Using a square Cokin filter, do you hand hold it or get an adapter?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Treymac, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Treymac

    Treymac TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys. I'm now beginning the search for a Grad-ND filter. I like the idea of the square kind of cokin filters. I've seen adapters that attach to the lens of the camera to hold them. I plan to use it partially for a wide-angle 77mm lens. My question is:

    Should I get one, or just hand hold it in from of my lens?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could do either. I've seen plenty of photographers who just hold them onto the lens...but they are designed to be used with the Cokin holders.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hand holding filters works, but it's rarely fun. You'd want a pretty good reason not to fork over the money for one of the holders.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hand-holding Cokins (or any gel filter) works fine, EXCEPT for Grad NDs. Why? Because you normally want the filter set to a certain height against the lens in order to take advantage of the ND. If you're hand-holding it, this becomes more difficult. Like Garbz said, for the price of a holder, it's not worth not having one!
     
  5. Treymac

    Treymac TPF Noob!

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    Side question here: does anybody have any experience with the quality of Cokin P series filters? They appear to be fairly cheap on eBay.
     
  6. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    The really cheap option is two bits of blu-tack. A bit crude, but at least it leaves your hands free to hold the camera. For the price though, you may as well have the holder.
     
  7. tim.bennett

    tim.bennett TPF Noob!

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    I use the P filters and am very happy with them. I have a warming an ND and a circ polarizer.

    Holder is not much more than blu-tac. ow and you can use more than one filter.
     
  8. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In my experience, the Cokin P filters are good value for money. They do the job they are supposed to do apart from the ND grads; those are not truly neutral and on several occasions I have seen a purple cast on skies when I used them. I now moved to Hitech and Lee filters, which are much better than the Cokin filters IMHO.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If they are cheap, make sure they're actually Cokin filters not "Cokin type", "Cokin Style" or some other trick to get you to buy off-shore junk. There are several vendors who stock a LOT of gel filters at bargain-basement prices, but if you read the fine-print they never actually say they're Cokin.
     
  10. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't recommend holding gel or flexible polyester filters in front of the lens, but the resin or glass ones (ie the rigid ones) are OK to hold if you don't have a holder. It's very difficult to hold gel and flexible polyester* filters flat up against the front of the lens even if you have mounted ones, so you usually have a curved, uncoated filter with light leaks between the filter and the lens. That can cause a large reduction in image quality.

    Rolled-up Scotch ATG tape ("snot tape") can also be used to hold filters to lenses in the absence of a proper mount.

    Light piping can be a problem if the edges of the filter aren't covered, and a proper mount can offer some shading to the filter edges.

    Best,
    Helen

    Edit: *Flexible polyester filters are often called 'gel' filters, of course. Until now I'd never heard of a rigid resin filter being called a 'gel filter'. That seems a bit confusing.
     
  11. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Cokin filters and the Cokin system are good! Used them a lot in the eighties. Still got everything: holder, adapter rings, etc., including some 20 different filters.

    HOWEVER, you don't need them if you shoot digital, since you can create every filter effect in post production (except polarising filters, or 'funny' ones, like star or rainbow filters). And you can apply those in PP much more precisely than you can with physical (Cokin) filters.

    In the past decade my nice Cokin set has not left its closet anymore.

    Have fun!
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I make heavy use of my polarizer in digital (you need a circular, not the old linear) and I occasionally use a graduated ND. It is my feeling, in digital just as in film, that if you can accomplish your results in the camera you will save hours in the darkroom (or photoshop).
     

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