5-star filter system – By Angela Nicholson
If you’re into landscape photography, you’ve probably got a few square or rectangular filters that need a holder to attach them to your lenses. An ND grad or two (or more) comes in handy for balancing exposure and a Lee Filters Big Stopper is ideal for extending exposure time during the day.
H&Y’s Magnetic Filter Frame system makes using these filters a bit easier. Instead of having to push them into a slot in a holder, each filter is held in place by magnetic attraction. That makes them quicker and easier to position. And provided that you put a magnetic frame on each of your filters, you can stack them. That means you can use a couple of ND grads and a Big Stopper if you like.
The beauty of H&Y’s Magentic Filter Frame system is that you can add the frames to your existing filters. H&Y makes frames that are suitable for filters from a range of filter manufacturers including Lee Filters, Formatt Hitech and Nissin.
Of course, it’s no good just adding a magnetic frame to your filters, your filter holder needs to be magnetic as well. In the UK and Europe H&Y offers a neat solution – Magnetic Filter Holder adapter Strips. In the US and Asia, however, you have to purchase H&Y’s own Filter Holder – also available in the UK.
Assembling an H&Y Magnetic Filter Frame system
The H&Y Magnetic Filter Frames are supplied in four parts that you assemble around your filter. The first step is to remove the backing from the sticky tape along the edges. Then you push the top section on the top edge of your filter. Once that’s done you clip-on and push-on the side strips. This is the most fiddly part as the edges take some convincing to push fully-home in the end sections. The last step is to push on the bottom section.
Now you need to attach the Magnetic Filter Holder Adaptor Strips. I’ve done this with a Lee Filters 100mm system holder. The first step is to unscrew the Lee Filter holder bars using a small screwdriver. Next, using the screws and screwdriver supplied with the Adapter Strips, you screw the larger two bars into place either side of your holder. Now use the smaller supplied screws to attach the smaller bars with the graduated marks.
The last step is to attach the two sticky strips of black material above and below the hole. These prevent light from entering the lens from behind the filters. They’re especially important when using Big Stopper type filters.
Once all the magnetic strips are attached, you can just lift your filters into place on the holder. There’s no need to push them into a slot and you’re less likely to accidentally rotate the end of the lens or the filter holder.
The sides of the Magnetic Filter Frames have notches. These allow you to lock the first filter in place using a screw in the Holder. However, I found that the filters stay put pretty well without using it.
As well as making it easier to use filters, the H&Y Filter Frames make filters easier to handle. You have an edge to grip and you don’t need to worry quite so much about fingerprints. The Frames also give your filter edges a bit of extra protection from knocks that can chip them.
In other respects, your filters perform in exactly the same way as they always have.
The H&Y Magnetic Filter Frames are one of those things that come along and make you wonder why it’s not been done before. They make your filters just that little bit easier to handle, especially in cold weather when you’ve got frozen fingers or thick gloves.