I’ve been curious for some time now – If I’m being honest slightly skeptical if the Clear Night filter actually worked & wanted to find out for myself if this filter really did what it claimed. Initially, I questioned why can’t you simply change the white balance in post production, what’s all the fuss about? Let me walk you through my honest, hand on heart evaluation of the Haida M10 round “drop-in” clear night filter.
Let me start by explaining a little bit about the M10 round “drop-in” filters which were released on the market in January 2019. They come in a wide range of sizes to fit most popular lenses in sizes 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 and 82mm. 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). Inserting the filter into the M10 filter holder couldn’t be easier, it simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light with its in built light barrier. If you’d like to learn more about the Haida M10 filter holder please feel free to read my in depth test review & video here. It’s almost like gravity does the work for you, so effortless – once you hear the click it’s locked in place. If you don’t have the M10 filter holder but would like to try the Haida Clear Night Filter you can purchase the different options below.
- Nano Pro 100 series Clear Night filter 100mm x 100mm, 2 mm in thickness. (Compatible with many of the most popular 100mm filter holders, including the Haida 100-Pro Filter Holder, and the Lee FK Foundation Kit Filter Holder) more information
- Nano Pro round Screw-in Filter more information.
This test review was based on a shoot at a remote loch in the county of Caithness in the Highlands of Scotland. Using my Canon 5d mark iv ( full frame camera), Canon 16-35mm USM L lens, Gitzo tripod and ball head. Although I was in a remote area, over 100 miles from the nearest City of Inverness there was still small villages dotted around which caused slight light pollution. My main goal in testing any filter will always be for neutrality & sharpness. I want it to replicate what my eyes see without any strange colour casts which has been an issue for me in the past with a couple of other filter brands.
My photography journey started in 2015 predominantly landscapes but never tried night photography as I’ve always loved my bed too much & staying up till midnight never really appealed to me. Living in the far north of Scotland I knew the milky way & aurora was rocking on whilst I was enjoying my sleep..I guess I took it for granted. After my cancer treatment finished last month its given me a new lease of life, wanting to push my personal boundaries a little more & decided to give this years milkyway season a bash. As a brand ambassador for Haida filter they happily offered me the opportunity to evaluate their M10 round “drop-in”clear-night filter. A few days after it arrived I packed my rucksack & headed north. First night the conditions on a few of the popular apps looked great but ended up in reality too cloudy. The stars were barely visible, I was extremely disappointed to say the least. Im not a defeatist & refused to let this beat me. The following night I returned to the same location with sheer determination, after spending the afternoon & beautiful early evening/sunset thoroughly scouting the location, experimenting with different focal lens & compositions, eventually I settled on a simplistic scene.
Experience from my previous night taught me this particular location was extremely dark. My question was how would I remember exactly where to place my tripod? I came up with the idea of placing some stones enabling me to find the exact location for the tripod in the dark. The clouds started to roll in as the sun was setting, the barometer on my watch dropped, I was convinced it would be another cloudy night & went to sleep feeling deflated. About 2am I peeked out the window, to my delight the stars were popping off the sky! Adrenaline kicked in, it was exhilarating & I couldn’t wait to set the tripod on my strategically placed stones.
After keeping a close eye on the histogram & checking the images on the LCD display I wasn’t too convinced & felt yet again a sense of disappointment. What had I done wrong now? How do others make it look so easy & great? Why does it look a flat muddy yellow colour? I decided to try the Clear Night filter, exposed for around 26 seconds & boom …I was smiling from ear to ear. Instant clarity, almost like a polarising effect which replicated what I was actually viewing, incredible true to life colours & rid of the horrible warm tones which you can easily see in the raw file below. The sky appears clearer & stars intensify with the filter on. It significantly improved the colour & quality throughout the whole image. I was back on a high, couldn’t have felt more elated. This was great & super easy to use combined with the Haida M10 filter holder which is a dream to use.
The filter made a terrific improvement in its job;
- Blocking light rays in the spectrum of sodium lamps & mercury arc lamps between approximately 580nm & 610nm which eliminated the yucky yellow/orange casts, providing a lovely cool tone which is something I prefer to portray for my nightscapes.
- True to life colours.
- Unbelievable sharpness.
- Improved optical clarity & contrast.
- Blocking the yellow sodium-vapor light often generated from light pollution in the night sky.
- The blue area of the filter has a 100% transmission rate, green area approx 50% & red area around 90%.
- Not to mention, made my post processing super easy & fast.
Design & construction
I particularly liked the design of the plastic holder that the round glass sits in, making it ultra easy to drop in and remove from the filter holder without any disturbance to the composition even with clumsy gloves on. Constructed from high quality optical glass identical to the Red Diamond series and feature the same NanoPro multi anti-reflective coatings on both sides which not only produces excellent image quality, total colour fidelity, shock-proof, resistant to dirt/scratches. It helps with condensation from the cold dark night, as any water particles literally bead up & roll off, then any excess is easily wiped off with a microfibre cloth. As with all of the M10 filter range it has a built-in light gasket which seals to the M10 Holder & prevents any unwanted light leakage.
Images below showing raw files (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @21mm with no filter and with Haida M10 “drop-in” Clear Night filter. Same white balance on both (auto). Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness & made the stars pop straight off the night sky with stunning cool tones.
Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud
Where are the filters assembled?
All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China.
Overall this will remain in my filter case & used in absolutely every night sky I shoot. Im super impressed the way it added a further dimension to my night photography & would highly recommend to any friends. I now have the dark night sky addiction, already have a few locations planned for when the conditions are good again & will add more images to this review. The M10 round “drop-in” Clear night filter is the perfect companion for night skies, don’t leave home without it. Thank you Haida for saving the day yet again for me.
All the equipment I’ve mentioned above can be purchased direct online from Haida’s European distributor Haida Germany shop for excellent service.
I hope this provides you some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions. More info & my test reviews on Haida’s website.
“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2019