By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Shooting with a GoPro can give you some really great shots, no doubt. But if you really want to amp up your visuals, you may want to consider getting some filters to cut down on the glare and bring out the colors you see. So when Polar Pro put out their GoPro Edition Filter Six Pack, I had to give it a try.
Back in the day, I loved filters, because in the realm of the dark room, the only way you could tweak your image was to add a filter to it before hand and do the change in camera. Then the digital revolution came along and we all started to manage and edit out images through Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. That’s when I got into the lazy habit of thinking I can fix anything digitally in post.
I still believe that to a point, especially with graduated color filters, but in the end, I rather lost that organic feel that a filter can give you, especially when you’re using neutral density and polarizer filters to cut back on the glare. In the end, I came to realize that ND filters are your friends and everyone should have a set, especially for their GoPros.
The three pack is actually a six pack, which I scratch my head at, but this pack is filled with some great filtering options:
- PL 1 – a Polarizer Filter
- ND8 – a 3-Stop Neutral Density Filter
- ND16 – a 4 stop ND filter
- ND32 – a 5 stop ND filter
- ND8/PL – a 3-stop ND filter and polarizer
- ND16/PL – a 4-stop ND filter and polarizer
Looking at the package, my first thought is … geez, Polar Pro needed to really give me a case to organize this set with, because in addition to the six filters, Polar Pro tossed in six cheap little protective bags to put them in. I appreciate the throught, I really do, but means I have six different filters to keep track of in my bag, rather than on main case that contains all six. And if I lose one of the bags, then my filter is exposed.
So what I did is I went to the dollar store and picked up a pair of clip-lock plastic storage containers that are just a tad larger so that I could file them together thanks to cutting up the packaging and using it to create proper dividers that are labeled. It would’ve been nice if Polar Pro included an organized case and just charged us another $5, especially one that would slip firmly into the Polar Pro PowerVault case, but I was able to make something to carry them for a buck, so it’s all good.
The filters themselves require no special adapter to screw them on, as they adhere to the original GoPro lens by friction, thanks to tiny little nubs which hold the filter in place quite snugly, but not enough where you have to wrench them to pull them back off. With a firm tug, the filters will slip right off. I like this design because I don’t have to deal with making sure my filter is properly screwed into place so it remains flush. It just slips on and stays there.
Now this means that to use them, you’re going to have to use a skeleton mount, as the filters won’t attach to a standard GoPro waterproof case. Personally, I prefer it that way, as most of what I shoot doesn’t require the underwater housing. But if you’re doing some action sports, then you may want to try an alternative ND filter setup like the Wonderpana Go, outlined in our Filters article here.
The filters perform as advertised. I found them to be very clear with little distortion, and the neutral density filters were really able to cut out the bright ambient light and give the image better detail. As for the pressure fit design that requires no screwing on or adapter, it works great. The filters fit snugly and they aren’t going to fall off. I do wonder if the tight fit will loosen over time and cause the filters to eventually slip off, but I really doubt it.
I really don’t have any complaints about the filters other than the choice to include six micro fiber bags to hold them, rather than one organized filter case. I would prefer that over trying to keep track of the micro fiber bags. I understand the thinking here, you want to keep them protected and free of dust and grime from your fingers, but a good cloth can do that. The problem is, that without proper labeling on the bags, you will end up fiddling through all of them until you find the one you want.
A filter case, with labeled sections would provide a more organized experience that would reduce finding the right filter, and that would be vital when you’re on the ski slopes taking off your gloves and fiddling around trying to get the right filter on for the shot. And then you have to keep track of the bag along with all the others. The only other issue is that with the pressure fit design, shooters can’t use them with GoPro waterproof case, so keep that in mind, as well. You’ll have to used the skeleton mount or fix your footage in post.
Price for the Polar Pro GoPro Frame 2.0 Filter 6 Pack Professional edition is $99 for all six, a great value, and a fantastic addition to your action camera toolkit. It just needs a case to keep them organized. So come on, Polar Pro, give us a case and charge us another buck or two. It would be well worth it for the convenience. For more information, visit PolarProFilters.com.