During last year’s PhotoPlus Expo, we were introduced to Chinese filter manufacturer Haida and their brand new M10 Filter Holder System. Neutral density filters play an integral role for photographers particularly specializing in landscape, architecture, and travel photography. If you find yourself shooting with a variety of different lenses regularly, chances are most of these lenses will have different filter threads. ND filters aren’t cheap, and buying filters in multiple densities for various threads can put a huge dent in your wallet very quickly. Filter systems like the Haida M10 system are a much more cost-efficient way to go, allowing you to adapt a set of filters across a variety of filter threads.
Haida was kind enough to send over one of their M10 Filter Holder System for review, along with a:
- 6 Stop M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round ND Filter (1.8/64x Density)
- 10 Stop Red-Diamond ND 100x100mm Filters (3.0/1000x Density)
- 3 Stop Red-Diamond Soft-Edge Graduated ND 100x150mm Filter (0.9/8x Density).
This particular review will focus on the Haida M10 Filter Holder System along with the 6 Stop M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round ND Filter (1.8/64x Density). The other two filters will be covered separately in their own dedicated reviews.
Pros and Cons
- Modular design
- Lightweight yet well built
- Attaches to and detaches from camera very quickly
- Drop-In filters can be swapped out easily
- Only one drop-in filter can be used at any one time
- There’s no way to prevent the M10 Filter Holder from rotating when attached to an adapter ring
We tested the Haida M10 Filter Holder System with the Sony A7R III, Sony A7R IV, Tamron 24mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1_2 (Model F051), Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD M1_2 (Model F053), Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master, Gitzo Mini Traveler Tripod, and MeFOTO Roadtrip Leather Edition Tripod.
Tech specs for the Haida M10 Filter Holder System taken from Haida’s official product page.
M10 Filter Holder System
- M10 Holder: Aluminum holder for insert filters at 100mm width x2mm
- Light Barrier: Designed to prevent light leakage when using the holder without round filters
- Adapter Ring: M10 Exclusive, available in 37mm, 40.5mm, 43mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, & 82mm
- Filter Bag: To pack 6pcs insert filters at 100mm width, 1 set M10 Holder
M10 Drop-In Round Filters
- ND: Dedicated to M10 Filter Holder. Available densities: 0.3, 2x / 0.6, 4x / 0.9, 8x / 1.2, 16x / 1.5, 32x / 1.8, 64x / 3.0, 1000x / 3.6, 4000x / 4.5, 32000x
- CPL: Dedicated to M10 Filter Holder. Independent Installation.
- Grad. ND Filters: Dedicated to M10 Filter Holder. Independent Installation. Available densities: 0.9, 8x / 1.2, 16x
- Clear-Night Filter
- CPL+ND Filters: A dedicated 2 in 1 filter for M10 Filter Holder. Available densities: 0.9, 8x / 1.8, 64x
- Light Barrier: Designed to prevent light leakage when using the holder without round filters.
One of the Haida M10 Filter Holder System’s major selling points is its ability to be quickly attached to or detached from a camera. The above image shows the M10 Filter Holder with the Light Barrier Drop-In ring attached. Constructed from aviation-grade aluminum and polycarbonate, the Haida M10 Filter Holder is solidly built yet lightweight.
The Haida M10 Filter Holder and the Light Barrier Drop-In ring are seen above alongside one of the aluminum adapter rings. Available for 37mm, 40.5mm, 43mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, & 82mm filter threads, the aluminum adapter rings allow you to use the Haida M10 Filter Holder with a variety of different camera lenses. Once the adapter ring is securely threaded onto the front of your lens, simply pull the spring-loaded red aluminum tab away from the M10 Filter Holder to slot the holder onto the adapter ring. One the adapter ring is correctly seated within the holder, release the red tab to securely locked holder onto the adapter ring.
Here’s a closer look at the spring-loaded red aluminum locking tab. You’ll want to ensure that the tab is securely locked into the adapter ring before releasing it. You’ll get the hang of it after you’ve attached and removed the holder a few times.
This is what the front of the Haida M10 Filter Holder (along with the Light Barrier Drop-In ring) looks like when attached onto a lens. In addition to the M10 Drop-In filters, the Haida M10 Filter Holder can also accommodate a pair of 100mm wide square or rectangular filters. Note the pair of cotton strips surround the opening of the filter holder. They are designed to provide just enough friction when inserting standard 100mm wide square or rectangular filters. They help to prevent filters from being inserted too quickly and flying out of the other end, resulting in accidental filter breakage.
The filter kit that Haida sent over included a M10 Filter Holder along with a Light Barrier Drop-In ring, an M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round CPL Filter (partially inserted into the holder in the above image), as well as a 6 Stop M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round ND Filter (1.8/64x Density). Like the Light Barrier Drop-In ring, all of the M10 series of Drop-In round filters feature a pair of red spring-loaded clips towards the top which helps lock the filters securely in place when inserted into the M10 Filter Holder. Simply pinch both red clips and pull up to remove the filter and swap in another M10 filter of your choosing.
Here’s a closer look at the 6 Stop M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round ND Filter (1.8/64x Density).
And here’s the M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round CPL Filter. Note the small dial situated on top between the pair of red clips. This dial allows you to easily dial in the circular polarizer.
Thanks to its aviation grade aluminum and polycarbonate construction, the Haida M10 Filter Holder is lightweight yet sturdily built. Throughout our time testing the filter holder system, we had accidentally bumped the holder and filters against tree branches, railings accidentally while traversing from one location to another. While small scuffs can be seen on the filter holder upon close inspection, the wear and tear was only cosmetic. No scratches or smudges could be found on the filters. Obviously, we’re not advocating that you toss the M10 Filter Holder system around with reckless abandon. As always, exercise common sense, but should accidents occur, the Haida M10 Filter Holder System can stand up to quite a bit of abuse from the elements.
Ease of Use
The quick attachment and release system makes the Haida M10 Filter Holder System truly a joy to use. The drop-in filters also allow you to quickly swap between different filters. The huge variety of adapter rings also make the Haida M10 Filter Holder System a one-size-fits-most solution for photographers that have a sizeable selection of lenses with differing filter threads. Instead of having to purchase a collection of costly filters for each filter thread, the M10 Filter Holder System allow you to use a single set of filters across a large array of filter threads by utilizing the corresponding adapter rings. This is a far more fiscally sound solution. Gone are the days of having to constantly thread ND/CPL filters on and off of your lenses. What would’ve taken minutes now takes mere seconds. This is especially crucial during twilight hours where lighting conditions are changing rapidly by the minute.
While the Haida M10 Filter Holder can support two additional 100mm wide square or rectangular filters in addition to the single Drop-In round filter, I do wish that there was an option to utilize multiple Drop-In round filters at once. Another improvement that I’d like to see Haida implement into their next iteration of the M10 Filter Holder would be the ability to secure the orientation of the filter holder once it’s attached to an adapter ring. Although the locking tab does a good job of keeping the filter holder securely attached to the adapter rings, it’s very easy to rotate the filter holder around the adapter rings. This can become rather frustrating when using graduated ND filters, where you can accidentally rotate the filter holder and inadvertently altering your graduated ND filter’s orientation as a result.
Having used other filter systems in the past, one of the most annoying side effects that I’ve unfortunately encountered was unwanted color casts in my images. Thankfully, this is an issue that I didn’t have to worry about when shooting with the Haida M10 Filter Holder System along with Haida’s own 6 Stop M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round ND Filter (1.8/64x Density). I was able to get consistently color-accurate results with my long exposures, with no discernible loss to image quality at all when compared to images shot in the same situation sans filters. It’s wonderful when a product just works. These are the tools that working photographers can depend on to deliver repeatable results. Below is an example of the same scene shot with and without the Haida 6 Stop M10 Drop-In ND. The results speak for themselves.
Additional Image Samples
Here are some additional long exposure images shot using the Haida M10 Filter Holder System and the Haida 6 Stop M10 Drop-In Nano-Coating Round ND Filter (1.8/64x Density). These images were processed using Capture One 20, ranging from color grading, cropping, levels adjustment, and/or perspective correction. As a matter of ethics, however, none of the sample images seen within this review have been retouched so that you can judge the quality of the images produced using this filter system for yourself.
- Solid build quality
- Attaches/detaches quickly and securely
- Drop-In filters can be swapped out easily in mere seconds
- Can only use one Drop-In filter at any one time
The Haida M10 Filter Holder System is an innovative solution for photographers that utilize ND filters regularly as part of their image-making workflow. The M10 Filter Holder’s quick attach/release mechanism along with its Drop-In filters help streamline the process of attaching and switching between filters efficiently and effortlessly. For photographers shooting with a variety of lenses with different filter threads, instead of having to purchase a set of filters in each filter thread, the M10 Filter Holder System can help keep costs down by allowing you to use one set of filters across all of the different lenses (as long as they correspond to one of the available adapter rings). Haida’s Drop-In filters are equally well constructed and produce images free of quality loss or undesired color casts. If you’re a landscape, architecture, or travel photographer in the market for a filter system, you will surely want to put the Haida M10 Filter Holder System on your shortlist.
The Haida M10 Filter Holder System earns Five out of Five Stars. It’s robust build quality and innovative design makes it a worthy purchase for photographers that utilize ND filters often in their work. You can pick one up for yourself from Amazon. The Haida M10 Filter Holder by itself retails for US $99. Individual Drop-In filters range from US $99 – $109, with filter kits containing multiple filters and accessories available starting at US $499.