H&Y Filters:

the review of 100 system

Here we are. Finally this review: I will not dwell on the previous systems if not to clarify the differences that led me to this choice, I will rather focus on showing you what I have, how it works and what the results are. I made this mega - review divided into sections so you can read about what you are interested in simply by clicking on the appropriate link below.


Here's what I currently have about H&Y (in case I'll receive more or still have to do the tests, the links will be updated):

Holder K-Series® KH100 with standard & magnetic slots

CPL K-Series® 95mm
CPL / ND8 Combo K-Series® 95mm

GND 1.2 Soft in Corning® Gorilla Glass III 

ND65.000 K-Series® 95mm
PureNight Filter 100*100 neodymium glass 
Filter BAG (1° series, replaced by new one .. I prefer to wait the new one)
Rings, Cloths, Bags

Magnetic Frame


NEED DIRECT INFOS?

Believe me: it's really hard to show and explain all because it's all very much in the name of "unique and innovative" without putting aside screaming performances and disarming ease of use. 

The holder: KH100

 

Well, especially this last years, I've had the opportunity to try a "some" holder but I have to admit it: I have never had the opportunity to try and have the same incredible experience and freedom of use since the holder KH100 of H&Y .
The point is that I have never been attracted by that "big fuss" that the marketing proposes as "buy this! It's the best! Is the legendary! Is the most this and that!" and three months later you start seeing clones or you start to realize that this innovation was smoke in the eyes.
What most attracted me, in addition to the structure and then the options that the holder offers regarding the use and performance of filters, is the patent: this holder, like all the K-Series®, is patently registered H&Y.
I thought: "yeaaah that's the way I like it..."

So what are the peculiarities that make this holder as "one of a kind"?

Well first of all H&Y is the only manufacturer to offer a plate system with fixing on magnetic frames (and here I anticipate a gem, because now I can: in the future it will also be MARUMI holding, however, the brand H&Y remain on these products. (yes that MARUMI, this already makes you understand what level we are in. H&Y produces ALSO for MARUMI). This means that the assembly - control - disassembly of the slabs can be combined with any filter that complies with the standard 100*100 and 100*150 2mm thickness measurements. In practice they provide you with the necessary to keep your filters usable on the KH100 with both the classic slot system and the new magnetic system. THAT'S AWESOME!
 

But ... will it be safe?
 

I had my doubts, I confess. That plates held by magnets reminds me of the magnetic support for phones that makes the smartphone on the dashboard here and there: not the perfection.

So, two months and passes from the first experience of use with H&Y, after spending my time photographing and even move with tripod and camera on my shoulder without disassembling the holder and plates (as I usually do and many persons have already seen) I can deny what is seen on the web about the fact that the plates fly away just touching them: it is more dangerous and unstable a holder with tongue hook or a holder that can not hold all the plates in the same way for leverage - force on the slots. The KH100 is very safe, but if receive a violent hurt, it is not excluded that the filters come off to the holder (but this happens, unexpectedly, even with other holders especially if you loose some slots lives or if the slot system itself is made "bad" or again, for bad luck, if the filter does not reflect the minimum 1.9mm thickness standard), also remember that: if unfortunately falls, the filter will be protected by the frame ... but we will see in the appropriate section.
 

The polarization system.
 

Well this is the biggest innovation that could ever happen in my hands, at least for the holders: the H&Y system is the first one that allows you to have an installed polarizer - adjustable - replaceable at any time thanks to a new innovative way which is practical and safe: the system, as shown by this video to the side, is of an incredible immediacy and ease. In addition, the structure of the polarizer (to be clear: that aluminum which surrounds the glass) in addition to protecting the glass itself, allows you to handle the filter as if it were a slide, much easier and safer than any circular or square starting from the moment of extraction from the case, passing through the installation, continuing with the polarization always precise and smooth thanks to the clearly visible wheel that you soon learn to make it become a grip point for installation and removal of the same.
The polarizer (I will write later in detail in the appropriate section) is from 95mm but considering the glass diameter, not the possible thread just because it does not have, is a patented system that works ONLY on the KH100. Question: but when the pola is not in place? It remains a big window: in fact, for this reason the holder is equipped with a special aluminum cover. Another question: but if I rotate the holder, what's happen to the CPL? Falls from holder?? Absolutely not: the system is equipped with interlocking balls that constrain the polarizer. Photographically there is not the reason to flip the holder but, if happens, do not worry: nothing will fall (later videos will be made).


 

The magnetic system.
 

And oooh yeah, this is the other huge innovation proposed by H&Y, as I wrote above. But how is it structured? It is very simple: on the holder we have some metal plates on which the magnetic frame will be bound. You can also switch the following 100 holders tomagnetic system: Kase, NiSi, Lee, Cokin and Formatt Hitech. That's another great advantage of this system: with specific kit you can use the magnetic system without changing your holder.
And if one wants to use more plates one on top of the other?

Of course, it can be! It can also be controlled autonomously thanks to the constraining knob, so that one plate remains constrained and the other slides over it. WARNING: obviously the magnetic frames have a polarity recognizable by the "stars" placed on the frame and also by a little adhesive label that H&Y give to write the type of filter that has been "transforming" into magnetic: always put it in remember that this is the right part for installation. In addition, when used with the wrong polarization, you will notice immediately because the plate will be bad-bound (rejected) to the previous one.

Kit supplied.

 

The kit includes: cover for CPL slot, 95mm CPL, 1 Magnetic Frame, a simply bag for holder and 1 filter, normal slot pair (with minikit for installation and pins for plate fixing), 4 rings 67-72- 77-82 inclusive of dedicated trick.
 

The Magnetic Frames

 

What is a Magnetic Frame?

Basically it is a real frame that is installed, piece by piece, around the filter: it is universal for the standard 100*100 - 100*150 and, other "gem", soon it will be also for the standard 150*150 - 150*170.
I think this "idea" of protection - controlled use of the frame filter was born from the Wine Country Camera (which have another of the most innovative holders of recent times but, substantially less "libertine" and immediate of the H&Y. I confess it would have been my fallback <also because I have the possibility to buy it at discounted price>, but I immediately preferred the H&Y system) and subsequently also adopted by Benro and yet no frame on the market is like the H&Y, ie magnetic.

 

 


Control


Initially it scares a little bit to know that your filter not runs on a very precise track such as the classic slot with plastic that curves to press the plate frontally or sideways, allowing even partial insertions of the filters. Also leave a little puzzled that, usually, the magnets are quite difficult to govern ... yet I (and also other users with whom I had to do) actually we had the same feeling: once you try those two or three times, there's nothing to be done: you understand the potential and it's love right away!
The only "flaw" so to speak: it requires a little more patience is it regarding the millesimal displacements for possible precise positioning on the use of filters like R-Gnd or Hard, because of their net nuance. Really minor stuff, instead of a second it will take one and a half .....

 

How to install a magnetic frame?
 

it's a breeze. I show you come in THIS VIDEO.
In addition, the frame is protective for your personal contents in those cases where they fall off the edge. In addition to the already effective hooks between the parts, the possibility of using the double sided adhesive strip that you have inserted between the track of the frame, in which to fit the filter (as the video shows). The filter will be more protected, a deal that is a flat surface ...!
Even if it falls flat, the filter will be more protected, provided it is a flat surface ...!
Later I will make demo videos as a fall-test and this review will be enriched.

CPL and CPL/ND8 95mm

 

Finally I found a manufacturer - manufactor declaring, on its packaging, the glass that actually uses for its products and you will also see that it is not limited to a typology precisely because, examining its use and actual physical use on the K-system. Series®, considered it appropriate to diversify the supply and therefore the type of glass used.
But let's start with the CPL.
I've already explain the system, here I'll go into details: made of the latest generation Schott® B270 optical glass, has the NITTO® polarization film inside and, in addition to being an ND2, his maximum darkening factor (in the middle of the polarization) reaches up to 1.5 stops: as a polarizer, so it is quite aggressive but not too much. Moreover, its polarization is beautiful wide and there are no particular problems of "too polarized and too darkened areas" even if, obviously, on the "wideangles lens" which always push the problem, no matter what polarizer you use.
When used, both the pola turn out to be a little "warm", maintaining the same white balance as PRE inserting filters. The result, therefore, is that the colors of the landscape are somehow emphasized and slightly heated: for those looking for an absolutely neutral polarizer is not for you, for those looking for a polarizer with these characteristics (usually very popular with landscape designers) the CPL supplied will fully satisfy these characteristics. It is certainly not a polarizer that alters the colors only in a particular polarized area (as you can see from the photo the result is uniform throughout the frame) nor does it create areas that are too dark compared to other too light ones. Thanks to its dedicated slot and its small size, the polarizer will really be very very close to the lens of your objective because of the special ring structure. In addition, the very large dimensions (95mm) ensure TOTAL absence of vignetting even on the most driven wide angles (such as the Sony 16-35 GM ƒ / 2.8).

GND 1.2 Soft

 

The gnd of H&Y are really a power, blablabla .. I could stay here to always give you the usual review on how fantastic they are with the usual pictures on the field ... I think the images with color card here on the side speak for themselves.

What I really want emphasize is that here we talk about a product as if we were talking about the whole line just because H&Y produces all its filters, specifies any add-ons that the filters have, specifies the materials with which they are been made ... and what does this mean?

It means:

- EXCELLENT quality control
- EXCELLENT problem solving in some cases something bad happens (because, even if I doubt it, they are human too)
- GREAT TRANSPARENCY: a company that does not specify or is vague on the material used and keeps the prices high, despite having a good product, does not actually justify the cost
- GREAT INNOVATION (not by chance the H&Y motto is "the filter innovator")
- PERFECT CONSTANT in the entire product line (just because the production line is only one, you do not have re-badges of products from several external production lines that could cause, albeit small, the problems of the final result ... even if the products, taken individually, work more than good)

 

From this we can understand that H&Y is a company that works hard and works to bring the best directly on the hands of photographers.


Niche? Yes.
But especially in Italy we know what niche means, take for example the dear violinmaker who wants to make his own tools:

- will choose the woods
- will choose the paints to protect and embellish them
- will work everything with care and dedication
- if something does not go well, the work is redone
- for its own tools, it will make use of third-party accessories of excellent quality
- will be proud of his instrument ... even if it will sound really good as others
- ALWAYS will have something different from the remaining products

Here it is. This happens in H&Y ... and it also happens with regard to GND:

- coatings: the necessary Koreans (anti drop - repellent oil, anti reflex etc etc) but perfect, impeccable and on both sides.
- nuance "OHMYGOD" (and it is not a typology but the one that will come out of your mouth as soon as you will try a gnd like the 1.2 for example)
- color cast "not received" (as for the polarizers, even here I could specify ... but there is absolutely no color cast and this is TOP because none of us would want to partially ruin their photo for color temperature ...! )
- frightening flare resistance (but this does not mean that your lens will stop producing them magically)
- crazy definition: although the CORNING® GG III has other applications, it is above the B270 for optical performance, lower than the H-K9L, it is excellent for optical applications, especially for plate use also because ...
- antishock / antiscratch: it is really very resistant but, if we join it to the magnetic frames, it will be more probable to see a white fly than a broken GND H&Y. Take care: the GG III is definitely more resistant to bumps and scratches of the hardened B270. Let me tell you who was among the first to have it .... !!!
 

ND 65.000

65,000? 16 Stops ???
and how can it be used?
... this is the first impression that makes a ND filter so dense, but it is not the only one on the market (but it is certainly the only one made as circular and to be inserted instead of the CPL / CPL-ND system we have seen HERE).

For what can be useful?

 

Well imagine having to empty a square in the middle of the day: with 30 "(in fact, probably less) you will not be able to do it.
Imagine taking advantage of the movement of clouds with the sun still high.

Cool, huh?

Obviously,  another aspect to think, will be: damn, however, with such a filter you have to be very careful about light infiltrations. Yes, if it were not that the filter, in fact, is inserted into the system with a circular slot and there will be NO light infiltration and you will not need special sheaths or, even less, to cover the filter.

It will also be to think: well, certainly with a filter so "thick" - from the ND value so high, the dominant will be a problem. Yes: there is certainly a dominant but, unlike other brands that offer filters with dominant even at lower densities, the H&Y ND65.000 proposes itself with a just cold colorcast completely manageable that will not ruin the photos that will be produced .

it is, therefore, a very fun and interesting filter to use and .. meanwhile, it allows you to relax and enjoy the view.

Of course, it is also equipped with H&Y coatings on the remaining filters and, as with the rest of the K-Series holder circular filters, it is made of original Schott B270 optical glass inserted inside the ring which allows not only the perfect installation in the holder but, also, the possibility to handle it with care.

NB: you can download the RAW files proposed alongside this link.

No Filter

With ND 65.000

It should be noted that: I had to approach the light source (Viltrox panel, constant 5600K light) and fully open the diaphragm of the 15mm macro: this to let in as much light as possible (and after 10min of exposure it was still dark). The fall in sharpness and the different distribution of light is due to this. These images serve to establish the color-cast.

 

Pure Night Filter

 

And we came, last but not least, to the "darkness" section: night shots. Today we are more and more fascinated by this kind of shots: nightscape, cityscape and even astrophotography.
In this case we find ourselves fighting another kind of light, rather parasitic: the light pollution coming from the artificial lights that are reflected between humidity and different types of particles of which the atmosphere is composed. Notwithstanding that: there is no night filter that switches off the artificial lights (ehehe we still hope!), the filters for the control of light pollution (anti LP) are usually composed of a film or totally made of neodymium: chemical element that, in in this case, it allows the absorption of particular frequencies of the color spectrum (warm) CHANGING the shade, sometimes also in a visible way to the sight (from the rosy aspect passing through the cyan up to the quite intense violet).


The "PureNight" H&Y filter is totally made of neodymium glass and is able to filter the color spectrum of frequencies between 570 and 590nm while it is able to limit the frequencies from 590 and 620nm: this will allow you to manage the night glow hot both inside and outside the city, but if the phenomenon is very present and if the weather conditions are too unfavorable, the phenomenon will continue to be quite visible.
The particularity of Pure Night, compared to other night filters that I have owned, is to be less aggressive as regards delimiting the passage of non-parasitic light, so it will not be so aggressive in the shadow areas but will still require more time exposure - a higher iso scale value or a larger diaphragm aperture (if possible).
Here alongside some of my shots made without and with Pure Night Filter. Obviously even the Pure Night filter can be "framed" and used with the magnetic system.

To simplify, I numbered the photos so as to make the comparison more immediate because it is quite complex. First I took the

photo N°1 with filter inserted, extending the time of 6 "and keeping unchanged aperture (ƒ/2.8) and ISO value (3200) The white balance was set at 4650K and +2 of Tint;

photo N°2 I used the same shooting settings (ƒ/2.8 and ISO 3200) but decreasing the shutter speed (20") to compensate for the final result and the WB was set at 4450K and +5 shades (so just colder and more turned to magenta than the previous one).

Finally, the shot N°3 resumes the settings of No. 1 but with the shooting times of N°2 (20") and the ISO at 6400. We will then exeminate the various comparations step by step.

CLICKING ON THE BOLD TITLES WILL OPEN THE PAGES OF COMPARISON WITH THE PICTURES

1-Effects on the intensity of artificial light

in this first comparison we will see how, by applying +0.50 of exposure to shooting N°1 compared to N°2, we will get a scene almost identical but with a very different situation regarding the intensity of artificial light reflected by glazes and wet present, making the certainly more homogeneous shot also about the "darker" parts of this starry

 

2- Effects on color temperature
In this second comparison we will see how, setting with the same value the color temperature and raising +0.50 the exposure value on photo 1, the photo will not be "the same" and, therefore, the use of the filter positively affects those areas in which light pollution compromises the visibility of the sky. Also interesting is the part of the lactea, assuming a more homogeneous and more "verisimilar" color with regard to astronomical photography, with a small emphasis on contrast without affecting its brightest parts.

3- Effects on the overall result doubling the ISO

In this last comparison it is still possible to notice a reasonable margin of difference between the two shots by applying to the shot N°3 (which is twice the ISO value of N°2) a reduction of -0.50 of the exposure value: even though , almost identical, the same exposure and the same balance of white we can still notice the differences of glow especially under the rock, also there is a very good general contrast that does not affect the nuances of the milky, except for the passage of the veiling .
 

So: note that these shots are made with Fuji X-T1 (and certainly it will be possible to have a greater definition and possibility to exploit even better the filter with more performing and higher-end machine bodies), it can be said that the PureNight Filter is a generic LP filter that works really well without being as aggressive as other LPs on the market? The answer is yes ... without a doubt. Merit of excellent coatings (and not very influential) but also and above all from the glass in neodymium (glass, not film inserted between the plates).

Rings, cloths and bags

 

In conclusion I'll write you about the various accessories that are supplied with the filters or with the kit holder. Let's start with the adapter rings included in the KH100 kit. The quality of the rings which are in aeronautical aluminum is really good, the design is part of that system under the patent I wrote before, and provides that everything is "as close as possible" to the front lens of your objective but at the same time that it is a valid support - constraint for the entire structure of the holder that clings to the possible ring used with a jointing system and double constraint complete with rubber for partial release and precise control. The holder does not need to be perfectly still - nailed because the slots adopted are very "soft" in control even if decided to classic slots (they also have the side block of each single slab through knob) and the magnetic system does not need force: just rest the plate in front of the holder.

The threads are perfect and do not require special rings also for lenses which, often for other brands, it happens to have problems (see Tokina 11-20).

Supplied we will have the diameters 67-72-77-82.
The cloths supplied with the H&Y plates and magnetic frames are very good and above all large (30x30cm white pieces), a thought certainly worthy of note for all those landscapers who usually clean the filters and always find microscopic cloths and that do not even clean grandma's kitchen!
Finally the bags: I have to be honest, the enclosures have partially disappointed me but I have also understood why these choices have been made. Let's start from the squares: truly spartan cases, padded in neoprene with velcro closure ... certainly protective enough, certainly not elegant, a little too subject to wear (are covered with a thin synthetic canvas) but all in all just roll it in your pocket and you will never lose it. It does not excite in beauty, the right in functionality.
Already something changes with the cases supplied in the magnetic frames boxes:

although the style is identical, they are larger and more padded.
Cases for CPL-Combo K-series circulars, on the other hand, are something that touches luxury like no other brand.