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Thread: Cokin Filter Testing

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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Cokin Filter Testing

    Have just recently bought a P series ND Grad kit which consists of a ND2, ND4 and a ND8 filter set.
    Also to start - I am very happy with the filter set and for anyone starting out with filters I found a cost effective alternative as I start out with filter usage.
    Now I have the adaptor ring and about an hr to play with today I thought I would have a play to get a feel for using them.
    Also thought it may be worthwhile posting some rough finding for those newer to photography and interested using grads.
    This is a bit of a first for me in as much as posting a mini review but see how we go. Maybe lacking more technical appreciation of my mini test but hope if is of some interest to a few members.
    I also have to say that I am still very much an amateur in photography and even newer to lanscape with Grads so any of the more experienced feel free to correct or comment for th benefit of all. The purpose of my test was to see how the grads handle more extreme conditions.

    So, my interest in this short self learn this morning was to see how the filters may be used in direct sun as a lot of my photos will have semi direct sunrise or sunset on the horizon.
    Sun was relatively intense for this time of the yr.

    Gear: Canon 50D with Tamron SP AF 17-50 with P series cokin holder attached - all taken on tripod. Sun offset to the right.

    The first shot is with ND8, around f18, AV mode - unprocessed

    1a.


    I think the grad does a good job of softening the light to allow better exposure of the foreground, I did notice any real flare issues out of the normal with the Tamron for this type of shot. Sharpness does seem ok and colours but there is a slight colour cast I think which is said to be a problem with Cokin grads.

    The same image with some very quick and dirty processing - my real goal is to allow better processing of the forground that would normally be quite blown out in such strong sunlight.

    1b.



    The next two shot were using the ND4 and the ND8 stacked, I don't think I would stakc that often but was interested to see the effect.

    This shot with the stacked filters and no processing

    Flare seems no worse than I normall get in my Tammy. Colour, contrast etc look ok, colour cast is obvious but correctable I issume. Has really darkened the bright sky and allowed control of foreground exposure. Sharpness did appear impacted a little when viewed at 100% but not enough to conern me.

    2a.


    2b.

    Again, same image with some quick and dirty processing -



    I would same that my play session is not the most likely conditions I would be using grads but would save not totally unlikely. More so I was interested in the benefit of using the grads and wanted some strong sunlight for this test.

    Anyway, I thought this may be of interest to some members as it was to me. I am very happy with the filter set and value they can add to a photo. Again, these shots are not typical of how I would use the grads but more around what they can do.

    3. This last shot is a high apeture setting f22 directly into the sun as I had heard about reflections back into the camera. I would not think I would be taking shots with the sun so central but was interested to see. I think you can probably cound each element ring in my tammy.



    OH!, and yes, there is a couple of dust bonnies on my sensor that I did not see the need to clone out but also interesting is how easily the dust tht had accumlated on the filter has come through.
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciated

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    Very interesting I must try it as well
    Regards
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine View Post
    Very interesting I must try it as well
    Regards
    Thanks Pine - it was interesting to test this, only disappointment was I only had about an hr to wrap it all up and get it posted. Was just an after thought when I uploaded that others may fine it of some interest. I expect some scattered cloud tomorrow morning so want to try and get away early so I can have a play in sunrise conditions. I am assuming if this is how the filters handle very strong light they will be excellent in conditions of less harsh lighting. Will know soon enough I suppose.

    What I found most interesting (as rescently advised) I was with the in camera histogram also to try and get the best exposure and did find it very educational on the setting, filter against histogram. Actaully, I am finding this much more interesting than I thought, it has give me a new lease on landscape photography.

    One thing I should have done was take a shot without filter but I think it is obvious that to get the sky correct the foreground would be pretty blown out or more likely visa versa. This is what initially drove me to start with filters, blown out sky's or very dark and potentionally noisie forgrounds. If I ever get good enough at this landscape etc photography will be saving up for a 5D MkII, I love my 50D but seems full frame is the way to go for theis genre from what I ahve seen.
    Last edited by mikew09; 26-06-2011 at 11:42am.

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    Hope you enjoy your experimenting. I use Cokin NDs and NDgrads, mainly for dawn shots, and the main issue I find is lots of obvious flare spots when the sun is low and close to the edge of the frame. It seems less of an issue when the sun is more centred. There is mostly some sort of red cast but this is easily adjusted in photoshop or just left as is - sometimes the red cast looks great! If you buy a full frame body you might find the edges of the Cokin P multi-filter holder are visible at the widest focal lengths. I use a 17-40 lens and need to set it to 20mm or higher to avoid seeing the holder, at least while in landscape orientation. It isn't an issue on a 40D body though.
    Rod.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roburg View Post
    Hope you enjoy your experimenting. I use Cokin NDs and NDgrads, mainly for dawn shots, and the main issue I find is lots of obvious flare spots when the sun is low and close to the edge of the frame. It seems less of an issue when the sun is more centred. There is mostly some sort of red cast but this is easily adjusted in photoshop or just left as is - sometimes the red cast looks great! If you buy a full frame body you might find the edges of the Cokin P multi-filter holder are visible at the widest focal lengths. I use a 17-40 lens and need to set it to 20mm or higher to avoid seeing the holder, at least while in landscape orientation. It isn't an issue on a 40D body though.
    Thanks Rod for the info. Only done the play thing to date to get a feel for using them. I am hoping for some nice cloud on Friday morning to attempt my first real use of the filters. One thing I did find was the cokin filters tend to attract dust like flies to ..... , oh you know what so imagine I will have the dust brush pretty active between frames. Thanks again for the info.

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    Dust can be a problem - it might also be responsible for some of the flaring I talked about! Some people will be horrified by this but I often wipe the filters on the soft fleecy jacket that I am usually wearing at this time of year. Another thing you might find if you use them at dawn is that they can mist up in some conditions, particularly if you take them out of the inside of a warm camera bag and its a lot colder outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roburg View Post
    Dust can be a problem - it might also be responsible for some of the flaring I talked about! Some people will be horrified by this but I often wipe the filters on the soft fleecy jacket that I am usually wearing at this time of year. Another thing you might find if you use them at dawn is that they can mist up in some conditions, particularly if you take them out of the inside of a warm camera bag and its a lot colder outside.
    Hmm - I have heard they scratch pretty easily but I assume this is not the case if I clear the dust with a brush first and then use a micro fibre lens cloth. But if yours are survivng using you fleece jacket all will be good :-)

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    Hi,

    How much did the kit cost you, and where did you buy it?

    Thanks,

    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by unistudent1962 View Post
    Hi,

    How much did the kit cost you, and where did you buy it?

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Hi Mark,
    I am not sure I can say where I bought them in brissy - but if you pm me I can reply with details. I did try a site sponsor but nil stock which is the case for about 90% of the suppliers I spoke to. There is only one P series grad kit left on Tuesday on the self now and getting hard to get at the moment as I beleive Cokin is in finacial trouble and manufacturing stopped a little while ago - or so I am told. I think I paid around $80 or so, not sure exactly as I bought some other kit to. Was almost impossible to get the 67mm & 77mm adaptor rings and after ringing about a dozen on line retailers found a 67mm adaptor.

    To start out I think they are fantastic considering the price as you can get started with an adaptor ring and a 3 grad kit with holder for around $100. As I replace, upgrade I will buy the more expensive brand that are more robust etc, but until I understand what I really need these are just the trick.

    Hope tht helps

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    Today may be the day, Or not ! Roosta's Avatar
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    On Ya Mike, you'll love the Grad set, get them on when your near water if you get a chance, they serve you well.

    Uni The H250 or G250 set for Cokin P series are about $100.00 at any decent outlet, you'll need a adaptor ring to sit where you'd screw a filter onto the lens, say 58, 72, 77 what ever size, there about $20-$25 easy as that, then you can add to your collection at any time. You could try PMing Mark Chapman, I believe he's still at a quality camera store. Or check the site sponsors, say Quality Camera Sales, Stu delivers Australia wide.
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    Thanks Roosta - Uni, like roosts said you need the adaptor rings also. The kits are still about but I wouldn't waste any time getting the adaptor rings, I struggled to get mine. Oh, I also bought a ND8 grad too, worht while having I think.

    Sure will Roosta, can't wait to give them a try in the morning, conditions permitting.

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the replies.
    If Cokin are in difficulty, I'm not sure that buying into a system that may cease production would be a wise move on my part.
    I will probably investigate other options before parting with my cash, especially if adaptor rings are hard to find. At the moment I'd need 52, 58, 67,72 and 77 when I add a 10-22.

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    There are a number of other brand filters that fit the Cokin adapter and if you shop around pretty sure you will get the adapters. For the price you will hard to find any near Cokin and I figured it is the filters that will need replacing and like I said, plenty of other brands to fit Cokin P series. Not all size adaptive are hard to find, mostly the more common 67 & 7 mm.

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