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Okay - me again - asking all of you out there about your thoughts and experiences with Cokin lens systems. I would like to purchase a ND filter to do some slow shutter stuff at the coast , probably with my wide angle lens 77mm fitting and I also quite fancy the idea of getting a grey grad filter for those landscape shots so I can keep the interest in the sky and someone suggested this system to save money. The problem I have is that I also use the kit lens quite a bit which is a 67mm fitting so I think that would be a problem. And... where is the cheapest place to buy this? I noticed that there are lots of copy ones on ebay, are these any good? Which ND would you recommend for those lovely coastal shots of milky waters? ND8? or more.
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Hey Jude (excuse the pun),
I think what you mean is the cokin filter system, but I get your drift.
I know many photographers who have used coking filters for an age, but I also know many others who were never really 100% satisfied with them. They are a good way to go if you are unsure how much use you'll get from them but if you think that landscape will become your main area of interest - save your money and buy something of better quality from the start.
The fitting on your lens isn't a problem with any square filter systems (cokin, hitech, lee etc). The idea is that you get the flexibility you need by buying a different adapter for the system. Basically the adapter goes on the lens, a filter holder goes on the adapter and filters slide into the holder. The quality of the holder in my experience is only 2nd in line to the quality of the filter itself. Sadly, in my experience it is the quality of cokin holders that have let them down for years - I find that over time sliding a filter into the 2nd slot (the first is intended or polarisers) leads to the scuffing of the filter itself. Another issue to consider is the focal length of you lens - at extreme wide angles the filter holder can come into view leading to vignetting on the image. What is your widest focal length, and what filter system were you thinking about? Cokin do four (I think) A, P, Z and X-Pro.
I was looking at the P range. My wide angle lens is a 10mm-24mm. Obviously I can buy screw on filters but they are horribly expensive - especially the ND ones.
I believe there is now a wide angle adapter that you can buy for the p range. I have a feeling it only gives 2 slots - not the usual 3, but to be honest that is no real problem. I don't know how they compare in terms of price but a good budget system (a compromise) would be the hitch system from formatt filters. You will probably still need to buy a wide angle adapter, but the 100mm filter size is more functional. I hear the holder is very good too.
By the way. Screw in filters will be very limiting if you go for ND grads. The flexibility of the the square system is that you can adjust the height of the transition point - making compositions where the horizon isn't central possible.
Be very careful because the wide angle adapter will only give a marginal improvement over the original holder. If you are considering using a 10mm-24mm lens you probably need to be thinking about the Z or X Series of filters. The only problem is the price. Because they are considered to be "Pro" filters they are premium priced and are much, much more expensive than the P Series. Have a look at Cokin's brochure here. It gives info on compatibility of filters with lenses of different focal lengths. The info you need is on page 10 of the brochure.
theres a set of cokin 'Z' available to buy in the classifieds
I recently tried my Cokin P series filter holder on my Sigma 10-20 to see what vignetting would occur, as I've bought a Hitech 10 stopper and will probably use it on the 10-20 as well as on my other lenses. There was a small amount of vignetting at 10mm. Zooming to 12mm took care of that, so I can either zoom to 12, or crop in post. I can live with either method! Hope this helps, Alex.
I have used the wide angle adaptor (Code number BP400A) on my p-series filters and Sigma 10-20mm for years and no vignetting occurs even at 10mm. Only downside is that you only get 1 slot instead of the normal 2 on standard p-series adaptor, but you get vignetting on that, as Alexander said previously. I have recently found though that stacking 2 cokin filters (X-Pro range) on my Canon 60D gives a really noticeable cast, which I never got using the P121S filter which was my favourite grad filter for landscapes.
Basically, If you dont want to spend too much money out and want the milky water coastal shots then the P121S and wide angle adaptor BP400A will do you fine as a starting point.
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