Kolarivision Drop-in Filter system for Infrared photography - A Long overdue review

September 28, 2023

When Canon brought out their mirrorless cameras, the “R” series, they also brought a new lens mount the “RF” mount to go with it.  Those of us existing Canon shooters initially had the concern we would now be forced to buy all new lenses.  Canon delighted us by bringing out a convertor ring that allowed the use of our old “EF” lenses on our new Mirrorless “R” cameras.  Then Canon took it a step further and made a convertor ring with a side mount, drop-in filter.  Canon offered a small selection of drop-in filters, but nothing that really aided with Infrared photography.  This is where Kolarivision saw the opportunity and took it.  More about what they did with the drop-in system in a minute.

What is the drop-in filter system?   

The drop-in filter system is a small ring that fits between the body of the "R" Series Canon mirrorless cameras and connects to the Canon "EF" lenses.

 

 

Using the drop-in system is very simple and once in, the filter locks in place and will not come out.

Overall, a great design.

Now, let's talk about how this relates to Infrared.  

The people at Kolarivision as I said a minute ago, saw the opportunity, created a system based on this idea, and made something pretty cool for Infrared photography. 

They even designed their own convertor ring with a drop-in filter and then marketed it way less than the price of the Canon OEM convertor ring.

Nice.........

Then they proceeded to start making different drop-in filters.  At first, it was different nanometer Infrared filters.  Those alone made for a great shooting experience.  

Why do I say that?  Here's an example.  

I love an ultra-wide lens for landscapes.  I have found an excellent 15mm f2.4 lens made by IRIX.  It is a great lens, worth considering.  It has almost no side distortion but comes in an "EF" mount.  With the converter ring, it is no problem to use on one of my "R"s.  The problem is the lens takes a 95mm filter in front.  95mm filters are not easy to come by, are expensive, and hard to deal with. With the Kolarivision drop-in filters, shooting with the lens is a breeze.

Here are a couple of examples, made in one of my favorite places to shoot, Las Terrenas, DR  These images were made with the IRIX lens

 

Another example is the Tamron 150-600

Probably one of the best budget Super-telephoto lenses on the market.  Once again, a 95mm filter is required.  With the Drop-in filter system, not an issue.

Here are a couple of IR images I made using the lens on one of the Safaris I lead.

 

The reason I labeled this piece as "long overdue" is because I've been shooting with the Kolarivision drop-in filters for a few years now and they quickly became a mainstay in my camera gear and I forgot to share my experience.  In a way, it's good that I did delay, as since then Kolarivision has added an amazing number of drop-in filters.  

Here's a current list as of today.

Filter Options:

  • 2-10 Stop VND**
  • 6-15 Stop Dark VND**
  • Swirl Bokeh 1X
  • Swirl Bokeh 2X
  • CPL
  • 1-Stop IRND
  • 2-stop IRND
  • 3-Stop IRND
  • 4-stop IRND
  • 5-stop IRND
  • 6-Stop IRND
  • 7-Stop IRND
  • 8-Stop IRND
  • 10-stop IRND
  • 15-stop IRND
  • 20-stop IRND
  • 550nm Infrared
  • 590nm Infrared
  • 665nm Infrared
  • 720nm Infrared
  • 850nm Infrared
  • IR Chrome
  • UV Bandpass
  • UV/IR Cut Hot-Mirror
  • UV/IR Cut Filter (H-Alpha Pass)
  • Clear
  • Blue IR/NDVI
  • Iridium – Color Enhancing
  • IR Chrome
  • IR Chrome Lite
  • Rotating Flare
  • Rotating Streak
  • Dual Streak
  • Streak + Rotating Flare
  • Flare + Rotating Streak
  • Dual Flare
  • Drop-In Frame Only (No Glass)

Let's see, ...... 35, 36, ...37 filters right now.  The last one being a holder that you can use to make your own custom filter.

They even have a Filter case/holder, which I have not had my hands on, but looks to be a cool way to transport filters.


 

So, if you are looking for a great, easy way to shoot Infrared with the ability to swap out filters easily, the Kolarivision system is the way to go. 

Here are some links to make things easier to find.

Kolarivision

The drop-in filter adapter 

The drop-in Filters

 


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