maven filters

welcome to the maven filters family

Hey there fellow photography enthusiasts!

I’m Michael, a photography instructor and Youtuber with 14 years of experience, and I’m excited to share my passion and journey with you.

For years, I struggled with using camera filters that didn’t live up to my expectations. I was frustrated with the extra time I spent color-correcting my images and the lack of a reliable filter recommendation for my students. But that all changed when I discovered the ultimate solution to my problem – the MAVEN MAGNETIC line of filters!

Poor ND Color Performance – The Result of Shooting with a Tier 2 ND Filter (Notice the blue-purplish hues where it should be white)

A Color Corrected Long Exposure – Why not just use a truly color neutral ND?


You see, I’ve always loved photography, but I don’t love extra steps, especially when it comes to editing my images. That’s why I was inspired to create the world’s easiest to use filter system – the MAVEN MAGNETIC line.


I tested many brands of ND filters and was disappointed to find that most of them were not color neutral. I then decided to make my own filter, a square 100x100mm glass filter for landscape shooting. I compared it with other brands and was thrilled to find that my MAVEN filter was a game-changer.


I tested many brands of ND filters and was disappointed to find that most of them were not color neutral. I then decided to make my own filter, a square 100x100mm glass filter for landscape shooting. I compared it with other brands and was thrilled to find that my MAVEN filter was a game-changer.


Most ND Filters Give A Strong Color Hue When Shot on a White Background.Later, I learned that there was no governing/certification body regarding ND filters. Manufacturers can say whatever they want without backing up any of their claims. Many claimed neutrality on their packaging but were far from it.

Tests & Results

I published a video on Youtube that explained the tests & results

I take color performance of an ND filter seriously. The Tier Color System I’ve developed will allow anyone to test their current ND filters with little equipment. Any company that uses the term “Neutral Density” should be Tier 1 color.


(Please test them to see for yourself, so you become aware of which brands are good NDs, and which require extra steps needed to white balance).

Always know which MAVEN filter is on your lens!


A numerical score that can be objectively measured, as well as a visual, heuristic one:



No Visible Color Shift



Some Noticeable Color Shift, Some Color Correction Needed


Color Shift is Easily Apparent, Strong Color Shift


Color Shift is Strongly Apparent, Monochromatic Color Shift

Sarnen Church By Louis Chan using MAVEN Magnetic Filters

I know of 3 other (expensive) companies that achieve Tier 1 consistently. There may be more, as I have not tested them all of them. The vast majority of ND filters are not Color Neutral, even if their packaging says so.

This color testing experience taught me how to build Quality Control Standards with my  teams, ensuring world-class color performance as we scaled up. We test every single MAVEN ND filter for color performance. If we ever make an ND filter that is not Tier 1, it is immediately thrown away, so you know as a customer if it says “MAVEN”, it is truly color neutral. 

Speed Matters

Imagine how much time is saved with MAVEN Magnetics!

Each MAVEN ND Filter has Groove Indicators,

where each groove = 1 Stop of Filtration.

If you forget which color is which, just count the grooves!

(Red has 3 grooves, thus a 3 Stop ND)

The MAVEN square filters solved the color problem, but my students and viewers asked;

“When are your going to make the ringed versions?

The Problems


These are the problems with

ringed filters that frustrated me


Filter Hunting (More waste of time!)

Filters Getting Stuck on my lens, Not Fun!

Most filters blend in with the lens barrel

making it impossible to know what filter

you have on the lens.

Small text can be hard to read,especially as we get older

Hard to remember which filter did what

High-Quality Filters are Too Expensive!

I have a background in molecular biology, and I have learned from studying proteins

that everything gets more efficient when the FORM is related to the FUNCTION.

In other words, biology teaches us that appearance should tell us what something is.

The confusing thing about filters, in general, was that they all looked the same. Mostly all black and or a different look, but they were homogenous across all of their models. My conclusion: Each model of filter should look different!

Therefore; I wanted to incorporate the appearance & physical shape characteristics of the filter into the solutions they were solving. 

Solving The Problem


What solutions would solve filter pain problems?



They need to minimize any extra steps of the shooting & process. 


Putting filters on or off should be fast


Each filter should bimmediately identifiable by its unique appearance,not microscopic print

World Class Optical Performance

The ND Filters need to be among the best in the world for color and sharpness. by its unique appearance, not microscopic print.


I wanted the best information available about the filters in general.No misleading new customers to buy something they do not,need, nor misleading them on what the product can or cannot do. As an educator I also wanted to produce great how-to videos to help them set up and get the most of their filters.

Unmatched, Lifetime Warranty

Problems may happen. My customers are part of the MAVEN family and, we will do whatever we can to make their filter-shooting experience easier and more enjoyable.

The MAVEN warranty covers everything from magnet strength to color performance, and manufacturing defects. It will even cover victims of theft!

Each ring should be uniquely colored,

& that color would give a clue about its use


Blue is the color of the sky & water. Polarizers allow us to make the sky pop vibrant blue,

& eliminate reflections, including on water, so it would make sense to have a Circular Polarizer also be blue.


The video record button is Red. Many do not know they should use an ND filter when shooting video outside to maintain the 180-degree shutter rule. Red made the most sense for the 3 Stop ND Filter.

One of the First sketches of the MAVEN Color Rings


is the color of the sky near the end of the day, so if I need long exposures at that time, I go with my 6 Stop filter.


The sun is Gold, and if I am doing extra long exposures in the daytime, I would use a 10-stop filter.

One of the First sketches of the MAVEN Color Rings


Many photographers want a clear protector for their front lens elements, commonly referred to as a UV filter. Because there is virtually no light filtration, Silver is the color of the Splash Guard. (I am not a fan of the misinformation surrounding UV filters, but this is another story. I prefer to call them “splash guards”

MAVEN filters are compatible and play nice with most lens hoods, unlike some of our competitors.

NOTE: If you need to weather seal your lens, check out our threaded Splash Adapter.

These five types of filters are the most common, therefore I wanted to focus on them, before moving into advanced specialty filters. 

I also wanted to take the color & sharpness from the previous square filters and use these features with the ringed versions. There should be no visible color difference between the ND filter before and after it is put on the lens and adjusting for exposure.  It would reduce the extra steps involved in set up as well as in post. This time savings over many years would add up as great value for my customers and improve their shooting experience enjoyment. 

MAVEN ND Filters Feature Elite Color Performance

I also wanted at least 16 layers of MRC, or Multi-Resistant Coating which would help limit reflections, and include hydrophobic nano-coating to be water-repellent, and fingerprint resistant. 

MAVEN Filters Use a hydrophobic NANO Particle coating, Making them Super Easy to Clean

The Iteration Journey

Chasing A Game-Changing Design

I want to share with you how much work goes into just 1 ring design.

My Favorite way to use the Splash Guard Filter – At the Beach To Keep Salt Water off my lens element!

I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew what I wanted the rings to look like.

(Ive also learned that much of this is about just being willing to take the next step!)

The First 3D Model of a MAVEN Filter Ring

Owning a 3D printer, I figured I could make a ring prototype in white plastic and then paint it. This was the first CPL ring I designed in a children’s modeling program: I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew what I wanted the rings to look like.

This is the very first MAVEN filter ring prototype.

I sent my drawing and picture of the 3D printed ring to my new manufacturing partners overseas. This is what they sent back several weeks later! 

The First working MAVEN Circular Polarizer (CPL) Filter Prototype

Once I had it in my hands, I knew I could do better. I felt like it needed more nubs to make it easier to turn. I worked with the engineers to develop a more advanced CAD file:

CAD Drawing of Next Iteration MAVEN CPL Prototype

After a few weeks, I received the next physical CPL prototype:

Advanced Threaded MAVEN CPL Prototype

Feedback on the initial threaded designs were good, but we wanted to take it further. 

“What about a magnetic design? What would that look like?”


We realized the features were different for magnetics, and we needed an easy way to grip the filter for removal, but still needed a different grip orientation for rotation. 

First we tried simple knurling:

The 1st MAVEN MAGNETIC CPL Prototype, with a basic knurled rim

But it wasn’t easy to rotate, so we went back to the notch design:


This design was easier to rotate, but it was harder to remove from the lens

so it quickly evolved into:


With feedback from test users, we decided to make the grooves deeper. Seemed there was a problem rotating them while under a lens hood. Deeper grooves it is!

CAD Drawing of Deep Groove Feature for


Which finally led us to our final DFM (Design for Manufacturing) CPL

Final MAVEN magnetic

CPL DFM(Design for Manufacturing)

MAVEN CPLs are designed to be used with Lens Hood windows

We have iterated for each of these 5 filter products and accessories in this way!

Early 3D Printed MAVEN Ring Concepts – 2019

Early 3D Printed MAVEN Ring Concepts – 2019

Once I had the new ring designs and color performance figured out, I wanted to see how much further we could take it to make these the best-looking filters on the planet! 

Oh…and one more thing, this filter project has taught me how to design and develop my own CAD files!

CAD Design Cross Section – Take this image, Rotate it around an Axis, you and have a Magnetic Ring Design!

Top Quality Material Selection:

I chose AGC Japanese Optical Glass because of their thinness and optical quality.  It can be very thin in stock and reduces size, weight and expense to the manufacturing process. It is the perfect glass for Magnetic filters. 


I chose 6063 Grade Aluminum for the Magenetic mount because it is very lightweight and holds color brilliantly. 

Detail Shot of our Final Prototype Splash Guard (AKA UV Filter)

Adding as much Value to MAVEN Customers as possible

While the Color Identification System should add lots of conveniences,

we wanted to tick off all the other boxes:

Detail Shot of our Final Prototype Splash Guard (AKA UV Filter)

Thoughts on Accessibility- 

I wanted all users to have the same access to identifying the filters quickly and easily. Not everyone can see colors easily and there are times in dark shooting situations its not so apparent which color filter we have on our lens. 


Therefore, each filter has a unique groove design which allows users to see and feel, which filter they have. Notches represent 1 stop. So the 3 stop filter has 3 grooves, the 6 stop filter has 6 and the 10 stop filter has 10 grooves. The CPL has 1 groove or notch all they way around the filter. 

10 Stop ND Magnetic Filter

6 Stop ND Magnetic Filter

3 Stop ND Magnetic Filter


I have tested & owned dozens of different brands of filters. I only bring MAVENs now because they are the easiest, fastest & most enjoyable filters to use. I no longer color-correct in post or adjust my white balance between filter changes. The extra steps are GONE!

You know who I am, and if you have read this far, you now know my attention to detail & quality. I am confident in the product,  the manufacturing process & our fulfillment team around it. We are looking forward to knocking this out of the park for YOU!

Thank you so much for your support!

Michael Andrew, CEO

Michael The MAVEN, LLC