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Our Kickstarter has ended and now we're shipping to 180+ countries. Thanks to all our backers! Click 'Shop Now' below to visit the store and buy yours today:
Our Kickstarter has ended and now we're shipping to 180+ countries. Thanks to all our backers! Click 'Shop Now' below to visit the store and buy yours today:
1,164 backers pledged $151,963 to help bring this project to life.

About

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X-Series Neutral Density, Circular Polarizer & UV Filters

$151,963

1,164

JUST ADDED!

  • X3 10-STOP NEUTRAL DENSITY
  • X2 CIRCULAR POLARIZER
  • X2 CIRCULAR POLARIZER LIMITED EDITION (150)

X3 10-STOP ND

  • SCHOTT B270
  • MRC16
  • nanotec® Nano Coating Layer
  • Brass Traction frame design
  • Incredible color neutrality

X2 CIRCULAR POLARIZER

  • AGC glass from Japan
  • MRC8
  • nanotec® Nano Coating Layer
  • 99.96% Polarization Efficiency
  • Aluminum Traction frame design with front traction

X2 CIRCULAR POLARIZER LIMITED EDITION (150)

  • AGC glass from Japan
  • MRC16
  • nanotec® Nano Coating Layer
  • 99.96% Polarization Efficiency
  • Brass Traction frame design with front traction
  • Individually numbered '# of 150' and serialized

AVAILABLE SIZES: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm. (we'll ask for you to specify your size at the end)  

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HOW DO WE STACK UP?

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FEATURES

• Highest Quality Optics: Capture critically sharp images with SCHOTT B270 and AGCglass from Germany and Japan allows near 99% light transmittance. The X-Series filters have been precisely designed and engineered with the highest quality lenses in mind.

“Putting low quality glass in front of a high quality lens makes no sense” – Art Wolfe

• Traction Frame: CNC Machined no-slip Traction Frames makes taking filters on and off a snap. No more wasted time removing filters means when you use your X-Series Traction Filter you’ll have more time to capture your time sensitive shots

• Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC): State-of-the-art MRC hardens both optical surfaces, increases light transmittance, achieves true color neutrality, and maximizes contrast fidelity - while at the same time decreasing flaring and ghosting.

This means you don’t have to worry about loss of image quality - your photos are more true to life and will have more impact with your audience bringing you more satisfaction in your work… or more sales!

• Nano Coatings: Our new nanotec® nano coating layer protects your lens by repelling dirt, water and other elements by beading rather than absorbing. This means your X-Series Traction Filter stays crystal clear for years to come.

• Eliminates Vignetting: Machined down to 3.5mm (X2, X1) and 3.2mm (X3) to eliminate unintended and undesired optical vignetting on full-frame wide-angle setups. Again, this means your photos are more true to life and you can save time in post-production correcting optical vignetting

• Completely weather-sealed construction: Residue left after evaporation can make your lens appear dirty and lead to hours of tedious cleaning and post production “spot removal.” When you’re shooting in the elements with your the X-Series Traction Filter, you don’t have to worry about moisture getting into the lens because of the weather-sealed construction.

• 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee: We’re so confident in our materials that we offer an unparalleled 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee.

THE STORY

A few years ago I returned from a journey where I traveled from Alaska to Argentina by land, pursuing the art of outdoor and landscape photography.

With one camera, a few lenses and a few filters I set out, and got quite a bit of hands-on experience with the equipment, the thresholds at which they could fail and what aspects of durability could be improved upon.

There were a number of important improvements and design elements I was looking for in filters, so when I returned to San Francisco I took those ideas to the machine shop to see what I could come up with.

A breakthrough design that has traction.

In addition to featuring the highest resolving optics for today's highest quality lenses, I wanted to create filters that were thinner and therefore lighter than the vast majority of filters out there, but at the same time take functionality and durability to new levels.

That led to some really surprising design challenges and innovations.

And a multitude of mistakes and misfires.

By taking the legacy standard flat black filter design back to the drawing board I was able to better understand what it was that photographers needed in order for a filter to be most effective.

One of the most frustrating aspects of any circular filter is when they get stuck on the lens or jammed up with other filters, right?

To overcome this common problem I experimented with many different types of frame materials from kevlar, a range of different alloys to rubberized materials which were incredible, yet failed miserably in meeting the extreme durability requirements of outdoor, travel and landscape photographers.

Of all the various prototype materials, the ones with texture in the metal - let's call them traction filters for lack of a better term - were the real winners among photographers.

Each filter is laser engraved with a serial number Each filter is laser engraved with a serial number Sure, those traction filters proved much more expensive to manufacture and machine, yet the end product was incredibly durable and much easier to grip.

Unparalleled Image Quality.

Our X-Series filters take sharpness to new levels with SCHOTT B270 and AGC glass made in Germany and Japan.

Delivering critically sharp optical performance with near 99% light transmittance, the X-Series filters have been precisely designed and engineered with the highest quality lenses in mind.

San Francisco Sunset shot with the X3 6-stop ND at 271 seconds. San Francisco Sunset shot with the X3 6-stop ND at 271 seconds. Our state-of-the-art 16-layer Multi-Resistant Coating process hardens both optical surfaces, increases light transmission, reduces reflections and achieves true color neutrality while maximizing contrast fidelity.

Translated simply: the filter doesn't impart any color shift and flaring is incredibly well controlled.

Less is more.

If you've ever shot with a wide-angle lenses on full-frame setup you're probably all too familiar with the vignetting that starts to occur at 24mm and wider.

Every single millimeter counts (not including bottom threads) when it comes to vignetting, and in my extensive testing 4mm was the frame height at which point +1 stop of light falloff was added on 16mm lenses.

Below 4mm this +1 stop of light falloff slowly faded to zero, with vignetting being eliminated at 3.6mm.

The Narrows shot with the X3 3-stop ND at 64 seconds. The Narrows shot with the X3 3-stop ND at 64 seconds. Through a series of refinements we were able to machine the traction frames down to an ultra-slim 3.2mm on the frame height to eliminate vignetting on full-frame wide-angle setups. As a result these traction filters are astonishingly thin and light, and most importantly eliminates vignetting.

Yet from the moment you pick it up, you’ll notice how incredibly durable it feels.

Each X-Series filter is double-threaded with enough threads to hold securely onto the lens cap as well as for stacking filters.

By reducing the frame height I've also been able to achieve a 50% reduction in overall volume of materials that's normally used when manufacturing a filter.

As a result of less raw materials going into manufacturing this directly translates into a less expensive end-product for the you, the photographer. Not the other way around.

Design, prototyping, short-run manufacturing of each X-Series filter, tooling and raw material sourcing has all been successfully completed.

We wanted to iron out as many of the small hiccups that traditionally occur in large production jobs. We decided to do this prior to launching on Kickstarter.

And hiccups did occur! Oh, so many of them.

It took about 1,500 finished units to get an incredibly low failure threshold. This greatly minimizes (but never eliminates) the number of issues that can occur on a large production run, like the one that we'll (hopefully!) have when Kickstarter is complete!

We are incredibly confident that our proven tooling methods and carefully implemented quality checks are able to withstand even the most demanding of production jobs.

OPTICAL GLASS

We have sourced very high quantities of SCHOTT B270 and AGC glass  from Germany and Japan - enough to scale well beyond even our wildest expectations! All glass is ready to go.

CNC MACHINING

We have designed, prototyped and completed thousands of finished X-Series filters.

We identified the CNC Machining of the traction frames to be the highest area of project risk, and we therefore spent the most time to ensure that each X-Series traction filter was of the highest quality craftsmanship out there.

Raw aluminum, brass, and CNC Machines all have green lights across the board!

FULFILLMENT & LOGISTICS

Fulfillment and Logistics is an incredibly important component in an overall launch strategy. We understand that if this aspect of the process is not under control and incredibly efficient than you lose something you can't get back - time.

I'm happy to report that our USA-based fulfillment & logistics are incredibly streamlined and ready to deliver rewards.

For international backers we've partnered a state-of-the-art fulfillment & logistics house based in Hong Kong.

All they do is one-off item international fulfillment & logistics, and in our tests they're incredibly fast and efficient.

By contributing to this Kickstarter project you're essentially pre-ordering an incredible product but you're also bringing these products to the international photography community.

We have put so much work into this project however it won't see the light of day without your help!

Risks and challenges

For our USA rewards we're super confident that our domestic fulfillment & logistics will perform on all cylinders.

We foresee the biggest risk to be international shipping and freight channels getting potentially clogged up with holiday shipments, so there could be a delay on international shipping, however our fulfillment & logistics partners who handle international orders are truly state-of-the-art and for all intents and purposes they're the Chuck Norris of shipping.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Huge high five!

    And a copy of '7 Mistakes Photographers Make', a book on how to shoot better pictures in 7 days or less by overcoming common roadblocks.

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    77mm Ultra-slim Step-Up Ring. Standardize your 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 67mm and 72mm to 77mm!

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    X1 UV Standard Flat Black filter in small, medium or large

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    X2 UV Traction filter in small, medium or large

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    X2 ND Traction filter available in 3-stop or 6-stop in small, medium or large

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    Edge of the Earth Corner of the Sky signed by Art Wolfe.

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    Get our awesome Breakthrough Hoodie, 3x Lens Cloths and 1x Logo Lens Cap!

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    X2 Circular Polarizer. Available in 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

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    X2 MIX AND MATCH!
    Save $5 when you get X2 UV + X2 ND 3-stop or 6-stop. Available in Small, Medium or Large

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    A signed copy of 'Earth Is My Witness' by Art Wolfe. 8 lbs.

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    X3 ND Traction filter available in 3-stop or 6-stop in small, medium or large

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    X3 10-stop Neutral Density Filter available in all 9 sizes. $179 MSRP.

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    X3 MIX AND MATCH!
    Save $10 when you get X3 UV + X3 ND 3-stop or 6-stop. Available in Small, Medium or Large

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    X3 Limited Edition (77mm only)

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    NEUTRAL DENSITY MIX AND MATCH! Save $15 when you get X3 ND 3-STOP AND X3 6-STOP in the same thread size! Available in: 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

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    X2 Circular Polarizer Limited Edition in Brass Editions 11 of 150. Available in 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

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    X2 Circular Polarizer Limited Edition in Brass Editions 1 of 10. Available in 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm

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    X4 Limited Edition Diamond Traction frame (77mm only)

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Funding period

- (31 days)