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Square filter systems and accessories

filters square lee cokin

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18 replies to this topic

#1
Ron

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I've been thinking of getting into a square filter system to take advantage of those nifty graduated neutral density filters but, honestly, I have very little experience with these systems. And that experience was way back when Cokin first came out. At the time they seemed a bit gimmicky and fragile. I was mostly underwhelmed. 

 

These days, well... I donno. I've looked at the Lee 4" x 4" filter system which seems pretty nice but also pretty costly. I'd really prefer to avoid making an expensive mistake if I can.

 

So, I thought I'd broach the topic here. What is the filter system that most of you use? I see that Lee has a couple(?) of different systems besides the 4" x 4" system. Any thoughts on those... and are there alternatives to the Lee system that are worth looking at. I don't have an unlimited amount of cash to spend but I don't absolutely need to go super cheap either.

 

I'll most likely be using these with wide angle lenses in the 18 to 24mm range although I'm not going to rule out using them with other optics as conditions warrant.

 

--Ron

 

 



#2
ScottinPollock

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I got the Cokin filters for both grad/neutral density and IR. Similar glass filters were prohibitively expensive for the lens I wanted to use them on most 77mm FD.

 

I found nothing gimmicky or fragile about them other than the fact that the filters themselves can be scratched very easily.


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#3
Merco_61

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If you go with Cokin z-pro, Singh-Ray 100mm or Lee 100mm, they are all interchangeable. 

The Cokin A-series were flimsy things that often warped, but they got most things right for the P and z-pro series'.

I use a Lindahl compendium in 100 mm module with the Lee glass ND and grads for landscape.



#4
Ron

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So far I've only looked seriously at the Lee stuff although I'm open to using anything that works reliably. ScottinPollock, I tried the Cokin system when they first came out. All they had were acrylic filters and, they were indeed quite fragile. You mentioned being easily scratched and Peter mentioned how they could warp. I suffered both of those problems as well as some problems with the mounting system that I don't recall the specifics of now. However, as I said, I'm willing to consider using them again. I have enough experience with version 1 stuff to know that things usually get better with subsequent versions.

 

I think that the most important component in the system is the holder... individual filters (as long as they're the right size) are of less concern. (except for the price... which in some cases seems a bit high). In any case, the foundation is what I'm most concerned with getting right.

 

Thanks for the help, guys!

 

--Ron



#5
iNYONi

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I use the Cokin Z-Pro filter system and havent had any issues with it. Only negative I have is that the supplied lens cases leave fluff on the filters. I got Lee Filter cloth pouches for them and had no further issues.



#6
Ron

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Thanks. I'm still undecided as to which system I'll buy into but I'll keep your comments in mind.

 

--Ron



#7
bani12

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I use Formatt Hitech filters. I think the holder is excellent. The ND grad filters are great, so is the 6 stop ND filter, but the 10 stop ND (big stopper) have some yellowish color cast.

I found Heida filters to be an excellent choice, too. I bought the 12 stop ND filter from Heida and has absolutely no color cast. At least I can't see it and I am very pleased with it.


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#8
Ron

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Thanks. I appreciate the info on Formatt and Heida filters. I'll keep them in mind when I'm shopping for filters. Unfortunately, I've had to put this project off for awhile. However, on the good side, the delay gives me more time to compare different brands. It's too bad about the color cast with the 10 stop ND filter but that's good to know too. At least that can be corrected in post.

 

--Ron



#9
OTRTexan

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dc16ce12fea23b157c178ecc8c2efb59.jpg

This was taken using the Lee big stopper, I don't see a yellow color cast

#10
Merco_61

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On the other hand, the Lee big stopper gives no cast on digital at all. Formatt Hightechs  are a little more prone to scratches than the Lee polycarbonates, but not as much as Cokins. I haven't used the Haida filters, but they have a good reputation.

 

Edit: OTRTexan posted as I was writing this.



#11
OTRTexan

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I have to be a little quicker than Merco plus have to show proof lol. I'm still learning as I go and have nowhere near the experience and expertise

#12
Ron

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That's a gorgeous photograph, Tex.

 

Thanks to you and Peter both for the additional info. I'm still learning too.... and every little bit helps.

 

--Ron



#13
TBonz

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Hopefully we are all still learning!  I know I learn quite a bit here!



#14
OTRTexan

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That's a gorgeous photograph, Tex.

Thanks to you and Peter both for the additional info. I'm still learning too.... and every little bit helps.

--Ron


Thanks. I put waders on and walked out into the river. Lots of people taking pics, and a few taking pics of me lol.

#15
Ron

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Thanks. I put waders on and walked out into the river. Lots of people taking pics, and a few taking pics of me lol.

 

Well, the results are definitely worth the effort. 

 

--Ron



#16
TBonz

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I agree Ron!  An excellent image!



#17
OTRTexan

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Thanks guys

#18
iNYONi

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Thanks guys


What lens were you using for that one?

#19
OTRTexan

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Nikon 24-70





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