If you are a landscape photographer it’s quite possible you own several filters that you use regularly. These may include a polarizing filter, three or four stop neutral density filters, graduated neutral density filters (you might have two or three of these) and, if you practice long exposure photography, a 10 stop neutral density filter such as the LEE Filters Big Stopper.
Filters can be difficult to deal with. I’ve tried several solutions, like using a messenger style bag (so I can just reach down by my side and take out the filters I need) and a small waist pack to store them. The problem is that filters come in cases that need to be taken out of the bag, then opened, all without dropping the filter. It becomes even trickier when trying to change one filter for another.
The bottom line – filters are essential for landscape photography, but handling them is a pain in the backside.
That’s why I was so glad to come across the Filter Hive from Mindshift Gear. Essentially it’s a padded, charcoal coloured case with a removable insert that you use for storing your filters.
The Filter Hive is an extremely well thought out product. There are six slots for storing large rectangular filters (such as those made by LEE filters) and another six for storing smaller circular filters. The large slots are colour coded, making it easy for you to find the filter you are looking for. All the slots have a soft lining that is designed not to scratch glass or plastic, so your filters are safe.
The insert is removable and comes with a dust flap to help protect your filters from dirt. The case has a zippered pocket on the front, as does the insert. On the back of the case is a loop so you can attach the case to your belt or to the side belt of Mindshift Gear’s Rotation 180 Panorama Rotating Backpack. There’s also a grab handle with a release buckle that you can use to hang the Filter Hive on the side of your tripod while taking photos.
So, how does the Filter Hive perform in practise? The answer is brilliantly. I can store all my filters, removed from their cases, plus stepping rings in the Filter Hive. It’s easy to find and remove the filter that I need, and when I’m changing filters I can remove one from the lens and place it directly into the Filter Hive. It’s like the third hand that I’ve always felt I needed when changing filters up to now, and greatly reduces the chance that I will accidentally drop one.
Another benefit of the Filter Hive is that there is plenty of space to include a sachet of silica gel, helping to ensure that the filters inside stay free of fungi during the colder, damper, months. There’s also room for lens cleaning accessories like micro-fibre cloths and lens tissues.
You can learn more about the Filter Hive, and it’s smaller brother the Filter Nest, from Mindshift Gear’s website by clicking on the links. They are also available from retailers such as BH Photo & Video, Adorama and Amazon.
This YouTube video will also give you a good idea of how the Filter Hive works.
Editor’s disclaimer: this product was donated to the author by MindShiftGear. dPS has not received any compensation and the author’s review is unbiased.