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07-17-2018, 12:49 PM   #1
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Breakthrough Photography Magnetic Filters

Has anyone used these magnetic filters from a company called Breakthrough Photography? I couldn't find any reference to them in the forums or in the accessories database. Just curious whether anyone recommends, thanks!

07-17-2018, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I recall that some company made magnetic filter back in the film era (1980's?). You screwed an adapter ring onto you lens, then the filters were simply inserted and were held in place magnetically = no need to screw/unscrew the filters, so much faster on/off, and also the filters were large so one could fit onto several lenses say 58, 52, and 49mm, although you had what amounted to a magnetic step-up ring on the smaller filter-size lenses. Interesting idea, but I don't think it caught on very well. It's like bayonet-mount filters that were used by some camera-makers. Quick on/off, but the filters were more expensive to make, and only the camera maker offered them which kicked up the price even more. Way back Kodak and others made what might be called pinch-spring filters. There was an off-circular spring on the filter that you pinched in, making it round, to attach to a lens that had a groove around the outside to hold it when you released your fingers. Various ideas, but mostly we go back to the threads.
07-17-2018, 03:33 PM   #3
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Thanks!
07-17-2018, 05:33 PM   #4
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There was another company that launched a very similar product a few years ago. I think it was a crowd-funded endeavor. A friend of mine bought a number of sets and really liked them. They were not inexpensive though, otherwise I probably would have tried them also. They were well made and worked well from what I heard. Probably modern, updated versions of the earlier product.

07-18-2018, 04:48 AM   #5
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I have their UV and ND filters. Company based out of California if I remember correctly and their products are excellent. No idea about the magnetic ones.
07-18-2018, 08:52 AM   #6
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Magnetic filters

Magnetic filters are currently produced by Manfrotto (of tripod fame)
07-19-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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I did a little research. Go to the B&W website and search for "XUME." They make a two unit system: 1) a magnetic ring that screws on the lens, sort of a no-glass filter; 2) metal rings that screw onto whatever filter you have or purchase. The latter ring has metal that will be attracted to a magnet. So you need a different magnetic ring for each lens of different filter-thread diameter, and a metal ring of appropriate size for each of your filters. With the magnetic ring on your camera lens, the lens cap will not fit on, and a hood may not fit either (unless you use a screw-on hood and get the appropriate metal ring for it). XUME offers two alternatives for the lens cap: 1) a special metal ring that goes onto a pinch-attach lens cap; 2) their own metal lens cap that simply pops onto the magnetic ring on the lens, BUT, you would have to remove any filter, you could not leave the filter in place and also use the magnetic system to attach a lens cap, but if the filter had female filter threads you could attach a pinch-fit lens cap, unless that added too much weight for the magnet to hold reliably threatening a possible drop of filter + cap if you bump the camera, in which case........................
07-22-2018, 11:52 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Picked them up and I greatly enjoy them

So here's the deal, I do not work for breakthrough or get any particular perks (I wish I got photography gear perks). I had created an account to respond as I was looking for the professional review of the magnetic filters and came across this forum. I'm a nikon shooter, but I wanted to give a review of the system.

I have the Lee filter system with Big/Little stoppers, graduated ND filters and I purchased the reverse graduated filter from breakthrough (BT) a few weeks back. I also have BT's 105mm Circular polarizer (purchased September last year) that attaches to the LEE 100mm mounting bracket.
As I was trying to use the BT reverse GND filer it nearly fell out of the LEE system (LEE filters are resin, BT are glass). Long story short, I spoke with BT and they told me about the new magnetic filter system. BT has an awesome 300 day return policy if bought from their website. Wait... what? Yes 300 DAY return policy! They even covered the shipping.
So that afforded me the opportunity to return my 105mm circular polarizer and upgrade to their magnetic filter polarizer with their 100mm filter holder. BT suggests that the magnetic system is less expensive to make (and costs less for us).

I've used it a couple of times this past weekend and love it, with one caveat.
You can only use 1 magnetic filter at a time and use the filter bracket to put graduated ND filters.
So this means a few things. If you want to use an ND filter (LEE's big/little stopper) and a polarizer you either stack them with the filter holder or purchase BT's ND circular polarizers (I'll be doing that soon and retiring my LEE big/little stoppers). Their color cast is significantly better than the LEE system. I can post a comparison in a couple of weeks, however BT have that on their website and I can attest that it's accurate.

In response to WPRESTO: with this system you can put the lens cap on the step up ring (the stepup ring will probably stay on certain lenses for the unforeseeable future). Correct, you are NOT able to put the lens hood on with the stepup ring. However when shooting landscape on a tripod with the lens holder attachment you are not able to put a lens hood on anyways. So not a big problem for me.

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07-23-2018, 09:01 AM   #9
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Thanks all, that is really helpful!
07-28-2018, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Comparison of Breakthrough and Lee

So here are a copy of 2 sets of images that were taken in JPG and just brightened up to show the difference and color cast of the Lee vs the Breakthrough.
It's pretty comparable to their website. I first noticed the significant blue cast in the sand where my buddies were having nice warm sunrise sand and my looked cold.
Needless to say, it's easy to color correct for the LEE filters.
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