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K&F Concept 1/4 Black Mist Filter

I recently took out the K&F Concept 1/4 Black Mist Filter for a spin. I thank them again for this collaboration. If you are interested in getting the product for yourself after reading this:


Click HERE to go directly to K&F Concept. You can also get a 10% discount code: KF10UK

or

Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page

Who are K&F Concept?

K&F Concept (short for Kent and Faith) are a one-stop refined photography solution provider. Founded in 2011, they specialise in design, research and marketing of photographic and video equipment ranging from camera tripods, lens filters, camera bags, surveillance cameras and other must have accessories for your photographic needs.


 

What is a Black Mist Filter?

A black mist filter lowers the contrast and overall highlight intensity of your shot. By doing that, it creates a hazy, dreamy effect also called a "boom" or "cineboom" in the 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. I tested out the 1/4 intensity filter. Other intensities available include 1/8, 1/2, 1 and a combo lens of 1/4 black mist and variable ND2-32 filter.


Each model 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. The ratio is what gives the filter that "cineboom" effect.

 

Packaging

The packaging came plastic wrapped and the filter itself this time didn't come in a plastic sleeve but instead it is in a protective disc pouch similar to the ND filter that I reviewed previously. Hopefully in the future, the plastic wrapping could be replaced with a paper/biodegradable alternative.


 

What's in the box?

As seen above the Black Mist Filter comes in a protective disc with rivets to hold it in place. The outer box is also very well made and presented as is the norm with K&F Concept.


 

Build Quality


The Glass

The Black Mist Filter is made of high precision optical glass that is manufactured in Germany which is then coated with a high-tech film which is mould, water and oil proof. It is also scratch resistant. The lens has all the characteristics of hard scraping as well but without any influence on the image quality. I can vouch that I found no drop in image quality whatsoever. My images were as sharp as they would be normally without any filter.


The Frame

The frame is made of aviation grade aluminium and the width is only 3.3mm, which makes it ultra slim and helps to ensure that you don't get dark corners and vignetting on wide angles and long focal lengths. I found I had no issues with dark corners or vignetting whatsoever.


CNC Trapezoidal Pattern Frame

The outside of the filter has what K&F Concept have developed as a "CNC Trapezoidial Pattern Frame System". In simple terms, the system is a series of ridges around the filter which makes putting it onto the lens a lot easier. With other companies, I have found it difficult to get the filter off the camera lens but this really makes life easier . This system can also be found on the variable ND filter, which I previously reviewed. The connection felt great but it did feel like it took a while to unscrew it off my lens,


 

Real World Tests


What I found is that you need the right lighting conditions for the shots to see the full effect of the lens. You need quite a strong light source to experience the "cineboom" effect so I tried to have the sun or light just in the corner of the frame to bring that little bit of magic to the shots. If you are lacking a light source, I found I didn't see much of a difference except for some softness in the clouds in some shots.


See below for the with and without comparisons. I tried to compose the two shots exactly the same but I took most hand held.








 

Conclusion

If you are after that little bit of sparkle or cinematic look for your photos or videos at a reasonable price, then the K&F Black Mist Filter is definitely something you need to consider. In the future, I would like to try the different transmittance versions to analyse the different effects.


Links again to buy the product if you are interested:


Click HERE to go directly to K&F Concept. You can also get a 10% discount code: KF10UK

or

Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page