For telephoto lenses with huge front elements, screw-on filters aren’t very practical or economical. Thus, for certain lenses, companies like Canon and Nikon offer drop-in filters that slide into a slot close to the rear element.
There’s a new product that hopes to use this same style of filter for smaller camera-and-lens combos. Called OWL, it’s the first drop-in filter adapter.
Created by a Hong Kong startup called DEO, the product is an adapter for mounting Canon and Nikon DSLR lenses to Sony E and Micro Four Thirds mount cameras.
The side of the adapter features a slot that accepts a drop-in filter holder containing one of OWL’s custom 52mm filters, which can be more affordable due to their smaller size. The filters are screwed onto the adapter.
Here’s a short video showing how installing and changing filters works:
This video is a comparison between the time it takes to change a filter with the OWL system versus with a traditional screw on filter:
“High quality” filters planned for the system so far include a UV filter, a polarizing filter, color filters (yellow, orange, red, green, and blue), and a variable neutral density (ND) filter.
The initial OWL adapter will be offered in 4 flavors: Canon EF to Sony E, Canon EF to M43, Nikon F to Sony E, and Nikon F to M43.
One downside to this new adapter is that it contains no electronic parts for communication between your lens and camera. You won’t be able to utilize autofocus or control the aperture of your lens while using it, but the company says it’s currently working on adding electronic parts to the OWL.
DEO is raising funds and taking preorders for this product over on Indiegogo, where a contribution of $79 can secure you a first edition filter kit or OWL adapter (it’ll cost you $169 for both). The company aims to start shipping in June 2015.
OWL: World 1st Drop-in Filter Adapter [Indiegogo]