H&Y recently announced a new addition to its lineup of magnetic and hot-swappable filter accessories: the Revoring Swift. The comapny says it is the world’s first modular magnetic filter system and was launched on Kickstarter where, at the time of publication, it already achieved nearly ten times the initial funding goal.
The company says it listened to the users of its first launch and evolved and adapted the product line to do precisely what creative photographers and videographers wanted: a complete ecosystem of stacking magnetic filters that can be quickly and easily changed out or swapped between multiple cameras without the need for step-up rings.
The new Swift system is designed entirely around the Revoring mount which uses an interesting mechanism to attach itself to your lenses by expanding and retracting to “grip” your lens filter threads. Once in place, the system is pretty much locked in, and from there you can mix, match, and add drop-in filters and magnetic boxes/adapters to accommodate whatever type of shot you are going for. The system supports square filters and mounts, drop-in circular filters and adapters, matteboxes and barn doors, and even a simple magnetic lens caps to protect your lenses between shots and during transport.
The system does have static step-up rings available if you prefer, but the Revoring adapters come in sizes ranging from 37-49mm, 46-62mm, 58-77mm, 67-82mm, and 82-95mm which should effectively accommodate most lenses on the market. If you do choose to use the static step-up rings, they are sadly not magnetic.
The Revoring Swift is considered such a big deal because of the sheer convenience. Traditionally, if you were to stack an ND filter, with a CPL, and something creative like a streak/flare/or color filter, you have to take the whole system off of your lens to connect and remove each piece which can be time-consuming, clunky, and even problematic when out in the field. The Swift system changes the game in this respect by making it incredibly fast and easy to swap out and stack creative filters in studio or out in the field.
Design and Build Quality
Like most filter systems, wrapping your head around the logistics of the entire system can be a bit overwhelming at first. But after spending some time with the options they all started to make a lot of sense.
At its core, you can start with either an empty Revoring magnetic base adapter or one that comes loaded with a CPL and/or VND system. At first, the Revoring mount can feel a little stiff and tricky to get expanded and mounted safely. And to be fair, I can see how some users will worry that this gripping system for the mount could scratch a lens surface potentially causing damage, but this could happen with nearly anything you mount on a lens, so just take your time and be careful until the system becomes second nature.
The build quality of the adapter (and accessories) is definitely among the higher-end systems that I’ve used — including LEE filters and PolarPro — over the years and they feature an all-metal design that is very solid and durable. I felt like I was more likely to damage my tables and camera gear before I’d damage the filter mounts and adapters because they were so sturdy. Regardless of which base adapter is mounted, you can then shoot as is, or start adding the various magnetic holders and filter combinations of your choice.
The drop-in kits can be snapped into place without worrying about light leakage and depending on the filter added, a metal rotation ring on the side is easy to access and make adjustments. In the above photo, I had two filters added but you can stack as few or as many filters as you want to shoot with, and again, this was incredibly quick and easy to do.
Additionally, the other kit components — such as the square filters, the rubber lens hood, the matt box, and even the magnetic lens cap — were all incredibly easy to swap in and out, strong and durably built, and the magnets feel incredibly strong. At home, I was worried the magnets wouldn’t hold up against wind or even the weight of the filters when mounted, but those worries were quickly dispelled once I started using it in the field. With the larger square filters, the holders even come with a screw-locking mechanism to ensure the filter is held tightly in place for an added level of security. This also ensures there is no “drifting” of the filters should you bump or jostle the system.
The magnets snap together so well that it was occasionally pinching my fingers, so if you were wearing gloves, it would be very easy to have them get snapped in between the various filters added on.
From a video standpoint, if you were recording live and want to add, remove, or adjust filters, the noise they make to do so would be easily picked up by the camera. This includes the CPL, VNDs, and adjustable creative filters that have a rotation wheel. While a very minor issue as usual adjustments would be made before recording, potential users should be aware that these filters are not completely silent in operation.
Each kit comes with a carry case or pouch of some sort to help keep the components safe from dust, dirt, scratches and straight-up breaking when not in use. These mini-bags were quite useful, but with so many components, it almost required a dedicated gear bag just to carry them all together. The good news, like most filter companies, they have an optional “luxury” filter bag that fits most of the delicate components in an easy to access kit that can fit in most camera bags for easier transport.
Usability and Performance
There is a lot to unpack here so I’ll try to keep it contained by components. Staring with the Adapter ring that has the CPL and VND built-in, mounting it on a lens is incredibly fast and easy, and making adjustments to the Neutral Density level (or polarizer) is fast and smooth, however, it is very easy to nudge whichever side of the system you’re not adjusting accidentally when tweaking the other.
There are protruding levers for each function on the filter making them very easy to use, but in my testing, there is a little bit of drift in each. While this may make the system a bit bulkier or more expensive, it would be nice if this particular filter combo features a locking mechanism for each component to avoid this. Using both hands on the filter avoids the issue entirely, but let’s be real, with a focus on making this faster and easier, having to use two hands to hold things in place misses the mark here.
Outside of this small frustration point, the particular filter was smooth and easy to use or swap between cameras, and the polarizing side of things actually worked quite well. The image quality was sharp and very little (if any) color cast was applied at low levels of use, but like all Polarizers and ND, there is a magenta shift if you start to apply the effect heavy-handed.
On the VND side of things a few issues popped up, but nothing new to the world of variable neutral density. Basically, on a wider lens, if you ramp up the ND to the higher end, you will start to see some “cross-polarization” or “X patterns” in images. Sadly this is relatively unavoidable in wider lenses, but to achieve a “darker” image, the bliss of this system is you can simply stack more ND filters to get the look you are seeking. H&Y actually addressed this issue directly in a the video below:
At longer focal lengths, this isn’t much of an issue at all as displayed in the gif below showing applying the maximum CPL level and then increasing the ND levels at 70mm.
This system is designed with the purpose of making it faster and easier for you to swap out the filters or swap filters between camera systems, reducing the amount of downtime between shots.
The system truly does just that.
That is, once you get past the initial learning curve at least. Moving beyond the CPL and VND combo and adapting the other creative filters like the drop-in kit, square filters, or even the rubber lens hoods honestly just took seconds. On a well-planned shoot, it would be very easy to have the adapters already in place on every lens and system set to be used, and then the filters could be quickly and easily moved between systems without much of a thought.
The only thing that was a bit of a frustrating point when using this system is if you do decide to remove the Revoring adapters, there is no way around having to use two hands to do so. With an “ordinary” adapter, it is easy to just hold onto the camera/lens with one hand and then unscrew the filter with the other. This isn’t possible with the Revoring system.
One hand is needed to hold the “base” in place, and the other to open and unscrew the mounting mechanism. Because of this, the camera needs to be held secure by a tripod or the like. To be fair here, the idea is users will have these adapters already mounted to each of their possible lenses with covers to protect the lens on each of them as well, thus avoiding the problem. But if you are obsessive about cleaning and storing things properly like me, you’ll never want to leave these things on when not in use.
Fast, Secure, And Functional
The Revoring Swift system is modular, easy to use, and just plain impressive compared to the many other filter systems I have used over the years. The Swift system is entirely modular and allows you to build out the type of filter combinations, hoods, and matte boxes you need to achieve the desired look for both videos and still photography.
It is so fast to swap between filters and the optical quality is really impressive. It’s hard not to be impressed with what H&Y has made here.
The H&Y Revoring Swift system is currently available through Kickstarter where the company has assembled several pre-built bundles for easier purchasing as well as discounts on individual item orders. Once the campaign ends, the Swift system can be found directly on the company’s website.
Are There Alternatives?
Like most professional filter systems, the H&Y Revoring kit is not cheap: the kits range in price between $220 to $479 for those who need entire bundles, and for those looking for individual items the prices range from as low as $21 for adapters, to $199 per filter.
The good news is there are alternatives, but along the professional side of things the prices are rather similar. Some options include Lee Filters, NiSi, Formatt, PolarPro, and for the just slightly more affordable front, you can choose from a wide selection of options from Cokin.
Should You Buy It?
Yes. If you’re looking for a new filter system, the Revoring Swift is a solid option. It’s easy to use and has a ton of flexibility.
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