Can cheap ND filters be good? The K&F Concept SN25T1 filter kit says yes
Over the years neutral density filters have become a staple in my photography. Allowing me more control over my camera exposure.
Good quality filters demand a premium, and while the price has fallen over the years, I often get asked why they cost so much. Particularly for the superior glass filters and filter holders. Well, they don’t have to.
Enter the new K&F Concept SN25T1, a 100mm filter kit with 10stop ND costing just over $70.
This 100mm filter kit comes packed with value. It comes with the 100mm holder, several step-up rings, and a 10 stop ND filter. You can see the kit sitting on my Sigma fp and 24-70m f2.8 Art.
While the holder is pretty basic with space for only two 100mm filters and no rear CPL holder. It is built well and comes with a felt coating to help block stray light from getting behind the filter.
The side of the holder has a small golden release button. Pressing this allows you to remove the holder from the adaptor ring.
I feel this is better than having to pull on pins or leavers that I’ve seen on other filter holders.
This kit comes with a whopping eight adapter rings. Starting at 49mm all the way to 82mm.
These rings allow the kit to be used on most lenses right away. plus, if you have lenses with different filter sizes then you can leave an adaptor ring on each allowing you to swap the filter holder over easily.
Lastly, the filter is a newly designed 10-stop optical glass ND filter from K&F Concept that comes with a lovely little two-tone case for safe storage.
Inside the case is a little orange tab that runs all the way under the filter and allows for easy removal by pulling the tab up. Sometimes it’s the little things that make me happy.
The most common use I feel for a 10 stop filter would be long exposures. they make nice smooth water even on fast-moving rivers like the Falls of Dochart at Killin.
Here’s a behind the scene image of me using filters on the Sigma fp with 24-70 f2.8 DG DN Art lens and the K&F SA254T1 tripod.
Considering this entire kit costs less than a decent optical ND filter is the filter itself any good?
For the first test, I grabbed my Sigma sdQ-H with 70-200mm f2.8 at 135mm f8. The reason for this combo is that I’ve had ND filters in the past go soft at longer focal lengths.
I’m happy to say sharpness isn’t an issue at all with it being almost identical to using no filter or the $144 Benro Master 10 stop. Color shift was -6 Temp and -5 Tint next to the no filter which is pretty minimal and slightly less than the -8 Temp -13 Tint of the Benro.
Next, I wanted to test for Infrared pollution, so I took a shot using a full spectrum sdQ-H (by removing the IR filter) and Kolari Vision IR Chrome filter to show what’s most affect by infrared light.
The difference between having a filter on and using no filter is minimal. (at least after using -6 Temp and -5 Tint correction). This shows that infrared pollution isn’t having a big impact. The K&F holding is ground next to the much more expensive Benro that features an IRND Coating to minimize IR and UV pollution.
For the money, there’s no denying that the K&F filter kit is tremendous value with the 10 stop ND filter delivering optical quality next to filters costing much more. The holder itself is basic but well-built and easy to use.
Anyone looking to start with filters and long exposure should consider this kit for filter alone. (Consider the holder a bonus). Some holders from other brands do have more advanced features like rear CPL or light shields which is always worth considering before investing tough.
I’ll leave with a few more images taken with the kit and my Sigma fp. I hope you all enjoy:
Falls of Dochart at Killin
I always like to share and help people. I wanted to leave a behind the scenes photo showing how I made the product shots.
I used some wooden boards, some RGB led lights (Insstro c1) with some paper towel as diffusers at the sides. The main light was a Spiffy Gear Spekular with some tissue diffusing part of it and a little lumiee hiding on top of the boards.