Cokin is a well known filter manufacturer dating back to the 1970’s but has a reputation for being the choice of amateurs rather than professionals. However, the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density filters have some high-end features that broaden their appeal. For example, they are made of durable mineral glass and can withstand a drop or two. A new coating process also ensures they have an even density and a nano metal alloy coating is used to ensure there is no color cast.
Cokin makes the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filters in three sizes, L (Z-Pro Series), M (P-Series), and XL (X-Pro Series). I tested the medium-sized L-size filter, also known as the Z-Pro series size. These filters measure 100 x 100 x 2mm and are designed to work with the 100mm filters and holders made by several brands.
Three filter strengths or densities are also currently available, with the densest being the ND1024, which stops 10EV of light. There are also 6EV and 3EV versions. I tested the 10EV filter, which is ideal for allowing long exposures in daylight.
While the L (Z-Pro) Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter fits in a Lee Filters 100mm filter holder, I used it in Cokin’s NX series filter holder. In contrast to most filter holders, the filters have to be mounted in an aluminum frame, which then fits into the holder.
Size: L (Z-Pro series: 100 x 100 x 2 mm), M (P series) XL (X-Pro series)
Assemble: Via holder, L in Cokin NX-Series holder
Price: $119.95 to £159.90 / £89.99 to £129.99
construction and handling
Unlike some “dense” ND filters, the Nuances Extreme ND1024 ND filter does not have a light trap or felt seal built into the NX Series filter holder.
Despite being a neutral filter, the surface of Nuances Extreme ND looks bronze from certain angles.
It has rounded corners which means it slides smoothly into the average filter holder, but as I mentioned before it needs to be mounted in a frame to be used with the NX series filter holder. In principle, this is easy as only two screws need to be removed to release a tab in the frame, insert the filter and then reattach the tab with the two screws. In practice, however, it’s very fiddly as the two screws are tiny and you don’t want to do it in the field or frequently.
Luckily, once in the frame, the Nuances Extreme ND holds tight and the whole thing fits smoothly into the mount. The frame also has a wide section at the top, which makes the filter easy to handle and you don’t cover it with fingerprints.
One of the most important requirements for a neutral density filter is that it should be neutral so that the image has no color cast. The Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 makes no complaints in this regard and there is no change in the necklace of my images when the filter is used.
The Cokin NX series filter holder uses frames to allow the filters to be used with wider angle lenses than the average filter holder. When shooting with the Canon RF 14-35mm F4 L IS USM, I saw a slight vignetting in some images (opens in new tab) at the widest point the full-frame Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab), but it was not problematic. It certainly wouldn’t stop me from using the lens at 14mm with the filter mounted.
The Cokin Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 also cuts the required 10 EV of light, allowing for example an exposure to be extended from 1/60 second to 13 seconds. That’s more than enough to blur running water.
Crucially, as long as the camera is firmly mounted on a tripod, the filter has no noticeable effect on the image quality and lots of detail is visible.
Using a filter holder lacks the speed of use and convenience of a circular magnetic filter, but it offers the ability to use graduated filters, as well as fixed or uniform filters, which is a significant bonus.
It’s a bit awkward to fit the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 into the frame that allows it to be used in the Cokin NX Holder, but it only has to be done once and means you’ll be using it with wider lenses than many can handle filters or mounts. The neutrality and the high optical quality of the filter are also worthwhile. If you love long exposure photography, the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 might be just what you need.
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