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Thread: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

  1. #1
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    I'm shooting 4x5. The largest lens I have is a 90mm lens with center filter. The lens takes a 82mm filter if used without the center filter. The center filter outer ring is 105mm. I also have a 75mm lens with 67mm filter size but no CF purchased yet. If I buy a CF, it will have an outer ring of 86mm. I also have a 150mm lens with 58mm filter size. I shoot mainly landscapes in BW and color chromes.

    I want to be able to use polarizers, graduated neutral density, warming, and BW contrast filters. I want one set of filters sized for all lenses. For those in a similar situation, what's your setup like?

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    I want to be able to use polarizers, graduated neutral density, warming, and BW contrast filters. I want one set of filters sized for all lenses.
    Sounds like you already know that you need a set of 105mm filters then.
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  3. #3
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Sounds like you already know that you need a set of 105mm filters then.
    Yes. But the issue is how to integrate graduated ND filters with other filters. Graduated filter are best with the square sliding type. But that limits how to mount the holder. In which order? There may be issues of vignetting. Etc. That's why I'm asking how others have handled this.

  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    105mm ring to your square filter holder of choice. Vignetting won't be an issue in most situations if you have lenses of modest IC for landscape. Most of these issues are really overblown.
    Personally 105mm is way too big. I standardize on 77mm. The oddballs get their own filters or none at all. Focus on what matters the most, the image, and then buy specifically what you find you need after practicing with what you have.
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    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    Grads do make the whole thing a little trickier because you really need rectangular filters to make grads work and so you can place the gradient. Screw on grads are useless.

    You just have to settle on a rectangular filter system and get rings for the lenses you'll need it on. Most systems have a wide angle holder to avoid vignetting wide lenses. That usually just means you only get one or maybe two filter stages instead of three. A 75mm shouldn't be too tough to fit without vignetting.
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    I chose to skip the CF for my 90/4.5 and stick with 4x6" grads. Using CFs for wider lenses, 65 & 75.

    Round polarizer mounted directly to lens/CF. Lee adapter in front of polarizer which is kind of awkward, and I'm looking for a better way.

    As an aside, I use a 150mm filter holder w/ integrated polarizer for commercial 35mm architecture work and I hate it, but one lens requires it...

  7. #7
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    Well right now I have a 77mm filter set from my medium format camera including square grads. So I can use it on the 75mm and 150mm lens with simple adapters. I probably should have gotten a 90mm lens with smaller filter size under 77mm and kept it simple. But that's kinda late. So I guess I'll just take some pictures and see what becomes necessary as I go along.

  8. #8
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    105mm ring to your square filter holder of choice. Vignetting won't be an issue in most situations if you have lenses of modest IC for landscape. Most of these issues are really overblown.
    Personally 105mm is way too big. I standardize on 77mm. The oddballs get their own filters or none at all. Focus on what matters the most, the image, and then buy specifically what you find you need after practicing with what you have.
    Why is 105mm "way too big"? What did you mean?

  9. #9
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    When I had the same setup with a 90mm f5.6 (and the 72mm), I would simply Blutac the Grad in place.
    Lachlan.

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  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Grad ND, Contrast and Color FIlter Setup with Center Filter

    The inner thread diameter of the CF is 82mm, the outer much larger, almost a funnel effect, so that the lens/CF combination can be used with maximum movement when stopped down to the rated f/22 or so recommended with CF filters. I don't see how a Cokin ND grad is going to help even things out if the bigger elephant in the room is circular falloff itself, which the CF corrects. A Cokin ND grad would also introduce a bit more spacing and flare issue. Ideally, it would be used even further oversized outside the 90 lens/CF sandwich, which would still allow a circular contrast filter to be used in between if desired. If one opted for the smaller 90/8 Nikkor with a 67 CF instead of the 90/4.5 with an 82mm CF, then the cumulative density of all that intervening filtration can make considerably dimmer focus and composition a distinct chore, so in this respect the brighter 90/4.5 SW is a distinct luxury. Yes, the CF can be used optionally. But if movements are modest, and it's well stopped down, then the 77mm system might work. You would just have to look through the cut corners of the ground glass to see if there's any mechanical vignetting or not.

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