About this project
We took our industry leading X4 ND filter (prior Kickstarter) and applied the same proven technology to the graduated neutral density filter, manufactured it with tempered SCHOTT B270® optical glass made in Germany, and the result is the X4 GND - the world's sharpest and most color neutral GND, guaranteed.
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GND is short for Graduated Neutral Density filter, which is a rectangular filter which increases the dynamic range of your camera.
Shooting a sunset with a GND filter transforms a photograph from having blown out highlights to one with incredible dynamic range, and it does this in-camera, without the need for photoshop, stacking multiple frames or HDR.
The human eye has a dynamic range over 20-stops, while a typical sunset scene may range between 15 to 18-stops. Full-frame sensors range between 12 to 14-stops.
If a sunset scene has a total of 17-stops between the sky and the foreground and the camera has 13-stops of in-camera dynamic range, a 2-stop soft GND and 3-stop hard reverse GND would cover that exposure gap (12 + 2 + 3 = 17) range is usually 15+ stops, which is currently too far beyond the capability of modern sensors.
Another way to think about it is that a GND filter expands in-camera dynamic range by decreasing highlight zones, similar to how the Zone System by Ansel Adams works in the darkroom.
A post-processing technique such as HDR could be used to give the impression of expanded dynamic range, but you lose the long exposure component that is often times so central in the best sunset scenes.
Legendary landscape photographer Galen Rowell developed the GND filter with Bob Singh of Singh-Ray filters, and together they pioneered a method for covering the dynamic range gap of 35mm film.
The first X4 GNDs go to Galen & Bob as a tribute, thanks guys! :)
(Singh-Ray® is an American filter manufacturing company headquartered in Arcadia, FL)
NEW ERA OF MANUFACTURING MATERIALS
Singh-Ray's line of American-made GND filters have been the industry leader for decades, delivering unparalleled color neutrality. Singh-Ray's use of high quality CR-39 optical resin also provided unparalleled resolving power.
The X4 GND introduces a new era of durability and resolving power by using SCHOTT B270® optical glass, made in Germany. It's also the world's first tempered glass GND, and the result is an incredibly durable filter glass that doesn't break even when dropped onto hard surfaces like concrete or rocks.
Another benefit is that the optical surface does not degrade over time or with exposure with corrosive elements such as salt water and sand, common conditions for the outdoor photographer.
The X4 GNDs impressive rigidity also prevents warping, a common issue that develops over time with traditional resin filters, especially when not stored flat. Warped GNDs add slight distortion noticeable on wide-angle full-frame setups.
WORLD'S SHARPEST GND, GUARANTEED
The X4 ND features SCHOTT Superwhite B270® optical glass, which is an ultra clear crown glass. It is produced by melting high purity raw materials and then made using the continuous draw process.
The result is excellent transmission and a high surface quality that accepts our state-of-the-art MRC16 and nanotec® coatings exceptionally well.
(SCHOTT® is an international glass manufacturing company headquartered in Mainz, Germany. They are solely held by the Carl Zeiss Foundation.)
Traditional CR-39 resin had exceptional sharpness performance if the surface was in mint condition, however CR-39 proved to be a poor material for accepting coatings, and therefore the industry leading CR-39 GNDs by Singh-Ray and Lee are without MRC or nano coatings.
Each X4 GND has our state-of-the-art MRC16 and nanotec coating technology applied to both sides of the optical surface. This reduces surface reflection and nano coatings make handling and cleaning the surface of the glass easy. The nanotec coatings also let the X4 GND glide smoothly in the holder.
The edges of each X4 GND are then milled down smooth, and an outer-layer of protective coating is applied along the edge of the glass.
X4 GND FEATURES:
- Size: 100x150mm
- Sign up here if you want to see 84x100mm GNDs
- Sign up here if you want to see 150x170mm GNDs
- Email us for other sizes
- MRC16 + Nanotec Coatings
- SCHOTT B270® Tempered
- 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee
- 300 Day Returns
Built for professional outdoor photographers, our X4 ND² is now available in 100mm Square format.
Available in 3, 6, 10 and 15-stop densities, the X4 ND² line of filters covers the density range for long exposure photography.
All X100 series filters (X4 GND and X4 ND²) come with protective diamond cases. They're durable, easy to use, prevent damage when in your bag and they have unique colors so you know which you're using.
Our new X100 Holder has been designed from the ground up to eliminate vignetting down to 16mm on a full-frame setup, and with it's innovative snap-lock mechanism it makes attaching and detaching the holder fast and secure.
INNOVATIVE SNAP-LOCK KNOB
We also designed the X100 Holder for easy one-handed operation with a unique and oversized CNC machined Snap-Lock knob.
Press the filter holder against the adapter ring and it immediately locks into place with a snap!
That way you can focus on the shot and not the holder every time you detach/reattach to the adapter ring.
FINALLY A HOLDER PRICED RIGHT
Like most photographers, we got tired of the filter companies charging tons of money ($85+) for a filter holder even though the holders are with cheap materials (Lee is plastic) and some even with defective designs (Formatt's scratches filters).
So we've decided to go the other direction and price our X100 Holder right: only $49 retail, and only $39 during KS.
And the days of $65 adapter rings are finally over!
Our 100mm Breakthrough Holder adapter rings will cost $7 for aluminum and $17 for brass ($5 and $15 during KS).
The X100 Holder is also universal, so it will work with any existing 100mm square ND or GND filter you may already own.
And for the duration of this Kickstarter (30 days only) you can get your X100 Holder for only $39, $10 off retail!
Have questions about how this works? Just email us! email@example.com
25 YEAR IRONCLAD GUARANTEE
We stand behind all our products with a 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee with US-based phone, email and live chat support.
KICKSTART US THE REST OF THE WAY! :)
We need your help to prove that our design and manufacturing ideas have demand, and that photographers actually care about these products.
During the next 30 days, we will be turning our unique prototype designs into real products for you and other photographers around the world.
Here are some areas where your pledge money will help to make the product a reality:
- Proving there is demand (or a lack thereof) for the world's sharpest and most color neutral Square ND and GND filters
- Buying SCHOTT B270® raw material
- Buying raw aluminum & brass material for X100 Holder
- Anodizing & Electroplating finished
- Breakthrough Holders in matte black
- Mold for plastic levels and the front traction plastic
- Protective Diamond Case Manufacturing
- Packaging Design & Manufacturing (same quality as iPhone box)
- Freight & Logistics
Breakthrough Photography is a brand conceived via Kickstarter. We were born here on Kickstarter and we love our community and value your input and loyalty.
Our backers - more 3,000 to date - are the reason for our success. You empower us to design the best filters for photographers around the world, and we thank you!
300 DAY RISK FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
We know there's a lot of risk on Kickstarter. After all, a vast majority of Kickstarter projects don't ship on time, or at all.
But we're not like most Kickstarter projects! We've shipped to every one of our previous Kickstarter backers.
In order to eliminate your risk we're adapting our 300 day return/exchange policy from our website to this Kickstarter campaign.
How does it work? When you buy direct from us you're protected by our 300 day return/exchange policy, which entitles you to a 100% refund or exchange at any point within 300 days, for any reason.
In other words all the risk is on us (and delivering on our promise), not you.
Does it matter if you've opened or used the products? Absolutely not! We stand behind our products 100%.
HOW DOES SHIPPING WORK?
We're making shipping simple with flat rate shipping fees:
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY KICKSTARTER PLEDGE?
We'll send you an email containing three simple steps:
1. We'll send you a survey to complete.
2. After you complete the survey we'll send you a gift card code, copy it.
3. Go to our website and add the filters you pledged for on Kickstarter and checkout with your gift card code.
You paid here on Kickstarter, so your order total on our website will be $0.
Doing this required step eliminates many common shipping errors (Kickstarter messes this part up for project creators) and gets your order correctly and quickly added to our fulfillment system.
WHAT IF I ORDER A FEW DIFFERENT THINGS, AND THEY HAVE DIFFERENT ETAs?
USA: We'll ship them as they become available.
Worldwide: We'll ship them when the last one is finished. If you want to have them ship when they become available, just email us and we'll send you a S&H payment link for each shipment. :)
WILL I GET A TRACKING NUMBER? Yes! After you complete the checkout process on our website, you will get an order confirmation email. Once your order ships, you'll get an email with a tracking link!
WHAT IF I FORGET TO CHECKOUT ON YOUR WEBSITE? No problem! You can do so at any point in the future. You paid for your products, and we will hold them for you indefinitely.
Risks and challenges
Securing raw materials necessary for taking on a project of this scope is the biggest challenge, and delivering on-time with a projected July delivery date is possible but it will be difficult. We've set our target date to August to under promise and over deliver :)
That said, we do have a 300 day return policy so hopefully this should eliminate your risk, and instead place all the risk on us.
We will be updating backers via email every step of the way so the risks and challenges will evolve as we get closer to shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter