- Michael Sidofsky
Haida M10 Filter System First Impressions
Recently, my friends at Haida Filters gave me the opportunity to test of their M10 Filter System along with a variety of neutral density and polarizing filters. The kit they sent over for review contained the following items.
- M10 filter holder
- 77mm and 82mm lens adaptors
- 3 stop & 10 stop Red Diamond square neutral density filters
- 6 stop drop in neutral density filter
- Red Diamond 0.9 soft graduated filter
- Drop in CPL (circular polarizing filter)
- Drop light barrier
In this review, I will provide my initial impressions as well highlight some of the features that stood out for me. I will be covering each item in full detail in future posts so stay tuned!
When I first took the holder and filters out of their respective boxes, I was pleasantly surprised about their light weight. I quickly discovered that the M10 filter holder is made of high-grade aluminum which makes it very light as well as durable. The ND filters were very lightweight as well, especially the drop-ins. To me, this is very important as I try my best (but mostly fail) to keep my camera bag as light as possible. Camera bodies, lenses, tripods and accessories can get heavy very fast and can put a strain on your back during long shoot days.
After inspecting the new kit, I immediately went to Centre Island in Toronto to test them out. Once in the field, I had no problem attaching the filters to the holder, and the holder to my lenses. The holder is designed to hold up to three filters at once. Two square or rectangular filters can be inserted into the two front slots and one drop in can be placed in the rear. This allows for many different combinations of stacked filters.
Note: when only using the two front slots, the drop in light barrier must be placed in the rear to prevent light leakage. This doesn’t pose a problem for me because I leave the light barrier in the holder at all times unless I want to use the 6 stop neutral density filter or CPL drop-ins.
Attaching the holder to the adaptor ring on your lens is quick and easy. The holder has an aluminum clip on the side that easily retracts then firmly grips the adaptor ring once placed in position. This makes shooting with the system a breeze as you can find new compositions, refocus your lens, and reattach the filters with no effort at all.
After an evening of shooting, I returned home for a critical image inspection test. There are three major factors I look for when reviewing a filter system.
This is reduction of brightness in the corners of an image in comparison to the center. It is often a result of using filters that are smaller in diameter than the diameter of the lens. Vignettes can be resolved in post-processing but this can be a difficult task in extreme situations.
2- Colour casting
This is the addition hues which alter the intended white balance of an image. This can be fixed in post-processing as well but you may experience a loss of true colours in your images.
3- Image Sharpness
This is pretty straight forward, how sharp your images are. Image sharpness usually comes down to the camera, the lens, and the user but the addition of low quality filters can severely affect the sharpness of an image.
Upon inspection, I immediately noticed zero vignetting on my images. This was a relief because I want my images exposed correctly from edge to edge. It also saves me time in post. As for colour casting, I did notice a very slight magenta cast but the true colours were definitely in the files. This really didn’t bother me on my sunset photos because it almost enhanced the vibrancy of the images. If I choose to correct it, I can easily add a touch of green tint in Lightroom or Camera Raw. When it came to sharpness there were no issues at all. My images were super clean and crispy. Almost as if there were no filters added at all.
All in all, I have to say the Haida M10 drop-in and Red Diamond filter system is quite impressive and I would definitely recommend them to other photographers. Excellent quality, especially at that price point!