Reviews |H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder Review

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder review
Review

Price when reviewed

£99

$99
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Our Verdict

Recently there’s been an influx of filter systems, and surprisingly, they’ve all been pretty good.

One of the most interesting that I’ve so far seen is the H&Y K-Series 100x150mm and 100x100mm Universal fit magnetic filter holder. We first saw an early iteration of this a couple of years ago, and it was met with considered praise, it was innovative and ultimately that innovation worked.

Two years on, and H&Y has launched the K-Series holder, a refined version, and boy does it work well.

Pop the holder onto your lens with one of the adapters, then pop the filter on the front; that’s it.

There’s no fumbling around with pushing filters into slots with cold hands; it’s all incredibly easy to use.

For that reason I can safely say when it comes to ease of use, there’s no filter system close to the H&Y.

For

  • Easy to use
  • Possible to stack
  • Compatible with other manufacturers filters

Against

  • Magnetic filter or frame required

What is the H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder?

The H&Y K-Series 100x150mm and 100x100mm Universal fit magnetic filter holder is one of the most feature-packed filter systems I’ve seen.

I was recently impressed by the NiSi V6 filter holder; it’s a beautifully designed piece of kit and refines all filter systems holders that I’ve seen before. But, the K-Series is something more.

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder review

The company, H&Y, already launched their magnetic filter system a couple of years ago, but now with the K-Series it’s been refined and is more usable than ever.

H&Y has honed in on all the good parts of their system and refined anything that caused an issue.

Let’s start by looking at the setup, it pretty straight forward but there are a few quirks that could baffle some.

Fitting the holder to the front of the camera lens is much the same as any other system with an adapter screwed into the lens thread. Then the holder clips in place over the top with two screws to hold it in place. These screws also stop the holder from swivelling around.

Filter in place and a common feature these days is to have an integrated CPL. This is fixed in place and can be lifted and swapped from the system as required. Through this test, I found it was best to leave it in place, as it only seemed to enhance images.

The filter holder comes with the CPL, an 82, 77 and 72mm adapter and is suitable for 100x150mm and 100x100mm filters.

Normally with filter holders you slot them into the system, it’s pretty basic but this is the way filter holders have been designed for many years.

H&Y K-Series holder with CPL mounted

However here with the H&Y, the filter is popped onto the front of the system, as the filter makes contact with the holder the magnetics hold it in place; you can then lock the filter with the knob on the side. Once done, the filter is held solid.

That all sounds, and is easy enough. But, one filter is ok, but what about stacking?

Don’t worry with the standard being three stacked filters with other filter systems, the same is true here. Further Grad’s can then be placed onto the existing filter, and again the magnet holds it firm.

The magnetic bond between the two filters is tight so that no light will leak into the images. Or, at least checking through the images, there’s no worrying signs. If you want to pop that third filter on then that’s perfectly possible, it all works seamlessly.

H&Y K-Series with ND1000 fitted

To further prevent light leek, H&Y has put foam/velvet pads at the top and bottom of the holder; this protects the filter as you slide it up and down to get the position and also stops any light from getting in.

The design is considered and precise.

Specification

  • Adapters: 72, 77 and 82mm
  • Filter sizes: 100x100mm and 100x150mm
  • Holder material: Aluminium
  • Drop-in filters: 95mm

Performance

When setting up on a windy beach, you need to be quick to avoid sand and other debris from getting into places it shouldn’t.

Unpacking the holder, and despite the wealth of features, the setup was neat and simple and fast. The first step was to attach the adapter ring to the lens; I’m using a 24-70mm f/2.8 Sony with 82mm diameter.

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder review

The adapter ring easily screws into place; then the holder slips over the adapter with two thumbscrews enabling you to tighten it in place.

These screws stop the holder from rotating and are a decent size making it easy to handle.

With the holder ready, the first ND1000 filter is popped in place, and the magnets prove stronger than expected clamping the filter to the frame. Then a small thumbscrew on the side enables me to lock it in place.

The entire filter system seems solid, and to be honest, looks great on the front of the camera.

A few long exposure shots captured, and an ND Grad would help to reduce the sky exposure.

You may think that due to the magnetic design, it’s not possible to stack; however, an S-GND0.9 Grad is popped on the front and locks in place.

The magnetic force of the system holds the filter and again feels nice and solid; there’s no chance it’s just going to drop off.

After the first couple of shots, I find that swapping the filters so ND grad on first and then ND1000 makes it easier to check focus and exposure.

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder review

With Grad held in place first, it can be moved up and down into position and then locked. The ND1000 can then be placed on top to extend the exposure times. It’s a strange thought that there’s no locking system for this second filter, but it all seems to work and, more importantly, is nice and secure.

If for some reason I wanted to add another filter then popping on another is equally secure. I only have an R-GN0.9 which is a hard grad so not a great addition to the ND1000 and S-GND0.9 but does demonstrate the power of the magnets.

The filter holds firm, and I’m ultimately incredibly impressed.

The working of the filter system and filters all work well, but there is one more aspect: the CPL.

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder review

This is designed to stay in place, although there is the option to replace it with other 95mm drop-in filters.

Removing it is simple enough; pop a thumbnail under the side and pull up. There’s a little resistance as the drop-in unclips, and once released, the filter can be removed.

As I said earlier, I found that leaving it in place enhanced the images, so there was no real reason to remove it, especially as I don’t have any other 95mm filters to test.

Being a CPL when in use, it needs to be rotated in order to work. On the side of the holder is a silver dial; this can be used to rotate the filter as needed, again it’s well designed and neat.

When it comes to filter system holders, there’s little to fault. The magnetic design works incredibly well and does help to eliminate that occasional battle with a filter as you try to remove it from the holder with cold hands.

Verdict

As filter systems go, this one from H&Y is hard to fault. H&Y has refined an innovative idea into one of the most usable systems on the market.

I’ve used filter systems for years, and there’s nothing worse than that early morning battle with cold hands as you try to swap filters on a hillside.

This system eliminates that battle.

H&Y K-Series Universal fit magnetic filter holder review

But, it’s not just the magnetic filters system; it’s the complete design. It’s all well finished and feels built to last. There are a few rattles from the holder, and maybe the rotation of the CPL is a little too loose, but ultimately it works well.

The innovation of the H&Y system does make these filters stand out, especially for ease of use.

As filter systems go, I’m sold; what’s more, H&Y make magnetic filter holders so you can pop in 100x100mm or 100x150mm filters into empty magnetic frames, which is a great feature that will reinvigorate your old 100x150mm filters!

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