BENRO FH100 MK II REVIEW
The new filter holder from BENRO is a renewed concept.
After a long test period to get everything optimal he is there!
The successor of the FH100 mk I
A filter system developed for the current 100mm filters and where Benro in my eyes a class higher in the filter world compared to the competition.
100mm is the most used system format for landscape photographers and others filter users in the photo world.
The new holder is light, handy, durable and now up to 15mm wide-angle lenses.
Good performance I would say.
Read more below
What can you expect from the new system?
What exactly has changed?
Is he better than the last one?
What is it like in practice?
Do I have to change my working method?
Which advantages or disadvantages does this holder have?
What about my current filters?
You will receive an answer to all these questions in this review.
The construction of this holder and lens ring has been slightly modified. The holder himself falls a little deeper. You just screw the ring onto the lens like the existing lens ring, but the system now comes slightly over the lens and this makes it closer to the glass. Which is a plus and minimizes the chance of vignette. (No vignette up to 15mm). I can now also use a step downring without a vignette. This is not always necessary but is useful to know.
With the existing FH100 MK 1 the CPL (also called polarization filter) is in the lens ring. In the new FH100 MK 2 is this in the holder you can see beautiful on the left (photo 1).
This is an advantage if and without a holder and polarization wishes to photograph because there are fewer actions required (unnecessary to turn them out of the lens ring)
Furthermore, the product is supplied as standard with a clip in PVC to turn the polarization filter into the holder (see photo 2). No longer fingerprints on the polarization filter ...
Holder & Frames
The new holder has received a nice upgrade compared to the existing holder.
As you can see, the filters are in a plastic frame, which can also be obtained separately.
This has several advantages:
- Now you do not have to fix the glass during the installation of the filters but the plastic frame that is placed around the filter. This is how you limit fingerprints on the glass.
- The filters can be placed more easily in the holder.
- The frame around the filter also ensures that the filters do not slide through the holder and so end up on the ground. The holder must be in the correct position (see below).
- You now use the filter to the side of the glass, ie you use a large cm glass. This brings you in range of larger wide-angle lenses with a 100mm system.
- Placement is quite simple, place the glass in the frame behind the tab and at the top you slide the blue button to the middle. This way you clip the glass into the plastic frame. The polarization filter is also incorporated again but this time in the holder and not in the ring.
As you can see, a gradient filter is placed in the holder here. (left)
You slide the filter with frame into the holder, the holder with the top side up. (is stated on the back with the text "UP").
Along the back left we have a red button where we can adjust the filters up and down. We do this using the button in the correct position. Pretty simple mode 1, 2 or 3 respectively 1, 2 or 3.
At the rear we also have a larger rotation ring as with the existing holder where we can rotate the polarization in the desired position. The ring rotates slightly more smoothly than the previous one.
This new holder is therefore a successful improved version.
Here you can also see that it is placed on my 15mm Laowa wide angle, without any vignetting or loss of image. Here in the picture to the left, see a red slide button or clip-on along the back of the holder at the top right. With this we fix the holder on the ring and fix it on the ring. With one finger we can release it to take the holder off.
On the right-hand images we can again view some details.
On the image (photo 1) there are 3 filters and there is still room for one extra in the middle: a gradient in the front, ND in the back and polarization in the holder. (PHOTO 1)
Advantage is when placing the filters everything is nicely sealed, through the frames. These frames ensure that they stand as well as each other and then let through less light. Nice to see on the right photo on the right. (PHOTO 2) Without the frames they remain further apart.
Placing the holder on the lens is also quicker click now. The blue button on the back secures the holder (rotating) and the red is unlocked to remove the holder.
As a landscape photographer with a penchant for long shutter times, a good system is important. The Benro system fully meets my requirements.
What should a good system have? For me personally that is primarily the quality of the glass with which you photograph. Benro has already proven his service in the past and present. both in weight and in quality.
Sometimes I get a false comment about filters in general. I often hear from people who use filters in general "it is heavy" or "it takes a lot of space in my photo bag".
This is correct, but everything we put in our bag has a certain weight and takes up a certain space. I can be very clear about this. "we know what we are starting up, so we can not negatively discuss this afterwards". Certain effects (eg intended motion blur, polarization, ...) can not be performed in post processing without this material;
The Benro systems are super but always have a certain volume. If I look at the weight and compactness for the many material that I take with me, I think this is REALLY bad luck.
Then the choice of pleasure and quality is made quickly!
What is and is not possible in the holder
Very simple! All my current 100mm Benro filters fit into this system. Perfect that is 1 major concern less you do not have to buy new glass.
Filters with the right size of another brand can also be used here, ideal to consider a switch.
The current Benro SHDCPL82 polarization filter also fits this. That is my current cpl of the existing Benro holder. FINE!
Also the soft gradients, hard gradients, reverse gradients fit all in the big frames in this new system. (expired 150x100mm)
The same applies to the 100mm gray filters, all of which fit in a smaller frame in this new holder. (nd 100x100mm)
And our very latest TRUE NIGHT filter fits in without any problem. The people who do not yet know this filter can read HERE for which this filter has been developed and what it does in a photo.
Which is also a plus: my method remains the same, it has only become better.
The current Benro SHDCPL82 polarization filter has already proven its quality, so here I test the new CPL filter. On the left we see the new polarization filter at work, this has done a nice job here.
The excess of gloss is eliminated on the water surface. Have chosen here not to completely close him just enough to eliminate gloss and to direct attention to the houses. This way I get less reflection but also more contrast.
What should we know.
I always look at the use of filters for location per location, image per image. You can also put the atmosphere in an image with these filters. You need a certain period of time to get to know your material. You need a learning curve this is for everything in photography, so also for filters. I view the use of filters as a tool, a TOOL to show my vision of a location as I want. Filters are no guarantee for success.
What I can say is, once you have the taste of using filters ....... :-)
The decision for me personally is the following:
A 15 mm lens with the possibility to use CPL and 3 filters on 1 system and all that at the same time is a big step forward. No other system or brand can offer this to me. A real topper for a 100mm system.
Especially if you like to use wide-angle, it is a shame that you have to cut away in Lightroom or Photoshop if you use filters. I often see people who use a different brand, the problem that they have to crop because they have extreme vignette. Sometimes they even photograph on the inside of their CPL with a large black circle on their image.
You do not buy expensive cameras, lenses and filters to cut away 20% of the photo each time.
If I am very honest for people who are busy with slow shutter speeds and use a 100 mm system, this new version is certainly worth more than money. In my view, every improvement is worth considering to upgrade.