Kenko has announced the new ZXII filters that it claims are the flattest ever produced. Using its “Floating Frame” technology, the company says that distortion is nearly completely eliminated.
The new filters are available in two types: UV and Protective.
Kenko explains that in most cases, filter glass is clipped inside a metal frame in a way that holds it in place by exerting permanent pressure onto the glass through direct contact. The company says this causes the glass surface to become distorted, and that as a result image quality is worsened.
By using Floating Frame Technology, Keno says that it has created a special elastic buffer layer between the glass and the frame and has succeeded in firmly fixing the glass without the need of the repressing ring and without directly touching the frame, which it says has reduced the pressure to an “absolute minimum.”
“The glass element remains totally flat and is not distorted or twisted inside the frame at all,” Kenko says. “The image quality remains so good that the filter is also highly recommended for 4K and 8K.”
For demonstration purposes, Kenko says it placed the filters on Newton Standard glass, a flat surface with an allowable error margin of ±0.1μ. The flatness is evaluated by the number and form of Newton rings.
Left: Traditional filter; Right: Kenko ZXII filter
“It’s been now five years since the start of the production of the ZX series,” Kenko says. “The ZX series was the first filter to be assembled using a special elastic buffer, which required various techniques to keep the distortion of the glass to a minimum, giving us a hard time since the very beginning. We have now mastered the art of assembly and are able to produce the ZXII filter, our new product in the ZX series, with consistent high quality.”
In Practical Use
Kenko illustrates what photographers can actually expect from using the new ZXII filters in the images below by comparing visible ghosting in an image.
In addition to the promised claims of better image quality, the filters are water and oil repellent and are made of high-density UV glass for what Kenko says results in clear and haze-free rendering of images with no impact on the colors of the visible spectrum. The company also claims no vignetting and an extremely thin design.
Pricing and Availability
The company will launch multiple protectors and UV filters in various sizes. The full list of products can be seen on the company’s website. Pricing outside of Japan has not yet been announced, but a 77mm lens protector retails for 8,809 yen, or about $76.