I just recently ditched my Lee Filter system and adopted Breakthrough Photography Filters as my preferred filter line for landscape and travel photography.
The choice was actually pretty simple: Better glass, better coatings, better color fidelity, better build quality, and a 25-year warranty on their filters. Here’s more information:
- WORLDS SHARPEST AND MOST COLOR NEUTRAL NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERS: Breakthrough Photography’s X4 ND filter maintain a very well controlled and flat transmission all the way throughout the visible light spectrum and into IR, delivering the worlds most color neutral results.
- MRC16 OPTICAL COATING: 16 Layer Multi-Resistance Coated to significantly reduce lens flare and ghosting while making the filter Anti-Scratch, Reduce Reflection, Water Repellent, Increase Surface Durability, Oil & Dust Resistant. These attributes are essential for working effectively outdoors. Our proprietary MRC coating is structurally harder than the glass itself and the reduced reflections improve the efficiency since less light is lost.
- NANOTEC: In addition to state-of-the-art MRC, their optical engineers developed new nano coating layer technology, called nanotec, from the ground up to repel dirt, water and other elements by beading rather than absorbing and smearing. Set in our workhorse and built to withstand extreme wind, salt water, dust and other abrasive conditions and elements.
- 25 YEARS SUPPORT: Guaranteed to be free from craftsmanship defects for 25 years. When you activate your 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee online we associate your X4 serial number to you, so any future discussions on this unique filter are tracked, issues recorded and all that stuff which goes into future product design.
At top: The Breakthrough Photography X4 3-stop ND Filter slowing down the motion of the water in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bottom: The finely crafted Breakthrough Photography’s X4 Circular Polarizing Filters with blackened brass frames and traction grooves for easy handling in cold weather or with gloves.
Breakthrough Photography advertises its 4X CPL Circular Polarizer as the “world’s most advanced circular polarizer.” The construction is made from blackened brass (less likely for the filters to stick together) with deepened traction grooves on the rim for an easy grip, even with cold, wet, fingers or gloves (although I’ve been told that these grove may interfere with your lens hood. I don’t use a lens hood so I’ve not experienced this). The glass is SCHOTT Superwhite B270® optical glass with nanotech® and multi-resistant coatings. The best part about these proprietary coatings is that rain and moisture slide right off the surface of the filter. With other filters, you might try to wipe off the rain or splashes and it just get smeared around. I tried it and it’s true! I’m amazed.
Neutral Density Filters
For years I have been using Lee Filters’ Little and Big Stopper ND filters (6- and 10-Stop respectively) for long exposure photography (see tutorial on using ND Filters for Long Exposure Photography). The quality of the Lee glass has never been an issue with me but it’s long been known by landscape photographers that these Lee filters impart an obvious and acknowledged blue color cast to affected images
. See the examples above. The Breakthrough Photography 4X ND filters are truly color neutral and the glass and coatings are better than Lee’s. Formatt Hitech pushes the colors toward the cyan while B&W goes reddish-orange. These problems can be fixed in post-production (sometimes relatively easily and sometimes not so much) but why bother with that anymore?