Great Impressions on First Attempt! Testing new Kenko PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION magnetic filters

May 18, 2021 by Alireza Vafa

Rocks illuminated with last sun rays. Kenko PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL lets me catch the deep colors of pure rocks by eliminating any reflections, also creating a deep blue sky using C-PL function.

Through this article, I like to simply share my fascination and the results of my first photography session using my newly received Kenko PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION magnetic filters. In a nutshell I could express my feeling after this experience as: "This new system is the advent of a new chapter on filter concept".

I decided to test this system the day after receiving it in the middle of April 2021. At this time, we faced restrictions on allowable hours of vehicle movements due to the pandemic, so I had to head back to the city very soon. So, my trip to a location at the heart of nature was summarized in catching the golden hours of sunset which last just for one and half an hour. I hoped to get to the location on time, atop a mountain river with a beautiful scenery of waterfall, rocks, and mountains in front.

Every second has its own character specifically at golden light moments, so fast responses is the main issue. I use only one lens, a 300mm f/4 with 1.4X converter attached to my camera to reach different subjects from the same standpoint location. With directly illuminated rocks by sunlight and the presence of moving water in the river and the waterfall, at least two filters should be utilized for professional outputs. But why two filters? Kenko PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL has the whole spectrum of NDs from 1.5 to 8.5 stops with a C-PL as bonus, so one is enough and with the aid of the new Instant Action system, just a click and ready to go!

Kenko PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL attached in front of my lens, easily and sturdy just by a click!

Majesty of nature, the beautiful rocks illuminated by last sun rays are taken through a 300mm f4.0 lens with Kenko PRO1D+ Variable NDX3-450+C-PL attached.

Respecting the presence of moving subjects such as the waterfall at the mountain or the river beneath, I would like to apply a dark ND filter in order to capture motion flow in a dramatic way. When we typically use dark NDs specifically at low light conditions, such as a waterfall flowing through a valley which is illuminated indirectly by a dusky sky, framing and focusing is a real challenge. By using the PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL, I could easily overcome these issues and, after framing and a perfect focusing, the filter could be easily set to higher numbers.

The motion flow of the waterfall is captured dramatically on the long exposure using PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL. Moreover, the CPL extracts pure colors of all subjects, including rocks and newly grown vegetation, by cutting the reflections.13 seconds exposure on the high end of PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL creates a beautiful motion flow around the stone at the river. But before the main long exposure, framing and focusing was an easy way at low numbers.

And finally after the sunset, a special scene with illuminated mountains at the far horizon caught my eyes. Again, I could easily frame my subject with low ND numbers of the PRO1D+ INSTANT ACTION VARIABLE NDX3-450+C-PL filter, then switching to high numbers for the main shot. The following images show the difference of a short 1.3 second versus a 30 seconds long exposure.

Before After

Before After

Unfortunately, I had to go back home before a specific time that night so my experience was limited to that moment. I was really enjoying the flexibility and performance of this specific multipurpose filter in the field. It is so precious in every aspect and I will carry it in my bag hereinafter.

As a passionate Astrophotographer mainly working under dark skies, the innovative attached/detached magnetic mechanism of the newly Kenko Instant Action series has a great privilege which I could not find in any other systems on the market. Now, I am waiting to receive my adapter to attach my Cokin diffusers and Kenko Starry Night filters with magnetic mechanism to all lenses for night photography sessions, and looking forward to the expansion of other types of filters in the lovely Kenko Instant Action system in the future.

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