Xume lens filter holder system (review)

Changing lens filters effortlessly

If you have ever tried to screw a polarisation or Neutral Density (ND) filter onto a camera lens, you know how frustrating that can be — it may even ruin your lens. However, there is a solution to the problem. It’s called the Xume Quick Release system and it uses rare earth magnets to keep filters attached to the lens. Mounting and unmounting becomes a matter of pushing and pulling.

Mounting filters on a dSLR camera lens involves screwing a very slim filter rim onto a very finely threaded screw thread. Personally, I regularly find myself screwing on a filter, then finding that I am cross-threading, then starting over again, and finding I’m cross-threading again. It always happens when I’m in a hurry, and the usual result is that I take the picture without filter in order not to lose out on the opportunity.

When I read about the Xume Quick Release Adapters, I immediately wanted to try them out. The idea is simple and elegant, and nothing short of genius. Brilliant is that the Xume lens filter holder system uses magnetic force to hold your filter firmly in place. The system has proven to be quite successful, and is available in many different sizes, ranging from 49mm to 82mm. After having used my test unit for well over a year, I’m still a very happy customer. Mine came in blunt white packaging, but that has changed; the box is now nicely designed with colour-coding for quickly recognising the size of the adapter inside.

Xume box shot

Xume Adapters are made up of two components: a lens adapter ring and a lens filter holder. The two “stick” together by way of magnetic force. The adapter ring and filter holders themselves still need to be screwed onto the lens and filter thread respectively, but you can do this in your studio, on a table, at your ease and with all the time in the world. Needless to say, when you’re calm and restful, screwing the filter onto a ring is much less of a problem than when you’re in the field.

With the lens adapter ring in place, each filter can now be attached by simply “letting it click” onto the adapter ring. This way, the Xume Adapters system also solves the problem with ND and polarization filters, as you can rotate the filters until they’re exactly as you want them without loosening them.

77mm Xume adapter

I tested with a 24-105mm and a 16-70mm lens, with both a gradient ND and a polarization filter. The magnetic force was strong enough to keep my filters firmly attached to the lens adapter. I deliberately bumped the lens onto a pile of paper — which I thought to be soft enough not to damage the filter, but hard enough to test for the strength of the attachment — and it was interesting to see how the lens filter holder briefly came loose only to re-attach itself by way of the magnetic force a split second after. Only when I hit the paper really hard, did the filter come off.

Still, it doesn’t take excessive force to remove a filter from the adapter ring.

True: you must take a bit of care not to let the magnetic rings come into contact with credit cards and the like, but the magnetic field around the rings isn’t strong enough to affect the workings of the camera itself.

Some people may perhaps object to having to mount their lens cap on a filter or a filter holder, but I have never experienced this as a negative. The Xume Adapters system is a nice solution to a real problem. The Xume Adapters Pro Kit, which includes 2 lens adapter rings and 4 filter holders, costs approx. €90.00.