As I take delivery of my new polarizer and ND filters this month, I thought I would introduce you to Breakthrough Photography and their line up of filters out there in the market...
Breakthrough Photography Introduction Video
Press Release - SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – May 1st, 2017 – Breakthrough Photography unveiled a new line of filters which includes the X4 GND and X4 ND Square – the world’s first tempered GND and Square ND filters – which is available for pre-order on Kickstarter by clicking here.
The new line of filters consists of six new products: Dark CPL, X4 GND (100mm & 150mm), X4 ND Square (100mm & 150mm) and a 100mm holder called the X100 Holder. Breakthrough Photography also claims the X4 GND and X4 ND Square filters to be the world’s sharpest and most color neutral.
“With the professional outdoor photographer in mind, we’re excited to introduce the world’s first tempered glass GND and square ND filter system, available in both 100mm and 150mm formats. We also guarantee these filters to be the world’s sharpest and most color neutral GND and square ND filters.” said founder and photographer Graham Clark.
Breakthrough Photography is introducing a ND and CPL combination filter, which they call a ‘Dark CPL’. “Stacking ND and CPL filters is a common scenario for outdoor photographers. But the primary drawback of doing this is vignetting at 16mm on a full-frame setup. By combining our X4 ND and X4 CPL into one filter – which we call a Dark CPL – we’ve eliminated vignetting down to 16mm on a full-frame setup.”
The Dark CPL is compatible with the following camera and lens systems: Leica®, Carl Zeiss® lenses, Schneider Xenon®, Canon® Cinema and L lenses, Nikon®, Sony®, Fuji® and others.
Dark CPL thread sizes: 46, 49, 52, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77, 82, 86, 95 and 105mm
Singh-Ray’s line of American-made GND filters have been the industry leader for decades, delivering unparalleled color neutrality. Singh-Ray’s use of high quality CR-39 optical resin also provided unparalleled resolving power.
The X4 GND introduces a new era of durability and resolving power by using SCHOTT B270® optical glass, made in Germany, and it’s the world’s first tempered glass GND. The result is an incredibly durable filter glass that doesn’t break even when dropped onto hard surfaces.
“For years I’ve been a happy user of Singh-Ray’s great line of GND filters. I loved the performance, but the durability of resin filters in general is not so great for meeting the demands of outdoor photographers. And then there’s this problem of image quality and distortion once the surface of the resin GND has been scratched or warped.” said Clark. “After we introduced the X4 ND, I made it our number one goal to reinvent the GND. We encountered numerous manufacturing and engineering problems along the way, but we finally did it, and the X4 GND is the result of all that hard work.”
X4 ND Square
Breakthrough Photography is also introducing a new neutral density filter in 100mm and 150mm square formats, called the X4 ND Square.
“Since the introduction of the X4 ND, photographers have continually asked us if we could make it available in 100mm and 150mm square formats.” said Clark. “We’re excited to announce the X4 ND Square, which shares the same technology as our X4 ND circular filters, making the X4 ND Square the world’s sharpest and most color neutral square ND filter. And like the X4 GND, they’re also tempered.”
Breakthrough Photography is also releasing a new universal 100mm filter holder, called the X100 Holder, which they claim eliminates vignetting down to 16mm on a full-frame setup, and it features an innovative snap-lock mechanism for securely connecting 100mm holders to the camera lens.
X100 Holder Features:
- No vignetting down to 16mm on a full-frame setup
- Innovative Snap-Lock mechanism makes attaching holder quick and secure
- One handed operation for attaching and detaching
- Traction on exterior of holder makes it easier to grip
- CNC machined with aircraft grade alumium provides smooth rotation
- Only $49 for X100 Holder, $7 for each adapter ring
“A new 100mm filter system just wouldn’t be complete without a great universal holder, and we found a real lack of thoughtfully designed holders on the market, so we decided to try our hand at redesigning the traditional holder. It took well over 50 prototypes to get to the final product.” said Clark. “There were a few features I wanted in a holder that I thought other outdoor photographers might appreciate. The first being the ability to quickly attach/detach with one hand. That led to the second feature, a reliable snap-lock mechanism at the top of the holder, which makes a confident ‘click’ when attaching to the adapter ring. The third was to eliminate vignetting at 16mm on a full-frame setup even with 3 levels installed. I’ve always been disappointed with filter holder and adapter ring prices being so high despite the quality being low, so we decided to go the other way and price our new universal X100 Holder right at only $49, and only $7 for each aluminum adapter ring, $17 for brass. And since it’s universal, it will even work with your existing 100mm filters.”
Each X100 Holder is manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum and features two levels installed, and includes a third level which can be easily installed by the photographer. The front of the X100 Holder also has traction, similar to the traction frame on Breakthrough’s X4 ND filter.
SINGH-RAY AND LEE GND 100% BUYBACK
With the launch of the X100 Filter System, Breakthrough Photography is also starting a new buyback program where they will buy any Singh-Ray or Lee GND filter purchased within the last 15 years from an approved retailer, and provide the photographer with 100% of the value paid on the GNDs in the form of a gift card, which never expires. Valid until May 1st, 2018.
Click here for more details on the buyback.
Pricing & Availability
The new filter lineup is available for pre-order on Kickstarter at up to $50 off each filter. Breakthrough Photography has set a projected ship date of July, 2017.
Dark CPL will be available in 3, 6 and 10-stop densities, and will be available in the following thread sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 86mm, 95mm and 105mm.
The X4 GND will be available in the 100x150mm and 150x170mm formats in the following densities:
- X4 GND 2-stop Soft & Hard: $179 each
- X4 GND 3-stop Soft & Hard: $189 each
- X4 GND 3-stop Soft & Hard Reverse: $199 each
X4 GND in 150x170mm:
- X4 GND 2-stop Soft & Hard: $239 each
- X4 GND 3-stop Soft & Hard: $249 each
- X4 GND 3-stop Soft & Hard Reverse: $259 each
X4 ND Square will be available in the 100mm and 150mm square formats in the following following densities:
- X4 ND Square 100mm 1, 2, 3-stop: $179
- X4 ND Square 100mm 4, 5, 6-stop: $189
- X4 ND Square 100mm 7, 8, 9, 10-stop: $199
- X4 ND Square 100mm 15-stop: $229
X4 ND in 150mm square:
- X4 ND 150mm 1, 2, 3-stop: $239 each
- X4 ND 150mm 4, 5, 6-stop: $249 each
- X4 ND 150mm 7, 8, 9, 10-stop: $259
- X4 ND 150mm 15-stop: $279
The Universal X100 Filter Holder will be available in 100mm for $49.
X100 Adapter Rings:
- Aluminum: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 60mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm and 86mm for $7 each.
- Brass: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 60mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm and 86mm for $17 each.
I will be taking these filters on a few road trips this June and July. My images will be posted along with some tutorials from my travels to Newfoundland and Mongolia.