A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
The Aurora PowerGXND is an hard transition variable hard transition graduated neutral density (GND) filter with continuously variable range up to 5 stops (ND 0 - 1.5).
Using the Aurora PowerGXND proper exposure can be maintained in a high contrast scene when the dynamic range of a camera’s sensor is unable to capture the scene without under or overexposure.
When using a slim adapter or mounted on a square filter system, the PowerGXND can be moved up and down or any direction to position the dark to bright transition area properly according to a specific scene.
Quite often we encounter difficult high contrast scenes where either highlights or shadows are captured but the inverse is lost from being over or underexposed.
Graduated neutral density (GND) filters are a tool for dealing with these high contrast scenes. The darkened section on the filter reduces the amount of light from the brightest part of a scene which in turn allows for the highlights and shadows of the scene to be exposed properly.
Until now GND filters come in fixed values. Users need to go through multiple GND filters based on the shooting environment. Meanwhile there are no fractional stop GNDs.
The PowerGXND is a continuously variable without fixed value limitations. This is very useful for videographers where post processing is difficult and time consuming.
The Aurora PowerGXND is based on the innovative PowerXND 2000 filter family we introduced in 2016.
Schott B 270® i Ultra-White Glass and high quality polarization film are used in the construction of the PowerGXND filter. With multi-layer nano coatings applied, these filters are capable of answering the demands of 4k videos and modern high density sensors.
As avid landscape photographers, we understand these filters are used in outdoor in places where it could be dusty, dirty, and wet.
Just like our PowerXND 2000 and PowerND filters, the PowerGXND filters feature the multi-layer nano coatings. These coatings are applied to the glass surfaces on both sides of the filter. Perfluoropolyethers (PFPE) are used as hydrophobic and oleophobic coating agent so the filter surfaces are able to repel water, soil, and dirt.
We introduced a hard stop for the PowerGXND filters. A filter can only rotate between minimum and maximum without overshooting the functioning range. This was a highly demanded feature, especially for video usage.
The hard stop is elegantly implemented to maintain the already thin frame profile as in the original PowerXND 2000 filter design.
The PowerGXND features a brand new direct reading scale*. This allows users to quickly dial in a filter to a desired stop value.
To mount the PowerGXND filter to a lens we provide two different options. First is a slim lens adapter** where a PowerGXND filter can rotate and move up and down to select proper area for light blocking.
The slim adapter allows both filter thread and lens thread to be rotated freely and lockable, and the PowerGXND filter can be moved in single axis movement between the filter and lens so users can place the filter transition area anywhere in a frame, just like what a square filter system can offer with rectangular GND filter but without the bulk of a square filter system.
Another option is to use the PowerGXND filter on a square filter systems such as the ones from Cokin, LEE, or others. The PowerGXND filter can be rotated and locked in the adapter plate while the plate can be moved within the square filter holder. This will allow users to adjust the brightness transition within the captured shot.
** Prototype shown, final products subject to change.
For users who do not have a square filter system yet, we offer a simple yet effective ultra low profile square filter system along with the adapter plate.
The three slot ultra low profile square filter holder is designed to reduce the distance of the lens surface to the first stack of square filters. This reduces potential vignetting caused by square filter systems with ultra wide angle lenses.
There are three ultra low profile square filter systems available:
130mm system compatible with Cokin X-Pro and 130mm (width) square filters, adapter rings of 82, 77, 72, 67, 62, and 58mm included.
100mm system compatible with Cokin Z and other 100mm (width) square filters, adapter rings of 62, 58, 55, 52, 49, and 46mm included.
75mm system compatible with LEE Seven5 and 75mm (width) square filters adapter rings of 49, 46, 43, 40.5, 39, and 37mm included.
GND Type: hard transition
Range: 0- 5 stops
Glass material: Schott B 270® i Ultra-White Glass
L - ⌀105mm for lens filter size of 82mm and less on a 130mm square filter system (Cokin X-Pro)
M - ⌀82mm for lens filter size of 62mm and less on a 100mm square filter system (Cokin Z and others)
S - ⌀62mm for lens filter size of 49mm and less on a 75mm square filter system (LEE Seven5)
*** Maximum lens filter size recommended for covering landscape orientation with transition line in 30% of frame height.
L - For ⌀105mm filter with lens filter thread size 82mm, free rotations on both filter and lens thread, and single axis movement movement between filter and lens, included lens adapter rings of 77, 72, 67, 62, and 58mm.
M - For ⌀82mm filter with lens filter thread size 62mm, free rotations on both filter and lens thread, and single axis movement movement between filter and lens, included lens adapter rings of 58, 55, 52, 49, and 46mm.
S - For ⌀62mm filter with lens filter thread size 49mm, free rotations on both filter and lens thread, and single axis movement movement between filter and lens, included lens adapter rings of 46, 43, 40.5, 39 and 37mm.
Square Filter Adapters
L Plate - For using a ⌀105mm filter on a 130mm system (e.g. Cokin X-Pro)
M Plate - For using a ⌀82mm filter on a 100mm system (e.g. Cokin P)
S Plate - For using a ⌀62mm filter on a 75mm system (e.g. Lee Seven5)
We offer three options for each PowerGXND, please choose one based on whether you already have a square filter system or not.
A full slim kit with a PowerGXND filter plus a slim adapter with 6 adapter rings. This is for users who want to use the variable GND filter by itself.
A full kit with a PowerGXND filter, a square filter holder kit with 6 adapter rings, and a filter adapter plate. This is for users who do not have any square filter system.
A PowerGXND filter plus a filter adapter plate. This is for users who already have a square filter system such as Cokin, LEE and others. Please check the adapter plate size requirements to ensure your square filter system’s compatibility.
We also offer our ultra low profile square filter holders as an add-ons for those who are interested. Please note that there is no PowerGXND filter included in this add-on option.
If you wish to pledge multiple rewards: You will need to first select a primary reward and then add the additional cost of other rewards to the total amount. You can either do this during the pledge or after a pledge is made by using the "Manage your pledge" tab. No additional shipping cost needs to be added.
Once the project funding period is over, we will send every backer a survey. In the survey you will be able to select which additional reward(s) in addition to the primary reward. We hope by working with a new backend partner we can make this process smoother. Further details will be provided in FAQ.
If our campaign hits a stretch goal of $100,000, we will provide extra adapter rings for all three square systems, including the Add-on rewards.
130mm system: extra adapter rings of 105, 96, 86mm, along with already included 82, 77, 72, 67, 62, and 58mm. Note that these three larger sizes are not supported by the PowerGXND 105mm as there may not be enough coverage.
100mm system: 86, 77, 72, and 67mm, along with already included 62, 58, 55, 52, 49, and 46mm. Note that these four larger sizes are not supported by the PowerGXND 82mm as there may not be enough coverage.
75mm system: 62, 58, 55, and 52mm, along with already included 49, 46, 43, 40.5, 39, and 37mm. Note that these four larger sizes are not supported by the PowerGXND 62mm as there may not be enough coverage.
The optical design of the filter is complete and we have gone through several rounds of prototypes. However the PowerGXND has a component which comes with a new manufacturing process which has not seen high volume production. We are fine tuning this particular process to ensure high quality final products.
On the mechanical side we have built prototypes for the newly added hard stop but we are still tweaking the design. We still have another round of design changes and with the associated working prototypes.2nd generation prototype (105mm) and 1st generation prototype (58mm)
Our primary suppliers are in China and the Chinese New Year is effectively a month long factory shutdown from mid-February. Even though the official holiday only lasts 7 days, it takes at least 15 days after the holiday before factories can resume production. Therefore, we have built in some wiggle room in our schedule but we are still at the dependent on our suppliers for making shipments on schedule.
Risks and challenges
This is our fourth crowdfunding project so we have learned many lessons from experience, especially in manufacturing and shipping.
Suppliers affect our schedule the most. Sometimes it’s their own management issues and very often it is their sub-suppliers not making the deadline. We have seen this happen quite a few times in the past and we also notice other crowdfunding creators facing similar challenges.
Experience crowdfunders who have backed many projects know this well. While we do not imply that shipping delays in crowdfunding are a norm, we would like to bring this up to first time backers. We try to balance in between a quick delivery schedule by getting our project launch as ready as possible and yet still want to leave some room for managing supplier schedule.
We will work with our suppliers to ensure meeting production schedule once the project is fully funded.