So I've been using the Kase Filters K9 holder and polariser for a good few months now and I thought id share my views on it with you all.
Having decided to make the switch from Lee Filters to Kase Filters was a big deal for me and if you have read my previous blog on the subject you will get why.
Why Buy It ?
The main reason for buying the Kase K9 kit was to solve the problem of vignetting on a 15 mm lens, other filter holders claim their holder will solve this but from past experience it doesn't and the Kase K9 holder was the first I tried that actually did it.
Not only can I have a polariser filter on but also two ND filters without any sign of vignetting on a 15 mm lens, in fact Kase state that you can use this on lenses of 14 mm on a full frame camera with no signs of vignetting.
The Kase K9 holder is an evolution of several previous versions, each making innovative improvements on its predecessor and the K9 is the very peak of all of these refinements,
The Main Features
So the main thing about the Kase K9 filter holder that will grab your attention is the fact that it uses a magnetic system rather than the traditional way of a polariser being screwed on the front of the holder and rotated.
This has several major advantages,
1, it makes the filter lightning fast to place on and off simply because as soon as its close to the lens it works its magnetic magic and grips straight onto the step ring which is mounted to the lens, unlike the screw on filters which need to be screwed on and after a period of time generally they get stuck, this can't happen with the Kase polariser simply because its not threaded and uses magnetic force instead.
2, The polariser filter sits behind the graduated filters which again all aids with the vignetting situation, to give you an idea when I used the Lee filters holder and landscape slimline polariser I was experiencing vignetting right up to 21mm, but with the Kase system I use a 15 mm lens and have absolutely zero vignetting and that's as wide as that lens will go!
3, The system is so much more ergonomic than others on the market and makes it extremely simple to operate, the neatness of the polariser being behind the ND grads makes it feel so much more compact too plus it keeps the polariser completely protected from the elements because its behind the grads.
The Kase K9 holder is super lightweight and has had the edges smoothed down and reduced over the K8 holder to again aid the ergonomics and the weight, plus a beautifully simple recess for your finger or thumb to aid removal of the polariser.
The holder has two controls on the outside as well, one is a small geared dial so you can turn it and the polariser rotates very easily and because Kase Filters made this larger on the K9 filter holder you are able to operate it easily while wearing gloves.
The other control is a thumb screw that tightens the filter up when its on the step
down ring which stays on the lens, its really easy to operate with a simple thumb and finger grip to enable you to rotate the filter holder to the desired position or for removal.
This control also feels substantial and of high quality and can also be operated with gloves on.
Moving to the guides for the filter you can fit up to 3 ND graduated filters in at anyone time plus the polariser, although I personally choose to use just two.
The guides are designed to take filters up to 100 mm in width (Length wont matter) so you could in fact use the Kase K9 filter holder with existing filters if you so desired as it comes with 2 mm guides as standard but also 1.1 mm too.
The guides are very smooth and sturdy and the filters slide in very easily but hold firm and can be easily adjusted with one hand, they don't scratch up the sides of your filters either with an innovative little gasket fitted on them.
The Kase K9 holder not only comes with the polariser but you also get four step up rings sized at 67mm, 72mm, 77mm & 82mm so it means it will fit right out of the box to most lenses and if like me you have several lens with different size threads it makes things cheaper as you don't have to keep buying rings, although they are available as extras should you have the need for more than one.
Whats In The Box ?
So that's a general overview of the product, now down to the really important stuff, how did it perform ?
How Did It Perform ?
I have used it for the past 7 months and it has been absolutely faultless, dare I say it but its actually a joy to use as its so quick and easy and so well made, everything the Lee100 system wasn't.
The polariser performs beautifully without being too aggressive and you have absolute precision with the geared control wheel on the side and you don't even have to use the holder in order to use the polariser because it is magnetic and fits onto the step up ring rather than the holder.
The holder is exceptionally high quality and I have dropped mine numerous times and it doesn't have a single mark on it, a really tough and durable product but at the same time it's incredibly light weight.
The system is so simple to use and by far the fastest to set up and pack down that I have ever used, which is quite a few.
How Much Does It Cost ?
The most outstanding thing about this system though in my opinion is the price, it currently has an RRP of £140, and I have seen it on the Kase Filters UK website on offer for only £130 !
Think about that for a second, its not just a holder you're getting, its the holder, a magnetic polariser, various guides, and four step rings ! The value for money is off the scale !
For example a Lee filter holder & polariser and just ONE step ring will cost you £364.90 ! if you added all the other step rings too it would be a staggering £481.75 !
Im not even sure how Kase Filters manage to make a system that is not only vastly better in quality and performance than the Lee filters equivalent but is at least a third of the price of it too, simply incredible.
During my reviews I try and present a balanced review listing any negatives as well as positives but in the case of the Kase K9 filter system I literally can't find a single negative point about it, I just simply love it and it performs at the very highest level I would expect, The quality is simply exceptional.
To give you an idea just how much I believe I believe in this product I was an avid Lee Filters user with around £2000 worth of filters, as soon as I tried the Kase K9 filter holder and polariser I got rid of all my Lee filters and invested in the Kase Filter system at a big cost but I have zero regrets, its simply in a different league to the Lee filters and in my opinion its the absolute highest benchmark for a filter system.
Now just to clarify something in the interests of fair disclosure I have a connection with Kase Filters as I am officially supported by them, but to clarify I have paid for every last item I have from Kase Filters and don't get anything for free and my review is based on my honest experiences and findings with them, if there was any issue I would be the first to point it out.
I purchased all my gear long before having any connection with Kase.
The review is written purely to let you know the benefits of a great product that I would love more people to try as you might well be surprised.
For me the Kase Filters K9 Holder system was an absolute game changer and I have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone.
EASE OF USE 10/10
USER EXPERIENCE 10/10
TOTAL 50/50 100%
Kase Filters range can be seen by clicking HERE
As always, Happy shooting
Some images i've taken with the Kase Filters K9 Holder & polariser and a selection of Kase Wolverine filters