Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A great idea, with some problems

I use a polarizer filter most of the time when I'm shooting outdoors in the day time.   The good news is I have four lenses that all use the same size filter so I have only had to buy one.  The bad news is that means I am constantly taking the filter off one lens and putting it on another.   This is a royal pain.

I was excited to learn about a new product that seemed to address the painful parts of swapping a
filter between lenses.  A friend showed me the XUME Quick Release Adapters.   Their website says - "frees you from the tedium and frustration of changing filters while clients wait or as the perfect light slips away. Never miss a shot again. Use the filter you want on the lens you want, when you want. Great for polarizers and variable NDs."  This sounds like the perfect solution and I ordered rings for four lenses and one polarizer filter, plus three lens caps that fit the rings.

I took these with me when hiking the Smoky Mountains on Sunday.   This was the first real use of the XUME system in the field and I have to say I was disappointed.

The first issue I ran into was some severe vignetting when using a wide angle lens.  I was shooting a full frame camera with a 17-40mm lens.   Their website says you might see moderate vignetting at focal lengths below 24mm on a full frame.   This can vary by camera and lens and I was seeing it at 28mm.   This may not be an issue for you if you are using a cropped sensor camera or a lens with a minimum focal length greater than 24 - 28 mm.  Since I like to shoot wide this became a serious issue for me. 

These adapters seemed to hold pretty tight, but it wasn't too long before I knocked my filter off the lens when pulling a lens shade off.  The filter dropped in the muddy gravel at my feet but wasn't damaged.   I can see damaging or losing a filter in my future.

After that, I took the rings off my lenses and filters.  I don't think I'll use them.   They wouldn't be a problem on my 70-200mm or 300mm lens but they are on my favorite 17-40 and 24-105mm.  Because you need to use them on all the lenses to get the maximum benefits it doesn't make sense to have them on some lenses but not others.

If anyone has a cropped sensor camera and lenses that use 77mm filters I'll be willing to let these babies go to a new home.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Richard. I also bought a set of adapters and lens caps, but haven't yet tested vignetting on my 16-35. There are physical conflicts between adapter+lens cap and the lens shade on my 28-300. I could learn that handling sequence, but hadn't considered the risk of knocking a filter or cap off in the process. I'm not sure I'd be 100% comfortable trusting my $$$ Singh-Ray ND/polarizer to the magnets.