Breakthrough X100 Holder Review

Breakthrough X100 Holder
Review

Price when reviewed

£39

$49

Our Verdict

The Breakthrough X100 Holder is an affordable filter holder for 100mm square and rectangular filters, however, you need to keep an eye on the screws to make sure that they don't get too loose. It also doesn't create a perfect light-seal when Breakthrough's strong square ND filters are used.

For

  • Easy to attach and secure
  • Can hold up to 3 rectangular flters
  • Compatible with Breakthrough's circular magnetic filters

Against

  • Imperfect light seal with square strong ND filters
  • The mounting screws loosen with use
What is the Breakthrough X100 Holder?

Breakthrough Filters is a widely recognised brand in the US, but it’s less well-known in the UK. It makes a range of filters including neutral density, graduated neutral density and polarising filters.

The X100 Holder is designed to hold the company’s 100mm-type square and rectangular filters. It’s also compatible with other brand filters.

Build and Handling

The main body of the X100 Holder is made from aircraft-grade aluminium that is CNC-machined for a high-quality feel. It’s supplied with a neoprene case and the filter rails attached via four knurled thumbscrews.

An additional pair of rails are supplied with four longer screws in case you want to be able to slide three filters into the holder.

On the back of the holder there are two red fixings (seen on the right of the image above) to keep the holder aligned on the lens adapter ring when the snap-catch is in action. One of these fixings has a screw that can be loosened to make it easy to snap the holder onto the adapter ring before being locked tight.

A pull-out knob (seen on the left in the image above) operates the snap-catch.

Performance

My initial impressions of the Breakthrough X100 Holder were very good. However, after bit of use I found that the thumbscrews work loose.

In addition, the screws that hold the red fixings in place are disconcertingly loose so there’s a bit of rattle. These can only be tightened with a precision screwdriver.

Another issue with the holder is the lens aperture is a little large for the square filters. As a result, even when the filter is carefully aligned in the holder, there’s a small gap at the top or bottom (or both) of the filter.

Also, the foam around Breakthrough’s strong ND filters doesn’t make contact with the adapter ring and this plus the small gap could lead to light leaks that may cause problems with images – especially those shot using very strong neutral density filters to enable long exposures in bright conditions.

Verdict

At £39/$49 the Breakthrough X100 Holder is cheaper than the Lee Filter’s 100mm holder, but it lacks its finesse too.

In most situations, the X100 Holder is likely to do a perfect good job, but the ineffective light baffles with strong ND filters are a concern in some instances. That’s a shame because Breakthrough’s filters (review coming soon) are very good.

Follow the link to buy the Breakthrough X100 Holder and get 5% by using the code CAMERAJABBER

Read our Lee Filters Lee100 Filter System review

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