Latest Breakthrough Photography Kickstarter Campaign: First The X3 UV, Then The X3 ND, Now The X3 Circular Polarizer, Closing November 20

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

The latest Kickstarter campaign by stills photographer Graham Clark of Breakthrough Photography in San Francisco will be closing on November 20 and there is still time to make your pledge for the X3 Circular Polarizer, (the world’s sharpest and most color neutral CPL filter. Guaranteed.)

Kickstarter Campaign Details:

The X3 CPL comes in a range of common filter diameters from 39mm through to 105mm, with pledges and their rewards coming in single diameters, two diameters or several in the case of the low end of the scale from 39mm to 62mm inclusive.

The early bird pledge for the most popular filter diameter, 77mm, has been fully subscribed to, but Mr. Clark has made a further 450 pledges available for the 77mm size. As I am writing this, 275 pledges remain at a value of US$109, a US$40 discount on manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).

I have been a circular polarizing filter recalcitrant due to the fact that, to date, no test made by far more technically-minded cinematographers or photographers than I have impressed enough in the color or sharpness departments.

I don’t have the budget to make risky purchases I may well come to regret and making returns to foreign-based suppliers is not an option. So I have learned to take it slow, research the heck out of all my possible choices, and put off purchases for as long as I can until the absolutely right item comes along.

From everything I’ve read at the Breakthrough Photography website, and the reviews I have seen of Mr. Clark’s other filters, especially the X3 ND and X3 UV filters, these and the X3 CPL are the ones for me and my hard-earned dollars.


Besides sharpness and color neutrality, another standout feature of Breakthrough Photography’s X3 filters is their 3.2mm Traction Frame, ensuring easier attachment and removal from lenses. The X3 series is machined from brass, a metal less prone to binding than aluminum and stronger too.

Almost all filters at all price points now are made from aluminum, not brass, although brass used to be the gold standard. I had brass filters for some vintage cameras some years ago and can vouch for the excellence of brass for optical frames.

I haven’t had the pleasure of trying out any of Breakthrough Photography’s X3 filters yet, but Mr. Clark amply proves the value of investing in his products with side-by-side comparisons, reviews and user testimonials. The examples in the X3 ND Performance Gallery are eye-opening.

Top quality filters are as essential for moviemaking as for stills photography, more so given the growing reliance on color grading in all sectors of the industry, and getting your color right from the onset by investing in the finest filters you can afford pays off handsomely in post-production. [bctt tweet=”Superb X3 Series Circular Polarizer by Breakthrough Photography. Kickstarter, closes November 20.”]

X3 Circular Polarizer

Via Kickstarter:

Introducing the world's sharpest and most color neutral circular polarizer. With Traction…

X3 CPL is the worlds sharpest and most color neutral CPL. The moment you use the X3 CPL, you know you’ve never used anything like it. Featuring our all-new American made CPL film and an all-new weather-sealed brass Traction Frame®.

X3 Circular Polarizer

  • Available in 12 Sizes: 39mm, 46mm, 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, 95mm and 105mm.
  • World's Most Color Neutral CPL: Our all-new CrystalVision® CPL film, Made in California, achieves the most color neutral performance of any CPL filter.
  • Capture Critically Sharp Images: Constructed with SCHOTT B270® Optical Glass Made in Germany.
  • Optical Performance: Our State-of-the-art MRC16 and nanotec® coatings eliminate reflections and repel dirt, water and other elements.
  • A Winning Design Proven By Photographers: All-new Weather-sealed Brass Traction Frame® Based On Our X3 ND
  • Backed by our 25 Year Ironclad Guarantee with US-based support


No Filter vs. X3 CPL


Outdoor photographers frequently struggle with dynamic range. The human eye has a dynamic range over 20-stops, while a mid-day outdoor scene (like the one below) may range between 15-18 stops. Professional camera systems range between 12-14 stops, and during the last decade very little progress has been made.

No Filter vs. X3 CPL 2

You can sometimes recover detail in shadows if there’s enough data there in post-processing, but you can’t remove glare in post-processing, and the removal of glare adds vibrancy, contrast and reveals details that are otherwise unseen.

Read full details at X3 Circular Polarizer Kickstarter page.

(cover photo credit: snap from Kickstarter)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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