Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8 & NanoPro Magnetic Polariser test review

Introduction

Welcome to my test review– Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8 (6 stops) and a Haida NanoPro Magnetic Circular Polariser (CPL). Testing for sharpness, magnetic attraction strength, ergonomics, vignette, colour cast and practicalities.

As a landscape photographer– Over the years I’ve learnt the importance of investing in a good quality filter set if you truly want to hone in on your in-camera creativity. I`d go as far to say neutral density filters are almost as necessary as having a decent tripod. It’s something you can buy a bit at a time to build a collection to suit your needs. However, choosing the correct not only brand but these days the correct family (magnetic, round, square, rear-lens etc…) can be the tricky part. Hopefully, I can offer a little help.

Location

I planned a few days photography trip in the far north western mountains here in Scotland with a couple of friends and thought it would be an ideal opportunity to put these beauties through their paces. After testing Haida’s Interchangeable Magnetic VND filters earlier this year- which I fell head over heels in love with for their practicalities and super sharp imagery, I wanted to see if the bar was set as high with the rest of the Magnetic ND family.

Equipment used– Canon 5d mark iv body, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens, Gitzo Systematic 5 series Tripod and ball-head. Haida filters. Software- Adobe Creative Cloud.

Meet the Magnetic family

Magnetic Adapter Ring

Constructed entirely from aluminium for strength and light-weight. I have to commend Haida on the super slim design- From my experience, this helps with any unnecessary vignettes when shooting at wide angles. It screws really smoothly and with ease onto your lens. What I really love about this design is the ability to be able to leave it on your lens permanently so it won’t get misplaced or lost. Once this is in place you’re ready to start adding filters which is done in seconds. It takes longer to get a filter out of your bag than it does putting it on.

Sizes available= 52- 82mm. Step-up rings are also available in sizes 67-77mm and 77-82mm. I’m using an 82mm on my Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens.

Magnetic Adapter ring

Magnetic lens cap

What I love about this- If you leave the magnetic adapter ring on your lens you can simply pop on the magnetic lens cap and pack away conveniently in your bag- knowing everything is secured and less time consuming for your next shoot. These are sold separately and not included with a single filter -However, it is included in the kit.


Haida NanoPro Magnetic neutral density (ND) 1.8

Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8 (6 stops) stacked on top of Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL.

We will start by looking at the ND 1.8 which is a 6 stop, meaning the light will be reduced by 6 stops of light- Essentially sun glasses for your lens and comes in different strengths. For me personally, as a landscape photographer this is my go-to filter for anything moving- Example- Wispy clouds, to smooth down fast flowing water or waterfalls, creating a dreamy effect. It’s used to darken the whole image evenly from top to bottom and-that allows you to use a wider aperture or slower shutter speed than you would without the filter. This achieves very pleasing results as you have more creative control with depth of field and convey movement in a beautiful motion. Typically used for long exposure photography. Also, very useful for a cinematic look in video making which I spoke about in my previous blog post and video if you’d like to learn more.

Once you start going past a 2 stop ND filter on a wide angle lens you start getting into obvious unwanted vignettes’ and strange colour cast territories’. I can happily confirm from my findings- No vignette, consistent tonality/ contrast with no colour shift (neutrality) and no loss of sharpness from corner to corner in the final raw files which speak for themselves in the images below.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8. No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness. Without filter- ISO 100, F8, 1/30 With 6 stop ND filter- ISO 100, F8, 2 seconds.

Without/with filter

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud

Specifications

Sizes– Available in sizes 52- 82mm.

ConstructionThe frame part is constructed from Aerospace Aluminium making it super strong and extremely light weight. The glass is made from high quality K9 optical glass for clarity and colour fidelity with a NanoPro coating.

Weight– 18g based on 82mm filter.

Featuring

  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Lightweight.
  • No light leakages.
  • Low profile filtration.
  • Quick to install and switch filters.
  • NanoPro coating, helps prevent dirt/smudges from adhering to the glass, reduced reflections, scratch resistant, waterproof, fingerprint, oil-proof and cleaning efficiency.
  • Fully compatible and interchangeable with magnetic filters from other brands.
  • Magnetic metal lens cap.

Ergonomics’- The downsides of glass filters are they are more prone to scratches and finger print smudges. On location before starting the video for this evaluation, without thinking I stupidly sprayed midge repellent on my hands then picked up a filter- Leaving a thin coat of oil all over! Thankfully with a soft microfibre cloth it was easy to wipe off thanks to the NanoPro coating on the filter. The magnetic strip around the edges acts like a light seal meaning no light leakage whatsoever- It’s a win win innovation. Speed of use and convenience is high on my list, watch my video to see how easy installation is. The ability to add/swop filters fast can make or break a potentially great image as you’re not wasting time screwing on the adapter ring then filter holder, followed by filters, it can be time consuming and often frustrating when the light is moving fast-its that rabbit in the headlights feeling. No more struggling to screw on filters in the winter with numb hands. You can stack up to 4 magnetic filters with this system including other brand magnetic filters. Making stacking filters the easiest we’ve ever had. When you’re finished shooting and ready to pack away you can leave the adapter ring on and put the magnetic lens cap over the top, making life even more convenient for your next composition.


Haida NanoPro Magnetic Circular Polariser

What is a Circular Polariser and how does it work?

My favourite of all the filters has always been the Polariser, often referred to as a CPL ( Circular Polariser/Linear). A vital piece of kit every photographer should have and something which cannot be mimicked with digital tricks no matter how good you are. I really cannot stress enough the importance for the majority of photography genres. All in all you really cannot go wrong investing in a good quality polariser.

I’m no light Scientist and Physics was my worst subject at school- Therefore I won`t attempt a full technical breakdown of how it works, in my mind it’s pure magic! Sorry, in all seriousness it really is science- The basic job of a polariser is to help block out reflective light.

Polarisers tend to get labelled to landscape photography- However, it is not the case and a misconception. They are perfect for nature photographers to cut out some water reflection so you can often see right through to the river bed. Ideal for Macro on insects with shiny bodies &/or water droplets. Wildlife for showing convoluted detail/textures and vibrant colours. Portraiture-on someone’s sweaty brow or wearing glasses. Architecture- reflections from windows. Great if you’re ever shooting a subject through your car window or at the Zoo/Aquarium behind glass, a polariser will be your best friend. Overall, saturation is beautifully increased, cuts through haze, produces amazing contrast, darkens blue skies, especially great with the greens on wet foliage, misty rainbows are made more vivid. My favourite of all is on animal fur, white/light coloured in particular- Basically any reflective surface other than metal a Polariser will give an instant pop to any image.

However, there are some caveats, they only work at certain angles ( told you its magic!). When the sun is positioned either directly in front of or behind the lens the polariser will not work- So, you have to look 90 degrees to your side so the sun is perpendicular to your lens then start rotating the filter and you’ll instantly see the polarising effect.

A common problem of polarisers on wide angle lenses is they don’t give the full effect over the entire image, so for example you would have the effect on say the left side but not the right side and vice versa or other random areas. This is not something I’ve ever experienced with any Haida filters, it tends to be more on the budget brands but it’s something I keep in mind and always test for with new filters.

Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL on top of Magnetic adapter ring

Always remember with any filter – it brings into the equation a fourth dimension to the exposure triangle. With a Polariser you will generally lose between 1-2 stops of light. As you can see in the comparison EXIF data below, I have lost around 1.5 stops.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL filter. No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness and controlled highlights. Without filter- ISO 100, F11, 1/15 With CPL filter- ISO 100, F11, 1/6.

Without/ with Haida NanoPro Magnetic Circular Polariser

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Specifications

Sizes– Available in sizes 52- 82mm. I’m using the 82mm as my lens is a Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii). -Step-up rings also available in sizes 67-77mm and 77-82mm.

Construction-The frame part is constructed from Aerospace Aluminium making it super strong and extremely light weight. The glass is made from high quality K9 optical glass for clarity and colour fidelity with a NanoPro coating.

Weight- 23g based on a 82mm filter.

ErgonomicsI have to say how solid it feels in my hand for the size with a good textured grip round the circumference with no harsh edges and smooth as butter rotation on the polariser, such a lovely sleek design. I found the practicalities continue with my Equine work where I often work off tripod I was able to achieve a fast enough shutter speed with the polariser on. By leaving on the magnetic adapter ring and using the magnetic lens cap ( as demonstrated in the video below)-It gave me the ability to quickly pop on the polariser if the light was causing me to loose crucial fur detail in the highlights. Initially, I did feel slightly paranoid that the magnetics may not be strong enough with me moving around in many directions following the horses over rough terrain- However, I’m delighted to confirm they were 100% secured. Speed of use, couldn’t be easier compared to older Polarisers’ which were very fiddly to set up and some even involved using a screwdriver to my horror! Clearly labelled text etched onto the aluminium part of the polariser- Making it easy to read/ identify what type of filter it is.

Features

  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Lightweight.
  • Low profile filtration.
  • Quick to install, switch and stack up to 4 magnetic filters together.
  • Stackable filters without vignette.
  • NanoPro coating, helps prevent dirt/smudges from adhering to the glass, reduced reflections, scratch resistant, waterproof, fingerprint, oil-proof & cleaning efficiency.
  • Fully compatible and interchangeable with magnetic filters from other brands.
  • Magnetic lens cap.

Demonstration video on a Private Highland Estate

Images below taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL

“Luie” -Image taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL- ISO 320, F4, 1/4000 @200mm. Post processed in Photoshop.
“Torin” -Image taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL- ISO 640, F2.8, 1/6000 @200mm. Post processed in Photoshop.
“Sandy” -Image taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL- ISO 1000, F4.5, 1/4000 @200mm. Post processed in Photoshop.

Haida Magnetic zipped filter case

  • Holds up to 5 filters.
  • External dimensions- 121x121x47mm (LxWxH).
  • Filter size- 82mm demonstrated in my YouTube Video.
  • Materials- PU Leather and Polyester.
  • Weight- 98.9g.

Overall conclusion for both magnetic filters

To answer my question at the start of this evaluation- “I wanted to see if the bar was set as high with the rest of the Magnetic ND family“-The answer simply is YES! Exceptional quality throughout regarding even tonality-sharpness-contrast-no colour shift and absolutely no vignette on both filters.

The main attraction if you pardon the pun is the convenience compared to traditional systems which can be extremely fiddly and time consuming, especially if you’re unsure of what filter to use so your swapping and exchanging filters frequently. I’m 100% sold with this system and really do love everything about it. As you can see from my video footage the quality is also top notch for professional videographers out there. Let me assure you in no uncertain terms- This Magnetic family have it all! I will most definitely be recommending to my photography friends &/or students. Quite honestly its a breath of fresh air!

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website , Facebook  or Instagram.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

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