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Thread: ND Filters

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular wideangle's Avatar
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    ND Filters

    I am interested an ND filter system, but one where I can just use one filter on all my lenses. In other words, a square piece of glass on a bracket, as opposed to a screw on filter. I am interested in experimenting with a series of different stops, from just 1 or 2 stops right down to 10. Can people recommend any setups that they have got and their experiences?
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  2. #2
    Cokin seems to be the choice for most. Various sizes of the square filter with most going for the P version to cover wider angle lenses. Cokin have two holders one that takes multiple filters and another for use with wide angle lenses where the filter is closer, so vignetting with 28mm lens is avoided. Cokin ND filters are resin and some users have applications where they prefer to spend more money and get glass filters to ensure there is absolutely no tinting or distortion. There are also more expensive systems that use metal filter holders as well as glass filters. Cokin have kits of 3 grad nds + holder that you can pick up for ~$150 if I remember correctly. I've not had a problem with my cokin setup but if you use absolutely top quality glass than the accepted wisdom seems to be go for the more expensive glass filters and perhaps some more secure metal holders as the plastic adapter rings and mounts do have some flex so whether you'd want to trust expensive glass filters to them is another matter. There's plenty of info on the net and the usual plethora of opinions where everyone is right and has the answer.

  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular ktoopi's Avatar
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    I will follow this with interest as I am in exactly the same position with the same question.
    Canon 5diii; Canon 7D; Canon 3.5 15-85mm IS USM; Canon 4-5.6 70-300mm IS USM; Canon 1.4 50mm , Canon Macro 100mm 2.8 L IS USM, Canon 35mm 1.4 L USM, Canon 24-105mm L IS USM, CPL and UV filters, manfrotto tripod and Lowepro backpack plus dreams for so much more!!


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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    I use a Cokin P set. Very satisfactory for entry level or until you feel like investing larger $$$.

    One thing you will need to keep in mind- The very wide lenses (10mm +/-) are likely to suffer some vignetting when used at full width with some holders. I 'modified' a Cokin P holder by removing the slides for all spaces other than for one filter and had to take the corners out. Works a treat, can only use one filter at a time though.

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Regular CherylK's Avatar
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    Ditto ktoopi. I have been researching cokin filters on the net as they probably suit my budget better. But say for eg. if you had a tokin 11-16 lens on a DX camera would the x pro series ND kit be the most suitable?

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    Thanks for everyone's input so far, really helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junqbox View Post
    I use a Cokin P set. Very satisfactory for entry level or until you feel like investing larger $$$.

    One thing you will need to keep in mind- The very wide lenses (10mm +/-) are likely to suffer some vignetting when used at full width with some holders. I 'modified' a Cokin P holder by removing the slides for all spaces other than for one filter and had to take the corners out. Works a treat, can only use one filter at a time though.
    So can you get filter holders that only allow for one filter to be held at a time, would this option of a cokin single filter holder then avoid vignetting with ultra wide angle lenses?
    Last edited by wideangle; 24-05-2012 at 3:57pm.

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    What's the darkest resin you can get with Cokin filters? I had a look at it seems to be x8. I assume that if you buy a filter bracket that can hold more than 1 filter at a time then you could stack two or more.

  9. #9
    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    The single filter holders are more expensive (work that one out). You can buy the cheaper eBay copies and modify those for a nth of the price. I use some of the Chinese filters too and have not had any issues with colour shifting, etc. The only problem one I had was for a grad filter with a wonky horizon, which they replaced.
    I bought some of the genuine Cokin stuff when I was in Japan, because it was heaps cheaper than here.
    I use a Nikon 10-24mm DX, as my widest lens, and had to perform the above modifications to work. The X series are a much more expensive option than the P series, but if you've got the bucks, then go for it.
    You can get a 400, rather than stacking the 8's. Think I might have found it on eBay. The 3 filter holder version is good when you want an overall reduction and want to add a grad also.
    Last edited by junqbox; 24-05-2012 at 4:22pm.

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    could some one confirm/dis-confirm whether there would be vignetting using a p series holder with a sigma 10-20 on a canon 60D crop sensor body
    Canon 60D - 24-105 F4 L - Sigma 10-20 - Kit lenses - 50mm F:1.8 - Tamron 90mm F:2.8 Macro - 430 exII _ Extension Tube Set


  11. #11
    Sunrise Chaser William's Avatar
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    You'l get a bit at 10mm, I use 2 filters stacked in the holder but It;s no problem at 11mm , Or shoot at 10mm and just crop the image a tad
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Ausphotography Regular CherylK's Avatar
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    Think I'll save myself a few pennies. You guys know heaps more than me so I think I'll be staring with the P series. Do you have any trouble with the little notches at the bottom of the holder? I have read that they prevent the filter from sliding down to where you might need it?

  13. #13
    Administrator (Site Owner) ricktas's Avatar
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    If you buy the Cokin Z-Pro holder system, it is a 100MM system and thus Lee Filters and others will fit into it. So you can set yourself up with a good foundation with the holder and then spend more on high quality filters down the track if you want to. After all the holder is just that, its the filters that matter.

    I have the Cokin Z-Pro system and use both Cokin and Lee filters in it.
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Get a cheap Chinese knock-off of a Cokin Z-Pro filter holder, them put Singh Ray filters in it.
    All constructive criticism accepted with gratitude.


  15. #15
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    keep it in mind that the holder isn't that essential unless you're doing long exposures.
    just hold the filter in front of the lens with your hand.

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    Hmmm so I bought a "Cokin Style" holder with 77mm ring and a set of 3 ND 2,4,8 filters of ebay all for under 20 dollars delivered.
    Assuming the filters them selves to be pretty poo but as mentioned earlier in thread will most likely but some actual Cokin or similar filters for the knock of holder.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If you buy the Cokin Z-Pro holder system, it is a 100MM system and thus Lee Filters and others will fit into it. So you can set yourself up with a good foundation with the holder and then spend more on high quality filters down the track if you want to. After all the holder is just that, its the filters that matter.

    I have the Cokin Z-Pro system and use both Cokin and Lee filters in it.
    Thanks Rick for your experience and advice, sounds like the investment in a 100MM system is worth it as it's flexible if moving to better glass such as the Lee filters. Have you used cokin and lee filers, what are you experiences with them in terms of IQ?

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    So I've been looking into this as well and it seemed from my research that I'd need the cokin X series since I'd want to use the system with my 16-35, does anyone have experience with this set up?

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    I have the Cokin system. You just buy a ring for the different size lenses that you have and the holder fits onto the ring. The rings are reasonably cheap so it does not cost a lot to cover all your lens line up. If you have a UWA lens you need a different holder (thinner) otherwise you see it in your wide angle shots. What I do not like about Cokin is the colour caste it gives to your shots, magenta shows through and the more you stack, the worse it gets. Lee are a better option if you can afford them.
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  20. #20
    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wideangle View Post
    What's the darkest resin you can get with Cokin filters? I had a look at it seems to be x8. I assume that if you buy a filter bracket that can hold more than 1 filter at a time then you could stack two or more.
    I have the Cokin set, and recently bought a ND16 (Not sure what brand. E-Bay special) Tested it the other day around 10:30am. A fairly bright day, and got a 2.5 second f/12 ISO100 shot off that worked quite well.
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