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Thread: How many stops?

  1. #1
    Member Mircula's Avatar
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    How many stops?

    Hi,

    I am going to travel soon and was wondering if you could give me some quick advice on landscape filter options.


    I have a circular polarizer so I guess I am looking at ND and ND graduate filters.

    I am just not sure how many stops I should get. I do not want to carry 5 filters so what would be a good range from your experience?

    Also what mid price range manufacturers are there? I wouldn’t buy high end filters but do not want cheapies either….


    Thank you for the advice!!!

    Cheers,

    Mirc
    Constructive criticism is most welcome!!!

    Canon 40D, 100-300 5.6 L
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    Sunrise Chaser
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    For what It's worth, I use two Filters , And the combination works for Daylight Landscapes and Sunrises /Sunsets, Both are Cokin P Series , P121m 2 stop and P121s 3 stop , About (From a camera store) $30 for the holder,$49 each for the Filters , There are other brands Hitech and Lee's , Singh-Rays etc A lot more dollars though , Hope this healps a little - Bill
    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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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Go for Cokin filters. You will need a holder and adapter for your lens filter thread size.

    A basic starter would be 2 and 4 stop ND (4 stop not available in Cokin but brands like HiTech from the UK do 4 stoppers). Note there is some very confusing naming of filters, for example a 2-stop filter can also be described as a 0.6 or ND4.

    Soft and hard grads of 2 and 4 stop also. Soft and hard refer to the transition. Hard grads are required for stuff like sunrises and sunsets where you have a straight horizon. Soft grads are a lot more forgiving and suitable for general daytime use.

    Square filters such as the Cokin type filter are the only way to go with grads. A convential grad filter is useless as you cannot adjust the graduation up or down.

    I know I have recommended 6 filters, but they are flat and will all fit in a single box (designed to hold up to 10) or a pouch (various sizes).

    The beauty of this system is if you have several lenses with different filter sizes, you just need to get an adapter - around $5 from eBay for P-series and $30 for Z-pro and don't need to by any new filters. Oh, plus it is the only sensible way to use a grad.

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    The Hoya ND filters are quite reasonably priced and good quality. A 3 stop will be a good one to get in the ND and with Hoya that would be called an ND8. You can also use your CPL filter stacked with the ND to give you an extra couple of stops too if required. I havent used a grad filter as yet but from what I hear 1 to 3 stops are the norm.
    Canon 500D.....EFS 18-55 - EFS 55-250
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    Hey,

    thanks so much for so quick answers....

    Read only bad things about the cookin system so far, some kind of colour cast....But it seems it is a bit of luck which version you are getting.

    I would go for a filter system for flexibility with the grad filtes.
    So are the only options, Cookin with chance of colour cast, or expensive Lee or Singh-Rays?

    Thanks again!!!!!

  6. #6
    Sunrise Chaser
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    Just a question Mirc, You said you read about Luck with Cokins, Reason I ask is I have just bought a new set of Cokins, (To replace my old scratched ones) The old set had a huge Magenta cast in some situations on Sunrise skys, But to my amazement the new set dont have any Colour Cast at all Very natural greys which has shown up in some of my latest Seascape uploads , I thought they may have fixed the problem with a new batch, I must have been lucky and got the revised ones , Where did you read about it ? - Bill

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    My Cokins have always been fine as for colour caste, neutral. I also use the P121m and P121s graduated and they are my most used filters other than the polariser.

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    Unless you are multiple-stacking. Etc three filters then, casting should not be an issue.

    I've put two Colin Zs together without drama.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Canon 7D : Canon EF 70-200mm f:2.8 L IS II USM - Canon EF 24-105 f:4 L IS USM - Canon EF 50mm f:1.8 - Canon EF-s 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6
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  9. #9
    Sunrise Chaser
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    I only ever put in two, And thats only a little while when the sun is nearing Horizon, On Sunrises that is , Before and after It's always , Either the 2 or 3 Stop by themselves

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    Member tomtom1's Avatar
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    If you're just getting started, Cokin are fine.

    Hitech are a midrange brand you might like to check out.

    I went straight to Lees when I started and never regretted it.

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Colour cast with the Cokins isn't a problem until you stack filters to around 6-stops or more. The cheap eBay TianYa are good to a total of around 5-stops.

    My HiTech 8-stopper does show a colour cast under some lighting conditions but not others. I know of people with the 10-stop HiTech who report no colour cast.

    I have never had a situation where the colour cast has been a huge problem but I guess if you did something insane like shoot with 10-stop worth of cokin filters and had sodium vapour lighting to contend with, it may be interesting.

    If you have never used these types of filters, Cokin is a good starting point as you can get a reasonable set of filters for the price of 1 Lee or Singh Ray filter.

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    Hi,

    thank you, very informative!

    I guess I will go with cokin and see how i go.

    So to come back to the origin. How many stops to start out with landscape? Should i get one 2 stop and one 3 stop? And also not sure which GND i should get....

    Cheers.

  13. #13
    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    One 2-stop and one 3-stop (ND4 and ND8) as a starter in NDs

    If you shoot straight horizons like out to sea, sunrise/sunset or use ultra wide angles, I would be inclined to go for a hard GND. A soft GND is better for hills and irregular shaped horizons as it is more forgiving but less useful for sunrise/sunset. I usually use a 3-stop but if you intend travelling and will be working with less harsh light than normally found in Australia, a 2-stop GND will do. I don't think Cokin do a proper hard grad but they do have a very nice 3-filter graduated ND kit that costs about the same as 2 filters.

    For a starter kit, I would pick up the Cokin 3-filter graduated ND kit and a 3-stop ND filter. Add a 2-stop ND later if you feel the need. You also need the Cokin filter holder and an adapter ring to suit your lens.

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    Great advice, thank you very much Peter.

    Do you know if there is any shop selling them at a reasonable price? I move out tomorrow so I do not have a shipping address anymore before i leave....Internet is always cheaper but I will be in Sydney so maybe some shop sells them there....


    Thanks,

    Mirc

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    Hi
    Paxtons in George Street just north of Wynard Station entrance, were stocking Cokin

  16. #16
    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    Nikon on Broadway are probably the cheapest in Sydney. Here is a link (terrible web site so I guess this is how they keep their prices low) http://www.nikononbroadway.com/

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