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09-06-2017, 03:47 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Breakthough X2 vs X4 image quality

Can anyone comment if there's any noticeable difference in images taken with one series vs the other? I'm getting ready to order an ND6 and (probably) settled on Breakthrough.

The X2 is MUCH less expensive than the X4 and I understand what the spec differences are but is there enough difference in final image to warrant paying extra for the X4? Very little in the way of comparison in a web-search, but even if there was I trust the Pentaxians here more for advice.

09-06-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Can anyone comment if there's any noticeable difference in images taken with one series vs the other? I'm getting ready to order an ND6 and (probably) settled on Breakthrough.

The X2 is MUCH less expensive than the X4 and I understand what the spec differences are but is there enough difference in final image to warrant paying extra for the X4? Very little in the way of comparison in a web-search, but even if there was I trust the Pentaxians here more for advice.
What is an x2 or x4? Maybe a product name or link would help?
09-06-2017, 04:40 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
What is an x2 or x4? Maybe a product name or link would help?

All ? Breakthrough Photography
09-06-2017, 04:48 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
What is an x2 or x4? Maybe a product name or link would help?
My apologies. ND filters from Breakthrough Photography.
I didn't expound too much on it since I was looking for comments from those who had experience with those two filter series and those photogs would know what they were.

09-06-2017, 05:24 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I ordered an X4 when they first came out but shipping was delayed. When I asked and explained I had a photo trip scheduled they sent me the X2 as a 'loaner'. I used it on the trip and shortly after I returned received the X4 and a post paid envelope to return the X2. So from a customer service viewpoint these guys are as good as it gets.

Now the X2 versus the X4. My images from both are good, I am completely satisfied. Can I state that I can tell the difference between those from the X2 and those from the X4? No. But I did not have them both at the same time shooting the same image and that would be the real test. Wish I had done some shots like that before I returned the X2 but I did not. The X4 is definitely better made, it feels like a Takumar lens. But the X2 is also well made, as good or better than anything in the price range.

So to answer your question: I have the X4 and just bought some additional X4's and those are what I will buy in the future. However, if budget was a consideration I would not hesitate to go with the X2. Once you get to this level there are no 30% better leaps, just very tiny improvements that may not show up in the majority of images. And in the case of the X4 a build quality that feels like a Takumar.

Hope that helps.
09-06-2017, 06:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote

Hope that helps.
Yes that's exactly the input I'm asking for. I'm definitely leaning X2 but...
Thank you very much.
09-06-2017, 07:46 PM   #7
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I don't have their NDs but I do have a CPL made by them.. it is actually an X1 yet the quality is very nice. The build is well done. I think they used a different film from X1 to X2 but the difference from X2 to X4 is less.

They had X3's for awhile too.. but then they moved those to X4 due to a trademark claim by Foveon. So if you find old X3 stock, it is really the X4.
09-07-2017, 08:11 AM   #8
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I found an "open-box" X2 6-stop 67mm on eBay for $60 so I'll start with that. Already have a 49-67 step-up which makes it compatible with my DA15, 100WR and *50-135. Pretty much the only lenses I anticipate using with ND's.

Warning: Steep-learning-curves ahead.

EDIT: Any link to advice for getting up to speed more quickly appreciated


Last edited by gatorguy; 09-07-2017 at 08:20 AM.
09-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #9
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Go here: Breakthrough Filters ? Breakthrough Photography Download the free 52 page long exposure guide. There are lots of other tutorials on the web but this one gives you the basics and shows some examples. Written by the owner of Breakthrough Photography.
09-07-2017, 10:32 AM   #10
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Thanks @jatrax
09-07-2017, 04:10 PM   #11
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You need a sturdy tripod, a calculator/chart/diagram/brainpower for exposures times, and something to cover the viewfinder.

If you don't cover the viewfinder your exposures will be all over the place and all incorrect. Enough light bleeds through the back that it WILL alter your exposure times. I made a cover that fits over the viewfinder out of gaffers tape, then took some string and attached it to the body so it is always with me.

My technique is to aim at my subject and get the proper framing and exposure settings for what I'm after, focus and meter (noting my shutter speed), disable autofocus carefully (if I was using AF), then use the chart or calc to determine proper exposure. After I get that, set to BULB mode on camera, very carefully attach the filter (don't want to alter the focus/framing), and trigger away, timing my shot. then press down the shutter release again to stop the exposure.

That's the basic technique, but I now use an external shutterboss and just dial in the proper time on that.. everything else in the technique is the same.
09-07-2017, 05:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
You need a sturdy tripod, a calculator/chart/diagram/brainpower for exposures times, and something to cover the viewfinder.
That's the basic technique, but I now use an external shutterboss and just dial in the proper time on that.. everything else in the technique is the same.
This shutterboss?
amazon.com : Vello Shutterboss Version II Timer Remote Switch for Canon with Sub Mini Connection - Canon EOS: Elan series, Digital Rebel (300D), XT (350D), XTi (400D), XSi (450D), T1i (500D), T2i (550D), T3 (1100D), T3i (600D), T4i (650D), T5i (700D)?tag=pentaxforums-20&
09-07-2017, 05:54 PM   #13
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Yes I'm pretty sure it is the Canon one. The actual connector looks identical outside of mine being at a 90 degree angle and not a straight one as seen in the product image. Otherwise same.
09-14-2017, 12:31 PM   #14
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Update: I've rec'd the Breakthough 6-stop I ordered. Really surprised at how light it is. I've not had a chance to use it but with all my hurricane cleanup done I plan to take Saturday for myself.

I also ended up today as the successful bidder on a brand new still in the package Breakthrough 49mm CP for under $11. Oh, plus $3 shipping. So that will get probably get a comparison from me to a Hoya I have. Thanks to all who posted.
EDIT: Nope not a Hoya. B+W XS-Pro Kaesemann. Too much stuff I guess.

Last edited by gatorguy; 09-14-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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