Kenko PRO1D+ Instant Action System Review

Optical Material of this review were taken from the official Kenko Global website (www.kenkoglobal.com).
All other photos of this review were captured by Christophe Anagnostopoulos.
May 31, 2021 -> Full Review was published.
***Reading Time: 15 minutes***

Intro

I love simple but smart ideas that can make our life as photographers easier.
As a photographer and filmmaker, I like using high quality filters in my workflow to control light in the scene, and when Kenko announced the new Pro1D+ Instant Action System I was excited to use this new system.

The new Kenko Pro1D+ Instant Action is a revolutionary magnetic filter attach system, that lets the user attach his filters instantly to the lens magnetically.

I have often missed shot opportunities as the screw-on filter “didn’t want” to mount properly on the lens filter thread, either because my hands were too cold or I was wearing gloves, or simply just because I was hurrying, and the placement angle of the filter towards the lens was wrong.
Actually once I managed to lose an ND filter like this, as due to my rush to get the shot, I didn’t attached it properly to the mount and after a couple of seconds, the filter fell into the sea..

Anyways, I’m sure that many photographers have experienced these issues at least once in their work.

So, comparing to the traditional screw-on filters, the main advantage of this new system is the easiness of use, as the filters can be attached instantly, saving precious time in your workflow.

Kenko Pro1D+ Instant Action System

The new system has currently available the following filters:

UV L41

A filter that blocks ultraviolet light at 410nm, and also acts as a protector for your lens.

C-PL

The classic, must-have circular polarizer filter that blocks unwanted reflections and adds saturation to those beautiful blue skies.

Variable ND3-450 with C-PL

A great tool in the arsenal of a creator as it can reduce from 1.5 to 9 stops of light depending on the needs of the shooting, including a CPL filter at the same time!

Close-Up

A set of filters with Diopter (Magnification) Numbers of +1, +2, +3, +4 that can transform your lens into a macro one, by shortening the minimum focusing distance of your lens.

Available Sizes

The above filters are currently available at the most common sizes, starting from 49mm and up to 82mm, except Close-Up Filters that are available up to 77mm size.

There is also available for this system the Pro1D+ Instant Action Conversion Ring, a separate ring that will allow you to “transform” your regular screw-on filters to magnetic, that will let you re-use your old filters by saving time by attaching them to the new system.

All filters are available either as Solo Package (Filter Only) or as Set Package (including the Adapter Ring).
You can find more info about the system here -> Kenko Global

What’s Inside the (beautiful modern) Box

Inside the colorful box you will find the filter, that comes in a secure plastic case with protective foams on the bottom, and in case you selected the Set Package, you will also find the Magnetic Filter Thread so that you can immediately use the new system on your lens!

Build Quality, Lens Handling & Design

Kenko is a comprehensive optical manufacturer that produces high quality optical and photographic products, so you can expect excellent optical performance and build quality of the filters.

The aluminum frame material of the filters is of highest quality, having inside the magnet that attaches them to the super-thin and lightweight magnetic filter thread.

 

 

The Pro1D+ Instant Action Adapter Ring allows the lens cap to be attached and by being super-thin and lightweight, you can simply leave it attached on your lens all the time.

 

 

In terms of the optical materials, the filters have Water-Repellent and Anti-Stain Coatings to ensure the best possible performance on the field.

 

*Disclaimer*

I’m a Global Ambassador of Tokina since 2017, however this is not a paid post, and I’m only expressing my personal thoughts and experience using this new filter system from Kenko.

How to Attach the filters

First you must mount the Screw Adapter Ring to the lens, and then you simply attach the magnetic filter to the Adapter Ring.
Voila! Everything is ready to be used!

User Experience

I already mentioned some of the usual problems when using screw-one filters, so it is time to see how the new system performs in real photography situations.

My main consideration (before receiving the filters) was about the actual strength of the magnets and if they could hold the filter(s) properly and secured when in example I was photographing in a scenery with high winds (like the island I currently live) or in a steep angle on my tripod ball head, but that considerations had simply vanished immediately away as soon as I had the system on my hands.

The magnets are very strong, and the filter is safely attached to the magnetic thread.
No matter the weather conditions (humidity, winds, rain, cold, etc), the filter (or the filters in case you stack two of them) is safe and secure on the magnetic thread!

By the way, it is possible to stack more than one filter, and being more specific, that would be the UV and the C-PL (this is the correct order), or the UV and Variable ND.
Please note that the Variable ND filter doesn’t allow the lens cap to be attached, compared to UV L41 and C-PL.

So far based on all my tests, I didn’t see any visible vignetting, even on my ultra-wide angle lens, or any color cast issues.

UV L41 Test

As mentioned before, the UV L41 filter blocks ultraviolet light at 410nm, and while the difference in the following example is small, it is still visible.

Without FilterWithout Filter

Checking the image histogram, we can see the small but visible difference in the wavelength.

No FilterNo Filter

C-PL Test

Without FilterWithout Filter
Without FilterWithout Filter

Variable ND Test

Without FilterWithout Filter

Close-Up Test

Close-Up +2

Close-Up +4

Personal Thoughts

I have many times stated that simplicity is the key, especially in these complicated times we are living.
In a photographic world where most photographers are always on the search of this new, great but often complicated tool, here comes a great, simple but 100% efficient idea that already changed drastically my workflow, saving me valuable time, allowing me to do my work faster and easier.

After having them on my hands the last couple of months, the new system and filters are always attached to my Tokina atx-m X lenses, and with their small and lightweight size, they also saved me space on my camera bag!
I expect to see more filters in the future, like in example 10-stop ND and maybe a Graduated Blender ND, further expanding the current line-up!

Conclusion

A highly recommended filter system for both photographers and videographers, who want to minimize the time between changing filters with a super easy attach procedure.

Ratings

Build Quality:8.9 out of 10 stars (8.9 / 10)
Handling:9.3 out of 10 stars (9.3 / 10)
Size and Weight:9.4 out of 10 stars (9.4 / 10)
Optical Performance:8.9 out of 10 stars (8.9 / 10)
Features:8.5 out of 10 stars (8.5 / 10)
Ease of Use:9.7 out of 10 stars (9.7 / 10)
Value for Money:9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Average:9.1 out of 10 stars (9.1 / 10)

Highly Recommended!

Kenko PRO1D+ Instant Action

Did You Know?

Kenko brand is a comprehensive optical manufacturer that produces high quality optical and photographic products that dates back to 1957.

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