Photography News Issue 57

Photography News | Issue 57 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests

Imaging kit First tests We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list

Reviews by Will Cheung and Kingsley Singleton

Benro Filter System From£120

Specs

There’s so much you can do in image-editing software but there is something special about getting it right in-camera, and that’s where filters have a key role to play. Lee and Cokin are well established filter brands, and now we have Benro, a brand known for its bags and tripods. Benro’s system offers different size filter holders – 100mm, 150mm and 170mm – and a good range of popular filters covering neutral density grads, extreme NDs and the polariser. The most popular size is the 100x100mm system and that’s what is tested here with the two larger holder options for use with fast aperture ultrawide lenses such as the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Canon 11-24mm. At the 100mm size there are actuallytwoholderoptions,theBasic and the one we tried, the Advanced, at £45 and £130 respectively. That is a significant price differential, and they share some features – both can accept three 2mm thick resin/glass filters and use the same adapter system. But the Advanced holder is made from aero aluminium

rather than polycarbonate and has significant benefits and features not seen on its competitors. There is a simple mechanism that lets you adjust grad filter height very precisely from behind the camera and that includes grad filters in any of its three holder slots. And also from behind the camera, you can adjust the orientation of the polariser without having to remove any of the front fitted filters. It’s rather clever and made possible with the innovative filter holder so it’s worth concentrating on that for now. The FH100M2 holder is beautifully engineered and has two large screws on its rear. One to lock the holder onto the adapter ring – the kit comes with 77mm and 82mm rings – and the other is the graduate drive knob to adjust the height of any fitted filters. If your lens filter thread is not 77mm or

Prices (of tested products) FH100M2 Advanced Filter Holder Kit comes with 1x100mm and 1x150mm frames and 82mm and 77mm lens rings; £120. 100x100mm 10EV ND £100. Master 100x150mm glass grad £130. SHD Circular polarizer 82mm £82. Extra filter frames 100x100mm £11, 100x150mm £12. Other prices FG100 Basic Filter holder £45. FH100M2B Advanced Filter Holder Kit (for 95mm polarizer), 1x100mm and 1x150mm frames, 82mm and 77mm lens rings, £140. Resin 100x150mm grads £45. Step down rings: 77mm to 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm £11. 82mm to 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm £11. Master filters Schott B270 glass. WMC (waterproof, multi-layered, anti- scratch coating), ULCA (Ultra low chromatic aberration coating), IR ND to block infrared and ultraviolet light Contact Benrofilters.com

Above Benro offers a range of holders: 100mm, 150mm and 170mm. The two bigger sizes designed for ultrawide zooms.

82mm you’ll need a step-down ring to take you from the 77mm/82mm fitting to 58mm, 62mm or whatever to suit your lens. Actually fitting the holder means

Using the system

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The Benro FH100M2 Advanced Filter Holder Kit comes with two adapter rings, 77mm and 82mm, and two frames, 100x100mm and 100x150mm.

The Advanced holder in place. It is made from light and very strong aero aluminimum. A cheaper model is available but it does not have the graduate drive cog or the rear polarizer control feature.

Rear view showing the blue locking knob top right and the red grad filter drive control on the holder’s left side. The locking knob keeps the holder firmly attached to the adapter ring.

The polarizer screws onto the inner rotating ring (shown off the camera for clarity). It needs to be fully screwed home so not to obstruct any filter slipped into the nearest slot to the camera. It can be tricky to remove.

Filters fit into the frames with a sliding locking button (it’s that blue button) to keep it in place. It is not difficult to do but perhaps not with freezing fingers on location.

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