Cokin is a well-known filter manufacturer that dates from the 1970s, but it has a reputation for being the amateur’s choice rather than a professional’s. The Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filters, however, have some high-end features that broaden their appeal. They are made of tough mineral glass, for instance, and can withstand a drop or two. A new coating process also ensures that they have uniform density and a nano metal-alloy coating is used to ensure there’s no colourcast.
Cokin makes the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filters in three size, L (Z-Pro series), M (P-series), and XL (X-Pro series). I tested the mid-sized L-sized filter which is also known as the Z-Pro series size. These filters measure 100 x 100 x 2mm and are designed to work with the 100mm-type filters and holders that are produced by several brands.
There are also currently three strengths or densities of filter 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 enabling long exposures in daylight.
While the L (Z-Pro) Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter will fit in a 100mm-type filter holder from the likes of Lee Filters, I used it in Cokin’s NX Series Filter Holder. Unlike most filter holders, this requires the filters to be mounted in an aluminum frame that then slots into the holder.
Size: L (Z-Pro series: 100 x 100 x 2mm), M (P-series) XL (X-Pro series)
Mount: via holders, L in Cokin NX-Series Holder
Price: $119.95-159.90 / £89.99-£129.99
Build and handling
Unlike some ‘dense’ neutral density filters, the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 doesn’t have a light trap or felt gasket on it, that’s built into the NX Series Filter Holder.
Although it’s a neutral filter, the surface of Nuances Extreme ND is bronze in appearance from certain angles.
It has rounded corners which means it slides smoothly into the average filter holder, but as I mentioned earlier, it needs to be mounted in a frame to be used with the NX Series Filter Holder. In principle, this is easy as it’s just a case of removing two screws to release a tab in the frame, slotting the filter in and then reattaching the tab using the two screws. In practice, however, it’s very fiddly as the two screws are tiny and it’s not something you want to do out in the field or on a frequent basis.
Fortunately, once the Nuances Extreme ND is in the frame, it’s held firmly and the whole thing slots smoothly into the holder. The frame also has a broad section at the top that makes the filter easy to handle and you don’t end up covering it in fingerprints.
One of the key requirements of a neutral density filter is that it should be neutral so the image has no colorcast. The Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 raises no complaints in that respect and there’s no change in the collier of my images when the filter is used.
Cokin’s NX Series Filter Holder uses frames to enable the filters to be used with wider angle lenses than the average filter holder. I saw a little vignetting creep into some images when shooting with the Canon RF 14-35mm F4 L IS USM (opens in new tab) at its widest point on the full-frame Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab), but it wasn’t 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 out the requisite 10EV of light enabling an exposure of 1/60 second, for example, to be extended to 13 seconds. That’s more than enough to blur moving water.
Crucially, provided the camera is firmly attached to a tripod, the filter doesn’t have a noticeable impact on image quality and there’s plenty of detail visible.
Using a filter holder lacks the speed of use and convenience of a circular magnetic filter, but it brings the ability to use graduated filters as well as solid or uniform filters, which is a significant bonus.
It’s a bit of a faff to mount the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 in the frame that enables it to be used in the Cokin NX Holder, but it only needs to be done once and it means you can use it with wider lenses than many filters or holders can cope with. The neutrality and high optical quality of the filter also make it well-worth doing. If you love long-exposure photography, the Nuances Extreme Neutral Density Filter ND1024 could be just what you need.
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