Cokin revamps square filter lineup as ‘Creative Filter System’

Cokin has announced a complete overhaul of the branding and packaging of its square filters. The existing different-sized ranges ( ‘A’, ‘P’, ‘Z-Pro’ and ‘X-Pro’) have been rebranded into a single ‘Creative Filter System’, with the four sizes relabelled ‘S’, ‘M’, ‘L’ and ‘XL’. Gone are the old bulky plastic storage boxes too, replaced by a slimmer ‘SlidePack’ design which takes up half the space, and uses a microfibre-lined sleeve to help keep your filters clean. Photographers nostalgic for the good old days can breathe a sigh of relief though – old classics such as Tobacco Grads and Sunset filters are still in the catalogue.

It’s clear that Cokin has struggled to keep its front-of-lens filters relevent in the age of digital; where film photographers had little other practical choice for adding effects to their images, photographers are now more far more likely to manipulate their files after capture. The parent company went into administration in November 2010, and Cokin was rescued by Kenko Tokina in 2011. Whether rebranding and repackaging (however well-devised) will be enough to keep it going remains to be seen.

Would you buy into Cokin’s Creative Filter System rather than use post-processing? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Press release:

Cokin rethinks its range of creative filters.

New brand image. New packagings.

Cokin announces a new step in its renaissance, by simplifying its range of creative products. For years, we used “creative filters” as a generic name. Today, CREATIVE FILTER SYSTEM (CFS) becomes the official name of our range of creative products.

All the existing Cokin creative products (A Series, P Series, Z-Pro Series and X-Pro Series) are unified under this new range name. Until now, dealers had to explain the difference between each systems. However, what makes a customer decide between the different systems is the size of their lenses rather than the features of each. That’s why, instead of four different products (A, P, Z-PRO, X-PRO), it will be easier to explain CREATIVE FILTER SYSTEM as one product, available in four sizes (S, M, L, XL). Moreover, the use of “textile” denomination of sizes (S, M, L, XL) helps having a clear overview of the range. As of today, Cokin CREATIVE FILTER SYSTEM range will look like this:

Cokin also presents a more comprehensive brand identity, with pictograms and color code, to help customers understanding what system is recommended to them. Pictograms give information on the new size denomination, the previous name of the series, the minimum and maximum diameters of available adaptor rings for this size.

As a reminder, the CREATIVE FILTER SYSTEM logo carries four dots () echoing colors of each
size, for customers to understand these items are part of the same range.

This overhaul wouldn’t be complete without a total rethinking of our packaging, to replace the long-lasting 35 years plastic box which protected Cokin creative filters since 1978.

After extensive research and development, Cokin is proud to announce SlidePack™, a revolutionary and environment-friendly new packaging for its best-selling M Size (ex-P Series) filters. SlidePack™ is approximately 55% smaller and 60% lighter than the previous packaging, and is only made of recyclable material to reduce Cokin footprint and help preserving the world that gives us so beautiful pictures.

We’ve also learnt a lot about users expectations. This new packaging is more user-friendly. The filter slides in an out of the packaging with only one hand. Made of thick carton and overpacked in a ready to pegboard polyethylene strong sleeve, SlidePack™ is very protective. The inner part of SlidePack™ is coated with a microfiber cloth. Not only does it prevent the filter from being scratched, but it cleans it each time the filter slides in and out. Moreover, the design of SlidePack™ prevents the filter to drop unexpectedly. It has never been so easy to use a Cokin filter. 

The first 22 M size (ex-P Series) filters to adopt the new SlidePack™ are:

  • 001 Yellow
  • 002 Orange
  • 003 Red
  • 007 Infrared (89B)
  • 020 Blue (80A)
  • 120 Gradual Neutral Grey G1
  • 121 Gradual Neutral Grey G2 (ND8) – 0.9
  • 121L Gradual Neutral Grey G2 Light (ND8) – 0.3
  • 121M Gradual Neutral Grey G2 Medium (ND4) – 0.6
  • 121S Gradual Neutral Grey G2 Soft (ND8) – 0.9
  • 121F Gradual Neutral Grey G2 Full (ND8) – 0.9
  • 122 Gradual Blue B1
  • 123 Gradual Blue B2
  • 123S Gradual Blue B2 So
  • 124 Gradual Tobacco T1
  • 125 Gradual Tobacco T2
  • 125S Gradual Tobacco T2 So
  • 152 Neutral Grey ND2 – 0.3
  • 153 Neutral Grey ND4 – 0.6
  • 154 Neutral Grey ND8 – 0.9
  • 197 Sunset 1
  • 198 Sunset 2

Every SlidePack™ will carry a brand new graphic design and a never-seen before picture that will bring some fresh air to the range. Packagings of S (ex-A Series), L (ex-Z-PRO Series) and XL (ex-XPRO Series) as well as those for adaptor-rings and filter-holders will adopt the new CREATIVE FILTER SYSTEM graphic design in a close future.

Named after its founder Jean Coquin, a famous french photographer of the 70’s, Cokin is the inventor of the innovative CREATIVE FILTER SYSTEM (adaptor ring + filter-holder + filters), the most popular filter system in the world.

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Comments

DotCom Editor

I’ll stick with Lee.

Ignat Solovey

ND, ND Grad, Polarizers, Infrared, 400nm UV Block (for conditions, where UV is an issue) and traditional filters for black and white (Red, Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue). Everything else is successfully and better replaced with digital effects.

InTheMist

I shoot a lot of landscape and disagree with those who say that filters aren’t necessary.

I regret buying the Nikon 14-24/2.8 for this reason. Legendary lens but filters are a problem.

I use Lee though because I was disappointed with the quality of my first Cokin starter kit. Maybe I got the wrong one, maybe because the marketing message is not clear, but it’s a done deal for me.

stevens37y

They should have anti-reflection coating.

cknapp61

I am still using my Cokin filters from the 1970’s with my Nikon D700, I thought this was standard practice, the ND filters really help control dynamic range. Not sure if the micro-fibre lined new packaging is the way to go. I have, and still use, the old Cokin “box” which holds multiple filters, each separated by slots, nothing touches the filter except along the edges.

Sordid

I consider all filters but ND and polarizers quite obsolete these days.

3a

🙂

peevee1

“Would you buy into Cokin’s Creative Filter System rather than use post-processing?”

Of course not. Only something which cannot be done in PP is useful, polarizers and such.

cknapp61

As someone who used to shoot Kodacrhome 25 regularly, good technique at the point of capture is always the best solution…there are options in PP, but controlling dynamic range at the point of capture trumps PP. I still use my 1970’s Cokin ND filters on my Nikon D700.

nofumble

I gave mine away. With Nik software, I never miss it.

Mr Fartleberry

Better, their old yellow packaging and graphics were not exactly appealing. Like Hoodman.

G Davidson

I really should use it and get things right at capture… But they are just too much trouble and with an HDR image I can get pretty much the same effect, arguably even better. What would be good would be digital variable ND filters, set in the camera. It’s being able to customize where you apply the darkening effect that is so powerful an option.

tinternaut

Yes and no…. The square filters are an effort, and a mixed result, but the one time I got it right (I’d say of less than ten times in the past seven or so years) was wow moment that HDR can’t match.

CameraLabTester

A company trying to revive some lost ground since digital came in.

These products are great not only for pictures but for video and video effects, such as star filters etc.

.

brainnolo

I use the Cokin A system, and except for the plastic box I am actually very satisfied with the system. I will replace the old filters (I used Graduated ND) with these once they are unusable.

Actually, I do not see how digital filters are going to replace (G)ND, or Polarizers. The other Cokin filters however are pretty much redundant IMHO, with few exceptions.

@ZAnton: What are you talking about? Sauter (Munich) has them, and www.versandhaus-foto-mueller.de delivers to all Germany (that’s how I got them). Yes their site is lousy but the delivery was quite fast.

LMNCT

It would be great if they would sell the new soft storage system separately so that those of us with the old filters could replace the plastic boxes with something more user friendly. I like Cokin and have used the system for years. I especially like the ND filters because I can stack them. When you acclimate yourself to the holder it is easy to work with…and they do (did) have a solid slide which could be used as a “lens cap”.

ZAnton

Cokin is a virtual company. I am looking for a place where I can buy their PRO filters (in Germany) for 3 years, and still can not find anything. Neither amazon, nor ebay or any other more or less big shop has their products. Their internet page has not functioned for years (is it now?).
So dpreview, please delete these news, so that other people would save their time by reading it and searching these phantom filters.

Sordid

Hu?
I just made a quick Google search with the terms
cokin kaufen deutschland
and found quite a bunch of stores selling them.

Vlad S

What would be really nice, if they put ribs on the inside of their adaper rings, so that one would not have to unscrew the ring to put a lens cap on.

dccdp

Hmmm… so, the new name is Creative System (CS). The next logical step would be to rent them to the old customers at $9.99 per month. Filters do enhance Clouds beautifully, after all… 😉

plevyadophy

ha ha ha!! that was funny!!! love it!!

:o)

Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul

I want review!! 🙂

GabrielZ

What! Cokin are still around? I thought they disappeared from the scene yonks ago! I had a substantial set of Cokin square filters back in the days of film and thoroughly enjoyed them. I assumed today with the digital darkroom and the advanced image processing available to all, that such filters (with the exception of polarizers, and UV ones to protect the lens) had become obsolete.

Jorginho

Well…the more the DR of the camerasensors gets better the less use there is for it. Detail lost in highlights on sensors are still not easily retrived. With a Cokin gradfilter things still get a lot better. Even on the best cams out there.

Jorginho

I just decided on the 84.5 filter series. Quite a few Dutch reviews by pro photographers convinced me. In general: in spite of the hard (organic) glass not scratch free, but no colour cast not even when you put two or three in your filterholder. Price is okey. So…no Cokin (creative) for me.

But a good thing they survive.

photonius

ah, nice, but not available everywhere yet. Still, they fit the Cokin P and same material as Cokin, Hitech, Lee, Singh-Ray (C39). perhaps dyes are better (no IR leak??)

D1N0

yeah heart shaped bokeh highlights!

RichardAB

It seems to me that simplifying the range of filters is a very good idea, as is the rebranding to Creative Filter System, because that describes exactly what it is.

I have Cokin A filters, now to be called Small, which I use (as appropriate) with my Nikon P7100 using the Cokin A Digi Holder:

2 x Neutral Grey
2 x Graduated Neutral Grey
1 x Circular Polariser

I’m sure photographers have a need for the CFS, I hope the company prospers.

AbrasiveReducer

Interesting they’re putting Kenko on the radar in the US. When folks discover Hoya = Kenko (usually) they’re gonna go for the Kenko glass filters.

photonius

Decent price with decent quality will sell. Look at how Lee is continuously sold out, despite the high price. They just need to update for modern needs, i.e. NDs, and gradients (no color necessary usually) for photography, and sets of filters for video (effects that are not easy to do in post).

misha marinsky4

I have a Cokin blue/yellow P173 polarizer. It’s far less expensive than the Singh-Ray.

I use it with my dSLR and MILC. Thoughts/critique from others?

LWW

I still have my star burst filter from the early eighties, still in pristine condition and will forever remain so!

itchhh

My Lee Split Grads, 10 Stop, and polarizer are indispensable.

Hoefie

If I have a 77mm lens, what filter should I get: M, L or XL ?
As there is an overlap on all sizes; is the size really the only difference between the four ranges ?

photonius

Depends on focal length and what body it’s on, i.e. the angle of view. You should get the range that covers the lens with your largest front diameter, taking into account the angle of view. I.e. on a tele, you can stack a bunch of 77mm filters with little effect, while on a wide angle, a thick filter (e.g. variable NDs) may already give hard vignetting.

dylanbarnhart

The standard P, which is now Medium size, filter holder vignettes on my Canon 10-22 (APS-C camera). Then I bought a 1-slot holder, which still vignettes a little bit at 10mm. I had to modify it by filing off some plastic in the 4 corners to remove all the vignetting.

So if you don’t want to go through the trouble, buy the L size. There’s a big price jump when buying the larger size though, not to mention the bulk.

Kinematic Digit

Bravo Kenko…. thank you for redesigning the antiquated and rather large boxes. I actually reconfigured one of my smaller camera bags into a filter storage system with slide in padded slots. This new packaging to me is the precise kind of evolution that was needed. Whether or not this saves the product is yet to be seen.

It is still a specialty product, but with the growth in CSCs, I’ve found new life with my ancient A series Cokin filters.

The next thing for the evolution to be complete is to redesign the holders so that they do not allow light leakage from the sides and also to make the filter multi-coated and anti-scratch coatings (perhaps they are going to come out with a Pro series for that).

Other square systems are leaping ahead of Cokin in their filter system, so if Kenko wants this product to survive, then they need to consider durability, flare resistance and light leakage prevention for the future of the system (also round those annoying corners!).

TxCamFan

Nice update. I’ve been wanting to try these filters. Some things you can’t do in PP and for others – it’s still better to get it right in camera rather than spend time behind a computer in PP.

Kinematic Digit

Honestly, the only filters that matter are the grad filters for specific long exposure instances. ND filters are multi-coated in circular systems to prevent flare and way more durable and less cumbersome (and do not have a magenta cast). The next is the linear polarizer which gives a much stronger polarization effect over circular polarizers, but only good on contrast detect focus cameras (which is great for all the mirrorless systems).

The other stuff is a waste of money (and yes I still have a Tobacco grad filter lol).

In the days of film I loved Cokin, but in the day of digital, most of the filters were made obsolete not by post processing, but by digital camera technology (specifically white balance correction).

CarVac

Since when are linear polarizers more effective than circular polarizers? They both do the same thing to incoming light, except the CPL’s also do stuff to light going out.

astwood1285

I liked some of the Cokin filters and quite often it’s easier to use the filter than to post process. They are quick and easy to use and remove so a one with, one without approcah is feasible. Tobacco grads were not a crime but an oddity…

groucher

Tobacco grads were a crime against photography. Please don’t bring them back.

HeyItsJoel

Wrong.

AbrasiveReducer

You mean the sky isn’t red or brown on cloudy days?

M Jesper

Looks cool in classic movies though.

turbsy

Still better to get it done in camera. The ND, GND and polarizer are still usefull.

Dimitris Servis

Cokin A and P series are really good solutions for polarizers and ND grads. As a side note, one of the most lovable things is the Franglish editing.

TheSquid

I still have my A Cokin filters from my film days. While a few of the filters do not work with digital, there are many that do. I don’t think you can polarize post process quickly and easily just as an example why it’s relevant. Many times it’s faster and easier to get it in camera than go back and work for hours to get it in post.

Dimitris Servis

You cannot achieve polarization with PP, whatever you do.

Philip Goh

Another thing that can’t be done in PP is long exposure photography, where you need to stack multiple ND filters.

Model Mike

Several years after purchasing two NG grads, one has changed colour to a very muddy brown while the other has stayed neutral. The new branding is welcome, but I hope it’s accompanied by better QC.

TheSquid

Dimitris, there are a few instances where you can fake a polarizer in post such as glare on car bodies and some glass. Granted, it will take a long time to make it convincing but it is possible.

Source Article from http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/09/06/cokin-revamps-square-filter-lineup-as-creative-filter-system