Yet another filter question?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Rob Wild, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Rob Wild

    Rob Wild Guest

    Apologies if this has already been covered, but

    What are the disadvantages of using a one-size-fits-all filter system,
    such as Cokin over using screw-ons like Hoya?

    Whilst I myself use Hoya, I am looking at getting new lenses soon, which
    have a different diameter from the lens I currenly have, and do not want
    to spend the money to buy a whole new filter set each time I get a
    different diameter lens, and as such, I am looking at Cokin (P) filters.

    However, there seems to be a vast absence of relevant information on
    this, and I am wondering if there are disadvantages to using systems
    like Cokin that I am missing?


    Rob Wild, Jul 28, 2003
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  2. My son-in-law had a portrait studio with a Mamiya medium-format camera, and
    the Cokin filters were definitely the way to go....But they would be too
    unwieldy for my tastes, since I am a on-the-go shoot from the hip type
    photographer....I can barely spare the time to set up a tripod usually, and
    Cokins would just be a PIA for me to bother with......So, I guess the answer
    is: It depends on the kind of work you like to do......
    William Graham, Jul 28, 2003
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  3. Rob Wild

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    I can't help but wonder about gelatin filters . . .

    Can they possibly be equal to the high standards of B+W or Heliopan glass
    filters? Doesn't that flexible base contribute to image degradation--more
    so than a rigid, dyed-in-the-mass, precision-ground glass filter would?
    Jeremy, Jul 28, 2003
  4. Rob Wild

    John Guest

    Like william said, depends on the kind of work you do...I use Cokin and
    normal glass filters depending on the result I need.
    As a general rule it's a good idea to buy glass filters in the largest size
    you think you'll need and use "step down" rings to fit them to smaller
    John, Jul 28, 2003
  5. Rob Wild

    Hickster0711 Guest

    Cokin has a lot of special effect stuff, which can be very useful, and
    different size adaptors are pretty cheap, BUT, they're fiddly, they scratch, if
    you have a lens where the front element turns, forget it. If you just like
    walking down the street, taking pictures as you see them, forget it. If you set
    up and make your shot, they're OK. Imagine an AF, front turning lens, with a
    polarizer and a graduated color filter on it. You can see the problem. I am
    happy with screw-in adaptors. Bob Hickey
    Hickster0711, Jul 28, 2003
  6. Rob Wild

    Alan Browne Guest

    Really depends on which filters they have that you might need and how
    often you will use them. Mine haven't been out of the bag in 2+ years.

    You can always buy the larger filters and stepdown rings to fit your lenses.

    Alan Browne, Jul 28, 2003
  7. Rob Wild

    Matt Clara Guest

    And they're inexpesive, too--particularly from B&H (excluding the
    Matt Clara, Jul 28, 2003
  8. Rob Wild

    Ed E. Guest

    One disadvantage is that your normal lens hoods won't fit. Cokin's solution
    is to stack a bunch of their extenders together to make a hood (sometimes up
    to 5 of them), which looks odd and is still difficult to change the filters
    Ed E., Jul 28, 2003
  9. Rob Wild

    Bob Monaghan Guest

    Hi Rob,

    see filters faq pages

    Over time, most of us tend to accumulate a lot of filters from gear buys
    and camera shows and so on. Over the same time, I've discovered that I
    really need only a few filters for most of my efforts (polarizer, warming
    #81a/B or #812..). Most of the exotic filters I have (prisms..) I very
    rarely use, like maybe a few times a year.

    the cokin filters work better on MF and LF, due to less enlargement than
    from 35mm I suspect, but they are still plastic and tend to scratch
    easily. In some cases, there may be color casts (see notes on ND above).
    Some bellows units (cf Ambico+) have an ability to also mount a thin
    filter, while solving the need for an adjustable lens shade too ;-)

    if you are going to be doing pro work with larger (100 mm and up) filters
    and lenses, check Brit. Jrnl of Photography article series by Roger Hicks
    on filters some years back. he lists some of the major series, Lee and so
    on. The B&H photovideo corp. catalogs are also good info sources. Prices
    overseas on some filters are MUCH less than in USA, so check on options
    (see on buying overseas).

    you can also make a surprisingly large number of filters, esp. for larger
    lens sizes (or strobe use), see tips at homebrew filters section at

    I've been expanding my pentax kit (49mm filters) due to Nikon's annoying
    changes and incompatibility issues (52mm filters); I could just use a few
    step-up rings and reuse my 52mm filters, but that impacts lens hoods etc.
    So instead, I have gradually picked up a dozen+ 49mm filters, again from
    camera show filter boxes ($1 a piece) and other sources, perhaps $30 for
    all. To me, it wasn't worth the hassle of finding and fiddling with
    adapters and lens hoods and all that all the time. I do use adapters on
    less often used lenses of odd sizes (62mm, 58mm..), as well as series
    adapters on my older medium format lenses and so on. For infrequent use,
    here it makes sense to put up with the minor inconvenience. For the few
    filters you use all the time, a bit of searching will probably turn them
    up at very good prices used or new in box from dealer closeouts etc.

    hth bobm
    Bob Monaghan, Jul 29, 2003
  10. Rob Wild

    Rob Wild Guest

    Many thanks for your help. As I am intending to do several types of
    photography includio studio portrait and more 'on the go' styles.

    The stepdown rings sound like a good idea - must look to see if Hoya
    make 'em


    Rob Wild, Jul 29, 2003
  11. Rob Wild

    Rob Wild Guest

    Hi Bob

    Many thanks for your help, and the links.

    Considering that I will probably only be using a few filters (Warming,
    Polariser, UV, Soft Focus, ND, maybe a starburst) I guess that for my
    35mmm setup I could generally just use the screw-ons (and perehaps
    consider stepping rings), but may consider universals for a MF setup, if
    I can ever afford one.


    Rob Wild, Jul 29, 2003
  12. Rob Wild

    Rob Wild Guest

    Hi all on this threadline;

    Whilst B+W / Heliopan etc are in all probability better filters than
    Hoya / Cokin, they are also way out of my price range - hence I am
    looking at the Hoya / Cokin filters.

    I should have mentioned in the original post that I am a beginner
    photographer, and funds are limited. I have found Hoya filters to be
    good value for money thus far as I cannot afford the more expensive
    options. Eg: at B&W, a basic Hoya 58mm Circular Polariser is offered at
    $34US (AUD$58+markup) whilst the Heliopan is $65US (AUD$107+markup)

    Like everything in life - you get what you pay for, and I find (as a
    beginner) that Hoya are good value.


    Rob Wild, Jul 29, 2003
  13. Rob Wild

    John Guest

    As you are in Australia you will find that a company called Adeal imports
    the "King" brand of step up/down rings. These are available in almost every
    decent camera shop you go to.
    Hoya filters are fine, no real need to spend big bucks on other more
    expensive brands.
    John, Jul 29, 2003
  14. Rob Wild

    T P Guest

    Whatever you do, if you are even slightly interested in optical
    quality, avoid Cokin. *Every* Hoya glass filter is optically
    significantly better than *any* Cokin resin filter, and the
    differences are easy to see.
    T P, Jul 29, 2003
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