Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filters review
July 6, 2020
Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filters 82mm Entry Kit
- + Quick and easy to use
- + Optically excellent
- + No colour cast from NDs
- - Prevents use of lens hoods and original caps
- - Doesn't work with ND gradient filters
Price as Reviewed:£235.00
Andy Westlake tests a brilliant set of filters that attach to your lens magnetically
Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filters 82mm Entry Kit: At a glance
- Magnetic filter set
- Includes polariser, 3-stop ND, and 6-stop ND
- Magnetic lens cap
- Carry case included
Sometimes it’s the naming that annoys me. Call your product after a notoriously ferocious predator, as filter maker Kase has done with its Wolverine range, and it just seems like you’re trying too hard. My natural, perhaps overly cynical instinct is to dismiss them on the spot, as likely to be sheep in wolves’ clothing. Thankfully, though, I gave these filters the benefit of the doubt, and agreed to try them out. Because as it turns out, they’re the real deal. Indeed as high quality, easy-to-use filters go, they’re absolute monsters.
The concept is deceptively simple. You screw an adapter ring into the front of your lens, to which the super-slim filters snap firmly into place magnetically. The circular polariser can be rotated freely on this magnetic mount, negating the need for a rotary frame. Once you’ve got it positioned how you want, an ND filter can simply be stacked on top, again holding firmly in place. Cleverly, the filters can’t be mounted the wrong way around; the magnets will repel each other if you try, so the filters won’t hold in place.
It’s difficult to convey just how quick this approach is, compared to laboriously screwing filters into lens threads. It makes filters so much quicker and easier to use, which in turn will encourage you to use them creatively. The design means that there’s no chance of light leakage ruining your shots when using strong neutral densities, either.
Optically, the filters are absolutely superb, with barely any discernible impact on image quality. Indeed the only artefacts I saw from their use were some small additional flare spots when shooting directly into the sun. The ND filters are as neutral as they could possibly be, meaning you won’t have to correct any unpleasant colour casts in raw processing. I didn’t see any troublesome vignetting when stacking a polariser and ND either, even on the Laowa 15mm F2 Zero-D ultra-wideangle prime.
Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filters: Key Features
- The leather-look case has five slots for filters, and a brass clip for attaching it to a bag or strap
- You’ll probably want to get a magnetic adapter ring for each of your lenses. They’re available in all sizes from 49mm to 82mm, for £12 each
- The metal lens cap is lined with felt to avoid scratching your lens’s front element. I found it came off a little too easily. You can’t use your lenses’ original caps with the adapter rings.
- You can stack an ND and a polariser together, with the latter going closest to the lens
Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filters: Kits and sizes
Kase’s Magnetic Circular kits come in three sizes; 77mm, 82mm, and 95mm for use with ultra-wide lenses. Stepping up to the Professional kit adds a 10-stop ND filter, but at a significant premium. Prices range from £220 for the 72mm Entry Kit up to £395 for the 95mm Professional Kit.
Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filters: Verdict
Sometimes an idea comes along that’s so clever you wonder why everyone else isn’t doing it already. Kase’s Wolverine circular filters fit right into this category, as they’re just so quick and easy to use, while giving excellent results.
As always there are compromises: the adapter rings add awkward bulk to small lenses if you choose to leave them attached, block the use of hoods and your lenses’ original caps, and don’t accommodate graduated filters. But if you can live with that, they’re a really excellent option, particularly when you want to carry minimal kit. Indeed the question isn’t so much ‘should you buy them?’ as ‘which kit, and which size?’.