Samyang 12mm and SRB Elite

You may have noticed that in my “Going Back” series I’m exclusively using the 12mm Samyang on either the Fuji X-T20 or the full-spectrum X-T1 with a single ND graduated filter in the bag for use when required. That ND grad is from the SRB Elite range which I wrote about briefly in Aparil 2017. So, an ideal time to update the post.

© Dave Whenham
Samyang 12mm with SRB Elite holder and ND graduated filter

At the time I said:

So long as the filter holder is ABSOLUTELY square then there is no vignetting visible in the viewfinder. When the filter holder is turned even slightly off-true then there is a little bit of vignetting but I sense that it would be very easily corrected in post.

Looking at the RAW files on the computer there is a tiny amount of corner vignetting visible, more so with the lens wide open than stopped down but it is nothing to be majorly concerned about in my view – if needs be I might frame a fraction wider than I need and crop in later.

Caveat: I’ve not properly tested this “in the field”; this was a “quick and dirty” visual inspection stood in my front garden pointing the camera at a bright blue sky

Well, having now used the combination over the last three days I can report that my initial findings were spot on. I’ve mainly been shooting at f8 and with care I’ve not encountered any problems. Trying to change orientation quickly and realign the filter can be problematic, and I have several darkened corners for my troubles, but so far when I’ve taken time to line the holder up properly and check the corners of my frame I’ve not had any major problems.

© Dave Whenham
Top left and bottom right (hidden by shadow) show what happens when the filter holder is not aligned exactly.

My original thoughts, that I would use the Lee 100mm filter system for any extended outings with the Samyang 12mm lens hold true. I’m cautious however about using the full sized graduated ND filters as the small surface area of the Fuji-X lenses means that the larger graduation on the bigger filters can be problematic.

Had I chosen any of my Fuji-X fit  lenses other than the Samyang 12mm then this brief review would I suspect have had no reservations as I’ve found that the build quality of the SRB Elite system is very good and it is very easy to use. The circular polariser screws into the centre of the filter holder (as does the ten-stop ND filter)  and having played with it a bit more I’m finding it easy to fit and remove now I’ve got the knack. 

© Dave Whenham

Incidentally, I mentioned before some reservations with using the ten-stop ND filter with ND grads. Well, I have made a very quick experiment this evening and by opening the lens up to f2 and fitting the 10-stop Elite filter I can see enough of the image on the Fuji X-T20s EVF and LCD screen to align a graduated filter. Given the depth of field with this lens when its closed down to f11 focusing is not really an issue but as a matter of course I would focus before adding filters anyway and the focus ring is firm enough to stay put when changing apertures.

© Dave Whenham
Samyang 12mm lens with SRB Elite polariser

All in all I think the SRB Elite range is an affordable alternative to some of the more expensive filter systems on the market which I can use without reservation with my Fuji kit and with care it can even be used with the ultra-wide Fuji-fit Samyang 12mm.