1. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    I would like to share my first hand experience and mini review on my newly discovered filter company.

    On my quest to add a wide angle lens for my landscape shots, my first choice was the Nikkor 14-24 f2.8. The front element of the lens is exposed and needs a special filter holder to use landscape filters on it. Companies like Lee, Lucroit and Fotodiox Wonderpana have this special filter holder dedicated for this lens and they are quite expensive.

    Considering the cost and availability of filters, I went with my second choice lens, the Nikkor 16-35 f4 and some filters from Lee.

    After weeks of shooting with the Nikkor 16-35, the urge of getting the Nikkor 14-24 didn't subside. So I did some research again for good alternatives to Lee filters and stumbled on this company: Progreyusa http://www.progreyusa.com/ . They are based in the US and specialize in landscape filters and holders. They also have the kit and filters dedicated for ultra wide angle lenses, like the Nikkor 14-24 f2.8 and Canon 14mm L lens.

    I asked the ever helpful Google to get more information and reviews for Progreyusa and found some articles, but they weren’t comprehensively detailed, so I decided to send a message to the company itself. All of my questions and queries were patiently answered by Lynn Radeka of http://www.radekaphotography.com, the USA distributor of Progrey filters and holders.

    After days of brainstorming, and contemplating if I should give up my existing tried and tested landscape set up from Lee to make way for this new filter company, I followed my instinct and bit the bullet. I placed my order on Progreyusa!

    My orders were processed and shipped immediately from the US to the UK. After two weeks of waiting and sleepless nights, thinking if I made the right decision, the package arrived at our door step. It included:


    Filter holder: Build is very high quality and is well made from lightweight ultra-hard aero-aluminum materials. It comes with its own bag, 2 extra filter clips for filter stacking (max of 3), lens cap, screws and an allen wrench. Holder can be rotated 360 degrees, tension can be adjusted by a small screw.

    Filter adaptor: Same high quality build and construction as the Progrey filter holder.

    GND filter: Made with Ultra-clear CR39 resin. Each filter comes with a soft fabric pouch to protect it from scratches. There is no color shift from these filters.


    I was eager to test my newly acquired landscape filter set up when it arrived, but living in the United Kingdom, we all know that the weather is unpredictable so I had to wait a bit longer.


    Here are the factors that made me switch from the Lee system to the Progrey system:
    - cost effective both for the filter holder and filters
    - you can use a CPL with 82mm thread and smaller with their filter adaptor without using an expensive CPL holder
    - proper lens cap
    - they will soon release their ND glass in different stops up to 12-stop, filter size of 150mm x 170mm will also be available. I am assured that these new filters will be state-of-the-art and will yield absolutely no color shift.
    - more products will soon be available from Progrey



    Opportunity came and weather permitted, I drove for almost 3 hours to a location and gave the Progrey filters a test.

    Here's how the Progrey Filter System looks like on my Nikkor 14-24 f2.8:
    [​IMG]Progey test by PopeyeBX, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Progey test by PopeyeBX, on Flickr




    And some sample images:

    [​IMG]JCS_2840 copyr_wm by PopeyeBX, on Flickr

    [​IMG]JCS_2813 copyr_wm by PopeyeBX, on Flickr

    [​IMG]JCS_2848 copy 2r_wm by PopeyeBX, on Flickr


    Final thoughts:
    Looking for a good alternative with the well known and established brand, I'm very happy that I found Progreyusa. In my opinion and based on my experience it is at par or much better with the well know filter system. There is no regret that I switched filter system and I just wish I've know this brand much earlier in time. I started introducing this system to some enthusiast friends of mine, couple of them already switched and like me, they are very happy with the results.

    Thank you for spending some time reading this and if you have any questions just post it in this thread and will try my best to help and answer it.
     
  2. rowland

    rowland

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    Steve
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    popeyebx

    as you know I also have the same system, however I tried to buy non-progrey filters to fit at my local store, they were very impressed with the filter system but could not find any filters to fit the holder (170mmx150mm is large) , so I have ordered a soft grad set from progrey and I am looking forward to trying them out. Other than UV's this is my first filter "system", so as the progrey system expands, so will my filter selection. I can't help thinking compared to other makes, what excellent value the progrey system really is.
     
  3. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Thanks for adding your experience with it Steve! :)
     
  4. DigiFilmGuy

    DigiFilmGuy

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    Leonard
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    Nice review. I have been a real fan of Progrey stuff for about a half year now. Some amazing products and reasonable prices. Looking forward to a 10 stop nd filter that I can slide into my g-100X holder. It's encouraging to know I can buy the stuff from the USA distributor. Hey popeyebx, those are some really nice shots. Did you use Progrey nd filters on them? I notice that they are now selling the extreme version of their nd filters. Sounds like a good option for wide angle lenses. :)
     
  5. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Hi Leonard,

    Yes, all of the photos are shot with Progrey ND Grad filter, I'm glad with this filter as they don't have any color cast on them. Same as you I'm looking forward on their ND filters. Cant wait! :)
     
  6. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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  7. 69Bonni

    69Bonni

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    Hi John very interesting stuff have read all the threads on Progrey.
    I currently run as my widest lens the 16-35 also, and consequently have the LEE holders and filters but I must say I am impressed with the results of the Progrey 10stop from your shots. Currently I am looking at replacing the LEE 10 stop due to damage (don't ask:rolleyes:). Also my son is currently looking at a filter system.
    So I have a question, bearing in mind I have the LEE holder etc already, does or will the standard grads and ND's from Progrey fit the LEE holder? Looking at the side by side comparison of the 10stop I don't see a difference other than the gasket on the LEE is continuous, but the size looks the same.

    Seriously considering a leap of faith now. As my filters are all 'well used' I guess it's a matter of how much the Customs stiff you for!
    Thanks for the above review will pass all the info onto my son too
    Cheers Steve
     
  8. markyboy.1967

    markyboy.1967

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    I have the Progrey holder etc and their 10 stop and all i will say is that i wouldnt buy another Lee 10 stop filter.. I have used te Lee for a while with its cast and its so nice to have gotten rid of that now im using the Progrey. I still use the Lee ND grads though so cant comment on Progrey ND grads. I use these on my Nikon 14-24 with the holder. Yes the foam is only on the top and bottom of the filter and its great on the progrey holder but not sure if its any different on the Lee and cant check as i sold my Lee a while back...
     
  9. 69Bonni

    69Bonni

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    Hi Mark thanks for the feedback! I have just had a read through there site and it looks like there filters will fit the 100 mm Lee holder system at least that's what they imply without actually mentioning the name 'Lee'.
    Just have to sort out what I need to replace now.... Cheers!
     
    markyboy.1967 likes this.
  10. markyboy.1967

    markyboy.1967

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    Give them an email as they are very helpful. They are good at " helping" out with customs as well.;)
     
  11. GHP

    GHP

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    Does anyone know whether this system would attach to the Samyang 14mm?
    Their website is a bit vague on this specific.
     
  12. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Hi Steve (@69Bonni),

    I just had a quick chat with a friend of mine. He is a Lee user (before), I let him try my Progrey 10 stop ND filter from our photo trip couple of months ago and he was blown away with the SOOC image he took using his camera. When he got home he immediately ditch his Lee Big and Litter Stopper in favor of Progrey ND filters. His Progrey 10 and 7 stop ND filter fits nicely on his Lee holder :)
    I made this review when I'm still using the bulbous Nikkor 14-24 f2.8. After a very unfortunate event, I opted on the Nikkor 16-35 f4, and without having second thoughts, I stayed with Progrey as I already know the quality I'm getting, and I'm very happy with it! :D

    Do you use CPL on your shots?

    Oh, as what Mark (@markyboy.1967) just said, they are helpful in terms of custom ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  13. markyboy.1967

    markyboy.1967

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    Another thing is as mentioned that the Progrey holder allows you to use and turn a CPL on some lenses. I also bought the adaptor to let me quickly put the holder on my Nikon 24-70 etc.
     
  14. 69Bonni

    69Bonni

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    Hi John/Mark
    Thanks for the great feedback, that's answered all I need to know thanks, yes I do use a CPL so that holder sound like it might be very useful!
    After an unfortunate event! Don't like the sound of that I know that front element can be a bit exposed on the 12-24:eek:
    I'm already working on 'the list' so looks like I will be contacting them soon!
    Thanks again for all the feedback and I will drop a mail to Progrey shortly .....
    Cheers guys
     
  15. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Steve,

    Its unforgettable event on my photography, my Nikon D3, Nikkor 14-24 f2.8, tripod and filters went straight in the water! :(

    Since you are using CPL, consider Progrey's filter holder, they can be very useful to you, no need to use expensive adapter for your CPL ;)

    Let Progrey know you hear it from me :D
     
  16. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Hi Gary,

    Think its much better so send them an email about your query. I had a look on the Canon 14mm and Samyang 14mm, while their petal hood almost looks the same, I cannot confirm if they are in the same size and dimension.
     
  17. GHP

    GHP

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    I did in fact email them last night and got a reply this morning !!
    It looks like the Samyang will be getting its own holder in January, fingers crossed.
     
    popeyebx likes this.
  18. 69Bonni

    69Bonni

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    OMG yeah I think I'd put that in the unforgettable bracket! I will check out that filter holder sounds very useful.
    Don't worry I'll mention I got the nudge from you, I'm writing up my Christmas list now ;)
    Thanks Mate
     
    popeyebx likes this.
  19. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    You're very much welcome Steve! A Merry Christmas for you then! Let us know what's your thoughts when you get your filters! :)
     
  20. AlexGrey

    AlexGrey

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    I'm quite impressed with the progrey filters after seeing your pics. I've seen a progrey ND1000X for sale at a local shop for £80 which sounds reasonable to me. Now I'll have to try and find a holder for it.
     
  21. 69Bonni

    69Bonni

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    Hi Alex
    If its second hand, really scrutinise it well, hold it up to the light and scan across the surface both sides for blemishes..... If its New and there stocking them in the UK let us all know who and where;)
    That's probably a good price from a UK supplier
     
  22. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Thanks @AlexGrey!
    If the filter is in very good condition go and get it. I'm using Progrey's 10 stop ND filter and I'm very happy with it! Minimal to no colour cast!
     
  23. John Soliven

    John Soliven

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    Hello @69Bonni, did you already got your Progrey stuff from Christmas?
     
  24. 69Bonni

    69Bonni

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    Hi John
    Had a financial disaster so will be ordering soon, don't worry I will mention you when I order mate;)
     

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