It’s Sunday morning, it’s February, and I’m standing in a river in Yorkshire. Why? Yes, it’s a good question but thankfully with a well reasoned answer.
I’m out testing the new K&F Concept Magnetic Filter Set.
Ever since I first heard word of this product a few months ago, I was to put it mildly, pretty excited. Last week, a knock at the door, and the set was in my hands.
I have been a fan of the K&F Concept 100mm ND1000 filter for a long, long time. It was the first piece of K&F Concept photography gear that I purchased and it completely passed my expectations for a new company.
I’m sure you’ll all likely have experience of fitting a filter ring, sliding selected filters into a filter holder and then trying to clip it to the front of your lens whilst being extra careful to not knock out the composition and focus. Here in lies the beauty and simplicity of magnetic filters.
Now, down to business.
The set consists of a well padded, zip wallet which contains four pockets to hold and protect each filter in the kit. The zip wallet also has a velcro belt strap at the back so it can be attached to your strap/bag/belt for ease of access (was very useful when standing in a river).
The first ring in the pack is the magnetic filter ring. This is the main adapter that screws to your lens to provide the base for the magnetic filter set. You need to decide on the correct thread size at the point of purchase for the lens thread size you intend to use. Thread sizes available at the point of review include 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm. There is only a single ring in the set but I believe it would be possible to just use a step-up ring adapter to use it on other lens.
I opted for the 77mm thread size to fit my Sigma 10-20mm which I primarily use for landscape work. The magnetic ring screwed to the lens with no issues and stayed in position without a problem. I’ve just left the ring in place as it does not affect the use of your lens cap.
The three main filters included in the set are a Nano-X multi-coated UV (MCUV) filter, a Nano-X multi-coated circular polariser and the Nano-X ND1000 10-stop filter.
I did not use the MCUV filter during the test as I already have a UV filter attached to my lens at all times. Prior to arrival I had enquired with K&F Concept about the build quality of the ND1000 in the magnetic set and they confirmed to me that it is to the same specification as their 100mm ND1000, using the same glass.
The magnetic filters are stackable in which ever order you wish to use them and the strength of the magnets used is sufficient to hold all three in places with no risk of them dropping off, but not to the level where it becomes impossible to remove them with one hand.
To try out the filters I took a very local trip to Marsden in West Yorkshire with the aim of capturing one of my favourite local landmarks, Eastergate bridge. Along the way, I stopped in the village itself to capture a weir which feeds into the River Colne.
After setting up and composing the shot I was able to just snap the filters to the front of the lens. It was such a pleasant experience to not have to mess with the filter holder, slotting in the filters and attaching without risking knocking my precariously placed tripod into the river.
You can see the first two shots above, the first using just the ND1000 and the second using the ND1000 and the circular polariser to remove a lot of the glare from the surface of the water, and adding some extra foreground detail with the rocks below the surface.
As with the 100mm ND1000 filter there is absolutely no colour cast. I had to do no white balance adjustments in post processing. I was also pleasantly surprised to find no vignette to the images, being just as well exposed at the corners.
After Marsden village I walked alongside the River Colne to reach Eastergate bridge. An old packhorse bridge further west along the valley.
As you can see from the above image the filters provide beautifully sharp exposures, with no added softness to the final result. The colours and white balance correct.
The only small critiques I would make about the filter set is that I will be asking K&F Concept if they will be able to add a magnetic circular graduated filter to the set too. As we can’t attach a standard grad it would be be useful to be able to balance bright skies too. The CPL filter would also benefit from a couple of small markings around the ring edge so it’s easy at a glance to tell when the filter is fully polarised.
Other than those tiny points I am completely taken by this new gear. The magnetic filter ring is still in place on my lens and will be remaining there as my go to filter for long exposure work. I’ve no quarms whatsoever in recommending the set to anyone.
Leave me a comment and tell me what you think? Planning on picking up a set?