Alex Hare Photography
Before I start, I should say that this is an independent view of these filters. I am a brand ambassador for Kase but I still paid for my own filters like everyone else. My association with them is so that I can offer their filters for sale through my website and support them with my images.
I’ve used a filter system for nearly all my photographic life and I was using a very well known brand for over 15 years.
What made me change? Few niggles crept in over the years; the cost was really high and replacing broken or lost kit was not fun, the fact the plastic neutral density grads seemed to go a bit fuzzy and never quite 100% clear after time, the fact the glass big stopper filter broke in my hands as I was inserting it (I never dropped it once) and that I always had to spend time in post production sorting out vignetting in the corners of my images when I used the screw in polariser.
In the image, above, shot for a tourism client where we were on a tight time schedule and much effort and planning had gone into producinng a traffic free shot of Arundel Caslte with paddle boarders, my RAW files are blighted by the vignetting (darkening) in the corners of my 17mm wide angle lens which had to be manually removed from all my shots in this sequence.
In this shot of Summerhouse Hill, Kent, the sequence of 3 images that makes the pano would have been hard to stitch in post production if it had vignetting. The Kase filters have saved me a lot of post production time here as I'd have had to manually corrct each image prior to stitching togethher.
Also, their neutral density graduate over the sky has done a great job fearthered over the horizon line.
So my dissatisfaction lead me to trial Kase filters after I had a look at them on display at the Photography Show and I was really, really impressed. So much so I chose to invest in them myself and adopt them into my professional kit list.
Here’s a short summary of the key reasons I prefer them/enjoy using them:
- No vignetting even with a polariser and 2 filters slid into the holder in place on my 17mm wideangle lens. Saves me time, which saves me both money and my sanity!
- Wiping rain off the filters is so much easier now. No more streaky lines, the moisture lifts off much better than with my old lot.
- Very robust; the drop tests they do reassure me they wont break easily. I noticed a few bits dropping off the edges of my plastic filters which wasn’t great. Again, they weren’t dropped.
- Cost. Kase is considerably better value for money on a better, overall, product. The filter holder includes the polariser at a fraction of the cost of the polariser on my old system. And then you had to pay additionally for the filter holder…
- The filter holder is brilliantly designed; it clips on and can’t be knocked off (which my old system could) and the polariser attaches quickly through a strong magnet. Quick and easy. No fiddling with a screw thread and cold hands. So much better, easier and quicker.
- I find the neutral density filters much better in terms of ‘neutral’ colours. My old system produced quite a heavy blue bias which wasn’t all that easy to remove/adjust for in post production. The Kase filters haven’t needed any colour correction work on this front.
When I look back at this list I wonder why I didn’t look for a better filter system sooner! Habit I guess. Laziness, brand loyalty affect ‘everyone else uses them, they must be good…’ syndrome. Well there is a better alternative and it’s Kase filters.
In this shot, the polariser has done a excellent job of saturating the sky and cuting out the distracting white light that our eyes do a good of but which a camera sensor cannot. And no vignetting on the wide angle!
You can (shortly) buy Kase from my website; I'm setting up the system now to do this. If you buy a copy of my forthcmoing book (Photographing Kent) or have attended one of my workshops you will receive a discount code on these filters which is exclusive to me. For previous workshop clients interested in the filters, plesse email me for the code.
Even without the discount, Kase are excellent value compared to the other brands and have really nailed their products being designed by photographers, for photographers.
In conclusion, I’m just very glad I bought mine. Now I can get back to taking photographs with less to worry about from my filter system. In fact, I’m not sure what there is to worry about now, and that's the way it should be.