Breakthrough Photography Announces X-Series Traction Filters plus Mini Review by Bryan

Note: Be sure to read Bryan's Breakthrough Photography X3 Filter mini review following the press release.

Breakthrough Photography announces a new line of professional ND and UV filters with ‘Traction’ frame designs

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Nov. 10, 2014 – Breakthrough Photography announced Neutral Density and UV filters called the X-Series filters which are available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

HIGHEST QUALITY OPTICS
The X-Series ND and UV filters incorporate SCHOTT B270 and AGC glass made in Germany and Japan and feature an independently developed state-of-the-art 16-Layer Multi-Resistant Coating to increase light transmission, nanotec nano coating layers to repel dirt, water and other elements and weather-sealing.

TRACTION FRAME DESIGN
“We really tried to take the legacy standard flat black filter design back to the drawing board to really understand what it was that photographers needed in order for a filter to be most effective. Of all the various prototypes and frame materials, the ones with texture in the metal were the clear winners among photographers” said founder and photographer Graham Clark.

X-Series Filters by Breakthrough Photography

The X2 and X3 filters feature a new filter design which incorporates texture in the metal achieved by CNC machining brass and environmentally friendly aluminum.

“When I first felt these traction filters I thought ‘Why don’t all filters have this?’ It makes getting filters on and off a whole lot easier” said acclaimed outdoor and nature photographer Art Wolfe in the startups Kickstarter video.

DESIGNED FOR WIDE-ANGLE FULL-FRAME SETUPS
“In our extensive field tests, we found that 4mm filters on 16mm lenses produced +1 stop of light falloff. At 3.7mm the vignetting was entirely eliminated on our full-frame setups. Our standard flat black X1 and X2 traction filters have 3.5mm, whereas our X3 traction filters are machined down to 3.2mm.”

Worldwide Pricing and Availability
The X-Series filters will be available for pre-order on Kickstarter on November 6th, 2014.

“We’re really excited to bring our new line of unique and innovative filters to the photography community on Kickstarter first” says founder and photographer Graham Clark. “We’ll be offering a one-time launch sale price of up to 50% off, just in time for the holiday season. the Kickstarter is successful, the X-Series filters will be available on B&H, Adorama and Amazon starting in January, 2015.”

The X-Series Kickstarter can be found by visiting: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/breakthrough/x-series-traction-filters

  • $109 X3 Traction ND in 3-stop or 6-stop (Available in January 2015)
  • $79 X3 Traction UV (Available in December 2014)
  • $59 X2 Traction ND in 3-stop or 6-stop (Available in January 2015)
  • $39 X2 Traction UV (Available in December 2014)
  • $25 X1 UV Standard Flat Black (Available in December 2014)

X3 key features:

  • Available in either Neutral Density or UV
  • SCHOTT B270 optical glass made in Germany
  • State-of-the-art 16-Layer Multi-Resistant Coating
  • nanotec Nano Coating Layers to repel dirt and water
  • 3.2mm Traction frame CNC Machined from brass
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Available in small, medium and large sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 57mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

X2 key features:

  • Available in either Neutral Density or UV
  • AGC glass made in Japan
  • State-of-the-art 8-Layer Multi-Resistant Coating
  • nanotec Nano Coating Layers to repel dirt and water
  • 3.5mm Traction frame CNC Machined from aluminum
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Available in small, medium and large sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 57mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

X1 key features:

  • Available in UV
  • State-of-the-art 4-Layer Multi-Resistant Coating
  • 3.5mm Traction frame CNC Machined from aluminum
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Available in small, medium and large sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 57mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

Bryan's Breakthrough Photography X3 Filter Mini Review

Breakthrough Photography provided me an early sample of their new filter line – an X3 UV filter. The X3 experience starts with great packaging that includes a nice box that is sufficiently rigid to prevent the plastic filter case from cracking in normal shipping. A lens cloth and, as mentioned, the typical plastic filter case are found inside the box. The plastic case has bottom padding as well as side padding that provides a pair of finger openings for easy access to the filter from the sides.

The X3 filter itself is very well constructed including the brass "Traction" ring. I'm still determining the amount of benefit provided by the Traction feature, but it seems nice. This filter is extremely light (very noticeably lighter than a standard-framed brass filter) and extremely thin, or "slim". When I originally saw the 3.2mm thickness spec, my mind immediately questioned the lens cap fit issue. No worries there. A standard lens cap attaches normally.

An important aspect of a filter commonly used for protection is how easily it cleans. I pressed a full fingerprint onto the X3 glass and easily wiped it off with a microfiber cloth.

How image quality is affected is the most important filter selection consideration for me. I conducted a couple of with and without filter comparison tests including a flare comparison with the sun in the corner of the frame. The good news is that I can see no image quality difference with the X3 filter installed compared to the bare lens. No sharpness degradation. No increased flare. No contrast change.

I have no concerns with using the Breakthrough Photography X3 for my important work. I'm anxious to try the circular polarizer slated for future production (dependent on funding).

Posted: 11/10/2014 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Posted to: Canon News, Sony News    
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