Over the years, I used optical filters quite a lot. They give me great control over the in-camera photo, so they are valuable tools. I have to admit, though, I hate that you need to screw them on and off your lens. It really takes the fun out of shooting. What if there was a better way?
The new Revoring CPL filter is a new addition to the award-winning Revoring family that debuted last year. If you have never heard of the revoring filter family before, prepare for something new and exciting. (And less prone to fingerprint smudges)
What is a Revoring?
Simply put, the Revoring is a lens adaptor that changes size—allowing you to use the same filter on many lenses. The Revoring originally came as s a variable ND filter or with a thread to attach your own filters.
H&Y has been busy expanding this family of products which leads us to the new CPL Revoring that H&Y Filters were kind enough to send for testing along with a 1/4 Black Mist filter and 4stop ND filter.
So what makes the Revoring so unique? For that, we need to take a closer look at the item itself.
The CPL Revoring itself looks like a chunky version of other CPL filters (though pretty clean looking with an excellent build quality). At the top of the Revoring, you will find the rotating CPL filter that you can control using the protruding leaver, as you can see in the photo above.
When you get to the back of the Revoring, though, you realize how different this device really is. It is not using the standard single thread to screw onto the camera. Instead, you get a lovely aperture-style lens grabbing device that makes the Revoring fit many lens sizes. And do so quite quickly.
To install the Revoring, hold the middle and bottom ring and twist it a little until the aperture style blades close, place them into your lens and allow it to open. Then a quick rotation like you would with a standard filter to ensure it’s a secure fit.
To remove the Revoring, simply twist it again to release its grip on the lens. This allows you to swap the Revoring onto a new lens in a matter of seconds.
Bonus! While the Revoring design works best with the filter thread on your lenses, I found it also fits onto the lens hood of my Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro Art lens hood due to the ridges running along inside it.
Here is a quick video from H&Y showing the use of the filter
That’s not the end of the CPL Revorings tricks, though. Just like its older brother, the VND Revoring, it can accept magnetic filters. Hence the range of optional ones like the 1/4 Black Mist and 4 stop ND.
Since the filters are magnetic, there are no threads on these at all—just a lovely smooth surface on both sides, allowing stacking of multiple filters. There is no need to worry about them coming loose either, as the magnets are strong and require a decent pull to get them off.
However, one thing to note is that the 67-82mm CPL Revoring requires rather large 105mm filters at the front. This does make them perfect for the Sigma 105mm f1.4 Art, that is… if they could connect. Hopefully, H&Y Filters can create an adaptor to fit them, which would be a great bonus.
All of this lovely craftsmanship that makes using filters convenient would be wasted unless the filters don’t hold up to high standards. I mean, this is the whole reason we use filters in the first place.
To test the filters, I went to Southbank Marina as it has a mixture of elements that can be affected by each filter, here’s the overall scene shot on the Sigma sdQ-H with 18-35mm f1.8 Art and all three of the H&Y filters in a 60 seconds exposure.
I’m delighted with the results, remember this is through three different filters over a 60-second exposure, and the image is full of details. So feel free to check out this 2000pixel wide crop.
The most important filter here, I feel, was the CPL filter. The effect of a CPL filter is not easy to replicate in post-processing as it can remove or enhance reflections.
This not only lets you remove reflections in car windows, shops, and water but even individual leaves giving them a more saturated look. I captured two images with the CPL filter rotated in different positions to show this.
Looking at this image, you would think the building lights were switched on in the second shot but rotating the CPL filter removed the sky reflection allowing the camera to see the darker light behind it. This is why a CPL is one of my favorite filters, as it can really change the look of a scene.
Next, I took a series of images where I added a filter after each frame so we can see the effects of each.
Starting with no filters, you can see that the building has a bright sky reflecting in the windows.
The CPL removes the reflections, but also, one stop less light gets to the sensor.
The 1/4 Black Mist filter adds a nice glow to the highlights and allows the colors in the scene to leach into the shadows. It also reduces light by 1/4 of a stop.
Lastly, The four-stop ND filter allows for a longer exposure making the water smoother and takes the half-second exposure to eight seconds which is four stops as it says.
Here’s a crop of the above images to see if any detail is lost while stacking the filters. Though the mist filter will lower the contrast, the detail seems to remain.
I didn’t feel this scene was particularly great for the 1/4 black mist filter, so I decided to do another shot at home using a plant pot, lego, and a Funko T-Rex with the Sigma fp-L and 105mm f2.8 Macro Art.
Here’s a little BTS shot to see how I created this image.
And here’s is the shot with and without the 1/4 Black Mist filter for demonstration purposes.
And a crop to check the details.
The 1/4 Black Mist filter adds a lovely glow effect to the image and allows colors of light to blend and leach into the shadow areas while retaining the fine details. I love this effect and find it a great combination with my Foveon cameras giving the images a more organic look. However, after all these years of keeping my lenses clean, I do find it odd that I’m sticking a shiny filter filled with black spots onto them.
H&Y Filters have created something unique with the Revoring, and I’m glad I got the chance to experience it.
The simple joy of not having to screw anything onto my camera with the Revoring CPL is enough to sell this product to me. Still, the excellent build and optical quality may be more important for others.
Is it perfect? No. The large size would stop any lens hoods from working, and I feel the CPL should also be removable, but that’s just little things that pale in comparison to how much fun this kit makes using filters.
*Note that the Magnetic filters only work on Revorings that have preinstalled optical glass-like the CPL Revoring reviewed here.