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Thread: A question of filters

  1. #1

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    A question of filters

    Ok, i usually use screw in filters on my lenses, but recently i have been looking into i belive they are called p-type ones, that is ones that require a holder and 84mm glass plates.
    While i will continue to use the screw type especially the uv, im steadily thinking of going over to the p type, for at least easier to use and place nd/gnd filters.
    Have you a preference for either and why?

  2. #2

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    Re: A question of filters

    Graduated filters can sometimes be helpful in reducing excessive dynamic range between land that is too dark and a sky that is too bright above it, so that if you expose correctly for the land, the sky will be burnt out, and conversely, if you expose correctly for the sky, then the land will be incurably dark.

    If you use the rectangular plate filters, you can raise or lower the darker part of the filter according to where you want the horizon to be in your picture, but if you use the circular screw in type you are stuck with having the dark to light transition at half the height of your frame. Moreover, the darker part of the filter isn't nearly so obvious against the sky when looking through the viewfinder as might be hoped, so it's not always easy to judge its effects.
    Last edited by Brocken; 4th September 2012 at 07:54 PM. Reason: poor explanation

  3. #3

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    Re: A question of filters

    Christopher: I use the Lee filters which are of excellent quality, that is one thing to be on the watch for, poor filters can cause distorations, you get what you pay for. I find that the 2,3 & 4 spot ND hard grad's work best, because of the size they will work as a netural Density Filter and a Hard Graduated Netural Density filter. With the Lee holder you can stack the 3 filters and you end up with 7 stop ND filter. I have found I do not need a 1 stop as if I use a 3 stop with a 2 stop the difference is 1 stop. I may have to take a longer exposure, but I use a tripod for most of my images. Hope this can be of some help.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: A question of filters

    I didn't answer the original question particularly well, so I'll add here that despite the limitations of the circular screw in filters which I discussed, that I in fact prefer them because of their compactness and simplicity. I'm only an occasional filter user, so it makes sense to me to have a few circular filters in my bag to increase my options on the odd occasion when I feel motivated to use them. The more versatile square plates would probably suit someone with a greater interest in the possibilities of pre-lens filtration - in a word, a filter person - who doesn't mind having a contraption fixed to the snout of their camera.

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    Re: A question of filters

    christopher, thats my point really, i like the ease of the circular screw ins, but im starting to feel the need for more versatility in filter use.
    allan, the lee system is really great, a little out of my price range for the moment, so im considering either a cheaper alternative, or am i better spending my money on better screw ins like hokin that i use allready, i dunno sooo much to choose from

  6. #6

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    Re: A question of filters

    I still use my screw in ND filters, I use stepup rings from my lens to the 77mm ND filter that way I only by one set to cover the different lens. My wide angle 10-20mm has a 77mm front. I used the tiffen and B+W screw in filters. One problem as you get into using them is that the grad filter you can not adjust as it runs right through the middle of the len. I have seen some use a square gradulated ND and simply hold it in front of the len, if it only a short exposure say under 3 seconds or less you may not have to much of a problem, I do not think you would want to do this more longer as you could not hold it steady enough.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7

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    Re: A question of filters

    after just buying some more gear and being a bit skint, i was thinking of trying the cokin p type, they got a very good review in digital camera

  8. #8

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    Re: A question of filters

    In the heyday of photochemical photography, camera shops often had rotating racks of filters of every imaginable colour, but today most of their effects can be added or subtracted in post-processing, without having to commit to an irrecoverable colour tint - or perhaps colour cast! - at the outset.

    Even the beneficent effects of a graduated filter on bright sky-dark land dynamic range problems can often be replicated by exposure bracketing and subsequent fusion, though this technique does have the disadvantage of needing a tripod.

    I have a few good C-Pols, and a few decent NDs for keeping the aperture wide in bright light, with a couple of graduated filters for the occasional landscape, and that's my lot.

    Even the very best filters will degrade an image to some degree. No matter what wonder coatings are applied to reduce reflection and refraction there is no filtration without loss of some kind, nor has any objective scientific testing of consumer camera filters ever lent very much weight to the 'you get what you pay for' retail slogan. (Even within a single brand - Hoya springs to mind - some of the moderately priced product lines have been shown to have superior optical properties to the most expensive.)

    My general principle: avoiding putting anything at all in front of the lens that will degrade the image unless it is absolutely necessary. You will have plenty of opportunity to degrade the image in post-processing later!

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    Re: A question of filters

    The 'P' filter you talk about are I believe from your description just the mid size of such rectangular filters and I suggest essential when using ND Grads, if not for many other uses. You will also find smaller 'A" type and larger 100x100mm types. The mounting holder can be rotated to use the graduated filter at any angle to suit the subject matter ... I remember way back seeing photo where the graduation ran vertically to match a dark foliage area to the bright sunset [ or something].
    I 'know' them as Cokin filters but there are other and reputedly higher quality makes of the actual filters and there are numerous clones of the holder around ...I have four acquired at different times over the years The genuine Cokin A has a slot for their polarising filter whose knurled edge protrudes from the holder for rotation. You can use three or four filters if you are prepared to place that amount of glass in front of your lens and there are lens hoods which slip in the front groove.
    However there may be a problem with light entering through the slots and bouncing around as I found when using an IR filter which resulted in a long exposure and I had circles of light areas* until I sealed up all possible entry points and resorted to a screw on filter for IR. I had thought a rectangular piece of IR gel would do the job ... it didn't
    I hope this helps you choose

    edit *with sun at right angles to camera/holder

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    Re: A question of filters

    thanks jcuknz, yes thats the p-type ones, i really wanted it mainly for the nd, and nd grads as it seems a much better way, as you can adjust the filter for angle not the camera. maybe get a polarizer as well as i doubt ill be able to use my standard one when the adapter ring is in.
    thanks for the help all

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    Re: A question of filters

    Quote Originally Posted by darknight View Post
    after just buying some more gear and being a bit skint, i was thinking of trying the cokin p type, they got a very good review in digital camera
    Cokin are generally regarded as being towards the bottom of the scale quality wise. Big problem with cheaper filters is that they have a disproportionate response to infra-red light, and you can end up with colour shifts that you can't easily correct in post-production.

    I use singh-ray filters exclusively.

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    Re: A question of filters

    Yea i know, i really wanted something better but not as high as the lees, although i would love them, ill check out the singhs colin.

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    Re: A question of filters

    Quote Originally Posted by darknight View Post
    Yea i know, i really wanted something better but not as high as the lees, although i would love them, ill check out the singhs colin.
    The unfortunate thing is that Singh Ray are even further up the scale (in cost terms) than Lee.

  14. #14

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    Re: A question of filters

    Ok, having really just started looking into this type of system, what im not sure about is the holder itself, can i use any adapter and filter holder for a p system, then use better filters in it? Then i can afford the better filters, or is the holder specifically for each make?
    Thanks for the help on this guys, much apreciated

  15. #15
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A question of filters

    Yes (by the way, do you want to edit your profile and put your proper name under 'Real Name'? It much friendlier).

    Get the Cokin holder systems and you can put Cokin or Lee filters into it. But just check that the Lee filters are the same size as the Cokin 'P' filters. I think they are.

  16. #16

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    Re: A question of filters

    Darknight from southside, I am going to put a link to a US supplier that I use not that I am suggesting them it is that they have a nice table that will help with you question on post #14

    http://www.2filter.com/prices/gradua...20holders.html

    So have a look to compare the different makes of slide in filters

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Last edited by Polar01; 7th September 2012 at 11:59 AM. Reason: that that changed to not that

  17. #17

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    Re: A question of filters

    Thank you guys i thought i did that donald but ill do it again, thanks allan, i think its all coming together now.....at last.
    I really dont want to skimp on decent gear, so i can just use a cheaper holder for a month or so then upgrade it later.

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    Re: A question of filters

    Quote Originally Posted by darknight View Post
    Thank you guys i thought i did that donald but ill do it again, thanks allan, i think its all coming together now.....at last.
    I really dont want to skimp on decent gear, so i can just use a cheaper holder for a month or so then upgrade it later.
    Hi Mark,
    To be honest the filter holder and the adapter ring is just that, they make no contribution to the optical end. I see no reason for spending lots of money on them. Buy the cheapest Chinese ones you can find and use the money saved on quality filters.
    I bought enough adapters so that each lens has one fitted permanently, it saves loads of time when you could be doing something productive.

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    Re: A question of filters

    I've been following this thread with some interest, especially with regard to the grad ND fillters. I've heard about the quality issues with Cokin and while there are a lot of enthusiastic Lee users on this site, BUT their ND filters are plastic, which means they are a lot more susceptible to scratching than glass.

    Some of the folks I know on the video side of things sing the praises of the Century Film & Video / Schneider Optics line and these are glass filters. I clean filters quite frequently, so that drives my interest in glass filters, their scratch resistance. My current grad ND filters are resin and I get hyper concerned every time I clean them. Century does make the mounting hardware for 77mm diameter lenses, so this works out well for me.

    Does anyone have any experience with this line?

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    Re: A question of filters

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I've been following this thread with some interest, especially with regard to the grad ND fillters. I've heard about the quality issues with Cokin and while there are a lot of enthusiastic Lee users on this site, BUT their ND filters are plastic, which means they are a lot more susceptible to scratching than glass.

    Some of the folks I know on the video side of things sing the praises of the Century Film & Video / Schneider Optics line and these are glass filters. I clean filters quite frequently, so that drives my interest in glass filters, their scratch resistance. My current grad ND filters are resin and I get hyper concerned every time I clean them. Century does make the mounting hardware for 77mm diameter lenses, so this works out well for me.

    Does anyone have any experience with this line?
    I use Singh-Ray resin GND filters exclusively. I too was worried about scratches etc, but in reality, it just isn't an issue; I think they're far too close to the front element to make any difference.

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