Nano Series Filter Kit Review
I was recently asked by the lovely guys over at K&F Concept to have a go at using their Nano Series Filter Kit which was pretty exciting as what the filter kit marketed itself on was ease of use in changing filters, and their low profile nature which allowed for easy stacking causing little to no vignetting.
So what I did was take the filter set out and about for a few different tests out and about, and I’ve put together a bit of a writeup for you. I’ve even started to use them for my wedding photography – in particular the UV filter which preludes how happy I am with the filter set.
For this little test run I used my new Fujifilm GFX100s Medium format Camera, 32-64mm Fujinon lens and the corresponding 72mm K&F Concept Nano Series Filter Kit.
I wanted to head out someplace nice to start taking some simple, colourful photographs using each of the three filters that ship with the Nano Series filter kit – as when testing lens filters I really want to see how they affect the colours captured when using each one. When comparing UV, neutral density and polarising filters, really not much in the way of colours should be changing (with the exception of the polarising filter) when taken with camera settings that compensate for the less light reaching the camera’s sensor. But more about that later.
First the unboxing!
The K&F Concept Nano series filter kit comes in a neat little cardboard box encased in shrink wrap, with each of the 3 filters and mount wrapped in individual plastic bags. When considering packaging waste, the filter kit comes with the bare essentials for keeping the equipment pristine without including too much plastic waste – although it isn’t perfect in this regard.
In lieu of traditional plastic packaging, the kit comes with a well made, compact fabric filter bag suitable for holding 4 filters within their own padded section. The kit comes as pictured in this promotional picture from K&F Concept with 3 filters – an ND400, Polariser and UV filter in addition to the filter mount that is screwed onto the end of your lens like a normal screw-on filter, while the other 3 filters attach to this magnetically, allowing you to quickly change filters without having to fuss over unscrewing, then screwing on the new. This also allows for stacking of filters without the usual vignetting that one might experience with ‘fatter’ screw-on filters.
As I mentioned before, when using any of these filters I dont really want my colours to change too much when using these types of filters and generally these types of filters are used by photographers to enable them to manipulate their camera settings to create an effect, rather than have the filter change the photograph entirely by themselves. With the exception of the poloriser filter which is often used to enhance colour saturation within a photo along with the funky effects associated with polarisation.
To be fair, the UV filter and ND filters will also have a slight effect on the colours in an image – with the UV filter obviously there to filter out the UV colours and minimalise any purple hazing or ‘chromatic aberration’ in photos, while the ND filter allows for a shutter speed to be drastically lowered allowing for a camera sensor to create more vivid colours. But for this test really they should be very similar results.
In order to test the colour changes when using each of these filters, I set my camera to Aperture priority at ISO 400 – allowing the camera to compensate the exposure automatically depending on the filter used. Using this method I should achieve the same, or very similar image regardless of which filter I am using.
These shots are taken directly from camera and resized from their original 104mp with no further alteration. You may see banding in the blues of the sky but that’s due to web compression.
So as a result of this simle little test we can see that each of the filters perform as they should – with perhaps a slight colour cast when using the ND filter. I’m actually very impressed with the UV filter’s clarity so as I mentioned earlier it’s now permenantly attached to my lens for any task! With the magnetic nature of the filters it’s so easy to swap them out too.
The Polariser filter cased the darkening of the sky in the direction of the sun, as you’d expect while also leaving the illumination of the building almost untouched which is really useful and is a sign of some high quality glass.
The ND filter unfortunately had some quite obvious colour dulling going on – which to be fair happens with any ND filters at this price point, it’s only the real expensive pieces of glass that would cut this down, and most people dont care much as it can be easily corrected in post. I did however quite like it’s ease of use, so I persisted with a separate photoshoot with only the ND filter in mind.
As I mentioned in the unboxing video of the Nano series filter kit, the ND400 filter in this set would be the one I was most interested in using as I tend to use those filters the most – often in low light situations which means unscrewing to focus on a scene, then screwing it back on to take the shot with a long shutter speed. I do this a lot when photographing waterfalls, or any body of water. So what better way to test out the ease of use with the K&F Concept Nano Series Filter Kit than down at the beach?
As I mentioned earlier any colour greying can be easily fixed in post production, and the resulting image I got from the shoot is here-
Another huge consideration when selecting an ND filter is the clarity of the image produced, some ND filters case quite a muddy effect, with some cutting the sharpness of your expensive lens quite considerably but the ND400 filter than came with the Nano series filter kit had no such issues, and performed quite admirably!
Below are two other shots straight out of the camera with no further corrections done other than resizing for the web. One without the ND filter, and one with to compare colours. You can actually see better in this example the effect of long exposure capturing more colour when compared to the shorter exposure here thanks to the ND400 filter being on.
I feel as though this was a much better test for the K&F Concept ND400 filter from the Nano series filter kit as it’s using the ND filter for what they are primarily used for – taking images at a much longer shutter speed to blur motion. As a result I feel as though I’ve found my new go-to ND filter, and not just because it’s super easy to magnetically swap them out!