We asked Dean Allan why Kase Filters? Why the switch from the previous brand he was using for landscape photography.
As a Professional Landscape Photographer living in the northern Highlands of Scotland, filters are an important part of my everyday workflow. My relationship with filters is an ever changing one – it varies from time to time. The relationship has evolved from the early days when it felt I used at least 3 filters for every shot, and thought this was the way to get that “professional” look. This process has developed over the years, where my use of filters is now a lot more considered and selective. Less is more sometimes.
However, my relationship with filters remains an important one and is a relationship I attach great value.
Those early days on my journey as a landscape photographer, from being an enthusiastic hobbyist to an enthusiastic professional, I have used a wide range of filter brands: Hoya, Cokin, Lee & Nisi. All of these brands have their place in the filter market and provide certain qualities. However, it was whilst out in a remote corner of northern Scotland with a good friend of mine that I asked whether I could try some of his filters, just to see how they were.
And so began my introduction to KASE.
I was immediately struck and impressed with how easy the whole system was to use. The filter holder was held in place by two tabs on one side and with a screw on the other. When tightened, the holder couldn’t be rotated. It stayed in place perfectly. The magnetic polariser was a game changer for me. Placed directly onto the adapter ring, it is held within the adapter ring by a magnet. It is therefore smaller than some of the other brands but exactly what I was looking for. When the filter holder is in place, the rotation of the polariser can easily be done by rotating the wheel on the side of the filter holder.
During that afternoon, I also had the opportunity to use several graduated and neutral density filters. Upon looking at the results on the computer my initial good impression was enhanced by seeing the results on the screen. There was no colour cast which is especially important when stacking several filters together.
I was intrigued and I wanted to find out more about the KASE brand and was encouraged to see that some of the landscape photographers who I admired and who’s work I respected were involved with the filters. This acted as a great endorsement to the product and I was eager to explore further. I was keen to find a filter brand which suited my workflow.
To my great delight I was afforded an opportunity to test out a selection of KASE filters. So on a typical Scottish summers afternoon with the wind howling, the rain driving and the temperatures plummeting I set off for some testing. These conditions in northern Scotland are not uncommon in the summer, in fact they are considered the norm in these parts. Therefore, it is important that my filter kit blends easily into my workflow. I don’t want to think about them and I don’t want them to hold me up. I need a filter system to blend seamlessly into my workflow.
The KASE filters passed this test very easily. The Filter Holder is light and easy to attach to the lens. The magnetic polariser is already on the lens and in place. With foam lining in the filter holder, the Neutral Density Filters are easily positioned without any delay to the workflow process. The constant drizzle can often pose an issue with the filters, however, with the KASE ones being made from glass, they are easily wiped clean with no visible drying marks. They also survived a drop on the rocks below, which I was extremely relieved about not to mention, impressed.
It is a lightweight but reliable system, with the absence of any colour cast and the game changer, magnetic polariser. I tend to use my wide angle lenses quite a lot and I have been impressed by the lack of any vignetting from around the 16mm focal length on a full frame camera. This was a major drawback on my previous filter system and is a welcome addition for my new system. I have since invested in my own KASE filters and cannot recommend them highly enough. They are a big improvement on the last filters I had been using.
Living and working in the northern Highlands of Scotland I need a filter brand that is easy to use. I need a filter system which constantly turns out excellent results and I need a filter system which I can trust. The weather conditions can be extremely tough and my KASE filters are certainly easy to use. I work in some of the worst weather conditions the UK has to offer and never once has the KASE filter system let me down nor do I expect it to.
On one of my recent Workshops to the Isles of Harris & Lewis, one of my participants was so impressed that he has also decided to invest in the KASE system.
Dean Allan is an award winning landscape photographer based in the Northern Highlands of Scotland.