Breakthrough Photography, a San Francisco-based startup, has introduced its X-Series lineup of ultra-slim ND and UV filters, which are available for pre-order now through the company's Kickstarter campaign. The series consists of three filter models, the X3 Traction Filter, X2 Traction Filter, and the X1 Black Filter, with a ridged design that aims to make them easier to attach to and detach from a lens.

The X3 Traction Filter in particular is CNC machined from brass and features SCHOTT B270 glass from Germany. The X2 Traction Filter, meanwhile, is machined from aluminum and features AGC glass from Japan. The X1 and X2 both have a 3.5mm slim design, while the X3 is a bit thinner at 3.2mm. All three filters are double-threaded and weather sealed. 

The X3 has MRC16 (or 16 layers of Multi-Resistant coating) and dual nano coating layers, with ridges all the way around the outside of the filter, and is available in UV and ND varieties. The X2 offers smaller segments of textured ridges, featuring MRC8 and dual nano coating layers - it's also available in ND or UV. The X1 Flat Black filter, however, is only available in UV and features a ridge-less "standard flat black frame" accompanied by MRC4.

The filters are available in sizes from 49mm to 82mm. The X1 UV Standard Flat Black model will be arriving in December starting at $25, as well as the X2 Traction UV for $39 and the X3 Traction UV for $79. The X2 and X3 Traction ND filters in 3-stop or 6-stop won't be available until January, however, and are set to launch starting at $59 and $109, respectively. Breakthrough is seeking funding for the filters through Kickstarter, where it has raised about $2,800 out of its $50,000 goal.

Press release:

Breakthrough Photography announces a new line of professional Neutral Density and UV filters with ‘Traction’ frame designs, glass from Germany and Japan and more

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Nov. 10, 2014 – Breakthrough Photography announced a new line of 3.2mm ultra-slim ‘Traction’ filters featuring glass from Germany and Japan, advanced coatings and weather-sealed construction.

Aimed at professional as well as amateur photographers, the new X-Series filter lineup features a new ‘Traction’ frame design with state-of-the-art optics and coatings.

The X-Series filters are immediately available for pre-order on Kickstarter with a December 2014 delivery schedule. Pre-ordering and product information can be found by visiting the companies website at


The X-Series filter lineup consists of 3 different models:

  1. X3 Traction Filter features the companies signature 3.2mm ‘Traction’ frame CNC machined from brass, SCHOTT B270 glass from Germany, MRC16 and dual nano coating layers. Available in 3-stop, 6-stop Neutral Density and UV.
  2. X2 Traction Filter features a 3.5mm ‘Traction’ frame CNC machined from aluminum, AGC glass from Japan, MRC8 and dual nano coating layers. Available in 3-stop, 6-stop Neutral Density and UV.
  3. X1 Flat Black Filter features an ultra-slim 3.5mm standard flat black frame with and MRC4. Available in UV.

All X-Series filters are double-threaded, weather-sealed and backed by a 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee.


“We really tried to take the legacy standard flat black filter design back to the drawing board to really understand what it was that photographers needed in order for a filter to be most effective. Of all the various prototypes and frame materials, the ones with texture in the metal were the clear winners among photographers” said founder and photographer Graham Clark.

The X2 and X3 filters feature a new filter design which incorporates texture in the metal achieved by CNC machining brass and environmentally friendly aluminum.

“When I first felt these traction filters I thought, ‘Why don’t all filters have this?’ It makes getting filters on and off a whole lot easier.” said acclaimed outdoor and nature photographer Art Wolfe.


“During our extensive field tests we found 4mm filters on 16mm lenses produced on average +1 stop of light falloff. At 3.7mm the vignetting was entirely eliminated on our full-frame setups. Our standard flat black X1 and X2 traction filters have 3.5mm, whereas our X3 traction filters are machined down to 3.2mm.” says Clark.

Worldwide Pricing and Availability

The X-Series filters will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter on November 6th, 2014.

Breakthrough Photography will be offering a one-time launch price of 50% off MSRP. The X-Series filter lineup will be sold through B&H, Adorama and in December, 2014.

Pricing & Availability

  • $109 X3 Traction ND in 3-stop or 6-stop (Available in January 2015)
  • $79 X3 Traction UV (Available in December 2014)
  • $59 X2 Traction ND in 3-stop or 6-stop (Available in January 2015)
  • $39 X2 Traction UV (Available in December 2014)
  • $25 X1 UV Standard Flat Black (Available in December 2014)

Click here to learn more information about the X-Series filters: