Aurora Aperture's revolutionary filter system sits behind the lens
Lens filters are an important tool for many DSLR photographers, but dealing with different diameter lenses, stepping-rings, square filter mounts and the rest can be frustrating and expensive. But now, an ingenious filter system for mirrorless camera adapter mounts looks to shake everything up – except your photos.
Aurora Aperture's Adapter Mount Format Filter (AMF) is a new filter system which enables photographers with mirrorless cameras to use one set of filters across all supported DSLR lenses. Filter thread size, protruding front elements on wide-angle lenses, complex mounting systems – these issues are irrelevant. One set of filters. That's it.
This is one of those inventions that makes people slap their heads in disbelief that someone didn't do it sooner, it's that simple. You take your chosen filter, drop it into your mirrorless mount adapter, pop your lens on and shoot away. When you change your lens, the filter stays in place.
Launched this month on Kickstarter, the AMF system currently supports four popular mirrorless mount adapters – Canon's EF-EOS R (EF to RF), Nikon's FTZ (F to Z), Sigma's MC-11 (EF to E) and Sigma's MC-21 (EF to L). Support for other adapters may be possible at a later date, depending on demand.
Aurora Aperture is no stranger to rear-mount filters, having introduced the first rear-mount glass filters for the Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM (and other Canon lenses with a rear gel filter mount) in 2017. There have been attempts to create a mount system with drop-in filters (such as the unsuccessful Owl adapter) and some large telephoto lenses have drop-in filters (expenses and not universal), but this is something different.
The filter frames are made from anodized 7075 series aerospace-grade aluminum alloy and the optical surfaces have PFPE nano-coatings to repel water, oil, dust, and dirt. And speaking of dust and dirt, you've got to love the idea of an internal filter, locked away from fingers, dust and muck.
At present, the range of filter types is limited to four. A sensor protector, a light pollution reduction (LPR) filter dubbed PowerDusk and a range of ND and GND filters – that makes 44 filters in total, or more accurately, 11 variations for each of the four supported mirrorless mount adapters.
Vignetting caused by the filters won't be a problem with this system, as the filter sits in the middle of the light path and the company has stated the filter frames are completely free from light leak. Not all filters types are appropriate for this kind of setup though. For instance, a polarizing filter wouldn't work at all as you couldn't rotate it, so you'll still need one for each of your lenses. But you can't have everything.
Currently, there's a tiny hitch with the system, in that GND filters can't be used in portrait mode, but Aurora Aperture could always make portrait versions if the demand was sufficient. And while almost all of the GND filters are flippable, the Canon RF version isn't, so this one will only darken the upper frame. Again, if demand was sufficient, there's probably a good chance the company would make a flipped version.
And for those with native mirrorless lenses, the company has stated that it's in the process of evaluating a body-mount format filter. Once the working prototypes are ready, an announcement will soon follow.
Kickstarter pledges start at US$44 (which represents a saving of $18 on the suggested retail price) for a single filter, and go up to $372 (a discount of $300) for a complete set of 11 UV, ND, GND and LPR filters in your preferred mount adapter format.
Backers who make pledges for five or more filters will get a tidy little protective case that can store up to 10 filters. Otherwise the case will be available for an extra $18. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in October, the same time as the company expects to make the system available to retailers and dealers. A video describing the system can be seen below.