Ted and I work as a team. Usually we buy our gear together and keep to the same brand.
As for the Kase filters, however, we came each of us in turn.
We met Kase filters reps at the 2017 Photo Expo in NYC and I immediately loved the product. I was unhappy with the heavy red color cast and vignette coming from my circular filters and was actively looking for 100mm square filters and a holder. Since we were planning a shooting trip, I needed a solution as soon as possible and, after a little more research, took a leap of faith and bought a set. After working with them for a year, Ted saw the high quality and results of my 100mm Kase filters and ordered a set of 150mm filters and a holder for his Nikon 14-24.
While ordering Ted’s system, I decided to purchase their new 16-stop filter and replace an adapter ring for my 100mm filter holder. When I ordered the ring, Kase asked for the product number to make sure to send the correct part. When they discovered that I was using an older system, they sent me the new kit for testing. So here we go.
This is our setup and the items we are going to discuss as part of our experience:
· K8 filter holder kit/K100-Slim/for 100x100mm and 100x150mm filter
· Wolverine 100x100mm ND64000 -4.8 (16 stop)
· Wolverine 100x100mm ND1000-3.0 (10 stop)
· Wolverine 100x100mm ND64-1.8 (6 stop)
· Wolverine 100x100mm ND8-0.9 (3 stop)
· K150 II filter holder for Nikon 14-24mm
· Adapter ring 77mm
· Wolverine 150x150mm ND1000-3.0 (10 stop)
· Wolverine 150x150mm ND64-1.8 (6 stop)
· Wolverine 150x150mm ND8-0.9 (3 stop)
Kase K100 System
The K 8 filter holder kit/K100-Slim/for 100x100mm has everything you need to produce top-quality, professional long exposure images.
It works with 2mm filters, but comes with attachment trays, screws and a screwdriver to work with slim 1.1mm filters. It can accommodate 3 filters at once.
Systems from other brands sometimes require you to buy their adapter rings. The Kase K 8 filter holder kit comes with a wide variety of adapter and step-down rings, so you don’t have to purchase anything else when you get a new lens. The holder itself is 86mm and the step downs are: 82mm, 77mm, 72mm and 67mm. The 82mm and 77mm stepdown rings are also magnetic polarizer holders, which allow you to attach the included magnetic circular polarizer. The polarizer attaches as easily as putting two magnets together and hold perfectly.
Kase K150 System
The K150 II filter holder for the Nikon 14-24mm does not come with the step down rings, but when you need something as simple as 77mm, it does not cost the price of a whole other holder. It is a simple push-in design ring and easy to use.
The K150II filter holder is also user friendly and attaches comfortably to the Nikon 14-24 from the front part of the lens. You do not need to detach the lens to put it on as with some other filter holders.
The previous version of the Kase 14-24 holder was a little clunky, which is partly why Ted was holding off on his purchase. Now, however, we are absolutely satisfied with the smooth and easy design of the version II.
Two things both filter holders have in common: they fit so well that they eliminate that particular source of light leaks—the number one enemy of long exposure photography.
Now let us look at the glass. Having tested several other brands over the last 3-4 years, our lowered expectations were pleasantly surprised.
Finally, we can shoot color without planning color correction in postprocessing. Beautifully natural colors right out of the camera.
No vignette whatsoever, caused either by the glass or the design of it.
And something very important for those of you with other brands: the density of the glass. Before, when we calculated our filter exposure time, we would have to add extra time; sometimes an extra 25%, other times double. With the Kase filters, however, the calculation is spot on! Of course, the trade off for spot on calculations and no color cast is a shorter exposure time for the same number of stops compared to other brands. To adjust for this, we will start shooting with higher than 16 stops in very bright light.
Every individual glass comes in its own white stylish leatherette protective pouch with magnetic flap. Included also with each filter is an extra piece of stick-on foam to prevent light leaks if using the filters in other brands’ holders.
The filters are super easy to clean. This is essential when you are out in the field, trying to wipe off rain drops or finger prints. If you have ever cleaned your glass, only to find more smudges, you know how important this feature is.
In the past, we had some upsetting incidents with broken filters. We all know it’s not only dollars being smashed in front our eyes, but also ruined shots and lost time. Worse, if you are travelling and do not have access to a camera store to purchase a replacement, you might end with ruined travel.
At the photo expo, the Kase representative dropped the filters on the hard floor. I could not hold back my gasp as Ted went wow! The Kase filters are shatter and scratch resistant—we hesitate to say they are “shatter proof,” but we have seen them dropped on hard concrete floors. If this were the only element that differentiated Kase filters from the other major brands, they would be worth the cost. But in addition to shatter and scratch resistance, they are optically superior, spot on with the exposure calculators, eliminate light leaks from the lens, and come with a variety of extras that other brands charge for. Kase filters are set apart from everything else and come very highly recommended.
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