REVIEW - New KASE Magnetic Round Filters on the market!

REVIEW - New KASE Magnetic Round Filters on the market!
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As primarily a landscape photographer, filters are something that make the art process so much easier. Thus, it is not surprising that I quickly picked up one of the 100mm filter holders with drop in 100mm and 100x150mm filters. However, shortly after using the filter set I found myself leaving it home far too often and it NEVER traveled with me (we’re talking Nepal, Bangladesh, Singapore, Italy, Iceland, countless US cities, etc). Why? Because it was just too bulky and took up too much space. On top of that, I absolutely HATED the way the system had to be used. It actually lessened my photographic experience.

As I looked towards other options, I found magnetic 100mm filters which solved the latter part of the issue above but they were still bulky. Fast forward a few months and I notice this new system from KASE at a very attractive price point. Figured why not give it a shot. If the filters and glass work well then I get the sleek design of circular filters, the extremely small form factor, and the ease of use of a magnetic system.

After I received them, I was initially quite impressed by the box, case, leather pouch, and the overall quality of the filters. I was especially liking how strong the magnets were on the filters because I did fear that they would, sometimes, simply fall off. Anyway, initial drooling aside, I packed them into my bag (the entire kit of adapter, CPL, 10-stop, and a CIRCULAR GRAD (we’ll discuss this later) fit into my back pocket if I wanted) and started a little trip that took me to Chicago.

Not only was I willing to take these on my travels, I was actually VERY thankful to have done so! I am absolutely blown away by the quality. I think the sleek and easy use design of this filters is absolutely fantastic and novel but I did not expect the quality of the glass to be as solid as it was. Not going to lie - I was skeptical at first given the price and the “too good to be true” factor. The ND filter left almost no cast which was surprising and the CPL and grad work great as well. But lets not forget, because its a magnetic system, they are able to have circular grad filters - that was one of the main reasons to buy one of the 100mm filter holders and systems in the first place! Finally, the ability to swap on and off filters, stack filters with ease, etc is just too enjoyable.

Of course, ANY review is not complete without the gripes. Firstly, the CPL and Grad, although fine to use, are a bit awkward because you are turning the ring along the magnetic groove so its a little clunky at times but not unbearable. The 10-stop ND filter is great but I would have liked to see a 3-stop and a 6-stop instead. Often a 10-stop is too much and when you do need that much ND, you can just stack the other two to get there.

TL;DR version:

Pros:

  • Extremely light weight
  • Not bulky
  • Enjoyable to use
  • Super reasonable price
  • Comes with nice carrying pouch
  • VERY quick to set up and stack/swap filters
  • 86mm Filters helps reduce vignetting on 82mm lenses (magnetic adapter is 82mm to 86mm)
  • Minimal ND color cast
  • HAS A GRAD FILTER OPTION!!

Cons:

  • CPL and Grad filter turn on magnetic groove - a bit clunky
  • No ND filter other than the 10-stop (sometimes too much)
  • No customization to the kits (not everyone needs CPL for example)

Images:

  1. The Kit
  2. BTS of the Foggy Tree Shot
  3. Foggy Tree Shot (w/ just ND)
  4. BTS of the Bean
  5. Bean w/o Tourists (thanks to the ND and CPL)
  6. BTS of Chicago skyline sunset
  7. Chicago Skyline! (w/ ND and Grad)

Conclusion:
This filter setup is NOT perfect - but then again no system is. For me, however, it is close to perfect since its a system I will actually take with me and utilize regularly. After all, the best filter set is the one that you actually use. Although some will definitely say there are better filters out there - the price point of these with the bang for buck factor is unbelievable. I am sure there will be new ND filters and possibly customizable package kits in the future as well!

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Nice review Minhaz. You might be interested in the Manfrotto Xume adapters. https://www.manfrotto.us/products/photographic-filters/quick-release-filter-adapters

Same concept as KASE but they are just adapters for any circular filter. I’ve been using them on my 10 stop for a few years now it’s made it really convenient. They work with almost any filter and lens, the downside is you have to buy one for each lens and filter and it can get expensive quickly. If there was a certain filter you wanted to use though this would be perfect for you.

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Thanks for the review Minhaz. I’ve been looking at a filter system off and on, but didn’t like the looks of the Lee style system for my purposes. I just went to the KASE website (KASE UK), but I couldn’t find anything that looked like this. Do you have a link to your source?

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Wow that IS a pretty cool concept. Ill have to read up on them a bit more. I will admit, I LOVE photography (thats why Im here of course) but I loathe the gear, technology, etc aspect so I never really do much sleuthing about what hot new tech is out there. I truly do appreciate the link :smiley:

Hey Dennis! Im not sure if links are Kosher on here but I purchased off Amazon (currently a promotion going on too). Theres a Kase distributor in the US but unfortunately the 82mm is sold out. I have shot them an email and when its back in stock, I can send you the link? They also have a 72mm and a 77mm kit too (but those are cheaper because they dont have the grad).

There’s no problem posting a link to this, thanks for the review!

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Appreciate the nod! :slight_smile:

Theres the product. Again, out of stock right now but Ill keep you all posted.

Thanks for the link, Minhaz.

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Just found out its NOT out of stock. Just marked unavailable because seller is on vacation until the 11th :slight_smile:

Looks like their not for people prefer to use of lens hoods?
Do they stop the use of an existing lens cover?
Are you screwing in the adapter to use one of these filters, instead of just screwing in a filter?

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Very good question, and I look forward to the answer. Coming fro drizzly country and spending months in dusty country, I’m a nut for hoods to keep sunlight and drips off the front glass.

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@stevenm - no you cannot use your lens hood with this UNLESS your lens is already 82mm from what I can tell. I can still use lens covers but I swap lenses a lot so I take off the filters. Yes you screw in the adapter that then has a magnetic ring within it so you can pop on and off the filters.

@Hank_Pennington - See above. These may not work perfectly for you :frowning:

Yeah. I can’t see myself buying the system and carrying it in addition to a set of filters for more frequent use with hoods. Maybe in their next generation of products! Neat concept, and I’ll be watching.

I totally understand that perspective! I personally dont use hoods and filters often since my previous filter setup was the 100mm square system that didnt allow hood either.

Thanks for the response.
To add about lens hoods on non-zoom lenses:

  1. Some of the benefits of using a lens hood (when you can’t) can be obtained by casting a shadow (usually with your hand) on the front of the lens during exposure. It’s a tripod only option that also requires care to keep your hand out of the picture, but it works.
  2. It is also possible to mount a screw in lens hood on the front of a screw in polarizer, solving the problem created when a lens hood surrounds the polarizer blocking access to rotate it.
    GL

I have been using the magnetic ND filters from Breakthrough since they came out. The optical quality is excellent and there is no color shift to compensate for. I use the 77mm adapter and filters. One can’t use a lens hood that I know of and the only way to stack filters is to put the adaptor on a screw on circular polarizer and then use the magnetic ND filters. It certainly makes changing the ND filters quick and painless.

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