Which filter system do you use? Individual Screw-ins or Cokin style plate filters

Which type of filters do you prefer for a combo of CPL/GND/Colored GND/IR


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keast

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Nov 2, 2007
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#1
Was wondering which system do majority of your working pros and amateurs use. Would like know and understand the pros and cons of using these two different ways,
like eg:

Does Cokin P system suffers from light leakage from the top and bottom gap,

Any problems faced with using plate CPL in conjunction with GND filters (eg your CPL has to turn until here, but for your GND you want it at another angle)

Getting all screw filters in 77mm and use a step down ring for smaller D lenses VS P system? etc

Vignetting? Which one suffers more

Any issues with using 82mm D ultra wide zooms on P systems?


Filters mounted in question would be CPL, GND, colored CND and probably IR

Hope some advices from you old birds!
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#2
Hi Keast

I am an amateur as much as many here, but will try to answer some of ur queries

I am not sure what you mean by light leakage. But if you have something shining brightly onto the surface of the filter surface facing the lens ( e.g a light source behind you ), yes you might get stray lights of sorts. But the gap is pretty small actually. ( I like to handhold my filters against the lens - not because of flare, but rather of convenience )

I have not tried fixing my holder onto my screw mount CPL ( cause again I handhold my GND filters ). You might have to preadjust the CPL ? - I would imagine it to be pretty troublesome unless time permits for such refined adjustments. Or are you referring to the sproket mount CPL that are held by the Cokin filter holders ?

Cokin comes with their own adapters for their holders for different sizes, can accomodate ur 52mm as well.

Vignetting comparing with ? The screw in filters have a greater risk of vignetting. My screw in ND filter vignettes a little with my 12-24mm at wide end, but the rectangular ND filter is good.

Ryan
 

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ExplorerZ

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Jan 9, 2006
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#3
if you are using those ultra wide like 10-20/12-24, anything thicker than a piece of normal UV filter will cause vignette, and the regular cokin holder that hold 3 pieces of the filter will cause vignette on any of these lens as well, alternative would be to get the wide angle version that can only accommodate 1 filter at a time.

like what giantcanopy said, handholding is more convenience and probably reduce the risk of vignette when you are stacking filters.

as far as CPL goes, i prefer using the screw-in slimprofile type without any UV filter and then adjust for maximum polarization effect before stacking(either handholding or a wide angle cokin holder) on GND/ND... etc

It seems far more easier to use screw-in CPL than those cokin type especially so when you are not using any tripod. its also one less problem when you try to include in GND.

And FYI, the P-system is the most common one and also the one i am talking about. To effectively eliminate those vignette issue on ultra-wide angles,you might need to use their Z-pro or X-pro which is :sweat:. http://www.cokin.com/ico15-A.html
 

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#4
I use a combination of both. Cokin P-wide system for GND and other brands' threaded/screw-ins for color & circular polarizer filters. But I actually don't use filters very much nowadays. They sit in my dry cabinet most of the time. Hahahaha.

As far as your concern about vignetting, IIRC the Cokin P-wide vignettes slightly on my 17-35mm lens on a film body (might vignette on full frame DSLR too). Not sure if it vignettes on other lenses.
 

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giantcanopy

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#6
Handholding a P size filter on 77mm filter is not too bad, there is still sufficient width for the lens as long as you are not holding too far off from the lens. I usually slap the filter onto the lens itself when handholding. ( most of the lenses I bring are 77mm in filter diammeter )

P size is a nice size to fit onto pockets for travelling. ( I usually put it in a filter carrier which still fits onto my shirt pockets.

Ryan
 

Henessy

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Feb 1, 2006
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#7
Handholding a P size filter on 77mm filter is not too bad, there is still sufficient width for the lens as long as you are not holding too far off from the lens. I usually slap the filter onto the lens itself when handholding. ( most of the lenses I bring are 77mm in filter diammeter )

P size is a nice size to fit onto pockets for travelling. ( I usually put it in a filter carrier which still fits onto my shirt pockets.

Ryan
Sry, what I mean is that you can't adjust the filter much on the 77mm lens. Cos there is not much space to move.
 

giantcanopy

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#8
Sry, what I mean is that you can't adjust the filter much on the 77mm lens. Cos there is not much space to move.
There are some that are longer than the standard Cokin P holder. but width ( 84mm ) will still be the same to fit the P holder system.

Mine is slightly longer ( 120mm ) than usual for more extreme placement. Having said that, there is still a limit to where I can place the transition. I cannot place it at say the lower 10% of the picture ( but i have not seen a need for that really )

I think the Lee P size filters are also longer than the Cokin ones

Ryan
 

insanekvn

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Aug 1, 2008
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#10
where cab we buy plate filter like tianya in singapore? im from indonesia so I donno :D hehehe ;p
edited: where *CAN* :p sorry wrong ><
 

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giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#12
But some of this Cokin-like graduated ND have very steep gradient. As in half black, half white, not much gradient transition.
A snap I took of my filters some time ago



The right being a typical +2 GND with the darkest from top to the centre ( The left is a +2 reverse grad with darkest in centre and lightening outwards to the top )

In either case a transition can be seen between the half ND gradient half clear junction. The harshness of the transition is more pronounced in hard step GND filters vs the soft step GND as seen here.

Ryan
 

Henessy

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#13
A snap I took of my filters some time ago



The right being a typical +2 GND with the darkest from top to the centre ( The left is a +2 reverse grad with darkest in centre and lightening outwards to the top )

In either case a transition can be seen between the half ND gradient half clear junction. The harshness of the transition is more pronounced in hard step GND filters vs the soft step GND as seen here.

Ryan
May I know what is hard step and soft step?

Then how do people usually deal with the transition since it will be present in the photos?

Thanks
 

giantcanopy

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#14
May I know what is hard step and soft step?

Then how do people usually deal with the transition since it will be present in the photos?

Thanks
Hard step has a more defined transition point than compared to a soft step GND

I generally love the soft steps because the placement is more forgiving. Transition for my 2 stop is not harsh.

Here is a 2+ soft step in action, the transition is hardly noticeable.



The hardsteps have a more limited role and is good for scenes where the delineation is more marked such as a seascape for example. But for the Singh ray ones I am using, even the transition is gentler compared to the hard step ones by other makers.

If i did not say this was shot with a hard step, would you have figured where the transition was ? :bsmilie:



Ryan
 

Henessy

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#15
Hard step has a more defined transition point than compared to a soft step GND

I generally love the soft steps because the placement is more forgiving. Transition for my 2 stop is not harsh.

Here is a 2+ soft step in action, the transition is hardly noticeable.



The hardsteps have a more limited role and is good for scenes where the delineation is more marked such as a seascape for example. But for the Singh ray ones I am using, even the transition is gentler compared to the hard step ones by other makers.

If i did not say this was shot with a hard step, would you have figured where the transition was ? :bsmilie:



Ryan
Thanks for sharing. But may I know how do you deal with the colour cast problem present in cokin filters?

Thanks
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#16
Thanks for sharing. But may I know how do you deal with the colour cast problem present in cokin filters?

Thanks
The color cast issue is not consistent. I have seen posts regarding Cokin and magenta cast in forums like photo net / nikonians / fredmiranda, and some especially their higher stop NDs can turn out really funky. But not all are so. Maybe QC is not there or different batches.

After learning that, I decided not to get any in the first place. I started out with Singh Ray and has been using it since. PP a selective graduated area to remove cast is too tough and time consuming for me :) ( I am not really good in post postprocessing actually, I only live on a few handful of basic tools ) There are other brands with good IQ as well.

Ryan
 

Henessy

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#17
The color cast issue is not consistent. I have seen posts regarding Cokin and magenta cast in forums like photo net / nikonians / fredmiranda, and some especially their higher stop NDs can turn out really funky. But not all are so. Maybe QC is not there or different batches.

After learning that, I decided not to get any in the first place. I started out with Singh Ray and has been using it since. PP a selective graduated area to remove cast is too tough and time consuming for me :) ( I am not really good in post postprocessing actually, I only live on a few handful of basic tools ) There are other brands with good IQ as well.

Ryan
So singh ray one does not produce and colour cast? May I know which model are you using? Mind PM me the link? Thanks
 

giantcanopy

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#18
So singh ray one does not produce and colour cast? May I know which model are you using? Mind PM me the link? Thanks
There was once I stacked three up and started getting slight tinge of red, but might be inherent of the sunrise / sunset scene I was getting at. I hardly stack more than two. One works well for most of the time. A VariND goes very well with another ND or a GND.

I initially experimented with a +2 soft step GND and a +2 reverse ND grad
The others I am using include their +3 hardstep GND, +4 soft step GND, +4 ND
and a 77m thin VariND filter. Covered most of the situations I encounter ( mainly landscapes ) dun think i need any for a long time till their resin breaks down.

But I am interested in their LB filters though :bsmilie:
Maybe get one to try for my nxt trip

Here is the link to their site http://www.singh-ray.com/grndgrads.html

Ryan
 

Henessy

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Feb 1, 2006
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#19
There was once I stacked three up and started getting slight tinge of red, but might be inherent of the sunrise / sunset scene I was getting at. I hardly stack more than two. One works well for most of the time. A VariND goes very well with another ND or a GND.

I initially experimented with a +2 soft step GND and a +2 reverse ND grad
The others I am using include their +3 hardstep GND, +4 soft step GND, +4 ND
and a 77m thin VariND filter. Covered most of the situations I encounter ( mainly landscapes ) dun think i need any for a long time till their resin breaks down.

But I am interested in their LB filters though :bsmilie:
Maybe get one to try for my nxt trip

Here is the link to their site http://www.singh-ray.com/grndgrads.html

Ryan
Wah didn't know that singh ray is so expensive!

Anyway, why do people use the hard step GND? Also, does the GND filters produce any colour cast if I don't stack? Cos for the price of it, I think quite close to a LEE GND filter which produces no colour cast.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#20
Wah didn't know that singh ray is so expensive!

Anyway, why do people use the hard step GND? Also, does the GND filters produce any colour cast if I don't stack? Cos for the price of it, I think quite close to a LEE GND filter which produces no colour cast.
Most consider Singh Ray to be one of the top makers. You can even ask them for custom made ones with your specifications. The reverse Grad was previously a custom made for a landscape photog.

You can get a better bargain for Lee. Their filter sizes are bigger and about the same or cheaper than the smaller Cokin P sized Singh Ray ones. If you need only P size, the Lee is definitely better value for money.

The soft step has a gradient over a wider area. The hard step is good if you want the ND portion to darken out more evenly

Here is a shot taken on a very bright sunny day with a +4 soft step GND some time back.
The transition of the GND is actually placed at the horizon. A hard step will bring about more even darkening because of the rather short graduation of the gradient, but less versatile unless cleaner horizons.



Ryan
 

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