This company called Freewell called me up and asked if they could send me out a couple of their new filters to check out and share with you. And what makes these filters interesting is that they are magnetic. They snap onto the lens making it really easy to get them on and off.
They sent over a circular polarizer and a fixed ND, not a variable ND, but a fixed ND filter. And you can actually stack them pretty easily. So I thought, what a better place to show off an ND filter plus a polarizer than at a waterfall? Now, for those of you who have been around the channel for a while, you might recognize this location as the spot where my drone almost got eaten by that tree. If you are not familiar with the story, I'll put a link to it at the end. But for now, let's check out these filters.
These filters are pretty easy to remove, you just pop it off like that and when you want it back on, just pop it into place. Now, with the circular polarizer in place, as I rotate that directly on the lens, we can see the effect coming through pretty clearly there. Now, we are cutting through all that glare and we are no longer seeing that shine on the surface of the water.
So that is taking care of the glare on the water. The next thing I want to do is add on an ND filter so that I reduce the amount of light coming into the camera so I can have a really long shutter speed. Pretty much the opposite of what we would normally be going for but in a situation like this, I want that long shutter speed to get that blurry waterfall look. So, let's go ahead and snap this guy on.
This is an ND64 filter, and if you are wondering how many stops an ND64 filter is, well, unfortunately it's not terribly obvious but the math is actually pretty easy. I'll just give you a little tip on how to figure this out. All you have to do is cut the number in half and then cut it in half again and again and again until you get down to one. Count how many times you had to cut it in half to get to one and that's how many stops it is.
So, this is an ND64, so cut in half is 32, again is 16, 8, 4, 2, 1. That's six; six stops. So an ND64 is a six stop ND filter. I'll go ahead and snap this on and there is the result. Now, of course, this is a video effect, so why don't we switch this over to photo mode, and now with that six stop filter on here, I can shoot a one second long exposure at f/5 at ISO 100. Now let me move around and get some more pictures like this.
OK, there you have it… That is the Freewell Magnetic Snap-on filter system. Overall, I'm impressed. It's a nice system… It certainly is convenient to be able to get those filters on and off really easily. We've looked at systems before where they flip up out of the way which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
We've also looked at a system from Manfrotto that allowed you to convert any filter into a magnetic snap-on. So basically, this idea, but for anything. And I really did like that system, but the magnet wasn't strong enough. I have had problems with those magnets falling off and these definitely feel like they are quite a bit stronger. I haven't had any problems with these coming off in the time that I have been using them.
I do wish that they had sent me a variable ND filter so I might look into that because that is something that I use more. I tend to shoot more video these days, having that variable ND is super great and being able to get it off and on the lens really quickly is certainly something that I like. As I go from outdoors to indoors, I want to be able to get that on and off very quickly.
I like how it has a magnetic snap-on lens cap as well. Most of the time when you put a filter on your camera, your lens cap no longer fits and you are left holding the bag of… what you are supposed to do with this? So, the fact that it comes with its own magnetic lens cap is absolutely fantastic. That is something I really, really like.
I would love to know what you think of these filters. Let me know down in the comments. And of course, if you have actually used them before, let me know that as well and tell me how they have worked out for you.
As always, I hope you enjoyed the show. Subscribe to the channel if you are not already. Hit that little Bell button and I'll see you on the next show.