by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2012
SRB are a company who are vital to the optics industry at large. They are the go-to firm as soon as you need an adaptor to make a piece of optical gear attach itself to another. This can include lens-to-lens attachments, microscope-to-lens attachments, telescope and digiscope arrangements and finally any number of esoteric applications in which a piece of 'foreign' optics is required in an optical train. In a nutshell then, if you need a specialised attachment, SRB are likely to be able to make it and furthermore the quality will be impeccable, they even have their own black anodising plant to go with their CNC lathes and milling machines.
They have always made filters for optical applications and we test here the latest, a variable neutral density filter (an 'ND'). Normally an ND filter is made by coating optical glass with a vacuum sputtered layer of Inconel alloy, so thin that light passes through it. The thickness is used to control the neutral density of the filter and each filter has only one value - typically referred to as 1x, 2x, 4x, etc, meaning that they impede the light by that many stops. More recently the Big Stopper has been marketed by Lee filters at a massive 10-stops, a device much loved by our own Paul Gallagher.
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