Reviews

Haida M10 and Red Diamond test review

Introduction

I’m excited to introduce the new Haida M10 adapter ring, M10 filter holder, M10 round “drop-in” circular polariser, M10 “drop-in” light barrier,  M10 round “drop-in” neutral density 3.0 (10 stop) and Red Diamond medium 0.9 (3 stops).

This test review was based on a shoot around Assynt, a remote area of the Northern Scottish Highlands using my Canon 5d mark iv ( full frame camera). Tested at the widest focal length I use, 16mm with my Canon 16-35 mm USM L lens. Gitzo tripod and ball head.

As a landscape photographer I have learnt how invaluable a great filter system is to my arsenal of tools. It’s something you can buy a bit at a time to build up your collection, but choosing the correct brand is the tricky part. Thankfully for you I’ve made the mistakes and now ready to reveal the latest from Haida filters, the only brand for me.

I started using Haida filters in January 2018 with their Pro 100 series. As much as I regard them highly, I can’t stress enough how Haida’s design team have really upped their game and left their competitors way behind with their latest generation M10 filter holder system for the 100 mm series filters, including a selection of round “drop-in” filters (CPL, NDs and Clear-night)  also their Red Diamond series ND’s (soft, medium), hard GND, reverse GND and horizon GND. These were all launched in October 2018 at Photokina and are now readily available. Haida have really listened to their customers and actually done something about it.

They kindly sent me their M10 filter holder and a selection of filters early in January 2018. So far, they have travelled almost two thousand miles with me on a road trip from the North Coast of Scotland to Southern England and a couple of local photo shoots. I wanted to really spend time in the field conducting this review and putting everything through its paces to give my most honest opinion. I can proudly say I now know them so well I could use them blindfolded. The whole set up – from screwing on the adapter ring to sliding in your first filter – can be done in less than 10 seconds!

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. Haida’s new generation are such a genius method and design.

Haida M10 filter holder kit for the 100mm series filters includes the filter holder, CPL, light-barrier, adapter ring and leather case.

HaidaM10
M10 Filter Holder System

Haida M10 adapter ring

Works solely with the Haida M10 filter holder which is part of Haida’s new generation. Constructed entirely from aluminium for strength and light-weight, and also slim in design. From my experience this helps with any unnecessary vignettes when shooting at wide angles. You simply screw it easily onto the front of your Lens. This is the foundation for the M10 filter holder: it’s a bit like building a house – without a solid foundation there’s no point installing the windows.

These can be purchased to fit most popular lenses in sizes 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 and 82mm.

Haida M10 filter holder

This is Haida’s successor to their 100 Pro filter holder. The new M10 filter holder is made from aviation grade aluminium and PC materials for super strength and is lighter in weight than its predecessor. Its genius design makes it exceptionally user-friendly, with super fast set up, and effortless to change and remove filters. Simply clip the M10 filter holder onto the M10 adapter ring by using the red push-and-release (spring clip) locking lever (see photo below). The innovative design gives a very secure and solid connection, and at the same time the ability to rotate 360 degrees – which I found especially useful when using the Red Diamond medium 0.9 ( 3 stop) graduated neutral density filter. The non-slip spongued coating on the bottom of the filter holder provides more of a grip when rotating which I think is a nice touch.

It’s designed to take up to three filters ( 100 x 100mm or 100 x 150mm @ 2mm thickness, compatible with other brands at the same size ) on the front of the holder if you wish to stack, and one filter slot at the rear closest to your camera lens where the new round “drop in” M10 filters are used. Boasting a choice of neutral density filters ( 3, 6, 10 and 15 stops), circular polariser (included in the kit), clear-night (light pollution filter), graduated neutral density filters ( 3 and 4 stops) and ND + CPL ( 3 and 6 stops). But only using one at a time which is the only downside if you like using several ND/s and a CPL as I often did with its predecessor. If you don’t wish to use any of the round “drop- in” filters, you must use the M10 “drop in” light barrier (see photo below) which is a simple and easy to use sealing ring to prevent any light leakage (also provided in the kit).

Stack of 3 100mm x 100mm Haida NDs in front compartment and CPL in rear compartment of M10 filter holder.

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Housed in a smart black eco-leather zipped storage case, with a handy carabiner attached to the top which can be neatly clipped onto your tripod or belt for ease of access. Internally lined with a lovely grey velvety fabric with a net pocket for storage. Also included: screwdriver, extra pair of filter holder slots and gaskets to provide a third slot on the front of the Holder )which I’ve left on permanently).

Video of me using the M10 adapter ring, M10 filter holder, M10 round “drop-in” circular polariser filter together with Red Diamond medium 0.9 filter.

Haida M10 round “drop-in” circular polariser filter

My favourite of all the filters has always been the CPL. A vital piece of kit every landscape photographer should have and something which cannot be replicated in post processing. I rarely shoot without – it’s the perfect light manager. And let me tell you, Haida`s new M10 round “drop-in” CPL will never be off my lens.

I was curious to test if any slight vignette was present, and I can happily confirm that there is none at all, even pushing it through a tough test at my widest 16mm on a full frame camera. It gives amazing contrast, and cuts through some of the haze, especially on the clouds and the polarisation is visible in the sky producing some great detail. Removed almost all the unwanted glare and the see-through effect is well achieved on the water. Added some beautiful saturation which gives an overall instant pop to the image. Always remember with any filter – it brings into the equation a fourth dimension to the exposure triangle. With a CPL you will generally lose between 1-2 stops of light. As you can see in the comparison exif data below, I have lost around 1.5 stops.

Inserting the round “drop in” CPL into the M10 filter holder is the fastest I’ve ever used, never mind witnessed. It simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light. It’s almost like gravity does the work for you –  once you hear the click it’s locked in place. There is a three gear linkage design on the mount which rotates independently and very smoothly. Once you start turning the adjustable black dial which is centrally placed on the top of the filter, you’ll instantly see the polarisation intensity on your live view screen. I tend to always rotate a CPL 360 degrees first to check the availability of contrast, saturation, and reflection. The strongest effect takes place at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun, ie make sure your line of sight is perpendicular to the direction of the sun. The filter is easily removed or exchanged by gently squeezing the red plastic tabs on the top and lifting it out without disturbing your composition.

sliding in M10 round CPL into M10 filter holder
Inserting M10 round “drop-in” Circular Polariser (cpl) filter into M10 filter holder.

Constructed from high quality optical glass the same as the Red Diamond series, each filter has ten layers of anti-reflective coatings, is shock-proof and scratch-proof, provides the best clarity, includes the famous nano multi-coating to reduce reflection, waterproof (meaning any droplets of water literally roll off like beads, no ugly smears) and the dreaded fingerprints wipe off easily with a soft microfibre cloth.

I have to say how solid it feels, plus it’s very fast and easy to use. In the past, CPLs I’ve used can be fiddly, hard to screw on especially when it’s freezing cold, you’re up at silly o’clock waiting for sunrise and half asleep. Haida have really listened to their customers and produced this truly clever design making our life so much easier. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with.

The round “drop in” filters are available in a selection of: ND 0.9, 1.8 3.0, 4; CPL; Clear-night; GND-0.9 1.2; ND+CPL 0.9 and 1.8.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm with no filter and with Haida M10 “drop-in” CPL filter. No post processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the CPL has retained every bit of sharpness.

without-cpl-(1-of-1)
Without filter = ISO 100, F18, 1/13 – With Circular Polariser filter = ISO 100, F18, 1/8 second

Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

edited version (jpeg)
Location – Loch Assynt, Sutherland. Scotland.

Haida Red Diamond Medium

take wording for blog post & pic

The Red Diamond filter I am testing is a medium 0.9 equaling 3 Stops. Rectangle in shape and sized 100mm x 150mm, providing more flexibility to move the filter up or down within the holder for ultimate control, homogeneous graduated blending from light to dark and endless creative possibilities. I really enjoyed using this filter in combination with the M10 filter holder. It’s fun the way you can rotate the holder if you want to darken the sky on one side or turn it upside down if you’re looking over bright highlighted water.

sliding in red diamond medium with M10 round CPL in back. Feb 2019
Inserting Red Diamond medium 0.9 into M10 filter holder with M10 round “drop-in” cpl filter in the rear compartment

I predict this latest series from Haida becoming “The big daddy” of them all for landscape photographers the world over. Haida named this new series “Red Diamond” as they’re amongst the strongest diamonds in the world, therefore being the strongest of all Haida filters.

What makes this series stand out from its predecessor and other brand filters are listed as follows:

  • Shock resistant, low risk to any accidental damage.
  • Scratch resistant, the perfect partner in demanding weather.
  • Zero colour cast.
  • Waterproof, oil and fingerprint proof Nanopro coated surface.
  • Improved optical glass.
  • R5 rounded corners – makes it easier to slide in and out of the filter holder, no sharp corners.
  • K9 optical glass.
  • True colour.
  • Ultra-thin nano multi coating.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Double the strength of other glass filters whilst at the same time retaining ultimate sharpness.
  • Still retaining 2 mm in thickness making it compatible with the Haida 100-Pro filter holder and other brands the same size.
  • The Red Diamond series is double the strength of a normal glass filter. You may have seen online the Haida Red Diamond drop test video? Where it’s thrown onto a concrete floor and no sign of damage to the filter. If you are accident prone this would be the perfect filter series for you.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm -With-without-Red Diamond medium 0.9 (3 stops). No post processing on either, other than lens correction in Lightroom.

With-Red-Diamond-Medium-Filter-base-edit
Without filter = ISO 100, F14, 1.1 sec – With Red Diamond medium 0.9 = ISO 100, F14, 3.1 sec

Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

red diamond medium across strath (jpeg for web) edited version
Location – Lochen on a private Highland estate.

M10 round “drop-in” 3.0 ND (10 Stop) Filter

The round “drop in” 3.0 ND, equalling 10 stops of light with its built in light barrier, is particularly useful for any super long exposures. Oftentimes in the past I’ve struggled with the issue of light leakage and had to resort to putting hats or cloths over the gap between filter and lens, not an ideal situation at all.

Before I started my love affair with Haida filters over a year ago, I was using Lee filters. My go-to neutral density filter was always the Big Stopper but more times out of ten the images produced had a slight purple tint and vignettes at wide angles. Although it’s easy enough to change in post processing, it is another job. All these wee jobs can mount up a lot, meaning less creative time and enjoyment in the great outdoors with your camera – and surely they’re the best parts?!

I was curious to test if any vignette were present, and I can happily confirm none at all was found. You would think attaching any filter over your lens would affect the level of sharpness, but it’s clear to see from my findings below that there is no loss of sharpness from corner to corner – it’s pin sharp. Absolutely no colour tint was found, making this one of the most neutral NDs I’ve ever come across. I particularly liked the design of the plastic holder that the round glass sits in, making it ultra easy to drop in and remove the filter holder without any disturbance to the composition. Just like the Red-Diamond filters, the M10 round “drop-in” series of filters are all made from the same grade optical glass and feature the same nanopro coatings, producing excellent image quality. It’s clear to see that Haida have really thought through every single part of the process and know the issues that can be caused in the field.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm -With-without-M10 round “drop-in” N.D 3.0 (10-stop). No post processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom.

with-without-nd3.0-(10-stop)
Without filter = ISO 100, F14, 0.4 sec – With M10 “drop-in” ND 3.0 filter = ISO 100, F14, 130 sec

Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

across strath (jpeg for web) 10 stop m10
Location – Lochen on a private Highland estate

Collection of images taken during my field test

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I hope this provides you some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2019

 

 

On Location, Stories of behind the Camera

Don’t be defeated by the weather!

©Jenny Cameron 2017
Thought I’d share this one with you all. Ryan DeFreece-Dyar one of my biggest inspirations in Landscape Photography posted about “a piece that represents best what they constantly strive to make… a defining moment in their own history when everything comes together and falls into harmonious place.”
My image “Elysian” instantly came to mind. I’d like to share with you the story behind it.
After a morning of heavy rain and patiently waiting in my car with a flask of peppermint tea I really thought I’d have to turn around and go home. You know when the kid in you wants to stamp your feet and have a tantrum? Thankfully only thirty minutes from home but my heart was sinking. Then suddenly, something switched inside me, almost determination saying feck it to the world, it’s only rain I won’t shrink! I gathered my waterproofs, rucksack and went for it.
Sat at the top of a peak with all my gear set up under a large golf umbrella and generally feeling rather sorry for myself, black mascara running down my face to complete the look! Then suddenly out of nowhere the clouds opened like they were saying hello and welcoming me.
The beautiful sunlight peeped out, I was scrambling for the remote and Haida Filters  in a real fluster with wet hands. Finally pressed the remote, let the camera/filters do their job whilst I sat back & let the light flood in.
Such a beautiful moment, it seemed to last forever but in actual fact only 152 seconds exposure.
I drove home in more rain with the biggest smile ever on my face. Scottish weather isn’t the most predictable, but it sure gives great mood.
I chose this image to share with you as literally there is part of my heart within. I do hope you like my story/image and can relate somewhat. Would love to hear your stories too?
Equipment/ settings used …Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm @16mm. ISO 100, F11, 152 secs. Haida Filter N.D 3.6 (12 stop).
The moral of this story is don’t be defeated by the weather!
Best wishes to you all from a cold and windy North of Scotland in the middle of August, how rude!!
Jenny ~
On Location, Uncategorized

Sunrise on the Bonnie Bonnie Banks

On the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond …There’s a song in there somewhere, will probably drive you mad all day singing it in your head.

Woke up to a gorgeous frosty morning at Duck Bay the light was so soft and perfect looking to me. Loch Lomond, Scotland’s first National Park, “The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park”, located off the A82, approximately two miles north of Balloch.

I felt like I was still in my bed dreaming. There was no time for breakfast, couldn’t bare the thought of losing the soft light shining on the Ben (Ben Lomond Mountain), producing an epic reflection on the Loch. I’m not normally a morning person but when you see such beauty it gives me a big kick up the ass and I can’t wait to get out there shooting. It’s a bit like the feeling you had as a kid on a Christmas morning, you never know what to expect but excited at the same time.

Light moves fast and so do you if you want “that shot”. Sometimes I panic so much that I forget things, it’s quite the adrenalin rush. Questions racing through your mind, should I place the Tripod here or there? What Focal length should I use? How should I angle my lens? Which filters if any? So many others as they flash through your thoughts, all happening in nanoseconds.

Equipment used.

Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70- 200mm USM Lens, Gitzo Systematic 5 series Tripod, Gitzo series 5 Off Centre Ball Head, Haida ND 3.6 ( ND 12 stop) Filter,  Remote timer.

Camera settings.

 

Post production

Adobe Photoshop CC.

©Jenny Cameron 2017

 

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