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Advice on filters appreciated


13 Jan 2009 10:21PM
Hello, I am a new member to the site and am hoping that someone might be able to help me with some advice on filters. I have recently purchased a Nikon D80 with 18-70mm lens. I am think about buying a polarising filter and also experimenting with ND filters. I have looked at Cokin and also Lee, but I am a little confused regarding quality vs price etc and where the money would be best spent. I see that Cokin have the A series, P series, Z-Pro...!! Also is this a better option than say the screw on variety such as Hoya? In future I would like to buy a telephoto zoom and it would be useful if the same filters could be used.

Many thanks for any advice.
Jerry

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strawman e2
11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2009 10:34PM
Jerry, for your camera the filters I would recommend are;

1 Graduated filters if you want to darken the sky down (think of 1,2,3 stop ones)

2 Circular polarisers

3 If long exposures are your thing then Neutral density could be handy

4 If you want to try Infra red then one of those.

When using graduated filters, square filters are the best, so you can move the graduation point about. If you go the Cokin filter series then I advise avoiding the A series as they are too small. The P-Series can be thought of a budget series, and they will be fine for your existing lens and telephoto. You just buy the adapter ring to suit your camera lens. The Z series are bigger and made from a better grade material so they can be used on very wide angle lenses as well as the rest (e.g 10-200 sigma).

Many rate the Hoya series as better again but they cost more again. I have and am happy with the Cokin Z series. I found the P series to suffer from colour casts. With these types of filters you buy a holder and get different lens thread adapters. So you get one adapter ring for each lens size, but use the same filters on all lenses.

Polarisers can be had in square or screw in varieties. As the lenses I use filters on are all the same thread size and I only use one filter type at a time I went for screw in. Also circular polarisers (as opposed to linear ones) are supposed to work better with modern camera focusing and metering systems. For the same lens size reason I use a screw in neutral density filter.

And infra red again I will only use one and I am buying a screw-in Kood one after reading some web articles as I know it will work with my lenses and camera.
13 Jan 2009 10:45PM
Hi strawman, thanks for the advice, that was exactly the type of info I was after, especially about the Cokin range. I would rather spend a bit more on better quality filters than spend less and find I have bought the wrong thing.

Cheers
Jerry
strawman e2
11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2009 10:48PM
No problem but let me point out my typo's

first many think that Lee not Hoya make a better alternative to the Z series. and the sigma lens is the 10-20 a 10-200 would be an interesting lens.

Try going on an EPZ meet as members are very good about letting you borrow filters for half an hour or so.

Good luck.
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
14 Jan 2009 12:48AM
Don't be afraid to start with Cokin P holder and filters, they can be found very cheap on Ebay, and it's easy to remove a colour cast on the PC. The P system is great for finding out what you will need, and you can get a top quality one later. I had Cokin Z and sold it because here in Canada I couldn't find a destributor, and I ended up paying a fortune in shipping and exchange on the dollar. I'd definitely go with Lee in the future, because they're available everywhere, including used.

Good Luck
15 Jan 2009 10:06AM
Thanks straycat, appreciate the advice. Money is always an issue and sometimes you have to balance between what you want and what you can afford!
Cheers
Metalhead
7 1.9k 2 England
15 Jan 2009 10:30AM
Have a look at Hitech aswell. I think they're regarded as "better than budget" filters but not as good as Lee filters. They also fit the Cokin P size filter holder (the Hitech 85's do) but they also do 100mm square size as well.

I've got ND Grads from them, 1, 2, and 3 stop, plus a 1-stop ND filter. They seem to be good enough for my amateur needs!
Metalhead
7 1.9k 2 England
15 Jan 2009 10:37AM
This link will take you direct to the ND Grads I was thinking of. 12.77 for the 85mm square size.
Strobe e2
7 1.3k United States
15 Jan 2009 1:04PM

Quote:Have a look at Hitech aswell. .

I have a D80 and use Hitech with a Cokin holder, I think they are excellent and good value for money
NEWMANP e2
6 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2009 1:16PM
i have used cokin grads for a while, cant say i have had any problems,
i see lots of comments about must use Lee, must use Hitech. can someone explain the benefits other than the obvious which is they are clearly better made, is there are difference optically, what effect does it make on the image, etc,
regards,
Phil
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
15 Jan 2009 1:20PM
Phil, if you have had no problem, then thats fine.
Some people (me including) have problem with color cast when using cokin with 40D, but not with Lee.
I generally prefer the filter holder system of Lee, much easier to use, much better quality.
strawman e2
11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2009 1:22PM
I agree the Lee holder is better but the 40D thing is strange as I have a 40D and Z-Pro's and not noticed the problem. It could be a batch thing??
NEWMANP e2
6 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2009 1:49PM
what sort of cast are we talking, its kind of hard to tell without a comparison, and if you shoot raw and tend to underexpose, not being awkward just want to know if i could get significantly better results. i tend to hold my filters anyway so the holder things not an issue for me, im talking Nikkor lens by the way
Phil
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
15 Jan 2009 2:02PM
magenta cast, on the top half where the grad take effect.
handheld is too awkward as you might get reflection or flare if it is not parallel to the lens.
CathyT e2
8 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2009 2:09PM
I used to have the Cokin P filters....didn't like them.....kept getting casts and also the edge of the holder can appear in the photo which is really annoying...in the end I bit the bullit and went for the Lee system. Personally I think you should buy only once .

Go for the Lee.

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