Square Filter Recommendations?

Heavy Doody

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I carry 3 lenses and 2 filters for each (ND: 6-stop and 10-stop). I'd like to carry fewer filters.

I also take a filter-free version of every shot for compositing. That's a lot of screwing and unscrewing. I worry about dropping them, and I probably move the camera a bit, though not more than Photoshop can correct.

I've been thinking about a square filter and mount, but I've never really looked into them. Any suggestions on something nice that would tilt all 3 lenses?

Panasonic 12-35, Panasonic 35-100, and Olympus 9-18.

Thanks.
 

OzRay

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Lee glass filters would probably be the best, but they cost. Cokin make them as well, but I'm not sure if they make glass filters, or just gel.
 

cmpatti

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Hitech makes 6 and 10 stop IRND filters to fit Cokin P holders (85mm wide). They go for a bit over $100 each in the US. You can buy copies of the Cokin P holders cheap on eBay. If you go for the Hitech, make sure you get the more expensive IRND; the regular Hitech ND filters suffer horribly from IR pollution which creates irreparable color shifts, making them good only for B&W work.
 

mcrosa

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I use the Cokin Series A. Fits better on the micro 4/3 lens' and so far have no complaints. I have been using the polarizer and have ordered some ND graduated filters.
 

Cruzan80

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I also use the Cokin A. Only possible issue is that the filter rings only go up to 68mm.
 

Leif

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HiTech are pretty nice, I would put them between the expensive Lee and Cokin. But do you really need that many filters? I would get just one of each for the largest filter size you need and then use step-up rings. Or hold them just in front of the lens, doesn't matter if it's a round or square one. Althought that could get annoying if you do very long exposures.
 

fortwodriver

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Does Cokin still make the X line? Those are much larger than the A or P series.

Honestly, though unless you're doing it just for fun, Cokin filters are kind-of weird. They're resin, not gel, not glass. Lots of fun, but far from precise.

I have a bunch of P-Series filters and a few mount rings and stuff. I bought the ND filters and a bunch of special effect filters years ago.

If you want to play, play first with Cokin because they're relatively cheap. Then, if you want to have less issues with distortion and colour balance, use your Cokin holder with something like Lee, HiTech, which tend to be glass and much more precise. Also, all Cokin ND filters have a brownish tint to them and scratch VERY easily.
 

fmfche

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I just ordered two 4x6 lee GND filters to use with my 12-35 an omd. I went with 4x6 because it will be a lot less painful if/when I upgrade. I should have them by the next weekend and I will let you know what I think.

With all that being said I would think one large ND and step down rings would be the simplest solution/cheapest if you only want ND's
 

Just Jim

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I use singh rays. IMO, I'll take resin over glass, less dust, fewer scratches. I'd assume fewer breaks, but I've never broke a filter. Their grad filters are the best I've ever used, no color shifts. I suggest cokin P size with the cheap Chinese "P" size holders that come with the variety of adapter rings for like $20 (the hood is useless UNLESS you DIY a French flag for it then it's FANTASTIC!).

http://www.amazon.com/Square-Filter-Compatible-Cokin-Series/dp/B00796I4XS/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1404120486&sr=8-7&keywords=goja+p+filter+holder

http://www.singh-ray.com
 

fortwodriver

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I don't understand how a piece of glass/resin can cost more than a lens. The Sing Ray 10 stop is $400...ouch.
That's exactly why I ended up buying Cokin resin filters. They're relatively cheap. However, you trade off stability, durability, and occasional weird side-effects from the resin compound they use.

Most of the really expensive filters are really glass - and plane parallel to prevent ghosting and other weird optical problems.
Many are even multi-coated.
 

oldracer

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I've been thinking about a square filter and mount ...
Yes. Two separate things that are kind of getting muddled here.

Re mount, after quite a bit of study I have standardized on the Cokin "P" system. There is a wide variety of vendors offering filters that fit this mount. Price and quality range all over the map, giving me cheap options for experimentation and expensive options if I want them. For me it has been a good choice. Square filter mount systems are inherently klunky and ugly, so I don't see that the more limited Cokin "A" system gets me anything but unnecessary limitations.

I don't understand how a piece of glass/resin can cost more than a lens. The Sing Ray 10 stop is $400...ouch.
Many books have been written on pricing. First you need to understand that price is only loosely related to cost. A vendor needs to cover his costs, of course, but from that point pricing is a game of strategy. Sing Ray has apparently decided that their sweet spot for margin is $400. They could probably cover their costs at $225 but they would have to sell twice as many filters to achieve the same margin dollars. More work, same money, even if they could in fact double their unit sales. So why would they do that?

Now, you might say, they could be wrong about their price point and at $225 they might sell three times as many units. Could be. But that's free enterprise; they get to decide how to price their products. You get to decide whether to buy or not.
 

Wisertime

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Many books have been written on pricing. First you need to understand that price is only loosely related to cost. A vendor needs to cover his costs, of course, but from that point pricing is a game of strategy. Sing Ray has apparently decided that their sweet spot for margin is $400. They could probably cover their costs at $225 but they would have to sell twice as many filters to achieve the same margin dollars. More work, same money, even if they could in fact double their unit sales. So why would they do that?

Now, you might say, they could be wrong about their price point and at $225 they might sell three times as many units. Could be. But that's free enterprise; they get to decide how to price their products. You get to decide whether to buy or not.
Yeah, I took economics, but I still think it sucks! :cool: You'd think someone could undercut them and make the same quality product by now.
 

oldracer

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You'd think someone could undercut them and make the same quality product by now.
I wouldn't do it. :smile: The market is a tiny niche and Sing Ray's production costs are going to be lower than mine due to their established market position. So they could easily run sale prices to keep me from getting any share, then put them back up when I am gone.

I don't like it when I see this kind of pricing on something I want to buy, but I do admit to being a bit envious.
 

Andym72

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I also use the Cokin A. Only possible issue is that the filter rings only go up to 68mm.
But the adapter rings for Cokin P only go down to 48mm, too big for most of the primes.

Unless you plan on getting the Oly 300mm Pro lens, which is going to have a monster of a front element, a Cokin A sized holder (with Hitech IRND filters, that they do make in that size, 67mm) is the way to go.

Edit: Maybe even better, get the Hitech filter holder as well, its aluminium instead of the plastic the Cokin is made from. Should last longer!
 

oldracer

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But the adapter rings for Cokin P only go down to 48mm ...
Agreed that the "A" will handle most situations but there is no practical minimum to the "P" system as step-up/step-down rings are readily available. In my case, all of my lenses except my 14-140 are already bushed to 52mm anyway.
 

fin azvandi

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Somehow along the way I picked up a Cokin A holder and a 52mm adapter ring - now I'm just having trouble finding a strong ND filter to use on the 9-18 for long exposure daylight photos. All I've seen is up to 3 stops...otherwise the Cokin A filters all seem to be GND or goofy effects.
 

Repp

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I ended up going with the Lee Seven5 for one main reason, they are designed for smaller sized sensors for the transition on their graduated ND filters, unlike the normal Cokin/Lee filters which are made to work best with Medium Format and FF sensors. I'm not sure if any of the other companies are doing this yet.
 

fin azvandi

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I just played around with the Cokin A filter holder on the 9-18 and unfortunately at 9mm even when the filter holder is perfectly vertical it is still slightly visible along one or both frame edges... :-( I guess I will look at one of the larger setups.
 
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