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A quick-release plate for filters? Manfrotto’s new Xume system makes it happen

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Manfrotto is hoping to make filter swaps as easy as using a tripod with a quick release plate. Xume is a magnetic filter holder system that skips the screw-ins and allows filters to just slide on and off the front of the lens.

On display this week during the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Trade Show in Las Vegas, the Xume system has two parts. An adapter ring screws onto the front of the lens just like a screw-in filter would. A second filter holster screws into the filter itself. Once those two pieces are connected, magnets hold the filter in place over the lens. The 77mm version also has a magnetic lens cap as an optional third piece.

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The magnetic mount system shaves off those seconds that it takes to twist the filter into place, allowing photographers to shoot faster and avoiding missing moments while adjusting filters, Manfrotto says.

According to Manfrotto, the magnetic system is safe and doesn’t affect the lens’ focusing mechanism. Circular polarizing filters, which are rotated to adjust the effect, can also be used with the mount system, along with neutral density filters, UV filters, and protective filters.

The Xume adapters have a low profile — when used with a Manfrotto filter, the company says, the rings are slim enough that they don’t introduce the vignetting that can sometimes result from stacking multiple filters together.

The Xume quick-release filter system will launch in eight different sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, and 82mm. While the standard sizes should mean that the adapters are compatible with other filters, in theory, Manfrotto didn’t say if the rings would also be compatible with other brands.

The simplicity of the fast filter swaps cost between $11 and $35, and the sets include a storage case. The filter holder and lens adapters are sold separately so photographers can use multiple filters with the same lens and holder. Manfrotto’s filters range in price from $20 to $135.

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