- 1/60

ISO-400
======
f/2.8 -- 1/2000
f/4 ----- 1/100
f/5.6 -- 1/500
f/8 ----- 1/240
f/11 --- 1/120

I then set the aperture at f/2.8 and installed each filter at ISO-200 and ISO-400 to see if the light reduction yielded the correct shutter speed:

ISO-200 ++ Skyreat ++ FStop ++ PolarPro
=================================
ND4 (f/5.6) ++ 1/240 ++ n/a ++ /240
ND8 (f/8 ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120
ND16 (f/11) ++ 1/60 ++ 1/60 ++ 1/60
ND32 (f/16) ++ n/a ++ 1/30 ++ n/a

ISO-400 ++ Skyreat ++ FStop ++ PolarPro
============================
ND4 (f/5.6) ++ 1/500 ++ n/a ++ 1/500
ND8 (f/8) ++ 1/240 ++ 1/240 ++ 1/240
ND16 (f/11) ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120
ND32 (f/16) ++ n/a ++ 1/60 ++ n/a

So you can see from the results that each of the filters from all three brands performed light reduction identically. Here are some ND8 screen caps so you can see the histograms:

Baseline | Skyreat ND8 | FStop Labs ND8 | PolarPro ND8
no-filter.pngsky-ND8.pngfsl-ND8.pngpp-ND8.png

What I did NOT test was scratch resistancy, vignetting or color cost. Weather permitting, I will follow up with vignetting and color cost comparisons at a later time.

So what does this all mean? Without vignetting and color cast comparisons, not much other than the glass meters the same light reduction so no matter which brand for the three you get (assuming PolarPro glass has not changed) you can be confident that the filters will be accurate in the light reduction capabilities. This is a promising start for those looking to get into a set of filters on a budget. Thanks for reading along! Cheers.

EDIT 11/4/2018 - Season change here in MI also brings rain and overcast days so this took a bit of time to shoot outdoors. To check color cost (amateur method) I shot these samples against a large blanket draped over my deck. Shot in AP mode with fixed WB.

You can see that the @Skyreat and @fstop.labs were nearly identical cost with a slightly grey shift. The @PolarPro was slightly a yellow shift.

M2P-filter-comparison.jpg
 
Last edited:
Nice one. Both look like good options.

A weight comparison between them and the stock filter might be interesting if you happen to have some accurate scales
 
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Nice one. Both look like good options.

A weight comparison between them and the stock filter might be interesting if you happen to have some accurate scales

I have a digital we use for mail. I’ll see if I can swing by the shop tomorrow and weigh them. Great idea!
 
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As with many of us, I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on the @Skyreat and @fstop.labs ND filters for the M2P. I did not have direct access to the @PolarPro filters however having a set of the Cinema Series Vivid filter for my P4, it gave me the opportunity to do a loose comparison. I am a hobbyist. While I do semi-professional photography as part of my day job, my knowledge and skill level is intermediate at best. So please take that into consideration as you read this review.

Fit and finish: The Skyreat and FStop Labs are nearly identical. Both companies did indeed address the gimbal fit that was discovered with their Gen 1 filters. The DJI gimbal fits with no interference. The FStop Labs filters have serrated edges which does allow for some grip when installing/removing the filters--while they may appear to be minimal, I can attest that they do make for somewhat an easier effort. All the filters I sampled fit about the same. Some were slightly easier to "click" in place while others had slightly more resistance. The occurrence was across both brands. Then there is the obvious; color. The Skyreat are metallic red while the FStop Labs are a metallic grey. Both are very pleasing in appearance on the AC.

View attachment 50020View attachment 50017View attachment 50018View attachment 50019

Light reduction accuracy: Now that we know both brands fit like they should, do they reduce the proper amount of light? Day 1 of testing was a wash. Poor lighting due to weather gave false readings. Day 2 was sunny with sparse cover and went like this...

I took two baselines (ISO-200 and ISO-400) with no filter, moving the aperture 1 stop at time to verify shutter speed:

ISO-200
======
f/2.8 -- 1/1000
f/4 ----- 1/500
f/5.6 -- 1/240
f/8 ----- 1/120
f/11 --- 1/60

ISO-400
======
f/2.8 -- 1/2000
f/4 ----- 1/100
f/5.6 -- 1/500
f/8 ----- 1/240
f/11 --- 1/120

I then set the aperture at f/2.8 and installed each filter at ISO-200 and ISO-400 to see if the light reduction yielded the correct shutter speed:

ISO-200 ++ Skyreat ++ FStop ++ PolarPro
=================================
ND4 (f/5.6) ++ 1/240 ++ n/a ++ /240
ND8 (f/8 ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120
ND16 (f/11) ++ 1/60 ++ 1/60 ++ 1/60
ND32 (f/16) ++ n/a ++ 1/30 ++ n/a

ISO-400 ++ Skyreat ++ FStop ++ PolarPro
============================
ND4 (f/5.6) ++ 1/500 ++ n/a ++ 1/500
ND8 (f/8) ++ 1/240 ++ 1/240 ++ 1/240
ND16 (f/11) ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120 ++ 1/120
ND32 (f/16) ++ n/a ++ 1/60 ++ n/a

So you can see from the results that each of the filters from all three brands performed light reduction identically. Here are some ND8 screen caps so you can see the histograms:

Baseline | Skyreat ND8 | FStop Labs ND8 | PolarPro ND8
View attachment 50026View attachment 50028View attachment 50029View attachment 50027

What I did NOT test was scratch resistancy, vignetting or color cost. Weather permitting, I will follow up with vignetting and color cost comparisons at a later time.

So what does this all mean? Without vignetting and color cost comparisons, not much other than the glass meters the same light reduction so no matter which brand for the three you get (assuming PolarPro glass has not changed) you can be confident that the filters will be accurate in the light reduction capabilities. This is a promising start for those looking to get into a set of filters on a budget. Thanks for reading along! Cheers.

Nice comparison! Just for the record, Polar Pro sells a 3 filter kit (ND8, ND16 & ND32) for $50 and a 6 filter kit ND8/8PL, ND16/16PL & ND32/32PL) for $100. Not nickels and dimes but not that much more either. Not in stock yet but something to consider.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/polarp...i-mavic-2-pro-3-count/6287483.p?skuId=6287483

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/polarp...i-mavic-2-pro-6-count/6287484.p?skuId=6287484
 
Btw you didn't have any trouble getting them on or off? I felt they were a pain and I one case, not happening.
 
Btw you didn't have any trouble getting them on or off? I felt they were a pain and I one case, not happening.

I did not have any excessive issues with these however this is just a small sample of the larger production scale so I’m sure anything is possible. Two years ago when I purchased my polar pros for my P4, I had to have a couple of them replaced because the threads were too loose and the filters would not tighten down. It happens. I like to use the analogy, even Mercedes-Benz has a service department.
 
I did not have any excessive issues with these however this is just a small sample of the larger production scale so I’m sure anything is possible. Two years ago when I purchased my polar pros for my P4, I had to have a couple of them replaced because the threads were too loose and the filters would not tighten down. It happens. I like to use the analogy, even Mercedes-Benz has a service department.

True enough. I have two sets of Skyreats, both bad and one set of F Stops that are TIGHT! I have a set of precision files that I'll take to them presently.

Again, very nice comparison.
 
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The most important thing to me with a ND filter is that it's actually neutral. I've never seen one that isn't but these are pretty cheap. If you could do some color testing that would be great. Maybe take some pictures with/without the filters and compare the colors in photoshop? However you do it I am definitely looking forward to your future testing.
 
The most important thing to me with a ND filter is that it's actually neutral. I've never seen one that isn't but these are pretty cheap. If you could do some color testing that would be great. Maybe take some pictures with/without the filters and compare the colors in photoshop? However you do it I am definitely looking forward to your future testing.

I’ve been thinking about how to go about doing that with the most concise results. I’m thinking that I can drape a large white sheet off of my deck and then shoot it from the yard. A white sheet should clearly show if there is any color cast or vignetting. Thoughts?
 
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Nice review. Do all three come with cases for protection, comments on case?

Thanks! The Skyreat and FStop Labs Come in the identical packaging. See very first photo. It is plenty adequate for non-rugged use. I do not know what type of packaging that the PolarPro come in as I noted in the review, mine are for my P4.
 
I’ve been thinking about how to go about doing that with the most concise results. I’m thinking that I can drape a large white sheet off of my deck and then shoot it from the yard. A white sheet should clearly show if there is any color cast or vignetting. Thoughts?

If you have a gray card in your camera bag that would be ideal. Just shoot the gray card without the filter and then immediately after take the same shot with the filter so the light is the same. I would suggest to be careful that you stand in the same place for both shots too because if say you're wearing a red shirt then red light will reflect off of you onto the card depending on where you are standing in relation to it, the camera and the light. Then I would take the photos in photoshop and using the dropper grab the color hex code off the card and see if they are different with and without the filter. If you don't have a gray card just shoot a cloudless sky, with the sun to your back, or anything else that's uniform and neutral.

If you are taking photos outside I would shoot the card, or whatever, without the filter and then shoot with the filter on. Then I would take the filter off and shoot the card again, then the next filter. This way you are having a direct comparison of each filter with the sensor in as close to the same light as possible. If more clouds start coming in you may find less blue light from the sky reflected on the card or as clouds move in front of the sun or the sun itself moves you may get less or at least different reflected light off yourself, the ground, your home, basically everything around you. And make sure to disable auto white balance so it doesn't try to compensate.


You can put that hex code you grab in this link and then by looking at where it is on the wheel you can tell what color that filter favors. That should make for easy comparisons that don't rely on our individual monitors. This gray here favors yellow.
HSL Color Picker; HTML Color Picker; Web, HEX, CSS, HSLa

1539526990066.png


Just a suggestion! However you choose to do it is fine with me!
 
Last edited:
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These are pictures of how the PolarPro filters comes. See more pictures of it on my thread.

My thread to see packaging of how the PolarPro filters for the M2P come...

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Updated added to opening post -- Color cost comparison added.
 
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