4 New K&F Concept Filters Put to the Test-Filter Gear Review
I have always been an advocate of carrying as little camera equipment as possible. In fact, most people are surprised to hear how little I carry with me on any trip. Besides the obvious weight to carry, it also means more things to lose or have stolen. But whilst carrying less is always better, there are some things that I simply can’t live without. Filters are one of the sets of accessories that I always take with me as they are essential for my photography. So when given four new >K&F Concept filters recently, I was very excited to put them to the test.
Why should you use filters?
As advanced as digital cameras are these days, they still occasionally need some help to capture photos the way you want. Often the big issue in photography is light. Too much of it, not enough, too harsh, in the wrong place…if only you could control outdoor light like in a studio.
Filters can help a photographer control light in varied circumstances. There are lots of filters that all fill different objectives. Two of the most common filters are neutral density filters and polarizing filters.
Polarizing filters help to remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces. For example, if you are photographing water or through glass, they can help ensure you keep reflections to a minimum. In addition to this, they also help to boost the saturation in images (especially blues and greens). So, they are very useful for photographing things like waterfalls
Neutral Density filters
Neutral Density filters help to reduce the amount of light that enters the camera. This allows you to select a slower shutter speed to create blur (when photographing water during the day or moving clouds). However, even in day to day photography, you may sometimes find ND filters useful to help avoid overexposure at wide apertures.
Square filters vs screw-on filters
There are two types of filters these days – square filters and screw-on filters.
Square filters are either square or rectangle and attach to a holder attached to your camera. As the name suggests, screw-on filters screw onto your lens directly.
There are pros and cons for using both. Historically, I have always used square filters, so this was a good test to see how I get on with using screw-on filters instead.
The filters tested
The four filters tested for this article are:
- 77mm ND8-ND128 Variable Neutral Density ND Filter Nano Coated
- 77mm Variable ND2-ND32 Neutral Density and Circular Polarizing Filter Coated
- 77mm Circular Polarizers Filter, K&F Concept 77MM Circular Polarizer Filter HD 18 Layer Super Slim Multi-Coated CPL Lens Filter
- 77mm ND2-ND32 Variable Neutral Density ND Filter Nano Coated
My first impression of the filters was of the beautiful and secure packaging they arrive in. They come in a hard cardboard box with the filter itself placed in a hard plastic case inside the cardboard box. The filter is further protected inside the plastic box wrapped in a plastic bag and placed on a piece of foam. The plastic box that they come in makes them really easy to get in out to use when needed as the lid flips open. The circular polarizing filter comes in a slightly different plastic box which twists open but is still secure inside due to some rubber ridges. This stops the filter rattling around the case.
I will need to stick some small stickers on the plastic boxes and write the filter on them to make them easier to find – something that is currently lacking on the plastic boxes. Other than that, the packing is very impressive.
Build and ease of use
The frames of all of the filters, except the circular polarizer filter, are made from an aluminum alloy (the polarizer filter has extra-tough magnalium). Even though they are very slim in design, they certainly feel rigid with no real bending even when forced.
The glass itself on all the filters is coated optical glass (to help reduce reflections) that is waterproof and scratch-resistant.