In Search of filter system: Kase, Nisi, Breakthrough Photography or PolarPro

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Platographer Contributing Member • Posts: 730
Re: In Search of filter system: Kase, Nisi, Breakthrough Photography or PolarPro

Bing Chow wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Yeah I'd consider them but I need something in the next few weeks for an upcoming trip, so these would automatically be off the table (they say they'll start shipping in September, which would be too late for me).

One bonus is the current Freewell magnetics are compatible with that new holder, assuming the diameter is the same of course. If the new system interests you in the future, your existing filters may be duplicated but not entirely useless. I thought that was nice of them to build in backwards compatibility.

Yes, this is very nice. I wish I got Freewell magnetic filters in the first place. I live in a boring part of the U.S., so my photography excursions tend to involve flying. The amount of space the Freewell system will save me over the PolarPro Summit system is enough for an additional lens and it will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to set up in the field. I'm very excited.

robgendreau wrote:

Platographer wrote:

robgendreau wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

robgendreau wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Has anyone used both of these brands that could offer some insight? I'm looking specifically at a 3-stop and 10-stop ND as well as a CPL.

The one thing I like about the Kase filters is the magnetic system (Breakthrough supposedly had a magnetic system, but have stopped selling it, and are working on a new system but haven't seen any updates in the past several months).

For Breakthrough, I've noticed their X4 filters (when compared to many other brands like Hoya, B+W and others) to be the most neutral, although since I shoot RAW slight color casts aren't a big deal as I can fix them in post (mostly concerned with sharpness and image quality as well as flare).

For PolarPro I think many reviews placed these at about the same quality as Breakthrough, same with Nisi.

I am looking to get round filters that I can use with the lens hoods (I tried square filters but would prefer to use a system that lets me stock them -- both brands I mentioned here allow stacking -- and use the lens hoods too to further reduce flare and help with contrast.

I've found plenty of videos online comparing Breakthrough with others, and read numerous reviews on Kase, but haven't found a comparison between the two brands specifically so that's what I'm mostly interesterd. I am likely going to pick one from these four brands mentioned though, and am leaning more towards Kase or Breakthrough.

I've been shopping ND filters and my research has led me to one not your list, Kolari. They just started on them (although they've been making all sorts of other filters for a while). Very neutral (not all area, and that matters more to some photographers than others). The reviews have ranked them better than the ones above. For me, they tick the other boxes re coatings, thinness, and since they're made of Gorilla glass, durability. And a lifetime warranty. https://kolarivision.com/product/kolari-pro-irnd-filter/

As tested against the others: https://dominey.blog/2020/10/11/review-kolari-vision-neutral-density-filter/

And also here: https://youtu.be/P99pAjCEsi8

Not cheapest, but again whether that is worth it depends on your needs for color accuracy.

I wouldn't have found them except I've bought others from them; great customer support. Pretty much only available through them (recently a clip filter for a Canon RP) and a few other places.

Thanks. I think I did look at those and will look at them again. Color accuracy, to me, is important, but comes about 3rd on the list of essentials, behind sharpness and flare control to be honest).

Yeah, I guess I feel sharpness should be a given with filters in that price range. The reviewer in the second video did give the nod to the Kolari in that regard over the Freewell etc, but even second place seemed doable. And all had some flare at some point; it was pretty close. I stack them at times, so thinness matters too. But again, it seems they all were pretty thin. Good luck in the search.

The Wes Perry video review worries me. A noticeable loss of sharpness on a 24MP sensor with an AA filter should not happen. The Todd Dominey video indicates that there is no sharpness issue with the Freewell filters. I am not going to cancel my order. Hopefully, there is some other explanation for what Wes Perry experienced. I have a Sony A7Riv, so resolution is paramount. I think I will be happy with the Freewell filters.

I agree; it seemed a bit subjective. And even if there is a difference, it might be down to some other variable. Not exactly a rigorous test, and might have come out the other way. And I imagine they've got good customer support, another given with the higher end filters, and so if one gets a dud just replace it. It happens, but odds are it'll be fine.

Exactly. When I test something like this, I would take multiple shots for each filter, refocusing at least three times with back button AF and then a few with manual focus so that focus or some other anomaly can be ruled out. I would do a lot of comparisons. If one filter was softer in all shots then you know there's a problem. If the results are mixed, time for more testing. Maybe that's what he did, but it's not clear from the video.

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