March 17, 2021
K9 Holder from Kase
We try out the K9 Holder for 100mm filters from Kase to see what has changed from the K8 Filter Holder we loved in 2019
I first reviewed the Kase Filter system in July 2019. I loved using it so much that I switched from Lee Filters to Kase, and 18 months later, I have had no regrets. You’ve probably seen that at the bottom of most posts is a link to the Kase website, and I recommend the system to anyone attending my Landscape & Seascape workshop. Since I moved to the system, there has been an upgrade to the filter holder to the K9 holder, so I thought that I’d give it a quick once over to see how they have improved something that was already pretty good.
What’s changed in the K9 Holder?
One of the things that stood out in my original review of the K8 system was that it had a far slimmer profile than the comparable Lee system. It was down to how the circular polariser sits inside the system instead of screwed onto the front. The K9 system is even slimmer now and has a more rounded profile, and is a few grams lighter, which is always nice when climbing up a hill!
There are some quite significant operational changes too. To make sure you notice some of them, they are the two bright red controls on either side of the K9 holder.
The first design change is that screw that connects the holder to the filter ring has been made slightly more efficient. There are fewer turns needed to attach the K9 holder to your camera firmly. It may not seem a big thing, but I tend to use filters more at the start and end of the day, so if I can spend less time out of my gloves, the better.
A second change is when it comes to using the rotator for the circular polarising filter. The dial mechanism is the one thing that Kase has made larger on the K9 holder. It’s now a lot easier to find and use the mechanism while wearing gloves.
Another addition to the K9 holder itself is a couple of indents on the front of the holder. They make it much easier to remove the Circular Polarising Filter while the holder is still attached to the camera. One of the Kase filter system innovations is that attaching filters to rings or lenses is done magnetically instead of being screwed on. It makes for a much more secure attachment out in the field.
The final innovation in the K9 holder is going to benefit users of the Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4.5 lens. Those extra millimeters at the wide end of the lens were causing vignetting around the photos’ edge. The K9 system now has a 90mm instead of 86mm Circular Polarising Filter (CPF). It’s something out of Dr Who that Kase can make a filter holder smaller to help make the essential element, the filter, bigger!
What’s in the box?
If you followed my advice in July 2019 and already own the Kase filter system, then a move to the K9 holder will cost £140. For this price, you will get the holder itself with a new 90mm CPF. There two geared adapter rings for 77mm and 82mm lenses and a couple of step-up rings that allow you to attach a 67mm and 72mm lens to the system. You can also increase the number of slots to add filters from two, as supplied, to three. I bought the K9 holder during The Photography Show promotion so as well as the holder system, I also received a free bag for holding your filters. Just like the K9 holder, even the bag has had a minor upgrade. There are now little slots at the top of each pocket to label which filter is in each pocket.
For those new to Kase filters, there are three kits that include the K9 holder system and soft filter bag along with a selection of filters. The Entry-Level kit (£350) adds a 3-stop graduated filter and a 6-stop ND filter. The High-End Level package (£530) includes a 3-stop reverse grad, which is great for sunsets. Finally, the Master Kit (£780) adds a 4-stop graduated filter and a 10-stop ND filter to the mid-level package. You can also order individual 100mm filters from the Kase website.
During this review, I haven’t looked at the performance of the filters themselves. That’s because everything I wrote back in July 2019 is holding valid 18 months later. Go back and read the original review, then add the improvements to the K9 holder system, and you still have what I think is the best filter system on the market. I don’t recommend anything that I don’t use, and I wasn’t given the K9 holder for free – it was paid for from my own money so that you can trust my views reflect what I think. I like that Kase continues to innovate to improve the experience for photographers.
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About the author
As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions as well as being featured in a members sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com