Shortly after releasing their M10 Filter Holder Kit, Haida expanded their M10 Drop-in filter line up to include gradated neutral density filters and CPL + ND filters. These innovative additions make use of the M10 Filter Holder’s Drop-in filter system which allows filters to be easily interchanged by squeezing the red release buttons.
Before I get started, I want to disclose that I’m a Haida Co-Photographer and they provided me with the M10 CPL + ND 0.9 (3-stop) filter used in this review. However, the opinions expressed in this blog are unbiased and if I feel positively or negatively towards a product, it’s because that’s what I genuinely believe. I only work with companies that create products which I love and would use regardless of any partnership.
Of all the filters that I own, the M10 Drop-in CPL (polarising) filter is undeniably my favourite for its ability to cut glare and reflections whilst boosting the saturation of colours. As a landscape photographer, this filter is an essential piece of equipment that never leaves my filter holder. The downside to that is it takes up the only drop-in filter slot in the M10 Filter Holder. This was until Haida released their range of M10 Drop-in CPL + ND filters. These 2-in-1 filters which come in 3 and 6-stop ND variations, feature a CPL. There is also a built-in dial that independently rotates the filter to adjust the level of the polarisation. Enabling the use of ND filters in the drop-in filter slot without having to sacrifice the using of a CPL.
Just like Haida’s NanoPro filters, the M10 CPL + ND filters are made from high quality K9 optical glass and feature a scratch resistant design. Each filter has an ultra-thin nano multi coating to preserve image sharpness whilst delivering close to zero colour cast. Thankfully, the coated surface which helps to protect the filter from the elements also makes it easier to clean.
The main reason I’m so excited about M10 CPL + ND filter is for the flexibility it adds to my filter kit. At the beginning of shooting a sunset I can use the M10 CPL + ND 3-stop filter with the Red-Diamond 100mm 6-stop filter providing 9-stops of neutral density with polarisation. Then once my shutter speed becomes too slow, I can easily swap out the M10 CPL + ND filter for the M10 CPL filter, which reduces the neutral density to 6-stops with polarisation. To make these adjustments using traditional 100mm square filters would have been a fiddly and time consuming process. With Haida’s Drop-in filters, I can easily lift out and swap filters in a matter of seconds, with minimal disturbance to my camera and without adding fingerprints to the glass.
In terms of build quality, I believe this is where the filter has room for improvement. Majority of the housing and components of the M10 CPL + ND 0.9 filter are made from a lightweight plastic material, which doesn’t feel all that sturdy. I would have liked it to have been made from the same aviation grade aluminium as the M10 Filter Holder.
In my opinion, a good quality filter is one that preserves the image quality of the lens it’s attached to. In testing the M10 CPL + ND 0.9, I paid close attention to see if there was any colour cast and/ or reduction in image sharpness. Overall, I was very impressed with the performance of the filter. It does have a faint green tint, but this is easily corrected in post processing. I also found the filter performed exceptionally well at retaining image sharpness, with no perceivable loss in detail when tested on the 42MP Sony α7R III.
Colour cast & sharpness Comparison test
The ease of use makes these M10 Drop-in filters enjoyable to use rather than a hassle. I’ve found myself using filters more often in my photography since switching to the M10 Filter Holder from my previous 100mm Aluminium Formatt Hitech Filter Holder. The Haida M10 CPL + ND 0.9 filter performs very well optically and it’s reassuring knowing that it’s preserving the image quality of my lenses. The Haida M10 CPL + ND 0.9 filter is a great edition to their ever-growing line up of filters and is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.