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trink408
12-Aug-2008, 10:54
I'm looking at buying a new filter system, and I'm wondering what a good all around system would be for my 4x5 crown and would work on my DSLR?

I was looking at the Cokin P series, any thoughts?

Mainly use Polarizer and would like to start using GND filters...


Thanks,
Kevin

Joanna Carter
12-Aug-2008, 11:46
By all means get Cokin holders, although they don't have the ability to rotate, one within the other, but IMO their filters are not so hot.

I use the Lee Pro holder kit with Formatt filters http://www.formatt.co.uk as they are excellent quality and a lot less money than Lee and some others.

DuncanD
12-Aug-2008, 11:51
I use the Lee system

adapter ring on each lens
Lee cover on each adapter ring
two holders (so one can rotate with polarizer and another with ND skyline)
square ploarizer
graduated ND 1 & 2 stop
collapsable shade - all the time
warming (very rarely)
full ND (very rarely)

anchored
12-Aug-2008, 11:54
The Cokin holders are OK, especially if you're on a tight budget... but the Lee filter system is considerably better. They're better built, have adjustable tension for different filter thicknesses, are rotatable, and one can adjust number of slots (adding or subtracting slots as needed).

I also would suggest their filters are of poorer quality than other brands. Look to Singh-Ray, Lee, and HiTech for higher quality filters, and Cokin's only if you like some of their special effects filters.

IanG
12-Aug-2008, 11:58
I've been using Cokin filters for about 30 years and the P series for around 25. They are excellent I've never had a problem with them at all, and I'm still using my original filters.

Ian

anchored
12-Aug-2008, 12:01
As a postscript... There is one slight problem with the Lee System... at least in the States: Availability! Some of their filters and accessories are rarely in stock, and sometimes it takes several weeks to get anything "out of the ordinary." I had to wait for three weeks for restocking for a 86mm adapter... nearly a month for their 10-pocket filter holder pouch... and various lengths of waits for other accessories.

Not at all like the Cokins, where you can pick up filters and accessories at any local camera store (ie: Ritz, Wolfe, etc.). But... to me at least... worth the wait for the much higher quality of filters and accessories.

Jan Nieuwenhuysen
12-Aug-2008, 12:15
Both Lee and Cokin are a good choice. I have used both systems over time and do not really prefer the one over the other.
I think the Cokin P series is for lenses up to 80 something mm diameter. They have information on the different series on their site.

I have no experience with Formatt filters.

Eric Leppanen
12-Aug-2008, 12:23
Regarding Lee product availability in the U.S....in the past I've purchased Lee products from Robert White in the U.K. whenever availability or cost issues arose (the folks at Robert White are wonderful to deal with). The dollar has strengthened recently so the costs are currently comparable. For example, the Lee 10-filter pouch costs $48.95 at B&H, and $47.48 (converted from 25 british pounds at current exchange rates) at Robert White. Also Lee USA will sell products directly to consumers so there is no harm in checking with them in case a retailer is slow in obtaining product.

Also, Hitech filters are manufactured by Formatt. I have used a variety of Hitech color conversion filters with my Lee holders, and have been very happy with them. They are cheaper than the corresponding Lee filters, yet are of excellent quality.

Ole Tjugen
12-Aug-2008, 13:12
I use Lee filters.

But since I have a plethora of different lenses with different and often unusual/totally unknown filter threads (if any), most of the time I use a Lee Gel-Snap. Fits anything, except the humongousest brass cannons (14" f:3.2 Petzval and the likes).

Aender Brepsom
12-Aug-2008, 14:31
Years ago, I started out with Cokin filters and never liked the flimsy holder. I wish I had bought the Lee filter system right away. It is so much nicer to use, more versatile and their ND grad as really neutral, while the Cokin ND grads have a slight pinkish colour cast. If you really want to use the Cokin holder, then do get Hi-Tech square filters for it.
I would strongly recommend not to waste your money on a Cokin setup, but to go straight to the Lee system. It is more expensive, yes, but you'll probably end up buying it anyway, sooner or later.

John O'Connell
13-Aug-2008, 07:52
You could probably get away with Cokin P for a Crown Graphic and a DSLR, as long as you don’t use any odd lenses.

The big disadvantage of the Cokin P system is that it isn’t big enough for a lot of lenses. But if you stick with lenses which can mount the adaptors, it isn’t that bad. Good ND grads are available for it, and the Cokin filters are very cheap if they’re suitable for your purposes. Furthermore, if I remember correctly, hacking off the outer slots eliminates vignetting up to 90 degrees of coverage.

Big filter sizes are, of course, your worst enemy with Cokin P, because it won’t physically mount on a good number of lenses. But unless you plan on buying lenses that require massive filters—some modern wide angles, long plasmats, and big teles—it won’t be a big issue.

Personally, I’m currently with Ole, and use the Lee gel snap. Cheap, effective, adaptable. But pretty much the same filter size limitations as the Cokin P. Now that I use a lens with a 95mm filter regularly, I’m scared of vignetting, so I’m going to have to switch, and am not looking forward to the change between using a $20 holder and a $200 holder.

gevalia
13-Aug-2008, 08:00
I use the Cokin P system. Actually, just the holder. My polarizer and all ND grads are all Singh Ray and fit the holder. I bought the holder for mt Nikon DSLR but it works on my Mamiya 645 MF as well as my Chamonix and Speed Graphics. Same holder, same filters, all 3 camera formats. I use step-up rings on my LF lenses to bring them up to a Cokin ring size and that works well. There is a max WA with the P-System so you will need to look at that.

I agree with another poster that the Cokin filters are garbage. Opt for Singh Ray or Lee or HiTech's that fit the P-System and you'll be golden. The Hitech B&W (red, yellow-green, orange) filters are great.

Joanna Carter
13-Aug-2008, 08:40
The big disadvantage of the Cokin P system is that it isnít big enough for a lot of lenses.
Are you sure you're not thinking of the Cokin A series? Cokin P takes 100mm filters just like Lee and Formatt/HiTech.

Having said that, Although I have Lee holders and Formatt/HiTech filters, I have just purchased a Cokin X-Pro holder and am going to have to get a polariser and a few other filters from Formatt in 130mm to fit it. It seems like a lot of money but not half as much as throwing a Lee push-on holder and a polariser into a waterfall every now and then :confused: But then what can I expect if I will buy hunks of glass like the Schneider 72mm Super Angulon XL :eek:


Now that I use a lens with a 95mm filter regularly, Iím scared of vignetting, so Iím going to have to switch, and am not looking forward to the change between using a $20 holder and a $200 holder.
Huh?? A Cokin X-Pro holder is only $65.95 and an adapter is $82.49 from B&H. So, not quite $200 but, what price perfection? :D

Aender Brepsom
13-Aug-2008, 09:48
Sorry, Joanna, but the Cokin P takes filters that are 84mm wide. The Cokin Z takes 100mm filters while the Cokin X takes 130mm filters. Cokin A is only 67mm.

Joanna Carter
13-Aug-2008, 09:53
Sorry, Joanna, but the Cokin P takes filters that are 84mm wide. The Cokin Z takes 100mm filters while the Cokin X takes 130mm filters. Cokin A is only 67mm.
My apologies, you are right, too many suffixes to remember :rolleyes:

zack kl
13-Aug-2008, 16:40
Hi,
I'm new to 4x5 and am in the midst of buying and researching. So after a couple of hours on various filter web sites...
I decided - I
think-on going 4x4 glass (black and white) Tiffens filters are $135-145, Lees are $90, Hi Techs are $46 but only 1.5mm thick- all the others are 2mm-, but adapters are sold ( or just some tape), Cokin Z pro's are $44.
Polarizers: from Tiffen, Formatt,and Lee are around $150-$160. Cavision is $55 but 4mm thick.
The Lee Filter Foundation Kit is $75 and it advertised as being adaptable to 4mm thickness which from my understanding would allow it then to hold 1 filter at 4mm, 1 maybe 2 filters at 2mm or less and one gel. The Cokin Z pro holder is $60 but I,m unclear on how many filters it can hold at once.
For each of the filter holders you have to get an adapter ring -$30 to $60 each-for each size lens which the holder then attaches to .

Those gels are starting to sound good moneywise. But how do you use a polarizer with them??
Also has anyone experience with the Cavision polarizer?
thanks, Zack

John O'Connell
14-Aug-2008, 06:48
Huh?? A Cokin X-Pro holder is only $65.95 and an adapter is $82.49 from B&H. So, not quite $200 but, what price perfection? :D

I almost pulled the trigger on an X-Pro system about a year ago. X-Pro is probably an excellent choice for many purposes. It is pretty cheap compared to Lee. However, it has no hood and it is limited to Cokin filters.

The hood is kind of a problem for me. You can get Lee hoods that fit other Cokin holders, but not the X-Pro (as far as I can tell). As someone who does macro work, I like a shaded lens.

The filters are also a hassle for me. Cokin makes exactly 5 B&W filters for the X-Pro system. Not including a blue filter (does the 80D work as OK as one? who knows?), and with no indication that you can get tri-color filters if you want them. Plus, I like gels. I was never comfortable with the idea of 2mm ďoptical resinĒ filtersógels are traditional, gels have been rigorously tested in darkroom environments and found not to present optical problems, and I can get oddball gels if I feel the need. (I know gels have issues, too, but I choose to ignore that.)

Joanna Carter
14-Aug-2008, 07:03
I almost pulled the trigger on an X-Pro system about a year ago. X-Pro is probably an excellent choice for many purposes. It is pretty cheap compared to Lee. However, it has no hood and it is limited to Cokin filters.
Not necessarily, Formatt/Hitech will make filters to fit, on request.

trink408
14-Aug-2008, 10:11
Thanks for all the posts!!

I'm almost more confused than before, I will have to take a minute to soak all this information in...

So many seem to think Lee is a better choice than Cokin?

Either way plan to buy different higher quality filters, not Cokin or Lee?

I will have to compare some prices onlin and see where I get.

Thanks again,
Kevin

Joanna Carter
14-Aug-2008, 11:18
So many seem to think Lee is a better choice than Cokin?
Certainly, the Lee filter holder system is far and above the best but, only as long as you don't need to use them on really big lenses :eek:


Either way plan to buy different higher quality filters, not Cokin or Lee?
I seems to be a common opinion that Cokin NDs are not as neutral as they could be. OTOH, Lee grads are wonderfully neutral, they just cost a lot ;)

Which is why I choose Hitech filters because they represent, at least here in the UK, the best "bang for buck", I don't know as much about other makes.

anchored
14-Aug-2008, 22:41
Honestly, part of the decision-making process should revolve around how much you use filtration, and how finnicky you are on quality issues. As far as holders, the Lee filter holders are a lot better than the Cokin System... but then again, if you only rarely use filters, the added expense might not be worth it.

I believe you've misunderstood a bit on the quality of filters... Lee filters are WAY better than Cokin filters in quality.... they're made of optical quality resin and not polyester plastic as the Cokin filters are. Lee filters are second to none as far as quality goes. The main negative to Lee filters is since they're made of resin, they're more prone to getting scratched than glass filters.

In reality, one would be hard pressed to see a difference in images between one filter brand and another. That is... except for the polarizer, in which there are considerable differences from brand to brand. Regarding polarizers, you definitely get what you pay for (higher prices almost always equate to higher quality for this filter.

Whatever you're final choice will be regarding holders and filter brands, for the polarizer buy only high-grades... the quality of this filter is all-important to image quality.

Jan Nieuwenhuysen
14-Aug-2008, 23:38
[QUOTE=anchored;379386]I believe you've misunderstood a bit on the quality of filters... Lee filters are WAY better than Cokin filters in quality.... they're made of optical quality resin and not polyester plastic as the Cokin filters are. Lee filters are second to none as far as quality goes. The main negative to Lee filters is since they're made of resin, they're more prone to getting scratched than glass filters.
QUOTE]

Cokin filters (most, they also have some filters made of mineral glass) are made of CR 39, ophtalmological quality resin. Same stuff the lenses in your reading glasses are made off. Lee filters are also some kind of resin. Lee also produces polyester filters (thin sheets) that look and feel extremely flimsy. Some serve me for more than 10 years without a problem however. Some Cokin filters I have a over 20 years old. It is very easy to damage both brands, all types, if you are not reasonably careful.

Availability and cost would be the determining factors for me.

trink408
15-Aug-2008, 05:50
Thanks for clearing a few things up for me.

I think for starters I'm going to go with the Cokin P series holder and try out the HI-tech graduated ND filter. That is the main filter I wanted to try out, and didn't really want to spend $200+ just for the standard thread on filter for my 72mm lens.

One Question:

Can I use my Cir. polarizer with the P series holder attached to that filter? I'm thinking I can, but might have problems with Vignetting at wide open...

EuGene Smith
15-Aug-2008, 06:49
There is always a troglodite in the woodwork - a fungus among us. So I admit it! Since I don't have any monster lenses, I can use my good old Wrattens with almost all of them.

I have the 75mm Kodak holders and the 84mm Cokin P holders with all sorts of rings (in mm & series sizes) to fit them to my vintage & modern lenses. With my homebrew frames I can use the 75mm Wrattens with the 84mm Cokin holders.

Why Wrattens? Because they are everywhere in the used and NOS market, and cheap enough that even us poor folks can buy them. The most I ever paid for a Wratten was $30 each for a NOS 87/87C pair . . . and that's before I knew any better. With patience, I have bought spares for both for less than $10 and generally can get the old standards (8, 11, 15, 23A, etc.) for $2 - $4.

I guess many photographers dismiss the Wrattens as an old joke, but they do a fine job for an amateur on a very limited budget

Tim Povlick
17-Aug-2008, 07:21
Thanks for clearing a few things up for me.

One Question:

Can I use my Cir. polarizer with the P series holder attached to that filter? I'm thinking I can, but might have problems with Vignetting at wide open...

This was exactly how I use the P series on my 4x5. I see no vignetting problems. I say 'was' because I recently acquired the Cokin polarizing filter for the P series holder. It made field life easier when dealing with multiple lenses.

_ .. --
Tim

Petewit
18-Aug-2008, 08:57
P system filters are a bit small for wide angle causing vignetting. Better off with the Z pro Cokin or X pro better still. Cokin ND filters are grey grads and not neutral density and therefore inferior to Lee system.

Pete