I recently tested out the K&F Concept Combo Black Mist 1/4 and Variable ND2-400 Variable 2 in 1 Nano-X Series filter. The combination of a Black Mist with Variable ND filter really caught my attention. I thank K&F Concept again for this collaboration. If you are interested in getting the product for yourself after reading this:
Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page and get a 5% discount on the filter with the code: ESFILTERS05
Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page
Who are K&F Concept?
K&F Concept, a brand founded in 2012, has been committed to designing, innovating, and manufacturing photography accessories. In the pursuit of product excellence, K&F Concept has obtained more than 150 patents and various international product awards. K&F Concept has been a popular buy in 56 countries and regions and is involved in different markets in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Their official website is being upgraded, so you can browse www.kentfaith.com - the website of K&F Concept authorised shopping mall - for reference. Kentfaith is a comprehensive shopping mall of all kinds of video and audio products, which is popular with users all over the world. All K&F Concept products are available at Kent Faith.
What is a Black Mist Filter?
By lowering the contrast and overall highlight intensity of your shot, a black mist filter creates a hazy, dreamy effect, also referred to as a "boom" or "cineboom" in lighting. In Portrait photography, it softens wrinkles and blemishes and gives you that soft light.
The intensity of the effect (or diffusion/mist) is identified by the manufacturer and K&F Concept identify their intensity by fractions. The filter I'm reviewing today has a 1/4 intensity.
Each model of the filter gives a different level of transmittance. The 1/4 intensity gave a transmittance of 84%.
What is transmittance?
Transmittance by definition from the Oxford Language Dictionary is:
the ratio of the light energy falling on a body to that transmitted through it.
In terms of the filter, transmittance is the amount of effect the filter has on the final shot, and the ratio is what gives the filter that "cineboom" effect.
What is a ND Filter?
In simple terms, a neutral density or ND filter is a filter that is placed in front of a lens to reduce the amount of light making its way to the camera. Think of the ND filter as sunglasses for your camera - although these "sunglasses" do not change the colour of the light being captured, hence the title of neutral.
The classic use of a ND filter is to reduce the shutter speed of your camera in order to create motion blur or emphasise motion in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, water, smoke and vehicle traffic.
The ND filter also allows photographers to shoot in bright daylight conditions with wide angle apertures without the fear of overexposing.
The ND number relates to the amount of stops (the amount of light) that is being reduced to reach the sensor of the camera. The K&F Concept Variable Lens we are looking at today ranges from ND2 (1 stop) to ND400 (8.65 stops).
"A stop is a doubling or halving of the amount of light let in when taking a photo. For example, if you hear a photographer say he's going to increase his exposure by 1 stop, he simply means he's going to capture twice as much light as on the previous shot." - www.photographymad.com
The only bit of plastic within the packaging was the cling film the case came wrapped in, and I love that K&F has really reduced their use of plastic within their products.
What's in the box?
In the box you will find a stylish magnetic pouch (leather - I think) to which houses and protects the filter. Nice and simple but elegant - minimalist.
Crafted with imported Japanese AGC glass, the material quality is top-notch, ensuring optimal clarity and durability. The frame thickness of 7.4mm, made with aluminum-magnesium alloy, adds a sleek and sturdy feel to the overall design.
One standout feature of this lens is the 28 multi-layer coatings on both sides, which greatly enhance image quality and reduce unwanted reflections. Additionally, its ND2-ND400 functionality provides a variable range of 1-8.65 stops, allowing for precise control over the amount of light entering the lens. This flexibility is a huge plus when it comes to adapting to different shooting conditions.
I love that the filter has orange notches and markings, making it easy to determine the exact setting you are using, although it would be great if it securely clicked into each setting.
The leather case also has a little orange strip on the side that's handy to get the filter out without having to get your fingerprints all over the filter.
Real World Tests
I was absolutely blown away by how user-friendly this combo filter was. Within just a couple of minutes of experimenting with it, I was able to capture fantastic shots. Unlike many other variable ND filters, which tend to produce an unwanted "x-cross shadow" effect, this filter performed flawlessly. I didn't encounter this issue unless you went past the designated markings but it was easily reversed by going back to the start of the markings.
To give you a visual comparison, take a look at the shots below that demonstrate the filter's impact. You'll see the remarkable difference it makes in enhancing the quality of your photos, without any undesirable artifacts. I love the cinematic feel I was able to achieve instantly with my shots and the slight orange tinge it added, which worked well in most cases. It also works great with lights for night shots, giving a real dreamy effect.
What really intrigued me about the filter is the possibility of getting a long exposure shot whilst maintaining that cinematic feel.
To get the most of this filter, I would suggest that you have a light source in the shot or a just on the edge to get the full effect.
Some more examples of the Filter in the action.
If you are after something that's going to give your shots that cinematic touch as well as an ND filter to control the light, then this is the tool for you. What I love about it is that I don't have to carry two separate filters in my already overfull camera bag.
Links again to buy the product if you are interested:
Click HERE to go directly to K&F Concept's website to get the filter with a 5% discount with the code: ESFILTERS05
Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page