When I was contacted by Freewill recently and they told me they were sending me something new and that I couldn’t talk about it until August 20st, I knew it must be interesting.
It turns out its their reach into DSLR and Mirrorless cameras in a new and exciting way. The Magnetic Quick Swap System is a UV filter that screws on the front of your camera. This has a powerful magnet. The filters ND, CPL, LP etc are all magnetic and just snap onto the UV filter. This means you can change a filter in a matter of seconds. The big one for me is strong ND filters. I love to shoot with them at the ocean for the nice slow shutter speeds. Such as the shots below (I shot with the Freewell ND1000 CP)
The trouble with a dark ND, is you can’t see to compose and focus the shot with the filter on. Usually you set up the shot, screw on the filter, take the shot, remove the filter and reframe. It can take a while. With this system I was able to compose in seconds and get a number of shots. Check out my video above to see the filter system in action and see more specs and what comes in packaging etc, as well as a tutorial on how to shoot these kinds of photographs.
My overall impressions: The quality of the optics on the filters is very impressive, as good as any I have used. They were also very tough, as I took them through salt water and sand and they performed well without damage. There is a little vignette around the edges, but nothing that isn’t easy to fix in Lightroom. You can stack filters on top of each other and the profile is quite slim, so you don’t have too high a stack as to lose framing with the 24-70.
The magnets are very strong and polarized, so you can only put them on the correct way. I have no fear of the filters coming off as the magnetic grip is very strong. The grip on the lens cap didn’t feel quite as strong and its possible the cap could be knocked-off, although I didn’t experience that happening.
Overall, I’m really happy to add these filters to my camera bag and I will be taking them everywhere with me and getting a lot of use out of them.
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