Review: H&Y Swift magnetic accessory system for stills and video: Digital Photography Review

H&Y’s Revoring concept isn’t new, but its latest version takes the best parts of past iterations and merges it with new and improved features for an even more seamless filter experience. In this review, we’re going to be taking a look at the unique filter holder that uses an adjustable threaded ring to mount an array of magnetic accessories to lenses of all sizes.

As with past Revoring models, this new model uses a single, adjustable ring that can shrink and expand to fit nearly any lens that has a filter thread of between 46mm and 62mm.

These new Revorings are just like the original models, but now they are magnetic to allow accessories and filter holders to stick to them. The original Revorings came with a thread for your own screw-in filter or with a filter built-in – like this variable ND combined with a polarizer.

The original Revorings had their own thread into which you could screw your filter, while later iterations came with a filter built-in, like the variable ND combined with a polarizer shown above. The new Swift design further improves the system by adding magnetic accessories to the mix, as well as some new filters and a drop-in filter holder. The system is called Swift because it’s supposed to make changing accessories and filters quick, as in theory they just snap on and snap off in an instant. And, for the most part, they do.

Behind the lens hood I’ve stacked the variable ND, a Black Mist and a polarizer – just to show that you can. You’ll note that the hood is made of the same type of rubber as camera eye-cups, and it collects dust in the same way. This doesn’t impact its functionality, but does make it look a bit grubby in product pictures.

Want to see the Swift filter system in action? Check out the video above for a hands-on demo.

Two systems

While the system is one of multiple parts that are interchangeable, H&Y has divided the accessories into two broad streams: one aimed at stills photographers and the other at filmmakers.

The whole system comprises of:

  • Magnetic Revorings (a)
  • Magnetic bridge ring (b)
  • Magnetic square/oblong filter holders (c)
  • Magnetic 100×100/100x150mm filters (d)
  • Magnetic VND round filters (e)
  • Magnetic drop-in round filter holder (f)
  • Drop-in filters (g)
  • Magnetic collapsible rubber lens hood (h)
  • Magnetic matte box (i)

In Use

Once the Revoring is fitted to the lens, we can then add the accessories we need, being careful to mount them the right way round and in the right order. The magnetism soon lets you know if you are trying to mount things the wrong way round as the two accessories will repel each other, so you quickly realize you need to flip the new one around.

Smooth finished accessories, like this 1.5-5-stop ND, stick directly to the Revoring with no further assistance Other accessories have a notch, like this drop-in filter holder, and need the bridging ring to connect with

Things that connect directly to the Revoring have a smooth connection surface, such as the variable ND. Most of the accessories have notches used to align themselves, so if you need to attach one of these to the Revoring, you’ll need the bridging ring on the Revoring first. From there, you can fit the square filter holder, the drop-in filter holder, the hood or the matte box.

Here I’ve connected the 100x150mm filter holder to the Revoring via the bridging ring. As the filter holder itself is magnetic you can stack as many 100x150mm filters as you like, though two is usually enough. These are a pair of ND grads, with the front one inverted to darken the foreground while the rear one darkens the sky.

You can stack drop-in filter holders if you want to apply more than one filter, and the variable ND can sit behind whatever else you add—so you could use a VND with an additional two drop-in filters or the VND behind the 100x150mm filter holder, which can accept any number of oblong filters.

With the VND and drop-in filter holders fitted, you can then finish things off with the matte box or the lens hood, but neither of those will fit on the front of the 100x150mm filter holder—which might actually be where we need them most .

The system is called Swift because it’s supposed to make changing accessories and filters quick.

It’s worth noting the new variable ND for this system comes in two strengths; 1.5-5 stops and 6-9 stops. Both versions have a hard end-stop that prevents users slipping into the dreaded X cross-polarization zone.

Build and strength

I’ve been using prototype Revorings since the first one came out roughly two years ago and they’ve consistently stood the test of time. I also have the early magnetic 100x150mm filters, which I consider to be very good indeed. This new system doesn’t depart from the general quality I’ve come to expect from H&Y, and the accessories, rings, adapters and filters themselves are very well made.

The mechanics of how all the different elements work together has been well thought through, and while users will need to spend some time understanding the system at first, it’s quick to get used to the workflow once you’re familiar with the parts.

I found no matter how many accessories I piled on to the Revoring, the magnetism, and the orientation notches, kept everything securely in place. The accessories themselves are magnetic so each new layer clamps together with fresh enthusiasm.

I suspect the main concern about the system itself will be how well the magnets hold the accessories in place, and how likely it is that the whole lot could fall off into the river during a shoot. In the event though, we might instead wonder if we’re strong enough to pull the magnets apart.

The mechanics of how all the different elements work together has been well thought through.

I’m only partly joking, as the magnets used are strong and hold the different layers of kit together securely and without a hint of an unexpected separation. When removing the accessories, it isn’t always easy to remove just the one you want as they’re so stuck together, but I found the Revorings always stayed in place, so reordering and reattaching holders and hoods is simple enough and not inconvenient.

It isn’t just the magnets that hold it all in place, either, as one accessory slots somewhat inside the next, which prevents slippage and maintains alignment. I was concerned the matte box would be a little unstable, as it stands out far more than a filter would, but I needn’t have been as it’s proven it has no problem staying in place too.

I’m not certain what you would screw into the top of a matte box, but should you need to, 1/4″ and 3/8″ threads are made available. I wouldn’t risk fitting an Atomos Ninja V here, but perhaps a small mic wouldn’t be out of place. The top flag can be removed.

The matte box is remarkably lightweight and very nicely made, and while we can’t attach side flags to it, there are 1/4″ and 3/8″ threads on the top and a half-depth cold shoe on the bottom. The front aperture of the matte box perfectly fits the H&Y 100x150mm filters but, at the moment at least, there is no way to attach them.

H&Y doesn’t make horizontal filters anyway, but their magnetic frames will fit any 100mm filters you already have—square or oblong. The company has just said that its current Kickstarter campaign raise enough money, it will introduce a Cinematic Filter Holder for 100 x 100mm (4 x 4″) and 100 x 150mm (4 x 5.65″) filters, and by the look of the illustration, the matte box will fit over it rather than the filters being placed at the front of the rig. I suppose they’re better protected from flare, dust and rain that way, too.

So, is it any good?

The long and the short answer to that is ‘yes.’ This is a solid system that genuinely brings the element of convenience and swiftness that its namesake promises. It’s been well designed and is all very well made, and the magnets are definitely strong enough for every real-world situation I could throw its way.

I would like to see a solution to attach the hood to the oblong filter holder, as well as a solution to load 100mm filters in front of or behind the matte box—and a set of horizontal filters to go with it. This would be a good thing to include whether the current campaign reaches its $300,000 ‘stretch goal’ or not.

The system really is quick to assemble and quick to take apart, and more importantly quick to alter in the field. The parts are all very well made too, and I’ve found the filters themselves to be excellent quality

H&Y filters aren’t cheap, but they do offer pretty good value for what you get. These Swift accessories actually cost less than I expected, though the filters are still moderately-high-ticket items. For its Kickstarter campaign H&Y has arranged a series of kits to suit stills and video shooters of various levels, and is also allowing backers to put their own kits together.

The filmmaker’s beginner set costs $508 and comprises:

  • Revoring
  • Magnetic 1.5-5 stop ND filter
  • 2x drop-in filter holders
  • Choice of drop-in filters
  • The magnetic matte box

The Photography Beginner kit costs $528 and comprises:

  • Revoring with variable neutral density and polarizing filters built-in
  • Bridge ring
  • The magnetic 100mm filter holder
  • Any 100x150mm graduated neutral density filter
  • The magnetic lens hood
  • Magnetic caps for the Revoring and the 100mm filter holder

New Swift accessories on their own:

  • Bridge Ring $24
  • Drop-in filter holder $32
  • Variable ND $159
  • Lens Hood $20
  • Matte Box $40

Of course, as this is a Kickstarter campaign, these kits can be had at a discount for those pledging support. The estimated shipping time is September 2022, and while all Kickstarter campaigns carry risk, the ridiculously low goal of $78400HK ($10,000) suggests this campaign is more about marketing than actually raising funds for manufacturing. Besides, the company has already made a whole lot of sample units.

For more information see the H&Y website and the H&Y Swift Kickstarter campaign page.

Note/disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project before backing it. Pledges to crowdfunding campaigns are not pre-orders. DPReview does not have a relationship with this, or any such campaign, and we publicize only projects that appear legitimate, and which we consider will be of genuine interest to our readers. You can read more about the safeguards Kickstarter has in place on its ‘Trust & Safety’ page.

Source link

Leave a Comment