The moment you use the 77mm Breakthrough Photography X4 CPL, you know you’ve never used anything like it. Featuring Breakthrough Photography’s all-new American made CPL film and an all-new brass traction frame features best-in-class design and durability. And that’s just the beginning.
World’s most color neutral CPL. Guaranteed.
Breakthrough Photography’s all-new and internally developed CPL film is at the core of the X4 CPL, and they manufacture it in California. To achieve the worlds most color neutral performance, they had to develop a unique approach to manufacturing rather than selecting off-the-shelf CPL film common among filter manufacturers, which is designed and intended for LCD panels, not photographic optics.
All commercially available CPL filters exhibit a yellow cast due to a gradual transmission increase starting around 600nm and then spiking at 650nm onward into IR. With Breakthrough’s X4 CPL film they achieved a gradual transmission decrease from 600nm onward, and instead of spiking uncontrollably near 650nm and far into infrared, the X4 CPL sees very controlled transmission into IR, without the curve spike. The real world result? Warm and lively images without the apparent color cast.
Outdoor photographers frequently struggle with dynamic range, as the human eye has a dynamic range over 20-stops, while a mid-day outdoor scene may range between 15-18 stops. Professional camera systems range between 12-14 stops, and during the last decade very little expansion progress has been made. You can sometimes recover detail in shadows if there’s enough data there in post-processing, but you can’t remove glare in post-processing, and the removal of glare adds vibrancy, contrast and reveals details that are otherwise unseen.
When you rotate a circular polarizer you will see it turn ON and OFF through the viewfinder, allowing you to control the amount of polarization necessary for your shooting situation. The higher in elevation you shoot, the more pronounced the polarization, and the more dynamic range is increased as a result.
Breakthrough Photography took all that they learned from the success of the X4 ND and designed an entirely new circular polarizing frame, unlike you’ve ever seen before. And like their X4 ND, they specifically designed the X4 CPL as a workhorse CPL for field work, built to withstand extreme wind, salt water, dust and other abrasive conditions and elements where other filters may fail. And they guarantee each and every X4 CPL to perform with optimal optical clarity and color neutrality for 25 years even in the harshest of conditions.
The X4 CPL features SCHOTT Superwhite B270® optical glass, which is an ultra clear crown glass. It is produced by melting high purity raw materials and then made using the continuous draw process. The result is excellent transmission in the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared spectrums, and a high surface quality that accepts Breakthrough’s state-of-the-art MRC and nanotec® coatings exceptionally well.
Their state-of-the-art multi-resistant coating (MRC) is an optical coating applied to both surfaces of the glass disk to reduce reflection and to increase surface durability. Breakthrough’s proprietary MRC coating is structurally harder than the glass itself and the reduced reflections improve the efficiency since less light is lost. The reduction of reflections also improves the contrast of the image by elimination of stray light. The real world result? Better contrast and color.
Low light transmission and green flaring are common problems with uncoated glass. As MRC coatings are added to each side of the optical disk light transmission steadily increases with flaring steadily decreasing. In Breakthrough’s lab tests light transmission apexes at about 16-layers of MRC, and slowly decreasing in transmission at 18 and above. 8-layers of MRC are applied evenly to both sides of each optical disk resulting in MRC16. This is Jay’s favorite circular polarizer!