What is the best way to store and transport your lens filters? The MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini might be that answer.
The Filter Nest Mini is the latest advancement in my continuous quest to better the kit.
Practically every time I go out to photograph, a stack of filters goes in the bag. For decades, I've kept the filters in the plastic boxes they came packaged in. While protective, these boxes are somewhat inefficient from a space standpoint — and they are usually difficult to open.
The MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini is not a recently released item as I write this review, but I finally purchased a couple of them.
The Filter Nest Mini is not a complicated or expensive product. However, simple and affordable in this case does not sacrifice efficient design or high-quality construction.
The Filter Nest Mini provides four expandable slots fitting round filters up to 82mm, with color-coded, slightly rigid, optically "safe" fabric-covered dividers. The package is wrapped in an attractive, durable nylon cover with a hook-and-loop closure flap and a small handle that also facilitates attachment.
Key Features and Specifications
I most often grab a circular polarizer filter and 3-, 6-, and 10-stop neutral density filters when headed out. In case you weren't counting, that is four filters, precisely the number the MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini stores, and a feature that attracted me to this case.
That the loaded Filter Nest Mini with Breakthrough filters loaded compresses to nearly 50% of the size of 4 filter boxes was an even bigger attraction. It is not unusual for my travel-loaded pack to include 8-12 filters, and that quantity consumes a significant volume. A pair of Minis reducing the pack load by the volume of nearly four filter boxes frees enough space for a small lens.
There is just enough space to store a single filter in my favorite compact toploader cases, but slipping the shoulder strap through the Filter Nest carry handle requires no case space for up to four additional filters.
The Mini's internal dividers expand to fit filters thicker than those I referenced, including Variable Neutral Density Filters. With the slim filters installed, the bottom expansion fold is not fully extended, and the closure flap is too long, with only about 50% hook-and-loop fastener attachment. Aligning the fastener would leave enough space for the filters to potentially slide out and contact each other.
The 82mm maximum diameter specification is accurate, leaving just enough room for fingers to slide in beside the filters, and the grip frame on Breakthrough filters greatly facilitates removal via this method. Alternatively, filters can also be pinched on their top edge for removal.
With openings between the expanding sides and bottom of the case and at the sides of the top flap, the Filter Nest Mini is not as sealed as the plastic cases filters typically ship in. The plastic cases are also more rigid.
I am debating the belt loop omission with myself. The belt loop would increase the case thickness slightly, but the added attachment option would have value.
Again, the Filter Nest Mini features an efficient design and high-quality construction. It provides attractive, convenient, accessible, compact storage and transport of up to four round filters.
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