The word that keeps coming to my mind is “brilliant” – and you’ll hear it several times in the video review – but the Xume Quick Release Adapters really are amazing and I believe they’re going to revolutionize the filter market (I won’t use the ‘game changer’ phrase but man, once you’ve tried one you won’t want to screw in a filter ever again!).

We’re incredibly excited by the way that David at Xume has chosen planet5D to be the first to get a set of these for review.


Xume Quick Release Adapters review

Pros and Cons!

Pros:

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • thin
  • very fast taking filters off and replacing – snaps in place
  • very strong – will not detach by accident (unless bumped hard)
  • Brilliant

Cons:

  • can be bumped and the filter may come off (you should be using a lens hood to begin with!)
  • stacking might cause vignetting (minor issue)
  • your lens cap likely won’t stay in place (but they’re working on solving that with a cap of their own)


Other sizes

We got this info from David last night about potential other filter sizes:

We’re thinking of doing a couple step adapters next. It seems like everyone has one 77mm lens, so they probably buy 77mm filters and step down to their 72 and 67mm lenses.
l’ve designed lens adapters that would allow them to leave their 77s in their holders and use on them on smaller lenses. If there’s sufficient demand I may still do 72 and 67mm sets as well. They’re designed already.

A couple people have asked for 82mm. I’m considering it. I probably won’t do anything smaller than 67mm. I don’t think there’s much demand for anything smaller. We test marketed a 62mm (different design) a couple years ago but didn’t sell many.

Pricing

I know the question is going to come up from some of you… “these are just little pieces of metal and magnets – why is the price that high?”

We asked David to give us an answer and if you read this, most of you will realize why Xume is using this pricing… (notice these points: high cost of materials, 5 year development process, patented)

Pricing is tricky and misunderstood, especially when a product seems as simple as our adapters. After all, it’s a magnet and steel, right? Hardly. We have a U.S. Patent, and one of the standards for rejecting patent applications is whether the idea is “obvious,” and what’s more obvious than a magnet and steel? What’s patentable is a design that does something new and innovative, especially when it incorporates existing technologies. Our patent is No. 8014666, and a second one is pending.

Our goal was to create a filter mounting system that was effortless and automatic. We succeeded, but the resulting product represents over five years of design, prototyping, redesign, and still more prototyping, with several failed, clumsy looking and outright wasted efforts along the way. Our products look simple and work great by design, not accident. They are amazingly compact. The adapters and holders together are just slightly thicker than an average step ring.

Our lens adapters utilize low profile neodymium magnets which, we were told, several times by several vendors, could not be manufactured to the specification and tolerances we required. They ultimately could be, but at a price. The material is extremely brittle, nearly impossible to machine, and ridiculously expensive. Google “rare earth magnet prices.” The cost has doubled twice this year alone. The magnets are held in place by an injection molded retaining cover that creates a beautifully finished exterior, but again, it was very expensive to design and prototype, and required expensive tooling to manufacture to our exacting tolerances. Compact + high tolerance + tooling = expensive.

The adapters are made exclusively for us, like iPhones, iPads and iMacs, in China. Manufacturing in China is cheaper, but not cheap. However, it’s the difference between offering a product at a price that most working pros find reasonable, and one that would cost more just to manufacture than anyone would be willing to pay.

Our adapters are unique. There is nothing else like them anywhere and they are only available from us. We believe they are fairly priced and offer good value for the utility they provide. Our customers get much greater use from their filters, which for most users is reason enough to justify the cost.

By the way, if you have any concerns about the magnets, please read this Xume magnet info.

Blogger’s Disclaimer: I did receive a free basic kit to perform this review and I’m sure as heck not giving it back – these things are “brilliant”! HA had to say it one more time.

(cover photo credit: snap from the xume website)