Disclaimer: Please note I was sent these filters by K&F Concept free of charge to test. I have not been paid for this review and it is an honest and unbiased review based on my experience using the product.
To be honest, I had never heard of K&F Concept until I hosted the weekly webinar “Beginners Guide to Tripods“. Many of the audience spoke very highly of their tripods.
Then the following week, the webinar “Using ND FIlters for Long Exposure Photography“, and again, the name K&F Concept kept coming up, this time with praise about their fantastic (and very affordable) range of filters.
I decided to investigate further and the long and short of it is, I was sent these filters to test and review.
Why use filters?
Many of the filters used when we used to shoot with film are now redundant – most of the effects (colour correction, softening, vignetting) can be achieved using editing software.
But a few filters are still required to control light. The most common filters are Neutral Density filters and polarising filters.
Neutral Density (ND) filters
Neutral Density filters allow you to use much slower shutter speeds by cutting down the light entering the camera. I like to think of them as fancy sunglasses for your cameras!
Polarising filters help remove unwanted reflections from your images. Useful if you are photographing water or through glass. They also help boost the saturation of your images, especially the blues and greens, so useful in Landscape photography.
Types of filters
Traditionally, there where two types of filters systems available, square filter systems or screw-on filters.
The square filter system consisted of a holder and an adapter attached to your lens. You could get various different sizes of adapters to allow you to use the same square filters on different size lenses.
Screw-on filters attached directly to the lens. You would need different sizes of filters for all the different sizes of lenses you have in your kit bag. It can sometimes be tricky to screw these filters onto your lenses, especially if it is cold and you are wearing gloves!
This new product from K&F Concept uses magnets to quickly attach filters to your lens. Such a simple idea – why had nobody thought of this before?
It doesn’t get around the issue of having to have different filters in different sizes for all your lenses, but it makes fitting and changing filters really quick and easy!
The filters arrived in very secure packaging, in a hard cardboard box (see image above). Inside the box, the filters are held in a stylish pouch with separate compartments for the three filters and the holder. They claim this pouch is waterproof – didn’t want to test that feature!
The K&F Concept Magnetic filter kit includes the holder and comes with 3 filters – a UV filter, a 10 stop ND filter and a Circular polarising filter.
The filters and holder are all very slim in design, yet seem sturdy and rigid. The glass on all the filters is coated to reduce reflections and making the filter anti-scratch, water repellant as well as oil and dust resistant.
Overall, the filter kit feels of very high quality – now to test it out!
I attached the magnetic filter adapter ring to my 10-24mm Fujifilm lens with no issues. The UV filter is also threaded and magnetic so you could choose to use it as your “base” to attach the other filters too. I am not a fan of UV filters – they serve no optical purpose but do offer a level of protection to the front element of your lens.
With the adapter in place, all you need to do is “snap” the required filter onto it…
The filter attached firmly and at no time did I worry about it falling off!
And during these tests, I must admit it was very quick and easy to switch off and on filters for each of the sample pictures – much quicker than using my normal screw-on filters.
Circular Polarising Filter
The first filter I tested was the Circular polariser. As I mentioned earlier, these are used to reduce reflection in photographs.
I found this glass fronted building with reflections of the surrounding buildings seen in the reflections…
Adding the filter, the reflections are (almost) removed! Note the slight change in exposure – using Polarising filters cuts down the exposure, usually by around 1 stop. The blues and greens are a little more saturated in the image with the filter.
ND 1000 filter
I then headed to my favourite waterfall, Glenoe Waterfall near Larne, to test the Neutral density filter. The filter in the kit is a ND 1000 filter, which cuts down the light by 10 stops.
This shot was taken with no filters attached. I had come to this location with the idea of testing just the ND filter, but when reviewing this test shot, I thought the image might benefit from using a Polarising filter as well…
What a difference that makes! It cuts down all the reflections on the wet rocks and the water. I then added the ND 1000 filter to the “stack” – so easy just to “snap” it on!
These images are straight out of camera – no editing or colour correction. As you can see, there is no colour shift at all in the ND filter image – a common issue with cheaper ND filters. Very impressive!
Even with 2 filters and a holder attached, there was no sign of any vignetting – the filters are such a slim build and even when I tested at 10mm, there was no vignetting.
When I shot long exposure shots like this, I generally pre-focus the lens, then switch to manual focus before adding the ND filter. Trying to focus with a 10 stop ND filter in place can be tricky!
When using my usual screw-on filters, you can very easily knock the lens focus ring when attaching the filter. No such issues with this magnetic system! It really did make switching out filters for these test shots so quick and easy.
I am really impressed by this magnetic filter kit from K&F Concept.
They have a real quality look and feel and perform really well. No signs of colour casts or vignetting – common issues with filters.
My only issue would be the UV filter. Although it is a clever idea to make this filter double up as an adapter, I would rather have a lens hood on my lens to protect it – something I couldn’t fit when using this system. That is not unique to this system… screw-on filters have this issue as well.
It also doesn’t get around the issue of having to buy different kits for different lenses, something the Square filter system would win on. Perhaps a way around this would be to buy the largest kit for the largest filter diameter lens you own and then buy step-down rings to fit them onto other lenses. Not ideal!
Another huge benefit of these filters is the cost – currently priced at £119.99 on Amazon – fantastic value for money!
I would normally only use filters in landscape photography and the vast majority of my landscape images are taken with the 10-24mm lens using ND 1000 and CPL filters so this kit with the 72mm adapter is perfect for me!
You can buy the Magnetic filter kit directly from the K&F Website (use the code Paul05 to get 5% off!) or you can buy it at Amazon – remember to buy the right sized kit for your lens – you will find the filter diameter on your lens – a circle with a line through it with a number beside it – see arrow below…