I Destroyed My Camera Attempting To Review a Filter Kit

Haida recently sent me their new M10 Filter holder kit for review. I tried to spice up our review video with an interesting photoshoot and ended up destroying our Nikon D850 in a rogue wave.

What is the Haida M10 Filter Holder Kit?

The M10 system is a filter holder kit that can hold up to three filters at once in front of your lens. The kit costs $195 and comes with four parts; a filter holder adapter ring that can be swapped out to fit your favorite lenses, the filter holder itself that snaps to the adapter ring, a circular polarizer, and a light barrier that is used as a placeholder when you don't want to use a circular filter. On the front of the filter holder are slots to hold two rectangular filters (not included) and one circular filter in the back.

What Is It For?

Many different types of photographers enjoy using filters but landscape photographers typically use them most and like stacking them. This system allows you to combine a graduated neutral density filter (used to tone down a bright sky) with a circular polarizer or solid neutral density filter (used to lengthen exposure times) effortlessly. Not only does this kit make staking filters easy, it also makes swapping or focusing with dark filters easy because the filters can be removed easily without disturbing the camera. 

Is It Worth It? 

Like most pieces of photography gear, this is pretty specialized and if you're the type of photographer who already enjoys shooting with and stacking filters, you'll love the M10 filter holder. I don't shoot with filters very often but when I do, I'm usually shooting with a 5-10 stop neutral density filter. Normal circular ND filters can be extremely cumbersome to use because they are often too dark to see through to focus a scene. Unscrewing an ND filter before each shot to frame and focus is extremely annoying and the M10 system solves this. 

The main M10 kit is $195 but that only includes a polarizer and not any of the ND filters I used. If you're in the market for multiple filters, buy one of the larger M10 Kit from B&H

What Happened to My D850?

We normally have a battery grip on our D850 but for this shoot I removed it, exposing the connectors on the bottom of the camera. After only a few minutes the port was already extremely corroded. When we got home I was able to clean out the corrosion using a knife and clean water. I got the camera working again that night but the corrosion continued and the next day the camera was dead again. I'm going to try to buy some electronics cleaner but if that also fails I will have to send the camera back to Nikon for repair.

Yesterday, during another shoot, our D750 died as well (we aren't exactly sure why). That was our last Nikon camera. The only still camera left is the Sony A7III. I guess it's official, I've switched to Sony, at least for now. 

Lee Morris's picture

Lee Morris is a professional photographer based in Charleston SC, and is the co-owner of Fstoppers.com

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This is my nightmare!

I doubt a Sony would have fared much better than the Nikon after being hit by a wave.
Correct me if I am wrong as I rarely use ND, but by switching live view effect off on my A7R2 you can still see to focus with a lot of ND on the lens.

The D850 had an exposed port. If you leave ports open to saltwater, you're doomed, no matter what camera you shoot. If everything was shut, both cameras should have done fine.

Funnily enough, the a7r3 can focus through a 10stop nd if it's not too dark outside. Tape up the bottom completely and it might just survive one of these accidents.

The bad thing for you is Sony body camera are not weather sealed, maybe the wind with salt water will be enough to broke it , no wave needed ! haha .... Be careful much more than D750 or D850 :)

Lumix S1 is much more strong than the A7III but for salt water .... I think it will be same...

The Sony isn't as fragile as people make them out to be. I fell through some ice last winter and completely submerged my A7ii and a year later it's still working.

Fake news. Only the original A7, I believe, is not weather sealed. The rest of them, even the A6300 and newer APS-C cameras, are weather sealed. Remember that weather sealed does not mean weather proof. Just a random level of resistance to keep water and dust frim trickling inside.

Dude.. never EVER turn your back on the sea. But, I guess you know that now.

In Hawaii, the first rule of being at the beach is, “Never turn your back to the ocean.” Probably similar sayings elsewhere to.

Never turn your back on a racetrack.

Salt water!!! *shakes fist*

The argument for getting it just right in camera, is invalidated because most of us shoot raw, where post production is an absolutely necessity ... Also , it has recently become apparent that ISO is not of fixed value in digital cameras, thus allowing the ramping up of the apparent iso within the raw editing software with no loss of quality..

Shooting in Raw is very similar to shooting on film though. You still have to scan or project the film and that's when basic adjustments like color balance and exposure take place. Getting an image "right in camera" simply means you don't add other exposures or substantially change what the sensor captured. I don't think using a graduated ND filter in Lightroom would be cheating in that regard.

There is a huge difference in film vs raw digital, in that film ISO is a fixed value established exposure & the developing process...A digital file has no fixed value, and is dependant on the ramping up or down of the electronic gain in post.. It is with this assertion that landscape photographers are totally waisting a lot of time and money using expensive grad filters.. Plus the fact that a grad ND has a transition that is a straight line, a phenomenon only really encountered at the coast.

Question? Who actually wrote this article? David Strauss or Lee Morris? My news feed reader says David Strauss. Just asking...

Sorry about your camera but there are so many people that this happens on their first day of a photo tour. I would have taken the battery out and dunk it to some distilled water to at least dilute the salt content.

I think Lee wrote it and David published it. Yeah it's strange why the names are different.

Ooch. I'm lucky because my 7D, 70-200mm & 10-22mm lenses all copped a face full of wave recently. With bonus sand. What a dill.

Sounds like you needed a good storm cover. I've been completely drenched shooting waves at the beach with my Sony, but the cover has saved the camera. Just wipe the water off the ND plate and keep shooting.

live in the islands long enough reckon you will figure out this wave ocean attention thing :) bummer for ya !

I got buried chest deep from a massive wave a few years ago with my Sony A99, my lowepro bag on my back got submerged with all the lenses in it for around 20-30secs, and the camera got sprayed waaay worse than this video. But my photo came runner up in the Sony Australia / NZ awards for the trouble. Somehow the lenses stayed dry, but the hot shoe and mic needed replacing on the camera costing around $400AUD.

Nikon weather sealing is the best... gets hit with one wave... immediately dies 😂

Well, if you leave the rubber flaps covering the ports open on any camera, the weather sealing goes out the window immediately.

That extension port for the battery grip carries quite a lot of electrical information from the battery and the buttons on top of just the power from the battery, so no wonder that corrosion will wreck havoc on the camera.

Some cameras don't have external grip ports. They're instead located safely inside the battery compartment.

In May of 2016 my A7rii took an unexpected wave under similar conditions, even though I was facing into the surf and able to keep an eye on the waves. The water just hit a rock the wrong way and completely submerged the camera for a second. It still worked but I shut it off anyway hoping the electronics wouldn't get fried. When I took it back to the beach house you could hear the water gurgling inside of the thing, so it was definitely soaked. I tried to clean it off as best I could but the only thing to do at that point was give it a chance to dry out.

Flash forward to October of 2017, and the same camera that had continued to work ever since, fell 2 inches out of my bag onto the sand (which was, incidentally, the only other trip to the beach I had taken since) and the LCD stopped working. EVF still worked, camera still worked, just the LCD stopped working. I took it in for repair and they ended up saying they had to replace almost the entire inside because of corrosion. It cost half the price of the camera. To this day I wonder if they really needed to do that, but they wouldn't guarantee the repair unless they did, so I went ahead with it. But the camera, after getting soaked and corroded, worked fine for a year and a half after the fact, and mostly still worked leading right up to sending it in.

Maybe I just got lucky, but I'm surprised a camera with better weather sealing (even with the connectors exposed) died that fast. I'd be interested to know if your insurance covers that.

I lost the contact cover on my D810 and ordered three replacements. I had heard about service centers being difficult if the found any corrosion on external metal parts I think that cover only keeps the contacts from shorting out, as opposed to weather sealing, though. Cool concept on the filters, too bad the gear got washed.

This photoshoot should have ended the minute the D850 got wet and EMERGENCY FIRST AID performed on the camera.

As counter-intuitive as this may sound, the best thing to do in this situation is to douse the camera with plenty of fresh water. On location this would be water from a drink bottle. The more water the better. This is very important as it quickly gets rid of the salt before it has a chance to corrode those delicate electrical contacts. When you get back home rinse again with distilled or de-ionised water (the type we use in clothes irons) to remove any trace minerals that are found in drinking water...shake off the water... dry with a cloth... then dry with mild heat of a hair dryer.

The camera may still need to go for service to clean any components that may have water spots and check the lubrication of the moving parts but it will increase its chances of survival.

From personal experience, I did the same and managed to save an film camera in 2003. This Minolta was analogue but with an electronic shutter and metering system. It continued to function for a few years after the... accident.