The COKIN story is first and foremost the story of a man, its founder Jean Coquin, a
renowned French photographer who worked for the best-known brands and whose career
was marked by numerous innovations that revolutionized the world of photography.
It is also the story of a team that has never ceased to keep his vision alive, anticipating
the desires of photographers and videographers around the world. The creation of the
Z-PRO system is the resulting outcome.
Jean Coquin creates the first line of photographic filters in CR39®, the “RollsRoyce®” of organic glass used for corrective lenses in eyeglasses. Veritable
material of the future –history would prove it! – , CR39® is light and
unbreakable, has an extremely high optical transmission factor and is perfectly
suited for tinting. It is the perfect base for making photographic filters, its
precision surpassing that of mineral glass. These will eventually become the
“CROMOFILTERS”, the first graduated filters to appear on the market!
Jean Coquin invents the SQUARE FILTER SYSTEM, devising a universal filterholder that will leave a permanent mark and has been often copied. It is
still being sold almost 40 years later – a record in the world of photography!
This clever filter-holder is completely unique and is then accompanied by a
complete line of 80 creative filters. It is introduced with a colour brochure
of 40 pages translated into 8 languages: the A system (67 mm) is born!
Presented at “Photokina” in 1978 , the product will enjoy an enormous
global success and will be immediately sold in more than 30 countries.
In response to new, wide-angle lenses and increasingly brighter optics,
COKIN launches its P system (84 mm) and improves upon its line of
filters exceeding by then 120 models.
The arrival of the auto-focus reflex camera put high-quality photography
within reach of the entire public. The perfect timing of its arrival on
the market, together with increasing demand for creative filters will
boost COKIN’s sales above all hopes, so much so that, twenty years
later, nearly 100 million COKIN filters have been sold in more than 100
countries. The A and P lines offer around 200 different filters.
COKIN launches the X-PRO System in response to the keen interest of
photographers in ultra-wide angle lenses. The system proves itself to be the
perfect solution to the problem of vignetting. COKIN filters can now be mounted
on the near totality of available lenses for photography, video and cinema.
This new system comes to the aid of specific classes of users: professional
cameramen and photographers working with large format cameras.
At the end of two years of research and development, the COKIN team
presents the Z-PRO System, a culmination of its technical knowledge,
precision design and workmanship. Created to respond to the needs
of professional photographers, it constitutes a practical, reliable and
ergonomic solution to numerous filtering problems.
The COKIN filter-holders
cover most of the needs
of the image creators.
p 4 à 23p 4 à 23
P 4 > P 23
These photographs well illustrate the current trend
of the use of filters in photography: their purpose
is to harmonize, improve, or refine the vision of the
artist. At times, certain filters can even be combined
to create even more remarkable visual effects.
The range of COKIN Z-PRO products responds to
all of these expectations and covers all types of
photography: landscape, architecture, industrial, stilllife, portrait, fashion, beauty, wedding...
P 16 > P 31
This system was intended for professional use. It is the
ultimate culmination of technical knowledge acquired
in four decades that COKIN has been in the business of
manufacturing precision photographic filters. The Z-PRO
System supports very specific professional applications
and offers accessories that find no equivalent elsewhere
in the market.
This system unmistakably facilitates the practice of
producing images: the use of filters becomes swift,
simple, and effective.
P 32 > P 48
This range contains close to 100 filters that cover
the entire set of needs of image creators, experts, or
professionals. It includes traditional technical filters,
equivalent to the well-known Kodak® gelatins, but also
filters that are specific to the COKIN® brand, such as
the neutral densitys, blue and tobacco graduated filters
(so often copied by others...), or the diffusion filters
whose quality, variety and uniqueness are universally
These filters are as useful in digital photography as they
are with film, as needed in photography as they are in
HD video. They are the key to a creative universe limited
only by your imagination!
Andrew Kime
Llyn Trawsfynydd, Snowdonia, Northern Wales
orn in 1960, Andrew Kime
discovered his passion for
landscape photography at the age
of 7, a passion that has been with
him ever since. Today, he travels
frequently but appreciates above
all his native Wales, where he lives
in the heart of Snowdonia National
Park. This region, made up of
lakes, peat bogs, deep forests and
still-wild coasts, naturally offers
him numerous opportunities to
satisfy his passion. His images
are the reflection of the profound
respect that nature inspires in
him and he hopes, in this way,
to contribute to its protection.
His photographs are frequently
published in photo and nature
Andrew Kime is an outspoken
proponent of photographic filtering
which, according to him, intensifies
the creative process and allows
him to spend more time surrounded
by nature, rather than sitting in
front of his computer...
First snow in November,
on the edge of a stream...
The adjustment of the ND8 or the
ND0.9 neutral grey graduated filter
– the sky is darkened by 3 f/stops – is
proven to be somewhat delicate: one
must keep a maximum of details in
the sky without obviously affecting
the snowy part of the image.
The strict neutrality of the COKIN
neutral grey graduated filters is well
demonstrated here. Such results can
only be obtained by direct filtering
during the shoot and not during
Neutral Grey G2 Soft
ND8 - 0.9
Daryl Benson
Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
aryl Benson was born, raised, and currently lives
in Alberta, Canada, surrounded on one side by
1,000 kilometers of wild prairies and, on the other,
the highest summits of the Canadian Rockies. He has
been a renowned landscape photographer for more
than 25 years. The author of two wonderful books
— a photographic guide to the Canadian countryside
and another commemorating Alberta’s centennial
— he is a regular contributor to Outdoor Photographer.
Daryl’s photographs — taken on the five continents
— are distributed by two photo agencies, including
the famed Getty Images. He is a member of the
Canadian Association for Photographic Art, the
North American Nature Photography Association,
and the International Association of Panoramic
Photographers. He has exhibited his work around
the world... in Auckland, New Zealand as well as in
Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He
is a smart user of certain COKIN filters, including the
polarizing and the Varicolor® filters.
In landscape photography, one often has the opportunity to use the Blue/
Yellow Varicolor® filter as these two primary colours meet regularly in nature.
On this particular morning the sun had suddenly pierced the cloud covering,
lighting like a beacon the yellowed grass that spread out at my feet. This filter
allowed me to intensify the contrast between the yellow grass and the blue
background, thus reinforcing the impression of intense cold. Only the COKIN
Varicolor® can produce such vivid images!
Varicolor ®
Blue/Yellow 173
Daryl Benson
Devil’s Marbles, Continental Desert, Australia
The day began radiantly and extremely hot, as always in the heart of the Australian
desert. A little after breakfast the cirrus clouds began to form, stretching out rapidly
on the horizon. Oriented 90° in relation to the sun, the polarizing filter allowed me
to enhance the blue of the sky and to bring out the clouds. The isolated Eucalyptus
detaches itself perfectly from the immensity of its surroundings. This lost corner of the
earth goes by the enchanting name of The Devil’s Marbles.
To discover
other images
by Daryl Benson,
visit his website
Polarizer 164
Andrew Kime
Llyn Tecwyn Isaf, Snowdonia, Northern Wales
Peaceful autumn evening,
on the edge of a pond...
The wise choice of a neutral grey
graduated filter allowed on the one
hand, the balancing of the delicately
setting sun... the last touch of light on
the trees, and on the other hand, the
grass in the foreground... situated in
the shade.
The addition of a warm-toned filter
(81B) subtly reinforces the autumnal
Andrew Kime, like many other landscape
photographers, prefers filtration that
only an experienced eye can perceive.
No matter what your level of expertise
with Photoshop® or other software, you
simply cannot obtain renderings as
subtle in digital post-production.
Think also of the precious time that the
use of filters at capture will save you...
Neutral Grey G2 Soft
ND8 - 0.9
Andrew Kime
Harlech Dunes, Snowdonia, Northern Wales
A beautiful landscape, but a real nightmare for film or a digital sensor! First an ND8 neutral
grey filter – giving 3 f/stops of light reduction – allows you to preserve detail in the sky and the
background; a second ND2 neutral grey filter, less dense (1 stop), reduces the intensity of the
light from the tuft of grass in the foreground, and, finally, a warm-tone filter (81B) emphasizes
the hues of the warm evening light.
Whether in digital or film photography, it is clear that this type of effect is virtually impossible
to achieve in the laboratory or in post-production. Only the choice of the right combination of
filters mounted on a lens allows for the achievement of this kind of image quality!
Neutral Grey G2 Soft
ND8 - 0.9
Neutral Grey G2 Light
ND2 - 0.3
Andrew Kime
Barmouth, Snowdonia, Northern Wales
Beach at Sunset, descending tide.
The exposure was calculated
for the highlights to make the
play of shadow and light on this
beach stand out. No need here for
graduated filters...
The hues of the setting sun are
discretely sublimated through
the use of a warm-tone filter.
Andrew Kime demonstrates here
that one can achieve results
of great quality with very little
The COKIN Z-PRO Filter System
is intelligently designed and
therefore quick to set up, giving
you those few extra but crucial
seconds when the light is changing
very rapidly.
To discover other images by
Andrew Kime, visit his website
Ariel Greco
Elodie, Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu, February 2006
riel Greco is a case apart in the world of fashion
photography. Born in New York, this American
divides his time between the U.S. and Paris, where
he has lived for over a decade after having pursued
his studies in Art Theory at UC Berkeley.
He manages two simultaneous careers: Art Director and
Fashion Photographer. As an Art Director, for over
seven years he has helped to create or reinforce the
images of known brands by finding (or producting)
the words, pictures or sounds that can transmit a
subtle essence or intense feeling.
As a Fashion Photographer – photography has inspired
him since the age of 16 — he articulates his work digitally,
profiting nonetheless from the best of “traditional”
photographic equipment: the best lenses and the best
creative filters... those of COKIN obviously!
fashion photography, I seek to create images that reflect an atmosphere or
a particular emotion. To succeed at this, all the participants in the shoot
to be in the same emotional space. The COKIN diffuser filters set it up very
easily. The outcome is visible in the viewfinder and we can all see it...all get into
it. The objective is realized quickly (aided by small personal touches...) and definitively.
To see what I imagined and be certain I’ve captured it, this is possible only with
the COKIN System!
Diffuser 1
The size of the Z-PRO filter-holder covers all current formats: 35 mm SLR, medium format,
large format, and panoramic; digital backs; HD video cameras; for Cinema, both 16 or 35
mm film cameras. The system is adaptable to all lenses up to 96 mm in diameter.
Created almost 40 years ago, COKIN filter-holders defy time while being constantly
perfected with each passing generation. The Z-PRO is the latest model and therefore
benefits from all of the knowledge accumulated by the firm over the past 40+ years.
Opting for the COKIN Z-PRO System is an intelligent choice. No matter what lenses you
may buy later, no matter what equipment you may use in the future, the durability and
relevance of your investment in the system are assured!
Set in a patented notched ring, the polarizing Z-PRO filter fits into the first slot,
independent of the rotation of the filter-holder. It is used without any special mount
or additional accessory and can be combined, if necessary, with a graduated filter: you
begin by adjusting the graduated filter (rotation and height), then proceed by rotating the
polarizing filter with the index finger until the desired effect is obtained.
This easy-to-use polarizing filter (available in linear or circular models) is much less costly
and cumbersome than similar systems and is of an incontestable quality. Its chromatic
neutrality is impeccable. In addition, because of its position in the first slot of the filterholder, it produces no vignetting as do other polarizing filters that are positioned at the
front their filter-holders, farther from the front element of lens.
Both the Z-PRO filter-holders and the specialized bellows are completely modular:
without a single tool you can regulate, in next to no time, either the number of
filters used simultaneously or their thickness (1.6 to 2 mm, or 4 mm). Both adapt
to all configurations. The filter-holder’s coupling with an adapter ring that firmly
clicks it into place is foolproof, instantaneous, and guards against accidental
disengagement (during the insertion of a filter, for example). The Z-PRO filterholder is ultra-light (70 g) while remaining perfectly solid. Each square filter is in
CR39® glass and is sold in an ultra-flat pouch (4 mm) which weights barely 20 g (30
g for graduated). Thus, a complete set of a dozen filters, together with its filterholder and two adapter rings, measures only 7.5 cm in width and weights less than
630 g. The Z-PRO System is a masterpiece of ingenuity and always finds its place in
a shoulder bag... always ready to go to work...
COKIN is not only a manufacturer of “square” filters, but also its own organic CR39®
glass. This guarantees the perfect mastery of optical quality. The remarkable
optical transmission of the Z-PRO filters allows for their use not only in digital or
film photography, but high-definition video (HD) as well.
Beyond the production and treatment of organic glass in its own factories, COKIN
works with numerous materials such as aluminum, mineral glass and high-tech PVC
derivatives. This diverse knowledge – protected by numerous patents – is the fruit
of 40 years of experience in optical mechanics. COKIN’s worldwide notoriety is
indisputable; COKIN is even a proud supplier to NASA!
* from 16 mm in 35 mm film
photography in the proper
Thanks to its well-researched design, the Z-PRO filter-holder in a 3-filter configuration
leaves only 24 mm of space between the filter and the front of the lens! Thus, in 35mm
photography, there is no visible vignetting with a 20 mm lens. The thinness of the adapter
rings helps to achieve this goal. For this reason, there is no need for special adapter rings
for use with wide-angle lenses...
In a single-filter configuration, the filter sits 10 mm closer to the lens and the Z-PRO system
is thus transformed into a veritable super wide-angle filter-holder. There is no need of a
screwdriver nor the purchase of “special” wide-angle holder, ... In this way, the use of a
17~40mm zoom lens is free of any vignetting whatsoever. In extreme cases, as with an 18
mm lens, the Z-PRO filter-holders can be used in reversed position. This leaves a gap of
only 13.5 mm between filter and lens!
The 100 mm format (4’’) is the professional standard. Z-PRO filter-holders therefore allow
for the use, beyond those of its own line, of numerous other filters of the same format (and
sometimes, of different thicknesses) designed by manufacturers such as Lee®, Schneider®
or Tiffen®. Your “filter” choice is thus virtually unlimited.
Equipped with unrivaled flexibility and adjustability, the Z-PRO filter-holder is accompanied
– to date – by a line of nearly 100 filters, several of which appear on the brochure cover
and are detailed on pages 32-48. New filters are currently in the testing phase and will be
available shortly (consult the website for more information).
The COKIN Z-PRO System offers the best ratio
optical quality/cost/versatility/efficiency
Your best “filter” investment
more than
filter- +
100 x 100/150 mm
or 1 modular bellows
with integrated
* plus all filters from
other makers such as
Lee®, Schneider®, Tiffen®
100 filters
with separate and
independant rotation
to cover ALL your lenses up to Ø 96 mm
The nearly full-scale adoption of digital photography by professionals has considerably
modified the production process of images. The time spent managing post-production
has seen a vast increase. Filtering images at capture leads to a considerable time savings.
Moreover, this streamlining of filtering workflow means that a good photographer is not
forced to acquire the specialized knowledge necessary to use complicated image-retouching
softwares... much less the expensive softwares themselves!
Finally, certain effects are quite simply unattainable in post-production, like the elimination
of reflections by using a polarizing filter, or the mastery of the difference in contrast
between the sky and the foreground in landscape photography by using a neutral density
graduated filter. Finally, no manipulation of curves or levels will ever allow you to recuperate
a totally burned out sky, devoid of all visible content!
for 3 filters
You can set the Z-PRO
filter- holder as you see fit,
in function of the thickness
of the filters used and the
number of filters employed
Quick to set up and easy to use, COKIN Z-PRO filter-holder is conceived to facilitate the work of
those who have made the judicious choice of filtering directly, while shooting.
Their lightness (70 g) and flexibility of use offer two major benefits: on one hand, they do not alter
the fluidity of manual focusing —crucial in cinema—, and on the other hand, it exerts no strain on
the built-in motors of auto-focus or zoom lenses. The materials used in its manufacture resist
large temperature changes and the ‘granite’ coating of the filter-holder is always agreeable to
the touch, no matter what the working conditions. Although it may not be immediately apparent
due to their simplicity, the Z-PRO filter-holder is a remarkable compilation of technologies and a
fantastic industrial accomplishment! Review of details...
from 1,6 to 2 mm
Using the system’s standard
components you can obtain
up to 10 specific combinations,
either for use with 4 mm
thick filters, or for example,
for working with super
wide-angle zoom without
risk of vignetting. These
modifications are quick and
easy to carry out without the
use of supplementary tools.
configuration for
2 filters 4 mm + 1
round filter
configuration for
polarizer + 1 filter
filter-holders are
guaranteed for a
lifetime against
all manufacturing
filter from 1,6 à 2 mm
filter 4 mm
configuration for
1 filter
adaptor ring
pola/varicolor filter
• Select the adapter ring corresponding to the diameter of your lens’ thread size.
For certain diameters, ring exist in different screw sizes: 0.50, 0.75, or 1.00. If unsure,
consult your lens’ instructions.
from 1,6 to 2 mm
*(or more , using
supplementary sections
or spacers, supplied
Note: Always remember that,
no matter what their intrinsic
optical quality, superposing more
than three filters at a time risks
compromising the performance
of your lens.
• Screw the adapter ring onto the lens.
• Slide, from bottom to top, the back of the filter-holder onto the adapter ring until it
makes contact with the sliding tab from above 2 .
Suggestion : push it all the way to the back to ensure that you don’t scuff your filters.
• Push the two sliding tabs all the way to the back from below so that they block the ring
and so that they don’t subsequently scuff the filter inserted in the middle slot.
• Your filter-holder is ready for use.
Attention : Never insert a 100 mm rectangular filter into the slot closest to the lens.
This slot is reserved for round filters (polarizing, for example) or for the adapter ring in
reversed configuration.
External width : 122 mm
1. Notches for easy adjustment of the polarizing filter (left or right-handed). 2. Sliding tab for blocking
the adapter ring (adjustments down to 1/10 mm), flexible and smooth rotation of filter-holder, accidental
detachment impossible. Be careful not to scatch the filter during insertion into slot B. 3. Reversible knurled
screw-nut (4) for dismantling the flat sections of the filter-holder. Precise diameters to insure tight fit of
filters in the holder. 3b. 28 mm brass screw, reversible if necessary. 4. Fastening sprocket for accessories
(to come). 5. Spring-tensioned slots to prevent filters from slipping out (2 sets of 4), calculated flexibility
for a linear and precise placement of the filters. Age-resistant materials used in order to guarantee the
suppleness of slots for years to come. 6. Base Plate : base for the spring-tensioned slots, self-centering,
configurable as needed and firmly held on by the 4 brass screws. 7. Spacer (4 supplied) increases the gap
between two screws and allows for the use of mineral glass filters of 4 mm thickness, used often in filmmaking.
The fluidity of rotation of the polarizing filter in Slot B is also eased by employment of the spacer.
A. Used normally, receives the adapter ring which is screwed onto the lens. This ring is inserted from
the top. With reverse mounting (see p 31), it accepts a filter inserted from the bottom. B. In normal
use, accepts a round filter (polarizing, for example), inserted from the top. In reverse mounting, it
receives the adapter ring. C & D. In normal use, accepts 100 x 100 mm or 150 mm filters, from the top
or bottom.
The insertion of a filter in the
Z-PRO filter-holder is astonishingly fast, flexible, and
easy, especially if you compare
it to the difficulties you might
encounter when attempting to
quickly fasten a screw-in filter
on a large-diameter lens!
The flexibility of the springaction slots and the rotational
versatility of the filter-holder
are perfectly adapted to the
careful adjustments required
for the setting up of a graduated neutral density filter, for
For more information on the filters or
Z-PRO accessories, see pages 24-51.
Lee Frost
Dunstanburgh Castle, Nortumberland, Great Britain
orn in 1966 near Barnsley, in Southern Yorkshire
(UK), Lee Frost has been enthralled with
landscape photography from his earliest years.
Since his first Zenith® camera, he has used an
impressive array of equipment in all formats, from
35 mm to 6 x 17’’ panoramic, always multiplying
his creative experiences with the same passion
and keen artistic sense. Endowed with a taste
for pedagogy, he has written numerous books
on photographic technique that have been trans-
lated into number of languages including Korean,
and Chinese. In addition, he has written a work
entirely dedicated to filters in which he recognizes
the merits of the COKIN Systems... He has also
composed hundreds of articles regularly published
in the English-speaking press over the last 15 years
and written in an accessible style that has made
him very popular. Amateur photographer turned
professional, he is currently working on a book of
creative digital photo techniques.
Taken at dawn, this image presents a perfectly natural palette of colours. Lee Frost
simply used a graduated filter to keep the sky within 3 stops and lend more detail to
the pebbles in the foreground*. The very long exposure – 2 minutes at f/ 32 – is without
doubt partly responsible for these astonishing colours, owing to the reciprocity of the
Velvia® film used. This English castle is situated 15 miles from Lee Frost’s home. He
told us that this is one of the most astonishing sunrises that he has ever had the
opportunity to photograph!
To discover
other images
by Lee Frost,
visit his website
Neutral Grey G2 Soft
ND8 - 0.9
The COKIN Z-PRO System offers a variety of models of adapter rings, available in a set
(opposite). Manufactured in France out of machined aluminum and black anodized to
prevent reflections, these non-deformable rings are, with the exception of the Ø 95 and
96 mm, remarkably compact. Their rapid action threading is designed to not damage
the threading of your lenses. They avoid vignetting on lenses up to 86 mm in diameter.
However, due to their thickness, both the Ø 95 and 96mm rings can – with certain lenses
– limit your angular field. If you need to mount a Z-PRO filter-holder onto a lens with a
diameter of less than 49 mm, COKIN offers step-down rings down to 24 mm. The filterholders fit very snugly on the adapter rings, with no more than a few tenths of a millimeter
of play, assuring the rapid, smooth rotation indispensable for the precise adjustments
required by certain filters.
Mounting a filter holder onto a lens equipped with the appropriate adapter ring is simple,
sure and fast. Under these conditions changing lenses takes but a matter of seconds,
assuming each lens has its own ring, obviously... This is the perfect set up, especially
when the light is rapidly changing.
(Ø x thread, in mm)
49 x 0.75
52 x 0.75
55 x 0.75
58 x 0.75
62 x 0.75
67 x 0.75
72 x 0.75
77 x 0.75
82 x 0.75
86 x 0.75
86 x 1.00
95 x 1.00
96 x 1.00
Hasselblad® B50
Hasselblad® B60
Hasselblad® B70
Rollei® VI
For all other
please contact us.
The adapter rings for
the Z-PRO System are
the body of the ring itself
is only 1.7 mm thick!
Perfectly rigid, they
conform to the lens and
cause no vignetting.
This is why the Z-PRO
System has no need of
a “special wide-angle”
adapter ring.
The Z-PRO polarizing filters constitute one of the major advantages of
the System. High-tech to the extreme (see opposite) they are inserted
directly into the first slot of the filter-holder and need no extraneous
accessories. Placed very close to the lens, they produce no vignetting
and are much better protected against reflections than when positioned
further from the lens, as with certain other filter systems on the market.
Moreover, in contrast to those “slim” screw-in polarizing filters lacking
additional threading on their exterior side, one can add another filter to
the configuration if necessary. Finally, owing to the conception of the
Z-PRO System, you will only need a single polarizing filter for all of your
lenses, current or future, up to 96 mm in diameter!
Each Z-PRO polarizing filter is set in a patented notched frame (see below)
that allows for precision rotational fine-tuning with the index finger,
independently of the filter-holder itself to be used in combination with a
graduated filter, for example.
Light and compact, a Z-PRO polarizing filter is astonishingly simple to use
and renders extraordinary results, as much in terms of its optical quality as
in the visual impact of your images themselves. Its chromatic neutrality is
unquestionable (see page 49).
One of those tools a
serious photographer
just can’t do without
(*with the exception of the
95 mm and 96 mm rings)
Diameter : 100 mm
Diameter : 100 mm
Z-PRO System covers the
entirety of professional
image production tools,
film or digital, still or
moving images, in all
formats currently found on
the professional market.
Today and tomorrow, it will
respond to your needs,
guaranteeing the soundness
of your investment for years
to come.
• Linear polarizing filters (Z160) risk – depending on the optical scheme
of a given camera body – interfering with some auto-focus or exposure
metering systems.
Reserve Iit for large format lenses and for holder SLR Cameras with manual
focus. Outside of this particularity, the photographic results will be
identical with either model.
• Circular polarizing filters (Z164) are perfectly compatible with auto-focus
cameras and through-the-lens (TTL) metering systems. The circular model must be
oriented correctly! you can check its orientation by observing a subject throught
the filter. In order to appreciate this effect, simply rotate and examine how the
image changes progressively, either in the viewfinder or with the naked eye.
A Z-PRO polarizing filter is also very simple to use with a panoramic or rangefinder
camera. Expo. + 1~2 stops, according to the intensity of teh filter’s effects.
A COKIN exclusive, this filter can be compared to a bicolor blue and
yellow polarizing filter. By rotating it in the filter-holder, the reflections
of the image change subtly and continuously, then, after a quarter turn,
jump suddenly over to the complementary colour.
Even if not as often employed as some of the others, this unique filter offers
compelling possibilities for use with those subjects that lend themselves to its
magic! For example, if the two dominant colors in your composition are those
of the filter itself, —such as a warm foreground and a background in tones of
blue, like a harvest landscape against a blue sky, the Varicolor® blue/yellow will
enrich your image with an astonishing palette of colours (see pages 6-7).
Of all filters that can be
employed at capture, the
polarizing filter is without
contest the one whose impact
on your images will be most
significant; intensifying the
blueness of the sky, saturating
the entirety of the colour
intensity of bright lights and
reflections! (see pages 6-7)
• In sunny weather – and even
more during morning or evening
hours – and if you respect a
right angle (90°) between the
shooting axis and the position
of the sun, a polarizing filter
will darken the blue of the sky
(sometimes making it almost
black...), throwing the clouds
into stark relief.
• The intensity of its effect also
depends on the film used, or,
in digital photography, on your
level of saturation, but in either
case its contribution remains
crucial because there is more,
real content to work with.
• Note that with wide-angle
lenses from 24mm and shorter
(in 35mm photography terms)
the side of the image which
is farthest from the sun will
be darker than the other.
This is an inevitable optical
phenomenon, independent of
the polarizing filter, that must
be corrected using a neutral
density graduated filter.
• Whether used in full sunlight
or in overcast weather,
polarizing filters significantly
improve the saturation of
You will obtain
greener greens, richer reds
and ever more brilliant yellows.
You will be surprised to see
how certain colours, dull to the
naked eye, become vibrant and
dazzling with this filter.
• In all kinds of weather,
polarizing filters reduce,
reflections on all non-metallic
surfaces like water or windows.
This capacity to work on all
reflections and bright lights
finds numerous photographic
applications which one must be
careful not to overuse... It brings
transcendence to vegetation,
transforms bodies of water,
opens vistas... brings fish to the
surface... nymphes even!
Polarizing filters are often used
in conjunction with other filters
such as the 81 A or 81B warming
filters (026, 027) or the neutral
density graduated filters (121L,
121M, 121S). See pages 37 and 33.
Certain seemingly unimportant
accessories are absolutely
necessary for the everyday
usage of filters, including
accessories relating to their
transport and cleaning.
When shooting images, no matter what the medium in question – photo, video or cinema – flare
remains a constant concern. Cameramen have long since mastered the problem with matte boxes,
“flags”, and other light shading devices... Photographers who work in large format have also
always had a very useful shading tool: a bellows, which they carefully adjust before each trip of
the shutter. Hasselblad® has popularized this accessory in medium format and for years COKIN
has endowed its systems with excellent combinations of bellows and filter-holders (sometimes
called a “compendium”). The Z-PRO System includes this optional accessory which has become
rather indispensable, considering the extreme susceptibility of today’s digital sensors to flare.
Front view
Z-PRO individual cloth filter sleeves
Each Z-PRO filter is supplied in a separate, very
thin, suede-like cloth filter sleeve which comes in
a single size. It is lightweight and practical for use
both in the studio or outdoors. Inserted filters are
extremely accessible and, at the same time, very
well-protected. Each filter sleeve is marked with the
reference of the filter it contains for rapid retrieval
of the correct filter.
A well-adapted solution to occasional use which
really limits the general burden of carrying a complete set of filters.
dim. : 165 x 115 x 2 mm, 25 g (empty)
The Z-PRO multi-storage carrying-pouch
The Z350
This padded, waterproof case is made of tough “900 deniers” nylon and hold up
to 7 filters, each individually protected by a soft, felt separator. Additionally, you
can store two supplementary adapter rings. A zipper allows for complete and
easy access. The inside of the carrying-case is detachable for other potential
use and it comes equipped with strap and a belt loop.
The Z-PRO multi-storage carrying-case is ideal for keeping all of the current
filters close-at-hand, always ready and always protected between shots.
Modular Bellows
against flare
Side view
External dimensions : 175 x 145 x 38 ( w x h x d ) - ref : Z350
dim. : 147 x 192 x 44~107 mm (w x h x d), 250 g (without filter), ref. Z306
The COKIN PRO cleaning cloth
15 mm
• Thanks to its compactness when closed and its superior
110 mm
The Z-PRO bellows
is supplied with an integrated filter-holder that remains fully functional:
modularity (1, 2 or 3 slots, according to need), flexible
manipulation and precise rotation.
• The bellows is manufactured from a high-tech ‘form
memory’ material that doesn’t rely on support rails for
extension, limits the weight and obstruction of the
accessory, and allows for a higher degree of adjustability
(favoring one side, for example, in order to accomodate
the displacement of a view camera’s lens).
• This “compendium” ensures, no matter what focal
length is used, a maximum protection against flare,
the folds of the bellows being much better suited for
stopping rays of light than the interior coating of a
rigid lens hood.
extendibility, this lens hood has proven to be especially
versatile: in 6 x 7, it is suitable for lens focal lengths
from 50 mm to 250 mm. That means you only need a
single lens hood for several lenses!
• To improve its anti-reflective action you can slide optional
mats onto the front of the bellows. They will allow you
either to further increase its effectiveness with telephoto
lenses (from 200 mm in medium-format), or to better
adjust the extendable section of the lens hood to your
photographic format (originally conceived for formats 4.5
x 6 and 6 x 7 cm, 4 x 5”; the two optional mats are intended
either for 6 x 6 cameras, or for 35mm or 6 x 9 formats).
With a bellows, the contrast and saturation of images are noticeably
improved and, most of all, the devastating effects of flare
– especially fatal in digital – are reduced to a minimum!
Combined with the High-Tech COKIN PRO cleaning cloth, it
blocks all entrance of flare into the lens. Non-cumbersome
when closed and light (210 g), this modular bellows adapts itself
to all lenses (up to 96mm in diameter), except to super wide-angle
lenses (risks of vignetting below 50mm in medium-format).
Designed for the efficient but gentle cleaning of organic or mineral glass filters,
this cloth can also be used for all sorts of optics. Constructed from anti-static,
non-abrasive, non-shedding microfiber cloth (ultra-adept at capturing fine dust
particles), and absolutely free of chemical residues harmful to the filter’s optical
coating, it constitutes a real guarantee of longevity for your filters. It is machinewashable and delivered in a protective carry-case.
Large in size (48 x 12 cm unfolded, 12 x 12 folded), this cloth can likewise serve
as added protection against flare pouring through the filter-holder slots or the
bellows itself: simply drape it over and its black color and opaqueness will block-out
extraneous light. Simple, practical, and rather clever!
dim. : 480 x 120 mm (w x l), ref. R908.
Handling & Cleaning The Z-PRO Filters
• With the exception of the polarizing and Varicolor® filters, Z-PRO filters are made in CR39® organic
glass, an optical material of exceptional quality; virtually unbreakable and extremely long-lasting if they
are handled with care and stored in a case with adequate protection.
* It is true that these filters have proven to be a bit more sensitive to scratching than those made of mineral
glass... But if you drop the latter on a hard surface or the ground, it will be without a doubt the last time
that you will use them... As for their alleged propensity for attracting dust, this is not a concern if they are
regularly cleaned with a dry anti-static cloth made of micro-fiber, like the COKIN PRO cleaning cloth.
• Handle the filters by holding them by their edges to avoid fingerprints as much as possible and keep
them in their individual sleeves when not in use. If you take care of them as you would your eyeglasses,
they will stay like new for years to come.
• To tidy up the filters, use a dry air spray (held vertically) or a gentle non-static paintbrush.
• For fingerprints or water smudges, wash the filter in warm water, then rinse it in lukewarm clean water and
dry sideways. Delicately remove possible residues from the lens with the cloth.
BUILDING a line of professional filters is not an easy thing to do. Despite the constant need for
quality, it is necessary to cover the gamut of user needs, whether technical or creative. Once the
line is created, it is still necessary to follow the changes in the market – or, in the case of digital
photography, you could even say revolution! Jean Coquin knew how to stay ahead of the curve,
always pushing the optical envelope. Solid, innovative and of a decidedly modern concept, conceived
by an optician and creator of images, COKIN came out ahead with the Z-PRO line and its remarkable
filter-holder, a filtering system perfectly adapted to the professional demands of the 21st century.
Its efficiency, precision and fantastic savings of time has captured the loyalty of photographers who
understand and have mastered image filtering. It is and remains the only choice for creating some
of the most advanced graphic effects.
A lens of impeccable quality
1972, COKIN became the first worldwide maker of
photographic filters to use CR39® organic glass in
photography. This extraordinary material with an optical
transmission greater than 95% offers a many major
advantages, as much for the quality of its manufacturing
as for its use.
• For more than 40 years, COKIN worked on its own
CR39®glass, from the beginning, using the purest
resin, and has today mastered to perfection all the
production stages of this difficult fabrication: polymerization, casting, tailoring, cutting, colormetric
operations, perfection of the material and control of
its thickness to infinitesimal parameters, parallelism
of surfaces and rigorous flatness, remarkable precision and homogeneity of tints – equal or superior to
those of mineral glass. Everything possible is done to
obtain irreproachable optical quality.
• With COKIN filters, one will not see any alteration of
optical sharpness, nor artifacts with digital captures.
You can use up to 3 filters at the same time without
degradation of the definition. The optical excellence
of the Z-PRO filters allow for their use, not only in film
or digital photography, but also in high-definition
digital video (HDV).
• Organic glass filters are much lighter than their
counterparts in mineral glass. They are unbreakable
(and do not have threads, which can bend if dropped),
intrinsically anti-UV (thanks to a patented process that
incorporates the UV filter into the material of the COKIN
CR39® glass), perfectly stable over time, easy to clean
and much less expensive!
• Finally, the precision of the positioning of the filter
in the filter-holder, its ease of insertion or removal, the
flexibility of its adjustment, in height as
well as rotation, all converge into a quality
and a comfort of use without equal.
Tobacco T2 Full
Advantages of square filters (rectangular)
hen COKIN first began, most photographic filters were made of mineral
glass and mounted in a threaded screw-in ring-frame. Then, in 1978,
COKIN introduced the concept of a square filter and the use of CR39® glass.
It was a veritable revolution and received worldwide acclaim. Millions of
filters were sold and numerous copies came onto the market.
• For each filter type, only a single filter is necessary to adapt to any
number of different lenses, no matter what their diameter or thread
size. As it is, square filters are already much lighter than their glass
counterparts, but in addition, you do not need nearly as many! Plus,
they are unbreakable, easy to handle, much quicker to use, and most of
all, they have never-before-seen adjustment possibilities (in height and
rotation)! What’s more, one can easily combine filters and adjust them
• As well, these filters come in a vast variety of tints, including a few that
are completely original. The filters exceed technical standards by a creative
leap and this fundamentally changes the spirit and intensity of their use.
Because of the possibility of owning an entire system of filters at a much
lower cost, square filters enjoy an unmatched popularity today.
• Throughout the generations of filter- holders, the problem of vignetting
has been considerably reduced to the point of being almost non-existent
today, except in rare cases because of unavoidable optical laws.
• In terms of efficiency, square filters in organic glass are clearly superior
to screw-in filters. The optical differential being imperceptible in current
use, one can understand why the best professionals always return to
square filters, leaving behind uncoloured and anti-UV screw-in filters for
square filters’ superiority in terms of lens protection.
While on this subject, it is important to note that COKIN does
also manufacture screw-in filters of mineral glass in numerous
styles and diameters (from 25 to 86 mm) with the same eye to
constant perfection. Consult your retailer or our website at for more details.
Soft effect, Diffuser filter 1.
Filtering: for whom and why?
he technical discussions and disagreements that
photographers have often, involve the subject of
image filtering.
• There are those who do not want to hear about filters,
those who find that filters distort the reality or their
work, and those who think that filters degrade the quality of their optics (false!). There are also those who use
filters but hope that no one can tell, and finally, those
who use filters and hope that their use is obvious!
• All of these photographers – even the first cited – are
or will eventually be concerned by the use of filters,
whether it be to improve, correct or sublimate an image.
With the exception of the first group, all are correct. This
shows the fantastic diversity in the world of imaging,
fixed or animated. For all of these groups, COKIN makes
it a priority to offer as large a choice as possible, but
with one constant : unquestionable manufacturing quality and originality. The “COKIN Touch”, the COKIN style!
Today the trend is towards discrete use of filters to
create images that combine naturalness, documentary
quality and the personal vision of the artist.
• The potential range of uses for filters can be as vast as
the brands offered by the different manufacturers. One
book —that of Lee Frost, The Photographer’s Guide to Filters
published by David & Charles, —suffices for describing them
in detailed fashion so that each photographer can adapt his
or her vision to that of the filter. Correct a dominant colour,
reduce the contrast scale of an image, manage flare, reduce
the problem of reciprocity, access the infrared spectrum,
bring colour to black and white, introduce a romantic, pictorial or quaint ambiance; There are many uses that filters
execute instantly, upon capture (in digital), and without any
alteration of the image quality!
* including that of Lee Frost, published by David &
Charles, “The Photographer’s Guide to Filters”.
A line as technical as it is creative
he Z-PRO line has adopted the standard format of
professional filters: 100 mm (4”) of width, the format
imposed by Kodak® years ago...
• Each COKIN filter responds to a specific photographic
need, whether it be of a technical or creative aspect. The 100
or so filters in the line cover the basic essentials of problems
encountered by photographers and filmmakers. In case of
additional requirements, the Z-PRO System is perfectly compatible with the principal 100 mm systems on the market:
Lee®, Tiffen® and Schneider®.
• On the technical front, there are over 30 filters designed
to correct colour drifts, either by correction or conversion,
(filters of the series 80, 82, 81, and 85, pages 36-37), or by
compensation (CC cyan magenta and yellow filters, pages
38-39); filters that allow for modulation of greys in black
and white photography, or specific anti-UV filters for fluorescent illumination or infrared photography (pages 40-41);
and 15 graduated filters, colored on one part (neutral, blue
or tobacco tones) and transparent on the other, or even the
famous “sunset” filters (pages 32-35). The high-precision
manufacturing technique devised by COKIN to create its
graduated filters is of a remarkable regularity. COKIN offers
numerous graduated options with their blue and tobacco
filters. Their range of use goes beyond the purely technical
domain, often becoming very creative!
• On the specifically creative front, there are filters
which allow for adding a sepia tone to images (page
48), as well as over 20 diffusion filters of diverse
colours and intensities that offer a line of astonishingly varied effects (pages 42-47). Among them is the
COKIN Diffuser and Pastel filters whose reputation
cannot be beaten!
You can see the entire Z-PRO line on the fold-out page at the
end of this brochure. Because it is in constant evolution,
you can keep up-to-date with the latest filters by visiting
our website, Once you have taken a few
practice shots and mastered their action/effect, these filters
will give you perfectly foreseeable results. Your work will be
fail-safe, very rapid, and in the case of digital photography,
you will save enormous time in post-production!
> Photography Andrew Kime
Two starter kits
start up advantageously with the
Z-PRO System, COKIN offers two
different starter kits including 1 Z-PRO
filter-holder, 3 graduated filters and 1
carrying case (able to store up to 7 filters and 2 adapter rings, ref. Z306).
• The first, the PRO Grad kit, includes
3 graduated “light” filters, neutral
density (121L), blue (123L) and tobacco (125L). ref. U960
• The second, the PRO Grad ND kit,
combines 3 graduated neutral
density filters from the line (121L,
121M and 121S). ref. U961
Does what
can not and
will not do !
Perfectly up-to-date for
digital photography
is a common misconception that in digital photography there is no longer a need for filters because
“one can do it all with Photoshop®.” Luckily, true professionals count on real experience and unremitting
work to create their images! They well understand the
advantage of using certain filters while shooting, even
in digital photography. They also understand the limits
of post-treatment and don’t expect “miracles”. Above
all, they know the time that can be wasted and prefer a
more efficient method: that of filtering at capture!
• This proves to be true and cannot be more simple:
filters function in digital photography exactly as in film,
with only very rare exceptions. Whether it is to correct
or improve an image or to add a personal touch through
use of a specific effect, the utilization and the philosophy
of using filters remains the same. Many photographers
such as Andrew Kime estimate, moreover, that the reflection associated with filtering allows one to be more
relevant in terms of composition and exposure, and to
therefore improve the percentage of successful images.
Much more so for digital photography, as it allows for
instantaneous control of the image result when one is
immersed in the subject,.. and not much later, when you
are in front of a computer screen!
• It is also important to keep in mind a fundamental
rule of imaging, both still and motion: details or visual
information not present on the film – or on the memory
card – is irretrievably lost! For example, with an overexposed, washed out sky, in film-based photography no
lab assistant can “burn-in“ non-existing details, just as
no software can retouch it digitally. Yes, it is possible to
recreate a portion of the image by pixel copy, but this
technique is not very authentic and is much more timecostly than is the simple insertion of the appropriate
filter on the filter-holder! Anticipation and filtering at
capture will therefore always remain preferable to a
fastidious and lengthy correction by computer
• In digital photography, certain filters quickly become
“must-haves”: anti-UV filters (sensors are as sensitive
as film to this part of the spectrum), graduated filters
(neutral or coloured), polarizing and Varicolor® filters,
and neutral density filters. Others still remain very
useful as diffusion filters (the blurredness generated
by image-retouching software cannot even compare
with images captured on site!) or conversion filters
(certain photographers prefer blocking the balance of
whites during daylight and use the filter corresponding
to illumination: they find it much more sure and simple).
Even a simple colour compensator filter (CC series)
requires – for its application in digital post-treatment
– knowledge of the transposition of values in photographic
density by percentage using Photoshop®!
You will find in the following pages the details of the
respective actions (pages 32-48).
• If you go over everyday digital retouching and reserve
it for “extra special” effects and anticipate corrections or
effects from capture time, the correct usage of filters
remains more than ever up to date !
mounting of your lenses
in the Z-PRO filter-holder
takes but a matter of seconds, especially if each one of them is equipped
with an adapter ring. The mastery of
the different filters is also very rapid,
the logic of their functioning is quite
clear. With a little experience, you
will know right away which one to
use for each scene.
lthough it is incontestable that image retouch
softwares in general – and Photoshop® in
particular – greatly contributed to the success of
digital photography, there remain a number of image
corrections and effects that can only be obtained
by filtering at capture. Among them, here are four
cases where software cannot be substituted for the
use of a filter:
In film, when acquiring a new filter
consider taking a few images with
and without the filter to familiarize
yourself with its action. In digital,
the capture screen allows you to
visualize the outcome instantaneously and directly.
• In a landscape image with long distances, taken
without an anti-UV filter, uncorrected atmospheric
haze will introduce into the image characteristic
defaults: dominant blue, reduction of contrast
and alteration of the clarity. Using software, one
can certainly eliminate the dominant, emphasize
the contrast and improve the clarity; but, in any
case, one can not recapture the clarity and level of
brilliance that an anti-UV filter would bring, and all
• In a number of landscapes one is often confronted with a
wide brightness scale between the sky and the foreground.
This type largely surpasses the restitution capabilities of
the sensor. When this happens, you must either expose
for the foreground —with the sky washed-out and lacking
in detail—, or expose for the sky —with the foreground
totally underexposed and much too dark. In either case,
no manipulation using software will allow for the correct
restoration of the image. Only the use of a neutral density
graduated filter at capture allows for reducing the scale
of contrast and retaining the detail of the sky and the
foreground at the same time. You can thus compensate for
5 stops or even more. Plus, you can avoid re-copying the
sky from one image and bringing it to another, with all of
the difficulties and time that this assumes...
• For eliminating reflections from non-metallic surfaces,
a polarizing filter works easily by simple rotation. Trying
to obtain the same result with image touch-up software
becomes “mission impossible”!
• When the light intensity of the subject does not allow you
to use a shutter speed slow enough to obtain a blurred effect
—on moving water, for example— a neutral density filter will
allow you to obtain one, two, or even three shutter-speed
settings slower! Here again, the effect can obviously not be
recreated in digital post-treatment.
Therefore, this is why anti-UV, neutral density,
polarizing filters remain absolute “must-haves”
in digital photography! They are not the only
ones, as detailed in the following pages... Even
when they are not absolutely necessary, filters
still simplify achieving the desired corrections or
effects so much that one would really be mistaken not to make use of them.
or this unique market in full expansion and constant
evolution, the Z-PRO System constitutes an interesting
• First, the entire line of Z-PRO filters is compatible with
the filter-holders of the 100 mm “matte-box” type (COKIN
has launched one - the Z360). Taking into account their
very competitive price and their excellent optical quality,
these filters represent a very interesting option!
• Next, the Z-PRO filter-holder adapts perfectly to all industry zooms up to 96 mm in diameter. Very light (no
strain on the internal motors of lenses), non-cumbersome,
usable in extra-flat configuration (absence of vignetting
in very wide-angle zoom position), it responds to the
> Photography Andrew Kime
Angle changes
without vignetting, according to the configuration.
1. original
for 3 filters.
2. standard
for 2 filters
3. wide-angle
for 1 filter.
gamut of criteria required by cameramen. In addition, it is completely
modular and can easily be dismounted and reset in order to accept
filters of 4 mm thickness, often used
in filmmaking and video-broadcasting (see page 19).
For everyday use, we recommend configuration of two slots
to reduce the risk of vignetting in
wide-angle position with a transstandard zoom. You can also use a
polarizing filter (in the first slot of
the filter-holder) and a graduated
filter (in the second slot) at the
same time, and separately adjust
each filter to its correct rotation
degree. With some extremely
wide-angles, you may need to
configurate to only one slot. The
fastest way is to mount the filterholder in its reverse position (see
the diagram opposite). In this
case, you must return the sliding
tabs to the up-wards position (it
moves easily by insertion of a
ball-point in its center groove).
With one filter, but especially.
• Even though they are unbreakable, mount your filters with caution
– especially avoiding fingerprints
– and clean them carefully between
each use with the Z-PRO hightech antistatic cleaning cloth. If
you follow this advice, they will
retain their newness for long .
• There are two possibilities
for determining exposures with
your filters: either your camera
is equipped with through-the-lens
(TTL) metering and automatically
gives the correct settings, or you
measure the light with a separate
exposure meter and you then apply an exposure factor, depending
upon the filter used.
This general rule has a few exceptions:
the polarizing filter (its absorption
depends on its rotation) and the
graduated filters for which you
do not take into account a factor
because its action only bears on
the sky (adjust the exposure on
the foreground). In case of doubt,
open halfway (in slide or digital) or
by one stop (in negative film) to be
sure of the result.
• The vast choice of the Z-PRO line covers at once both the technical and creative
needs of cameramen. If need be, they can also use the 100 mm (4’’) filters of
other brands, such as Tiffen® or Schneider®.
• Last, but certainly not least, the price of Z-PRO filters is proven to be extremely
And now, on the creative side...
DESIGNED so that absolutely no colour from the entire visible spectrum prevails, the
COKIN® neutral density filters can be used in many different contexts, depending on
which type is used : uniform shading (square) or graduated shading (rectangular).
Here is a type of image
impossible to achieve without ND Gradual filters.
It was made with a 121 M
and a 121 S overlay; the
discrepancy between the
sky and the foreground
is 5 stops. One can thus
capture the harmony of
the entire composition,
the darkening of the
trees on the right
– linked with the usage
of filters – rests very
> Photography A. Kime
In the first case, they uniformly reduce the quantity of light that reaches the film – or the sensor
– increasing the exposure time. The filters have 3 main practical applications: emphasizing the flow
of movement, reducing the depth of field or avoiding overexposure.
In the second case, they are used to reduce the contrast difference of a composition in film as well
as in digital photography. They allow for a well-balanced image; they are the filters most used by
landscape «pro» photographers to yield both harmonious skies and detailed foregrounds at once.
In both cases, they are offered in 3 gradations – equal to 1, 2 or 3 stops – and can be used individually or combined as necessary in order to extend their range, whether shooting in black and
white or colour.
With these filters, images can be created which are impossible to obtain in digital post-processing. When an excess in contrast has produced a sky whose level is set to 255, no software filter will ever bring
back either pixels or detail. The neutral density filters are also currently used in filmmaking and video. When
they are not simply irreplaceable, the need to maintain a constant shutter speed compels their use.
Thanks to their
exclusive tinting
procedures and their
continuous and rigorous
quality control during
the entire manufacturing process, COKIN is
able to offer absolute
neutrality for the entire
visible spectrum with
each of its professional
neutral filters.
> Photography Lee Frost
the exposure by 1, 2 or 3 stops is very
useful for emphasizing the fluidity of
water, accentuating the movement of waves, suggesting the
rustling of wheat fields or capturing the bustle of passers-by...
Thus, an ND4 (0.6) filter slows the shutter speed down from 1/15
to 1 second, a considerable amount.
• The reduction of the light intensity allows for saving of 1, 2
or 3 stops and reduces the depth of field by just as much, thus
focusing the attention on the principal subject.
• In digital , certain sensors are very sensitive to the diffraction whose
effects become visible as from f/11. A neutral density filter can prove to
be very useful for avoiding optical loss!
Neutral Grey 153
ND4 - 0.6
Neutral Grey 154
ND8 - 0.9
filters offer on the one hand, a zone of density that is
rigorously neutral – absorbing 1, 2 or 3 diaphragms
– and on the other hand, a completely transparent part, separated
from each other by a transition zone that can be short or long.
They are used either way, alone or combined, depending on the
requirements of the composition. One can also combine them to
other filters, such as a polarizing or warm filter (see pages 25
and 37).
• The neutral density gradual filter lets you bring the difference in
contrast down to the limit of tonalities that film or sensor can record.
When the accuracy of the exposure with 12-bit digital SLR cameras is
Neutral Grey
Light ND2 - 0.3
Filter 153
Neutral Grey 152
ND2 - 0.3
• In filmmaking and video, these filters
are often used because the shutter speed
is, apart from variable shutters, dependant
on how quickly shots are taken. If one
wishes to be able to play with the depth of
field, or avoid overexposure under intense
lighting, they provide a unique solution as
simple as it is effective.
• Finally, in certain very bright environments, at high altitudes for example, and
with a sensitive ISO, only a neutral density
filter allows for the correct exposure. With
a catadioptric lens, this type of filter is the
only safeguard against overexposure.
COKIN also offers numerous other filters of
neutral density for industrial or scientific
use, as in the control of long processes or sun
photography. For more information please
contact your local distributor or contact COKIN
• NEUTRAL GREY ND2 : neutral optical density 0.3, factor 2, expo + 1 stops, for fine adjustment.
• NEUTRAL GREY ND4 : neutral optical density 0.6, factor 4, expo + 2 stops, everyday use.
• NEUTRAL GREY ND8 : neutral optical density 0.9, factor 8, expo + 3 stops, very useful in video.
Neutral Grey
Medium ND4 - 0.6
Neutral Grey
Soft ND8 - 0.9
as essential as with slide film, one immediately
grasps the importance of these filters from the
time of the shooting.
• The remarkable efficiency of these filters
is accompanied by the reliability of optical
performance as well as the absolute neutrality of the chromatic balance of the image.
When well-handled, this type of filtering is
undetectable to the untrained eye.
If their best-known use is in controlling the
brightness of skies, these filters find their justification each time that the light level of one part
of the image surpasses the range of tints reproducible by the recording medium : a partially lit
street or a ray of light piercing the undergrowth,
for example.
Even a grey sky can benefit from the action of
a neutral density gradual filter!
These filters can also favour the effect of
blurred movement in one part of the image, alike
uniform neutral density filters.
• GRADUAL GREY ND2 : neutral optical density 0.3 (upper part), factor 2, expo compensated for around
1 stop on the upper part, long transition, an additional choice for touch-ups.
• GRADUAL GREY ND4 : neutral optical density 0.6 (upper part), factor 4, expo compensated for around 2 stops
on the upper part, long transition, the usual choice for slide.
• GRADUAL GREY SOFT ND8 : neutral optical density 0,9 (upper part), factor 8, expo compensated for around 3
stops on the upper part, long transition, the right choice for negatives film or digital.
Long or short ?
With long transition filters (all the
Z-PRO graduated filters except the
124 & 125), passage from density
to transparency is very gradual,
while with the short transition
filters, it is much more abrupt.
The first filters, by far the most
often used, are more tolerant
as to their placement and adapt
themselves to subjects where the
break in contrast is irregular or
not well defined; thus, the filters
of the second type are reserved
more for images whose «horizons» breath are well-marked.
Their adjustment, both vertical
and horizontal, must be more
HOW TO CHOOSE and USE a COKIN Neutral Density Gradual filter
• To decide which filter density to use,
you just need to measure – preferably in
manual mode, spot measuring with the
TTL of your SLR camera or with a separate spot-meter – the clear zone where
you wish to keep the detail and the zone
that will be used for the final exposure.
Then count the number of stops difference – at constant speed – and round
up to the lesser normalized value. Thus,
21⁄2 stops will be rounded to 2; you will
then need a density of 0.6 (ND4).
Take care however to modulate your
effect depending on the subject; for
example, a reflection must be less
bright than its source. Case in point: a
snow-covered mountain that is reflected in a lake and becomes duller than
its reflection!
Finally, depending on the way that
the zone separating light and shadow
presents itself, you will choose either a
short or long transition zone filter, the
latter being by far the most frequent.
In our example, this will be a 121M long
transition filter.
• You must then adjust the filter – close
the diaphragm as much as possible by
pressing the depth of field preview
button to better see the transition
zone in the viewfinder while adjusting
the filter vertically (in its groove)
until its transition zone corresponds
perfectly with the light intensity line
of your framing.
This test must be carried out in the
viewfinder, as the effect of the filter – while visible to the naked eye
– depends both on the lens and on
the diaphragm setting. The more the
aperture is reduced, the more the
effect of the graduated shading will
be noticeable. Note that the type of
film – like capture settings in digital
photography – has an impact on what
the filter can do.
• Reset the diaphragm and expose for
the foreground. Note that modern SLR
cameras perfectly manage this type of
filter via their matrix metering.
With experience, you will determine at
a glance the filter you need to use and
it will only take you a few seconds to
adjust it efficiently with precision. Until
then, if you’re just starting out, systematically take photos both with and
without filters to familiarize yourself
with their use...
In practice, the ideal is to use the 3
available densities (special sets are
available from COKIN).
WHEN the sky is not as blue as one wishes, the setting sun not as radiant, or if one wishes
to add a touch of personal colour, the coloured graduated filters are the right answer. They
darken one part of the image (most often the upper part) by adding the appropriate tint, blue,
tobacco, or “sunset”.
The gradual blue filters are available in 5 models for optimal adjustment of the correction level
desired. They can be very useful for enhancing a grey and lacklustre sky by giving it a sunnier
aspect, something that a polarizing filter cannot do under these circumstances. It is perfect for
those who do not want a filter effect to be apparent!
The gradual tobacco respond to the exact opposite logic: their pronounced effect adds a very
special touch to the image, a touch that delights some photographers. Here again, they exist in 5
versions, adaptable to everyone’s taste or need.
With the COKIN “sunset” filters, the sun sets right when you need it to and its intensity is assured!
Place these filters as close as possible to the lens in order not to alter their transition zone.
If necessary, these filters can also be used in reversed position, either alone – to bring out the hyacinths in a
forest for example – or together head-to-tail, one working on the upper part of the image, the other on the foreground. Thus a gradual blue filter can enhance a sky that is too dull, while a tobacco filter in reverse position
can intensify the colour of the reeds in the foreground.
FILTERS 125L, 121M AND 027
by Jean Coquin in the early 1970s, the COKIN gradual
tobacco filters – the famous “CROMOFILTERS” – have had
a worldwide success. Today, they remain the ideal tool for many – in particular
commercial photographers – but can also be used “discreetly” as seen in the
example above. Thus, to accentuate the “tobacco” effect while avoiding a
tint that is too pronounced, Andrew Kime has cleverly combined a 125L with a
neutral density gradual filter – a 121M in this case – plus a 027 warm tone.
> Photography Andrew Kime
• Based on the same basic tint, the 5
gradual tobacco filters available differ by
their intensity and their structure, as is
clearly shown in the icons below.
To adjust the exposure and the transition zone,
consult the instructions for the gradual blue filters which are the same for the tobacco filters.
Pay special attention to the transition zone
of the Z124/Z125 filter, short and a bit trickier
to use.
> Photography Daryl Benson
5 filters differ distinctly
either by their intensity or by their structure, as
you can see in the icons below.
• To adjust the exposure, you can
either measure the foreground without a filter and apply that value,
or – with SLR cameras that feature
matrix metering – measure the
exposure directly with the filter
in place.
• Note that placing the filter’s
transition zone in the image requires the same attention as for
the neutral density gradual filters
(see page 33).
Tobacco T1
Tobacco T2
Tobacco T2 Light
Tobacco T2 Soft
Tobacco T2 Full
• GRADUAL TOBACCO T1 : around 2 stops on upper part, long transition, the right choice for a real but
discreet tobacco effect.
• GRADUAL TOBACCO T2 : around 3 stops on upper part, short transition, very pronounced “tobacco”
effect, with a sharp border.
• GRADUAL TOBACCO T2 LIGHT : around 2 stops on upper part, long transition, the choice for a subtle
“tobacco” effect.
• GRADUAL TOBACCO T2 SOFT : around 2 stops on upper part, long transition, pronounced “tobacco”,
adapted for irregular horizons.
• GRADUAL TOBACCO T2 FULL: around 2 stops on upper part, extra long transition, pronounced “tobacco”
effect on the entire image.
> Photography : D. Benson
Blue B1
Blue B2
Blue B2 Light
Blue B2 Soft
Blue B2 Full
filters allow you to intensify or
simulate a realistic sunset.
Their specific tint is graduated from top
to bottom: the upper part, more coloured, intensifies the effect of the sky; the
GRADUAL BLUE B1 : around 12/3 stop on upper part, long transition, the best choice for a subtle effect.
GRADUAL BLUE B2 : around 2 stops on upper part, long transition, more pronounced effect.
GRADUAL BLUE B2 LIGHT : around 2/3 stop on upper part, the perfectionist’s choice for touch-ups.
GRADUAL BLUE B2 SOFT : around 12/3 stop on upper part, long transition, the other standard choice with easier
positioning for irregular horizons.
• GRADUAL BLUE B2 FULL : around 21/3 stops on upper part, long transition, the filter for images where the
sky predominates.
Sunset 1
Sunset 2
lower part, paler, gives the rest of the image the early evening
effect desired.
• The 2 available models differ only by the intensity of their tint:
they will increase the exposure setting by 2/3 or 1 stop, delivering an
effect that is much more pronounced. They excel for backlighting
or silhouette effects
• If, at dusk, there is little or no sunlight, this kind of filter is sure
to give you a fantastic helping hand.
• SUNSET 1 : around 2/3 stops on upper part, long transition, the right
choice for a moderate effect.
• SUNSET 2 : around 1 stop on upper part, long transition, the filter
for radiant sunsets. Even allows for the creation of a sunset in the
middle of the day!
SERIES 80 – 82 – 81 – 85
As everyone knows, the colour warmth of daylight constantly varies, from dawn to dusk. Our
eyes do not notice this, thanks to an automatic phenomenon of adaptation. It is the same with
artificial light, which varies considerably according to the emitting source – electronic flash or
tungsten lamp, for example.
The emulsion immediately reacts to these differences, which translate into prevailing colours that
are more or less pronounced depending on the light source and the type of film. The colour correction
or conversion filters are available to correct these shifts in colour.
In digital they remain a more sure, precise and predictable solution than the white balance setting included
with digital cameras, whether it be automatic or pre-adjusted to generic values.
These filters belong to two families – blue or orange – depending on whether they cool down or warm
up the light. In each family they come in various intensities intended either for strong colour conversions
or for fine adjustments. Each filter carries out a very precise shift in warmth, expressed in Kelvins or
in Mireds (see the table opposite). A few amongst them are essential, such as the 026 and 027 (81A and
B), while the others have very specific uses. For example, shots using tungsten lamps of 3,200 Kelvins
with a daylight film.
The Z-PRO filters are perfectly calibrated, to the nearest Mired, to answer the most
specific professional demands. For precise filtering, a colour meter has lost none of its usefulness,
not even in this age of digital photography!
> Photography Lee Frost
3 blue filters of series 80 are technical conversion filters for use with daylight films
under artificial lighting with tungsten lamps or other
warm sources. The most powerful conversion is that
of filter 020 (80A), each filter of the series lessening
in intensity from there.
• Even when one works with “artificial light” films,
these filters can help correct, for example, the
prevailing colours of tungsten bulbs. For indoor
shoots, stop before completely correcting the dominant warm tone so as to maintain the ambiance!
Blue 80A
Blue 80B
Blue 80C
On the other hand, the series 80 filters – especially
the 020 (80A) – can be used in the middle of the day
to yield a very strong prevailing blue, giving the illusion of a night-time shoot. This is the famous “Day
for night” filter, invaluable to filmmakers!
• BLUE (80A) : conversion of 3,000 K to
3,200 K. + around 2/3 stop
• BLUE (80B) : conversion of 2,900 K to
3,200 K. + around 12/3 stop
• BLUE (80C) : conversion of 2,800 K to
3,200 K. + around 1 stop
3 filters produce subtle corrections in colour temperature in order to reduce or eliminate
certain warm colours that dominate the image; for example to get a more neutral depiction
of a façade illuminated by the setting sun, or to make skin look less tan when under a hot light.
Used less frequently than the Series 81 filters, these are often used in a context contrary to their intended purpose – to reinforce the prevailing natural blue colour of some shots, in misty or snowy weather, before a sunrise or in the rain – so as to emphasize the atmosphere.
Blue 82B
Blue 82C
all the colour conversion filters the Series
81 filters are the best for everyday use.
Available in 5 intensities, from the weakest
– the 026 – to the strongest – the 037 – they
warm up light gradually, thus responding well
to lighting conditions which photographers
confront most often.
• So, on cloudy days, a 026 filter (81A) or a
027 (81B) will add a light touch by counterbalancing the bluish part of the light. But in good
weather, they will enhance your subject with a
pleasing shade of tan.
• For a stronger effect, the 028 (81C) and 035
(81D) filters reinforce warm lights, such as
those at dawn or dusk, especially if the subject
is well-suited for it, like an autumn forest or
wheat fields.
• As for the 037 (81EF), reserve its use for
special cases: a pale sunset which you wish to
reinforce or when you want a very noticeable
• Finally, with the 039 (81Z), your subject will
instantly gain the effect of 6 UV cabin tanning
sessions! For light-skinned models, the effect
is guaranteed... and less dangerous! For landscapes, each autumn forest will turn immediately into an “Indian summer”. This is an effect
filter that deserves the name!
> Photography Lee Frost
With experience and practice, you
will know right away which filter
to use. Avoid potential overcorrections which can often be
unpleasant: yellow-tinted clouds
suggest pollution, and a model
with skin that’s too yellow looks
These filters combine very well
with diffuser or pastel filters (see
pages 42 and 43). Three of these
combinations exist as specific
COKIN filters, the Warm Diffusers
(see page 46).
• WARM (81A) : conversion of 3,400 K to
3,200 K. + around 1/3 stop
• WARM (81B) : conversion of 3,500 K to
3,200 K. + around 1/3 stop
• WARM (81C) : conversion of 3,600 K to
3,200 K. + around 1/3 stop
028 • WARM (81D) : conversion of 3,700 K to
3,200 K. + around 2/3 stop
• WARM (81EF) : conversion of 3,850 K
to 3,200 K. + around 2/3 stop
• WARM (81Z) : conversion of 3,450 K to
3,400 K. + around 1/3 stop
Blue 82A
• BLUE (82A) : conversion of 3,000 K to
3,200 K. + around 1/3 stop
• BLUE (82B) : conversion of 2,900 K to
3,200 K. + around 2/3 stop
• BLUE (82C) : conversion of 2,800 K to
3,200 K. + around 2/3 stop
3 filters are either “super” warmers or conversion filters with a specificity: their respective intensity
does not increase, as with other filters of the series, but is irregular; the 030 is the strongest, the
031 the weakest, and the 029 falls between the two.
they correct, for example, the strong dominant blue of shaded places in sunlit exteriors
(029) or on cloudy days (031).
These filters are great for reinforcing, very naturally, a sunset or a landscape of dunes or autumn undergrowth with backlighting, thus
giving the full measure of their effects. They also combine marvellously with soft filters.
• On the other hand, they allow for the use, during full daylight with films balanced for artificial lights,
of type A (029) or B (030) filters, without the dominant inherent blue.
• ORANGE (85A) : conversion of 5,500 K
to 3,400 K. + around 2/3 stop
• ORANGE (85B) : conversion of 5,500 K
to 3,200 K. + around 2/3 stop
• ORANGE (85C) : conversion of 5,500 K
to 3,800 K. + around 1/3 stop
CONTRARY to the 80 Series filters (blue or orange) which are designed to rectify prevailing chromatic tints coming from the differences in colour temperature
between the film and that of the light source(s), the colour compensating filters
(cyan, magenta and yellow) correct dominant monochromatic colours, linked to various causes, from intrusive reflections/glare/undesired rays to reciprocity failure.
Originated from the famous Kodak® Wratten gels, the COKIN CC filters are equivalent to them
chromatically, but have proven to be much more rugged/resistant in the long term. Working
on the principle of subtractive syntheses of colours, these filters – each available in 6 different intensities that can be combined as necessary – allow for correction of any chromatic
Their uses are numerous and varied : balancing a mixture of light sources, compensating an
aging flash tube, rectifying the occurrence of intrusive reflections/glare/an undesired ray,
correcting the colour discrepancy in B mode that comes from reciprocity failure, removing
the chromatic variation of certain films, etc.
Their use is a matter of experience and attention, check of the film manufacturers’ instructions, knowledge of the light sources, and – with the latter – the use of a three-channel colour
meter, such as the Minolta® III F, which measures ambient colour temperature and works
directly with the CC filters.
Besides these purely technical uses (that often come up in commercial, industrial, or architecture photography), these filters can also play a very interesting creative role by introducing a dominant colour, subtle or
pronounced, according to the type of filter used. One can also discreetly emphasize the tint of certain pale
subjects with a filter of density 05 or 10 in the appropriate colour.
with the kind authorization of the Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu.
> Photography Ariel Greco
•These filters let red, blue and magenta tones pass, but block (absorb) greens.
•These filters let blue, green and cyan tones pass, but block (absorb) reds.
CC 05C
CC 30C
CC 10C
CC 40C
CC 20C
CC 50C
• CC 05C : cyan density 5
+ around 0 stop
• CC 10C : cyan density 10
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 20C : cyan density 20
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 30C : cyan density 30
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 40C : cyan density 40
+ around 2/3 stop
• CC 50C : cyan density 50
+ around 2/3 stop
For each combination of
diaphragm and speed, there
is a corresponding quantity of
light that reaches the film or
the sensor. The “reciprocity
law” implies that if one
increases the exposure length
by one setting while closing
the diaphragm by one value,
this quantity of light remains
However, this law does
not take effect neither for
very long exposures nor for
those which are extremely
short. This is what’s known
as “reciprocity failure” (also
called the “Schwarzschild
In practice, you only need to
worry about this for exposure
times faster than 1/10,000th
of a second or slower than 1,
10 to 100 seconds, depending
on the type of film used. Film
sensitivity diminishes then
rapidly, requiring, on one
hand, an additional increase
in exposure time and, on the
other hand, a specific filtering.
All film manufacturers publish
technical brochures – not
only for this kind of film, but
also by emulsion type – which
specify the conditions of use
of their products according to
the exposure time used. The
filtering needed under these
conditions requires CC filters.
As than example, the Fuji®
Velvia® requires an exposure
correction of + 2/3 stop for 10
seconds of exposure as well as
a CC 10M filter.
In some cases, the prevailing
tints that come from these
discrepancies are absolutely
astonishing. Depending on
your tastes – or the demands
of your clients – you can either
consider them as creative or...
attempt to correct them !
> Photography Jean-François Alexandre
CC 05M
CC 10M
CC 20M
CC 30M
CC 40M
CC 50M
• CC 05M : magenta density 5
+ around 0 stop
• CC 10M : magenta density 10
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 20M : magenta density 20
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 30M : magenta density 30
+ around 2/3 stop
• CC 40M : magenta density 40
+ around 2/3 stop
• CC 50M : magenta density 50
+ around 1 stop
•These filters let red, green and yellow tones pass but block (absorb) blues.
CC 05Y
CC 10Y
CC 20Y
CC 30Y
CC 40Y
CC 50Y
• CC 05Y : yellow density 5
+ around 0 stop
• CC 10Y : yellow density 10
+ around 0 stop
• CC 20Y : yellow density 20
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 30Y : yellow density 30
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 40Y : yellow density 40
+ around 1/3 stop
• CC 50Y : yellow density 50
+ around 1/3 stop
With digital shooting, the use of these filters is still relevant, as much for the simplicity and
time gain that they bring in practice, as for the sureness and predictability of their results.
Yes, an automatic white balance can work well, but in the large majority of difficult situations, good filtering during
the shooting remains and will always be preferable. One can certainly attempt to apply the same correction to
the image during post-processing, but the time spent will not be the same, by far! And you must still know how
and be able to do it, for you risk not being able to correct the dominant unwanted tints, because in this case
you must add colours.
filters are in fact ultraviolet blockers, light rays whose wavelength is below 400 nm and to which our
eyes are not at all (or just barely) sensitive. But that significantly affects films as well as photo or video
sensors. It results in a characteristic prevailing blue, particularly evident at high altitudes – where the UV rays are very
intense – at sea level, and in aerial photography.
• These filters visibly reduce atmospheric haze at far distances and cut
down this dominant blue. They only intercept UV rays and therefore
For those who wish -I N
in theory add no colouration of their own. In practice, this is geto permanently protect the
nerally not the case!
front part of their lenses from dust,
• The neutral UV N (230) really is neutral: the Skylight 1A
scratches and various projectiles, COKIN
(232) introduces a dominant rose and makes the images a
also offers protection filters of a very high
little warmer, without completely attaining the effect of
quality, in mineral or organic glass depending
an 81A, for example, while the UV Y (231), very light yellow,
on the model, in standard or thin (“slim”) screw
diminishes the dominant blue very often associated with
mounting, in over 20 diameters from 25 to 86 mm
UV rays. These three filters improve the sheen of images
and in 7 different types: three UV (standard, neutral
and none of them requires exposure consideration.
or multi-layer coating), and four Skylights, 1A and
Sky Neutral
1B (each available as standard or multi-layer
coating). Now you can satisfy all your
needs and ensure the long life of your
precious optical components.
You should know that the COKIN CR39® filter has the inherent
capacity to screen out UV light – the cutoff point is at 400 nm
– so it is not necessary to add one of these 3 filters if you are
already using any other Z-PRO filter.
• UV Sky Neutral : chromatically neutral
anti-UV filter. + 0 stop
• UV Y : presents a very light yellow tone,
ideal for diminishing dominant blues.
+ 0 stop
• Skylight 1B : presents a rose tone,
Skylight 1B 232 makes colours a little warmer in shady
or cloudy weather. + 0 stop
tubes – which come in various models
and which therefore can wear out
to varying degrees – emit a discontinuous spectrum of light
characterized by a very strong proportion of green. With a film
balanced for daylight, this translates into a very characteristic
prevailing greenish tint that, while it adds a certain look to
images that some people appreciate, can be very difficult to
remove completely ...
• In the absence of colour compensating filters (CC, see page
39), perfectly adapted to this type of lighting, a more simple
solution consists in opting for filters designed specifically for
use with fluorescent lighting and which exist in 2 types: FLD for
films balanced for daylight, and FLW for those that compensate for
artificial light. Combining a colour warmth conversion action
with a correction of the specific dominant tint, these filters
strike a balance as best they can among the range of situations
that can present themselves.
When one is confronted with mixed lighting – and this is often the case - we
can either resort to tedious preparation (filtering the windows or the floors
one by one with special gels), or choosing a specific graduated filters, FLD
or FLW, depending on the type of film used. The upper part of these filters
is intended to work with “neon” lighting, and the bottom part is neutral.
Correctly positioned, they constitute a solution as rapid as it is elegant and
easy to implement for solving problems created by many of these mixed
lighting situations.
> Photography V. Diamy
> Photography José Joaquin Castro
the spectrum of light visible to the human eye – which is roughly between 400 and
700 nm – one finds infrared light, which we can perceive by way of special films, black
and white as well as colour, and today, via digital sensors, at least those without anti-IR filters (or with
removable ones).
• In order for these different media to fully record the effect of the inner spectrum of infrared light, one needs a filter that
blocks the visible spectrum and lets infrared light pass through. That is precisely what the 007 filter does, in the same way
as the Kodak® Wratten® 89B filter.
• The resulting image will vary considerably depending on the film or sensor used.
In black and white with a professional film such as Kodak’s® “High Speed Infrared”, the image taken with COKIN
007 filter will have a characteristic aspect: blue skies will become almost black and vegetation will take on various
shades of white, giving it a surreal appearance.
In colour, with an emulsion such as the Kodak® ”Ektachrome Professional Infrared EIR”, the image will present absolutely
surrealistic tones, varying between magentas and blues with a yellow filter (001), shifting over to yellows and
reds with an orange (002) or red (003) filter, and
reaching its maximum effect with the IR filter (007).
Auto-focus and exposure meters are here completely
The infrared filter is an endless source of research
and inspiration.
Think about shifting the focus forward to the infrared mark of
The arrival of digital cameras has further sustained
your lens (if there is one!) and adjust the aperture as much as
the keen interest in creative infrared photography.
For the exposure, taking the indexes on the technical brochure
The basic effect is close to that obtained in black and
of the film as a starting point – in digital, push the sensitivity
white film, but the possibilities of post-processing
but not beyond 400 ISO – measure the exposure manually, with
open the door to virtually limitless creative possibilities.
the filter in place; take a number of shots (2 to 4 stops over the
Once you have assured yourself that your sensor can
calculated exposure) by increments of one stop; do preliminary
tests before starting to shoot...
record the inner spectrum of infrared light, think of
Finally, work preferably with a tripod to avoid all fuzziness lincarrying out a specific white balance beforehand with
ked to prolonged exposures!
the IR filter in place for best results.
• FLW : for films balanced for artificial light. + 0 stop
• Gradual FLW : for films balanced for artificial light and in case
of mixed sources. + 1 stop
• FLD : for films balanced for daylight, for use preferably with
mixed sources. + 2/3 stop
• Gradual FLD : : for films balanced for daylight and with mixed
sources. + 2/3 stop
Infrared : blocks all visible light
up to 650 nm, allows 50% of
light to 720 nm and more than
90% of the infrared beyond.
+ 6 stops
Working with infrared imagery is quite demanding. Among other
issues, the film must be loaded in complete darkness and must
be kept cool at all times, numerous tries are necessary, and the
results can be unpredictable. But they are worth the effort put
into them!
In digital, the effort goes into the time spent in postproduction!
Time-consuming but so captiviting!!
Basically, one opens the file, the image being in brown-red
tones; change it over to black and white by completely desaturating the colour image (avoid using greyscale); finally adjust
the light/colour setting until obtaining the desired result. And
practice makes perfect, as usual, for creation of images that are
out of the ordinary, even magical.
When one wishes to bring a romantic or mysterious atmosphere to an image, to put
an often disappointing reality in its best light, or to give the image a visibly painterly
appearance, every image creator must need, at one time or another, a diffusion filter
whose effect is either barely perceivable, or that lends a somewhat dreamlike form to
the image.
In this area, the choices COKIN offers are as vast as its worldwide reputation. The Z-PRO line
offers 20 filters of this kind, presented in the 6 following pages.
According to whim or necessity, in numerous photographic domains (portrait, fashion, nature or landscape, to
name but a few), photographers and filmmakers time and again choose the COKIN soft diffusion because of their
variety paired with such remarkable quality.
Diffuser and Pastel filters are among the most difficult to manufacture. Indeed, toning down an image is not the
same as making it out of focus... It is all a matter of balance and mastery of the diffusion of light, as engineers of
specialized optics well know. These types of filters transmit, depending on their degree of diffusion, 70 to 90%
of the image’s original sharpness, and use other processes to obtain the effect of diffusion for the rest of the
spectrum, playing either on the sharpness or the contrast, or both.
outstanding images taken with a COKIN diffuser filter are now too numerous to mention ! These filters use
an exclusive COKIN process created by its founder and kept carefully secret ever since in the company
laboratories. It’s the way they diffuse the light from the luminous points of the image that gives shots that
characteristic aspect. Copied numerous times but never equaled, the Z-PRO diffuser filters exist in 4 intensities,
from the most subtle to the most marked. There is nothing else like them on the market.
• The Diffuser Light (820) is best for landscape photography and intimate portraiture. There is no equal for reducing
facial wrinkles and small imperfections of the skin and is almost unperceivable.
• With the Diffuser 1 (830) and especially the Diffuser 2 (840), you can literally make the years melt away as if by magic,
leaving behind only radiance and glow. As for nature shots, they will have a completely different dimension! Discovering
these filters means entering into a world of images that were the mark of an era, and when one flips through a current fashion
magazine, it’s clear that they’re back in style!
• The Diffuser 3 (850) offers such a great diffusing potential that it virtually transforms itself into a shower
curtain and you are propelled into Brian de Palma’s “Dressed to Kill”. The nude remains its subject of choice.
• Diffuser light : subtle diffusion
• Diffuseur 1 : visible diffusion
• Diffuseur 2 : marked diffusion
• Diffuseur 3 : total diffusion
820 Diffuser
830 Diffuser
840 Diffuser
No exposure change.
> Photography Ariel Greco
these filters you enter right into a romantic atmosphere, so strong is their effect on the image.
They add a soft, unique touch to portraits; hair flows
like silk, skin is warm and expressions languid. As
for still lifes, they come close to the appearance of a
painting, attaining an incomparable atmosphere that is
delicate and fresh.
• These two filters – the second being simply stronger
than the first – bring out lively colours and intense lights,
diffusing and treating them like an artist.
These filters give superb outdoor results, in cloudy weather, and
indoors when light is coming sideways from a window. The exposure is sometimes a delicate issue. Double, even triple your exposures by overexposing at intervals of 1⁄2 or 1 stops. Finally, these
filters combine wonderfully with coloured orange or blue filters to
create a specific look, or even with graduated colour filters.
Even if the most
recent software
versions have made
great strides in the
area of out-of-focus
shots, one must still
keep in mind that they
canno’t recreate the
quality and the variety
of diffusion effects with
filters. Consider that,
with filters, results are
obtained instantly, they
are perfectly predictable and you can change
them very simply and as
many times as you need
until you obtain your
desired result. In one
case you are in front
of your model, in the
other, in front of your
computer screen...
• Pastel 1 : strong effect,
portraits, still lifes, landscapes.
• Pastel 2 : very strong effect,
portraits, still lifes
Pastel 1
086 Pastel 2
087 No exposure change.
on an everyday basis in cinema for some time now, the net filters diffuse and disperse reflected
light. The Z-PRO line offers four net filters. Depending on their tonality, they conserve and
contrast (blacks), or diminish (whites), reducing the power and the saturation of tints. According to the
fineness of their mesh, their effect can be marked or discreet: the tighter the mesh is, the more pronounced the diffusion.
• In portraiture, these filters reduce or eliminate undesired reflections on the skin, such as on the nose,
the chin or the forehead, whether they be due to the sun, to flashes, or to spotlights. In landscapes,
they ensure a harmonious distribution of light when using backlighting, bringing their unique touch to
the image.
the results obtained
with diffuser filters
are closely linked to
the intensity and the
quality of light used.
Think of overexposing
by 1/3 or 1⁄2 of a stop
to accentuate their
effect. You will then
see that bright lights
take on a completely
different dimension!
In addition, the effect
is in general much
than with an open
diaphragm. Finally,
do not forget that
with certain filters,
auto focus will stop
As a general rule, one can say that their effects are strong for small details
while uniform surfaces are only slightly affected. Always place them in the
first groove and do not go past an aperture of 4 or 5.6 while working, especially
if you’re using a wide-angle lens, otherwise you risk having their structure
appear on the image.
They are in essence wide-aperture filters which means that they may raise a few
difficulties for use with landscapes where a wide depth of field is required.
Net Filter 142 Net Filter 143
1 White
1 Black
• Net filter 1 White : marked diffusion effect, diminished
contrasts. + 1/3 stop
• Net filter 1 Black : marked diffusion effect, retained
contrasts. + 1/3 stop
• Net filter 2 White : discreet diffusion effect, diminished
contrasts. + 1/3 stop
Net Filter 144 Net Filter 145 • Net filter 2 Black : discreet diffusion effect, retained
contrasts. + 1/3 stop
2 White
2 Black
WHEN one wants to both often an image and make it warmer, the Z-PRO line offers three
filters suited to the task: the warm diffusers. Their double effect lends itself to numerous
applications: portraits, weddings, beauty photos, still lifes, landscapes, etc. There are many
subjects to which these filters add a touch of seductive romanticism – very seductive at that !
For portraits, these 3 filters have in common the capacity to smooth away physical imperfections,
make skin more beautiful and illuminate faces when the subject is back-lit.
For landscapes with warm tones – autumn forests or a countryside at harvest time, for example
– these 3 filters reinforce the seasonal colours and produce a welcoming atmosphere whose effects
can go beyond the image.
These are just a few subjects where the association of a certain degree of soft focus and a more or
less pronounced warming up of the light can be quite useful!
In practice, think about shifting to manual focus if you work with an auto-focus reflex... As a general rule, these 3 filters accommodate
themselves better, outdoors, to bright lights that they transform into gentle morning or late-afternoon lighting.
WHEN the idea is to enhance the subject while isolating it within a lightly blurred border, the CenterSpot filters are the appropriate response. There are 6 of these filters in the Z-PRO line; they form a
coherent set with multiple possibilities, in which each filter has its distinct personality.
The central zone of sharpness can be small and round, or much larger and of oval shape; their peripheral
power of diffusion declines, depending on the model, in 2 densities; their use is optimised for wide-angle
lenses of 20 to 35 mm (with 35mm film, Center-Spots WA).
Created essentially for use with portraits, the Uncolored and Grey Center-Spots can also lend their
specific touch to still lifes or some landscapes.
As for the Oval Center-Spots, they are designed for use with full-length portraits or two-shots, they are
used most typically in wedding photography.
The apparent size of the zone of sharpness is a function of the focal distance used (think of the conversion filter factor
of APS sensors!); the shorter the focal length is, the more visible the zone will be. As for the transition from sharp to
soft , it depends on the aperture: the wider it is, the more diffuse the transition will be. For a correct adjustment with
auto-focus reflex cameras, the choice of an AF central collimator is obviously required...
> Photography Ariel Greco
Created for the 10th anniversary of the company, already more than 20 years ago, this
filter combines a very strong capacity for «warming» tones up – in fact, it is the equivalent of a 81EF (037) filter – with a good level of diffusion, that of Diffuser 1 (830).
This filter offers the lowest level of diffusion – that of Diffuser Light (820) – and warms tones less,
in the way an 81B (027) does. Its result is more natural.
It warms tints as would a beautiful evening light (or a 039 filter...) and delivers
a level of soft focus that is ideal for faces. It is without a doubt one of the most
appropriate filters for “glamour” portraits.
Softwarm 696
• Sunsoft : combination of filters 830 and 037. + 1 stop
• Softwarm : combination of filters 820 and 027. + 1/3 stop
• Diffuser Warm : combines a salmon tint (0.39) and a light blur. + 1/3 stop
> Photography Ariel Greco
These filters create blur around the central subject in a completely
natural-looking way, giving the subject prominence in the image.
We recommend working with apertures of ƒ/5.6 or ƒ/8 in order to keep a sufficiently blurry transitional zone. A strong backlight – balanced if need be with
a small flash or a reflector – brightens the effect of the filter. The surrounding
blur is much stronger with the 071 filter. These 2 filters are to be used preferably with focal points between 20 and 35 mm (in 24 x 36).
C. Spot
070 C.Spot
WA Incolored 1 WA I Incolored 2
• Center-Spot WA Incolored 1 : the ideal filter for beginners. + 0 stop
• Center-Spot WA Incolored 2 : more pronounced blurred perimeter. + 2/3 stop
These filters work by blurring and darkening the periphery of the
image in a more or less noticeable way. The intensity and the quality
of the central subject’s lighting are clearly emphasized.
Use the same instructions as for the Uncolored Center-Spot filters for the aperture
and focal points. The periphery of the 073 filter is darker, reinforcing its effect.
Be sure to adapt the choice of your Center-Spots to the general tonality of
your image to make it more harmonious.
C. Spot
072 C.Spot
WA Grey 1
WA Grey 2
• Center-Spot WA Grey 1 : good fusion level of fore and backgrounds. + 11/3 stop
• Center-Spot WA Grey 2 : more marked peripheral shadowing. + 2 stops
For larger or taller subjects, you should opt for the oval Center-Spots which
come in 2 tonalities for the surrounding blur, clear white or charcoal grey.
• If wedding photography is still their main use, it’s because these filters help
to make unsightly settings less noticeable, centering the attention on the happy
140 Oval
couple. They can also be used in numerous other situations requiring the same
C.Spot White
C.Spot Black
effect: still lifes, landscapes, or even sometimes sports.
• Oval Center-Spot White : peripheral blur in white tones. + 1/3 stop
• Oval Center-Spot Black : peripheral blur in charcoal grey. + 1/3 stop
THE SPECTRAL sensitivity of panchromatic black & white films deviates from
that of the human eye, especially in artificial light. The black & white specific filters
allow for the differentiation of colors translated into excessively close nuances of grey.
As for the sepia filters, they are the answer for those wishing to recreate the images
from times past.
COKIN filters are completely unique. They are not exactly the same as their Wratten® or Kodak® counterparts, but are optimized to obtain the best graphic effects possible in each of the 5 tints of the line.
Used in colour, they generate effects that are absolutely spectacular!
• For understanding which filter to use with black & white photography, there is one simple rule : to brighten a colour
you must choose a filter of the same colour, and, to darken, you must use a filter of complementary colour. Thus, a
green filter will brighten vegetation and a yellow or orange filter will darken the sky.
In black & white, everything being a question of nuances and contrasts, these filters constitute a
powerful method of expression, no matter what the subject is.
> Photography Wilson Castaneda
• Yellow : darkens blues, brings out clouds well, diminishes atmospheric haze. + 2/3 stop
• Orange : brightens reds, darkens violets and blues, reinforces contrasts in landscapes and architecture
photography, ideal for outdoor nudes. + 12/3 stop
• Red : strongly brightens reds, darkens blues and greens, creates spectacular stormy skies. + 31/3 stop
• Green : clearly brightens greens and darkens reds, ideal for nature photography. + 22/3 stop
• Yellow-Green : darkens blues and brightens green tones, very good filter in general for landscapes, works
wonderfully with portraits. + 2/3 stop
tones are perfect for the creation of images from times past. For suitable subjects (portraits, landscapes or
still lifes, for example) you can either photograph them directly – with colour film or digitally – with one or the
other of the two filters available, or re-shoot black and white images (on the copy stand, if needed) with the 005 filter – in
colour, obviously.
• In both cases, using a filter is without a doubt the most rapid and efficient method for obtaining images in pleasant
sepia tones, rather than subjecting yourself to long and tedious work with film or digital.
THE COKIN GROUP has some 80 employees, works with around
250 subcontractors, and its global network has more than 100
exclusive distributors. Whether it is research & development,
manufacturing, marketing, sales or product distribution, each of
the players in this human-sized company keeps a daily watch on
the firm’s rigorous quality standards and works to ensure the
best possible service for its customers.
COKIN represents a wonderful demonstration of what happens
when an outstanding manufacturer enhances its recognized
know-how by taking the opinions and comments of its numerous
professional customers into account. The quality of the company’s
products and its references are its greatest assets.
and brilliant inventor, Jean Coquin is also at the origin of
an industrial process that distinguishes
itself in many special ways.
First – astonishing in this era of globalisation – all of the optical products
in the Z-PRO line are manufactured in
Second, COKIN makes itself what
constitutes its raw material – plates
of CR39® glass – in one of the company factories in Alsace, France. This
approach, carried out at each level of
production, constitutes the best guarantee of constant quality throughout
the entire manufacturing process.
• The quality controls at COKIN are the
same that one encounters throughout
the precision optics industry; every
filter is individually inspected at least
4 times, every filter-holder 7 to 8 times.
The human eye remains in each case
the decisive element in this constant
search for quality!
• The manufacturing of filters alternates
between manual and machine operations.
Behind COKIN’s industrial achievements,
there are still women and men, shaped
by a remarkable company culture.
In addition, the qualified company personnel have an average of 25 years on
the job... An immense store of know-how,
a constant will to do the job well, a special
dyeing process carefully kept secret
– these are just some of the numerous
assets that explain the excellence of
COKIN products.
> Photography Jean-François Alexandre
Sepialight 045
• Sepia : pronounced tonality, ideal for
reshooting black & white photos on the
copy stand. + 32/3 stop
• Sepialight : lighter tonality,
recommended for direct shoots.
+ 3 stop
are numerous and prestigious,
and include...
NASA’s Space Shuttle program: use
of special filters for their telescopes.
CINEMA, Akira Kurosawa, director;
Fabrice Rousselot, head cameraman;
and many others have chosen COKIN
filters for their films.
COKIN, leading-edge
Research &
for more than 40
is one of the rare
companies that really
lends an attentive ear to the wishes and
the questions of its users.
• It is also one of the rare brands to
manufacture products conceived and
created by professionals, FOR professionals. The Z-PRO line is a remarkable
• The Z-PRO filter-holders are a combination of technology and industrial
accomplishment: each component,
each material, each piece, each coating
is a response to an astonishingly complex
set of specifications.
Thus, in this case alone, the choice of
a rather flexible high-tech material for
the strips used to tighten the filters, and
that of another material, more rigid for
the large plate, requires the expertise of
numerous specialists...
• When one realizes that over the
years COKIN has seen over twenty
imitations of its products and today
there remain but one or two, it becomes
clear that COKIN has achieved an extraordinary feat.
Guaranteed worldwide
over 100 COKIN distributors worldwide provide a permanent dialogue
with image craftsmen, photographers or cameramen, no matter where they are on earth, to
satisfy and if possible anticipate their needs.
• The majority of COKIN distributors have been
doing so for many years and have a perfect
knowledge of the products. One could almost
say that, anywhere you go on this vast planet,
you will find your preferred filters.
And when one is a
“pro”, this counts
for a lot!
The properties of a polarizing
filter come from the effect of
an aceto-butyrate film on polarized light. This film is extremely fragile and is often not
completely flat when applied. It
is therefore pressed between
2 mineral glass lenses of very
high optical precision. The
reasons behind the exceptional optical quality of the COKIN
Z-PRO polarizing filters can be
seen in the details of how this
process is carried out.
• The polarizing film is bonded by machine to the two
mineral glass lenses with a
special optical glue, then
vacuum-sealed at a specific
temperature. This method assures its flatness and eliminates micro-bubbles sometimes
resulting from gluing, in the
same way that soaking slides
in oil before placing them on
a drum scanner allows for
elimination of possible scuffs
and imperfections. The seal
is assembled at the edges to
insure its durability and it is
polished all once again to guarantee optimal quality.
• This method also means
that the number of air-to-glass
surfaces , —a troublesome
source of flare— is reduced:
rather than six air-to-glass
surfaces, you have only two,
improving the performance
of the optical transmission.
Subjected to a continuous and
rigorous quality control, the
COKIN manufacturing process
guarantees you uncompromising image quality.
• From the very first image
taken, the benefits of using
this exceptional filter will
be obvious: absence of any
dominant tints (greenish, for
example), absolute neutrality,
sharpness and reinforced colour saturation. All clear signs
of the durability and quality
of the COKIN PRO polarizing