Breakthrough Photography x4 6 Stop 52mm – ND Filter Review

The Breakthrough Photography X4 6 Stop 52mm ND Filter is awesome. It’s well built, easy to use, and it fits easily into any bag.

The Breakthrough Photography X4 6 Stop 52mm ND Filter doesn’t have the colour cast and sharpness issues associated with most filters

The Breakthrough Photography X4 filter is the same as the Breakthrough Photography X3 filter–it simply has a different name. There’s very, very minimal colour casting and it’s extremely sharp. After researching thoroughly, I have not found a better filter. The knurled edges are nice and if your hands are cold, it’s easy to screw onto the lens. It feels well constructed. Attaching it to my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens was not a problem at all :).

There are many companies that make ND filters

I’ve been looking for the perfect ND filter for a while. I think some of my landscape photographs are a bit boring, and I’ve been thinking that even on overcast days I could make the shots look a bit more interesting with longer exposures. Many ND filters have colour cast and sharpness issues. Some are also rather clumsy to use and take up a lot of space. I’m in favour of screw in filters, especially on a mirrorless camera, as you can compose your shot without there being total darkness in the viewfinder.

I’ve read good things about the breakthrough photography filters and I placed an order somewhat hesitantly. There aren’t any bad reviews I’ve seen but there aren’t many reviews in general. I was undecided between 6 and 10 stops, so I’ve gone with a 6 stop 52mm ND filter. 10 stops might be slightly better but Sony cameras have an app that lets you take multiple photographs and it then averages them, thereby giving you an almost identical effect to an ND filter. Some people use it to replace a filter altogether, but in bright sunlight, it would require a lot of photographs to be taken. ND filters are also quite useful for videography.

It is possible to use the Breakthrough Photography X4 6 Stop 52mm ND Filter plus the smooth water app and mimic the effects of a 10 stop filter without having to take hundreds of photographs. I may eventually get a 10 stop filter too, we’ll see…

The nice thing about the manual lenses made by Zeiss is that the filter sizes are all the same. I currently own the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens but when I get the 35mm in the future (I may also buy the 50mm again), the filter will work with all of them as the filter threads are the same. I didn’t realise how important this is until I saw the price of ND filters! Another option is to use a step up ring and buy a bigger filter to fit all of your lenses or you can buy filters which are basically a square piece of glass you put in front of the lens–these are a bit clumsy. They’re useful and quite common but I wanted to keep the weight and size down to a minimum.

Things like the weight of a filter might not get considered by many people comparing camera systems, but wires, filters, tripods and whatnot soon add up. The Breakthrough Photography X4 6 Stop ND Filter doesn’t interfere with my bag, the weight, my composition or the result. I highly recommend it :).

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