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Old January 12th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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Cokin filters - would you use them?

The Cokin filter system is attractively priced and seems like an easy means of stacking NDs to allow large apertures in video mode on the 5DM2.

A matte box with an array of premium B+W filters would be lovely, but as a lightweight alternative, how do Cokin filters compare? Would you use Cokin NDs on your 5DM2?

Any comments on the optical quality of the Cokin system appreciated.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #2
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The cokin p series are all resin filters and optically ok. Their only draw back is that they are small and won't work in pro grade matte boxes that use 4" filters.

I guess if you get a really good deal on them ( I see them on the bargain/clearance table at my local camera shop all the time ) then they will hold you over until you feel the need for larger filters ( if you get some lenses with larger front elements like 72mm/77mm )

next step up would be a setup from Formatt.... I use there FM500 matte box and love the look, functionality, and especially hoe light it is.... perfect for steadicam work. I tend to only use LEE 4"X4" filters in it.... mainly because they ted to be the most affordable.

Also check out the vari-nd filter from sing-ray.... it's a screw on, but it is one filter that allows 2-8 stops of ND.... fantastic filter for the 5d2. Some folks think that this is the same as stacking 2 polarizer filters.... but for some magical reason the vari-nd works better ( no color shift )
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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Hi Christopher,

I have a CPL and have ordered a linear polariser to test out the homemade variable ND filter idea. What colour shift takes place as you stop down - simply more blue or is it more complex than that?

Is it something you could easily overcome through setting the white balance?
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Old January 13th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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Cokin filters are not coated in any way (leastways mine aren't). So you'll need to effectively hood them and avoid shooting point sources of light through them, otherwide you'll add to the flare.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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I used cokin P's a couple years back on my mini35 with the manual nikkors. I had to stack 3 for some wide open daylight shots which looked pretty good. The graduated ND is really helpful. I haven't noticed any issues shooting through them to video but am trying to see how to make my new (hey- new to me) Lindahl mattebox work. It's not super huge-video thing but the smallness is what makes the SLR thing work, no?
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #6
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I used the Cokin P ND grad in this video: Angel's Gate - Canon 5D Mark II on Vimeo

Can't remember the exact model, 121 I think.

Tom is right about the flare, looks ugly sometimes.
Also, there is a slight color shift that I don't care for.
But, you get what you pay for...


-Bill
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