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Photography start-up aims to revolutionize the way we use filters

Photography filters have a history almost as long as the camera itself — but they still haven’t changed all that much. A startup company just might change that, however, with an unusual new filter holder design that integrates both circular and plate filters in a rather revolutionary way.

Wine Country Camera is a start-up that’s so new, its website isn’t even live yet, but the firm is releasing a new filter holder system this fall and the early preview shows off a rather unusual design.

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The Filter Holder System utilizes an internal polarizer that’s screwed into the inside of the holder. Once mounted, a side knob allows for easy adjustments. Polarizing filters are widely used for enhancing reflections or deepening the blue of the sky, but are only available as circular screw-in filters, since turning the filter adjusts the intensity of the effect.

That makes them traditionally tough or even impossible to use with the square filter plate systems preferred by many photographers.

With an internal circular polarizing filter, the front of the holder acts as a more traditional plate filter holder, only it’s really not all that traditional. While current filter holders will hold the filters in place just fine, their use in many cases still results in light leaks, which can degrade image quality.

Wine Country Camera’s holder system is designed to be both sealed from light leaks and to actually protect the filters themselves from physical damage. That’s because the filters sit inside a casing, dubbed a “filter vault,” that blocks light from coming through the sides of the filter. While the intent is largely to block light from the sides, the vaults double as tools to prevent damage to the filter.

The system is also just as easily adaptable to use with graduated neutral density filters. The grads slide in at the top and are locked in place with a simple button to keep the grads from moving mid-shoot.

The filter holder allows photographers to use up to two grad filters with a neutral density filter and the internal polarizer. The holder system in the early demo fits 100mm filters and 100mm x 150mm filters, standard sizes for many popular brands such as LEE. Wine Country Camera says it plans on expanding the product with different sizes in the future.

The product is expected out this fall, but pricing has not yet been announced.