Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Polariser or graduated filter?


mondmagu 4 74 Ireland
7 Jul 2010 6:44PM
Hi all,looking to buy a filter for my EOS 450D 18-55 and 70-33mm lens, but don't know which to buy or do I need both?.What exactly is the difference between the two?(excuse my ignorance). I have not even thought of price yet or make.Most of my shots are landscape or macro.
Appreciate any info.

Des

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

answersonapostcard e2
10 12.6k 15 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2010 6:50PM
Here is a guide

and before anyone shouts, other makes other than Cokin are availableGrin
mondmagu 4 74 Ireland
7 Jul 2010 6:57PM
Thanks Answersonapostcard for the quick reply.Appreciated.
Des
sherlob e2
8 2.4k 126 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2010 7:01PM
For landscape I use my nd grads far more than my polarizer, but for macro (when I dabble) I often use a polarizer... which do you do most of?
mondmagu 4 74 Ireland
7 Jul 2010 7:07PM
Hi Sherlob,up until now it was landscape but recently macro has been taking over as I am hoping to go to New Zealand at the end of the year for a month, so I am getting some extra practice in.

Des
StrayCat e2
10 15.0k 2 Canada
7 Jul 2010 7:08PM
You should really have both. They have different uses. The polariser is used to elliminate reflections and enrich colours. The grads are used to balance the light in an image. They both take a bit of practice to get the most out of them. For what it's worth, for grads, I would suggest the cheap Cokin P system for a start, and you will find if you are going to use it or not before investing in a pro level system, which are expensive.
mondmagu 4 74 Ireland
7 Jul 2010 7:14PM
Thanks for that Straycat.For the ND grad filter would you recommend the circular screw on type or the square type that fit in a holder?

Des
StrayCat e2
10 15.0k 2 Canada
7 Jul 2010 8:24PM
Definitely the square type with a Cokin P holder. The circular ones are very difficult to use, IMO. Of course the Polariser should be a good quality, multi-coated circular type. Here's another tip; buy a polariser to fit the lens with the largest filter size in your kit, and then get step up rings, (lens to filter), to use the filter on the rest of your lenses. Step up rings can be had very cheaply.

Good Luck
7 Jul 2010 9:44PM
Hi Straycat i like your idea about the step up rings. You have answered my question because it would be expensive to buy polarisers for every lens i have. My first polariser broke and i have now got a cheap one so i have yet to see if its any good . Thanks Diane
thewilliam 6 4.7k
7 Jul 2010 9:57PM
I'd get a polariser because you can't get the effect in post-processing. Grads can be done in Photoshop.
JohnParminter 7 1.2k 14 England
7 Jul 2010 10:33PM

Quote:I would suggest the cheap Cokin P system for a start, and you will find if you are going to use it or not before investing in a pro level system, which are expensive.


Sorry, have to disagree with Den here.

The Cokin P ND grad filters are cheap but they have their limitations. They are too small to use on wide angle lens as you will experience shot ruining vignetting but most importantly they create an undesireable red/magenta colour cast which can be difficult to remove. They may be cheap but this will end up an expensive waste of money if you choose to persue landscape photography. I would suggest that your money would be better spent on the basic set up of the more expensive filter systems such as Lee or Hitech which are the 150x100mm rectangular filters that slot into a dedicated holder of 1, 2 or 3 slots.

Just advice but my reckoning anyway,

JP
User_Removed 4 4.6k 1 Scotland
7 Jul 2010 11:45PM
Don't forget that the Cokin P system has two holders - one specially for wide angle lenses (although it only has one slot rather than three). Also there are other inexpensive filters that fit the Cokin P holders (and there are much cheaper pseudo Cokin P filter holders). I use Cokin and Kood ND grads and have never had any problem with colour cast.

So here is a suggestion that will possibly get a negative reaction from some of the wealthier forum members, but it is what I have done and I am entirely satisfied with it.

On Ebay you will find Cokin P clones from China and Hong Kong, typically at about 2.99 - 3.99 including one adapter ring and postage. Buy one normal holder with an adapter ring for one of your lenses and a wide-angle holder with an adapter ring for your other lens. The adapter rings are interchangeable between the two. So you have two holders and two adapter rings that should meet any combination you require.

For a first go at filters, get a couple of ND grads and a couple of ND solids in different densities from the same Chinese suppliers. They should cost about 6 each against almost 16 for genuine Cokin.

Then we come to the polariser. I simply do not understand why it has been suggested that you get a circular polariser that screws direct on to the lens when you are buying a Cokin type system anyway. Get a circular polariser for the Cokin-type holder (but do make sure it is a circular polariser that will rotate in the holder.)

Here's an image taken with the set-up described above:

alloasunset.jpg



Not brilliant perhaps but acceptable for most purposes.

If you then graduate to something grander, you can invest a few hundred pounds in a "pro" filter system and you won't have wasted a lot of money on experimenting with the cheapo gear.

Good Luck
66tricky 8 742 Scotland
7 Jul 2010 11:53PM

Quote:
So here is a suggestion that will possibly get a negative reaction from some of the wealthier forum members, but it is what I have done and I am entirely satisfied with it.

On Ebay you will find Cokin P clones from China and Hong Kong, typically at about 2.99 - 3.99 including one adapter ring and postage. Buy one normal holder with an adapter ring for one of your lenses and a wide-angle holder with an adapter ring for your other lens. The adapter rings are interchangeable between the two. So you have two holders and two adapter rings that should meet any combination you require.



I recently got a pair of 3 slot P holders and nine off adaptor rings 49 - 82mm for about 17 on ebay from the States. Chep enough and good enough quality as my other set were 240 miles away. I'll probably modify one of the holders to a single slot for wider angle capability. Cheap as chips but decent quality.

Worked out about 1.50 per item.
StrayCat e2
10 15.0k 2 Canada
8 Jul 2010 3:21AM
The P holder was good enough for John Shaw, and he used a hacksaw to cure vignetting. I agree with your eventually getting a pro set, but I have never had a problem with colour casting; but then I don't use Canon.Wink

I have never used a Cokin Polariser, or the type that fits in the slot, so can't comment on them. Are they multi-coated for flare?
Chris_H 11 1.5k 1
8 Jul 2010 10:54AM
If budget is not an issue I would look at the Lee filters, the quality is fantastic, no colour casts and they will last you for ever if you look after them, Lee are a great company to deal with too. The only problem you will have is you probably wont be able to get hold of any as so many people are after them and virtually nobody has them in stock so you will have to go on a waiting list for quite a few months.

If you wanted a cheaper alternative take a look at Hitech filters from format. They still give excellent results and a set of three grad filters at the 85mm size , a plastic holder and a ring should cost you around 50

I would personally go for both a set of grads and a polariser as they both do completely different jobs and neither can be replicated afterwards in photoshop.

If you buy cheap filters there will be an effect on the image. I smashed up my Heliopan polariser a few years back and whilst it was away being repaired in Germany I purchased a cheap polariser and I could not believe the difference in quality both with the polarisation colours and with the image detail close up.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.