Kase Armour Filter System review

Kase’s new Armour filter system uses magnets to make using circular and square filters easier than ever

5 Star Rating
Kase Wolverine Armour filter system on a Nikon mirrorless camera
(Image: © Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Kase Armour filter holder is slim but robustly made and it attaches securely to the magnetic lens adapter. The high-quality filters also mount securely and are easy to adjust, but the filter frames seem a little on the pricy side.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight metal construction

  • +

    Speedy mounting of filters

  • +

    Filter frames protect the square/rectangular filters

Cons

  • -

    High cost

  • -

    You need a filter frame for every 100mm filter

  • -

    Not compatible with existing magnetic circular filters

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Kase produces a range of filters with different mounting options from the traditional slot-in type of the Wolverine K9 series to magnetic circular filters. The Armour system is compatible with the company’s existing 100mm type filters that can also be used in the K9 holder, but they must first be mounted in a magnetic filter frame. It also accepts 95mm Armour circular filters, but it’s not compatible with the company’s existing/other circular filters. 

Specifications

Filter size: 95mm Armour circular filters and 100mm type filters in frames
Mount: via magnetic attraction to a holder
Construction: Aluminum alloy

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

Key Features

Kase sells the Wolverine Armour filter holder by itself, but it’s most likely to be bought as a kit with the compatible 95mm magnetic circular polarizer (CPL). The Kase Wolverine Armour Holder Kit also includes two magnetic adapter rings and two step rings to enable it to mount on lenses with filter threads of 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm. 

There are also two Armour Magnetic Filter Frames in the kit, one for a 150x100mm filter and the other for a 100x100mm filter. The frames can be bought separately or they can be bought ready-mounted on Kase 100mm-type filters.

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

Build & Handling

Kase makes the Armour filter holder from metal alloy and it has a high-quality feel, but it’s also very light. It’s finished with a smart black coating but I found that starts to rub off from the corners after a bit of use.

Before the Armour filter holder can be mounted on a lens, a magnetic adapter ring (or an adapter ring and step ring) needs to be attached to the lens filter thread. Once this is done, the holder attaches via magnetic attraction. It snaps on quickly without the need for the catch on the back of the holder to be retracted. This catch prevents the filter holder from being knocked off the lens, but it’s still possible to remove it without pulling back the catch if you lift it from the opposite corner of the holder.

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

There are two circular recesses to house 95mm magnetic circular filters in the filter holder. One faces backward toward the lens and the other faces forwards. You can mount the CPL either way around, but if you want to use a second filter, pop it in the rear-facing recess and put the other in the front-facing one. A small red cog in the side of the holder enables the circular polarising filter to be rotated whichever way it is mounted and without touching the filter itself.

Kase’s (or other) 100mm-type filters need to be mounted in a magnetic frame before they can be used with the Armour filter holder. These frames fit easily enough, but they are a bit fiddly so it’s advisable to mount them at home, before heading out with your camera gear. I also recommend that you have a frame for every filter that you’re likely to use so you don’t have to remove the frame from one filter to fit it on another between shots. 

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

Once a filter is in a magnetic frame, it snaps securely onto the Armour filter holder. Graduated filters can be pushed up or down in the holder to position the transition correctly. Once you’re happy with their location, tightening the red screw on the opposite side of the holder from the red cog, keeps then in place. There’s space for two filters to be grasped by the screw mechanism.

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

Performance

The magnetic attraction between the Armour holder and filters or filter frames is strong and the filters are held securely in place, it takes more than a jolt or a tap to remove them.

Examining images shot with Kase neutral density filters and/or the Armour circular polariser filter reveals that there’s no apparent loss of detail or sharpness in images captured by the 61MP Sony A7R IV. Kase’s 100mm ND1000 filter also delivers results with very little or no shift in colour and it reduces the exposure by the claimed 10-stops.

Kase’s 95mm Armour CPL is also very good, just warming the image slightly while boosting the contrast and increasing colour saturation as expected.  

(Image credit: Angela Nicholson / Digital Camera World)

Verdict

The use of magnetic is transforming the way we use filters and while there are several brands using the technology, Kase’s Armour system is one of the best implementations that I have come across. The holder is robust yet lightweight and slim, while the filters are held in place securely.

You’re limited to using just two circular filters, and if you want to remove a rear-facing filter, you’ll have to remove the holder from the lens, but that’s not really a hardship when it's held by magnets.

Read More: Find your perfect filter with our guides to the best neutral density filter, the best protection filter, and the best polarising filter.

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Angela Nicholson

Angela has been testing camera gear from all the major manufacturers since January 2004 and has been Amateur Photographer’s Technical Editor and Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography portfolio (Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoPractical PhotoshopPhotography Week and Professional Photography magazines, as well as the Digital Camera World and TechRadar websites). She is the founder of SheClicks - a community group that encourages and supports female photographers.