Magnetic Lens Filter System

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has used one of these systems? I am seriously looking at trying out the Freewell system, but I know that Kase also makes a system that is similar. The concept is to mount a very thin magnetic mount ring on the front of the lens and then any filter (or multiples of filters) just snap on magnetically with no threading or unthreading involved. There is even a magnetic lens cap. This appears to allow for fast filter swaps, with no chance of cross threading a filter and seemingly less chance of dropping a filter, even with gloves on. Reviews I have read about the Freewell filters seem to be complimentary, both about the build and ease of use, along with the filter quality. They make a UV, CPL, and pretty much all the typical ND filter values up to 10 stops, as well as some combo filters that combine the CPL with an ND value. Here is one of the YouTube reviews, this one by Dustin Abbot, a very well thought of reviewer and photographer who seems to typically 'keep it real' and give very balanced reviews of gear:


Anyway, wondering if anyone on FW has any direct experience with these?

ML
 

Jeffrey

Well-Known Member
Of course, you need to replace all your current filters with the Freewell filters because only they are made of steel and are drawn to the magnets. Too bad.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
I had heard something about that a while back. Certainly an interesting concept. The one thing that popped into my mind is similar to Jeffrey's comment in that if you switch to it, then they have a guaranteed customer since you have no choice but to buy your filters from them. Are their filter prices reasonable?
 

Kyle Jones

Moderator
I've used the XUME system, which puts a magnetic ring on your filter and a mating ring on the lens. I used it during the eclipse to be able to quickly remove and install my solar filter before and after totality. Worked fine for that. I have concerns about vignetting if using it for landscapes.
 

Jameel Hyder

Moderator
Staff member
I had looked at it a while ago. I didn't find much in terms of reviews of the actual filter quality. I am pretty happy with BT filters. I had the same thought as Kyle but didn't know about XUME. Too bad their is vignette issues otherwise it would be ideal.
 

Ken Rennie

Well-Known Member
I use the Kase system, excellent apart from the cost.I have the 95mm wide ones and 2 filters, ND plus polariser, gives no vignetting on a Sony 16-35GM. The magnetic system works well and I am never in any doubt that it will hold. The magnetic cap is secure when no filter fitted but feels slightly less secure with a filter fitted not that the grip is less secure just that the cap can move slightly laterally whereas with no filter it fits snuggly inside a slight recess. I have the 3 stop, 6 stop and polariser and may get the 10 stop but I seldom use a 10 stop. I have just stacked the 3, 6 and polariser with no vignetting. If anyone would like me to photograph a color passport with and without filters then just ask. Ken
 

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

I have also seen the Xume system but also was concerned about the vignetting. The Kase system is the first one I saw but in addition to the higher cost I also read about the cap being less secure with filters installed. It does not appear that the Freewell version has that issue.

After hearing Dustins Abbot's comments about the quality of the filters and seeing his side by side image comparison's it seems like that would not be an issue.

The only 2 things that are giving me pause right now are the possible vignetting, and the interference with the lens hood if one uses the largest size filters. In my case right now, with all 3 of my primary lenses (RF 24-105 L, EF 16-35 F/4 L, and RF 100-500) using a 77mm filter thread, any solution I get is going to work on all my lenses. I think for the Freewell system all they sell is either a 77mm version or an 82mm version, plus a number of step up rings to handle any sizes smaller. Of course this also does not address any split ND filter usage, but I find myself mostly bracketing for that these days. And when using the 100mm form factor filter types there is also of course no way to mount a lens hood either.

Ken,

I would be interested to see a photograph as you describe, plus perhaps a photograph of what your setup looks like mounted on your camera too?

Still kicking the tires on this, appreciate everyone's feedback.

ML
 

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
It looks like they do have support for filters sizes up through 112mm actually.

Forgot to mention, the filter pricing is very reasonable. Up through 82mm sizes, the UV filter is $49 in any size, and the circular polarizer and any of the supported ND filters are $99 in any size. Here is the breakdown of what filters types are offered in what filter sizes, with pricing:

https://www.freewellgear.com/dslr/4...dslr_thread_size-67mm/80-dslr_filters_type-uv

Select your size and see the available products. Click a particular filter to see the pricing.

ML
 

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
So I have run into a potential issue with this. I am one of those folks who likes to have a UV, clear protect filter or some sort of filter on my lens at all times (I know, this could cause a 100 year debate, but in any case for myself I have done the tradeoffs and become comfortable with this approach...) So given that, it turns out that as far as I can tell both the KASE and the Freewell systems only offer the UV filter as a combo with the magnetic filter holder. That means then to use any other filters, one has to mount the other filter (polarizer, ND filter, whatever) on top of the UV filter. So now you have 2 pieces of filter glass stacked. You can instead use the magnetic adapter ring that has no glass at all, allowing you to use a polarizer or an ND as a single filter, but then leaving the lens naked if you do not wish to use either of those filters. The only way around this is to unthread the UV magnetic holder and thread on the clear filter holder, which largely dfeats the purpose of using these filters in the first place.

It appears that Breakthrough Photography (whose screw in filters I use every day currently) also has a magnetic filter mount system coming out that would eliminate this problem, but no indication of when it might be released and anecdotal evidence on the web seems to imply it has been 'coming soon' for a while now...

So sadly cooling off on this idea for now. For those who do not use any protection filters on their lenses though these 2 magnetic filter systems still look quite intriguing. The Freewell system also has standard threads allowing your normal screw in filters to also be used should you desire to for whatever reason.
 
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