- The Landscape Photography Book: The Step-by-Step Techniques You Need to Capture Breathtaking Landscape Photos Like the Pros
- National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish
- The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography
I’ve been enjoying using and testing the Haida M15 magnetic filter system, as you have probably noticed from several posts where I mention it.
So, how good is it? Is it really all that useful? Are the filters good optical quality? Worth the prices? Let’s find out!
If you don’t know what I’m referring to, here is a brief overview of filter holder systems and the Haida M15 filter system in general.
With our photography gear, most lenses have a front thread for attaching filters or accessories to the front of the lens. Over time, certain diameters have become pretty much standardized, such as 52mm, 58mm, 72mm, etc…
If you have a variety of lenses, you may have several different filter diameters. Some camera and lens makers have tried to even out the filter sizes for their popular lenses. Such as my older Nikkor AI/S lenses, the 28mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, and 105mm f/2.5 all had 52mm filter threads. My current Nikon AF zoom lenses mostly are 58mm.
Screw In Filters Vs Filter Holder System
Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels
What happens, though, is that not all my lenses are the same front diameter, so I had to have a screw in filter kit in each size of my lenses. One of my lenses has an 82mm front diameter! For certain landscape photography filters like a circular polarizer (C-POL) or a 10-stop neutral density (ND), that meant doubling or tripling up on some rather pricey glass.
Stepping rings are one solution, but I have found that I much prefer the square filter holder system solution. While both methods work fine, a filter holder offers more versatility for types of filters. Plus, a square holder lets me place the transition zone of a gradual neutral density (GND) exactly where I want it by sliding in and out.
Haida M15 Filter Kit with C-POL
While I love the highest quality available for my photography gear, I am constantly reminded (by my spouse, often!) of the high prices involved for certain items. So, I am also a bargain hunter.
I consider the Haida M15 filter kit with magnetic circular polarizer as fitting both of my criteria. I can attach it to all of my lenses with the proper mount adapter, including that 82mm filter diameter lens.
The Haida M15 filter holder itself is an impressive piece of photography gear. It’s manufactured from aviation grade aluminum and polycarbonate materials, resulting in a very strong holder that is lightweight and easy to use.
The Haida M15 holder is designed to allow for use of up to two filters, either their 150x150mm or 150x170mm filters, as well as the magnetic round CPL. That is one of the more convenient aspects of using a filter holder system as opposed to screw in filters and stepping rings.
Since the filters are high optical quality, you can use two together without concerns of image degrading optical effects.
Recommended Landscape Photography Reading:
Using the Haida M15 Filter System
One of my top uses for C-POL and ND or GND filters is when I’m outside taking photos of landscapes, cityscapes, oceanscapes, and similar subjects.
Probably the most used of my landscape photography filters in my kit is the polarizer. The reason is pretty obvious once you know about how to use a polarizer.
As a short reminder, polarized light can show up anywhere in any type of scene. Many times reflections cause it. Light is either absorbed by or reflects off of things. From tiny dust and water molecules in the sky, to the surface of a lake or lagoon, to glass covered skyscrapers in the city, there are many things that reflect and polarize light.
In landscapes, there are often large expanses of open sky. Lakes, oceans, rivers. Leaves of trees in forests and blades of grass in meadows, wet or dry. All of these subjects tend to have polarized light. With a C-Pol, you can capture dark blue skies with puffy clouds, deepen colors of plant life, and remove glare from water and sand or rocks.
ND and GND Filters for Haida M15
Graduated neutral density filters are my second most used of my landscape photography filters in the filter kit of my photography gear bag.
By the way, my new favorite method for transporting all of my photography gear for landscape and cityscape photography is the Freelance™ sling pack from Hazard 4®. So when I say my photography gear bag, now you have a mental picture of the actual bag.
Having a very simple and usable way to take advantage of GND filters is a large part of the appeal of the Haida M15 filter kit system. You can even stack filters together. If I am using a C-POL to handle reflections or increase sky and cloud contrast, I can also employ my GND to even the exposure values between bright sky and a dark foreground.
The Haida M15 is Cost Effective
photo by Altayb via iStock
The Haida M15 filter kit system is very high quality, optically and mechanically. It isn’t a bargain basement purchase, but I consider the prices to be very reasonable.
If I were to add up each filter type I have in the Haida M15 filter kit system as though I had purchased a filter in the sizes of all of my lenses, that would be a very significant percentage of my photography gear budget.
Before I found the current line of filters, I would sometimes consider buying a specialty filter in the filter size of my largest lens and use step down rings to adapt to my other lenses. An okay solution, but still somewhat limited. And an 82mm C-POL filter from a quality brand is still pretty expensive.
Besides, with a filter holder like the Haida M15, I can stack filters without putting up with poor optical quality. So, overall, I would say the Haida M15 filter system is well worth the cost.
Don’t Take My Word For It
Photo by Julius Silver from Pexels
I can talk a lot about a lot of subjects, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Try it out for yourself and share your results with us. Keep learning, keep practicing, keep making great images.