Are these filters good for me?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by justin_divino, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Hi, I love landscape shots, mainly sunsets at the beach with rocks. I always use a tripod and have been doing this for 4+ years and am fairly serious. I want to balance exposures from the sky and foreground alot more.

    Will these filters be a good fit for me getting into it? Is the price right?

    I found them on craigslist, going to look at them soon in person. All id have to buy is a 58 mm adapter and it should work. Your take?

    "TWO" HITECH Graduated Neutral Density Filters
    - ND GRAD (HARD) 0.6 (MSRP $40)
    - ND GRAD (SOFT) 0.9 (MSRP $40)

    "ONE" COKIN Neutral Filter
    - P154 Neutral Grey ND8 - 0.9 (MSRP $20)

    "ONE" COKIN Varicolor Blue/Yellow P173 (MSRP $47)

    "ONE" COKIN Filter Ring Size 77mm (MSRP $17)

    "TWO" COKIN Filter Holder (MSRP $30)
    - For Wide Angle lens
    - For Normal to Telephoto lens

  2. seems like *a lot* of $$ for what you're getting and the Varicolor is probably mostly useless and the neutral gray probably isn't overly neutral (long standing issue w/ Cokin's 'grey').
  3. Price the kit out at BHPhoto or Adorama, to see if it is a good deal.
  4. $160 is a bit much for all that. You can get a Cokin ND grad kit for around $50, with three grads, and the holder. All
    you'd then need is the adapter for your lens' filter thread size, and they run about $15.. The vari-color uses linear
    polarization, I believe, so it won't work well with AF cameras.
  5. david_henderson


    Some are, some aren't, at least in terms of what your stated objective is. If you count only the value of the items that help you reach your stated objective, then its an expensive package and indeed you could according to your own research buy the Hitech grads and a Cokin ring and holder for them new for less. Just be sure that the size of the filters and holders are mutually compatible and also compatible with the lenses you intend to use with them.
    If you buy new, I'd suggest that you'd be better with a 3 stop hard and 2 stop soft than vice versa as you have here.
  6. The color balance of the ND and ND graduated filters is really a major issue only if you are shooting film.
    If you are shooting digital, post-processing and white balance will make this a non-issue.
    I personally find the Cokin filters more than adequate, and I could never justify to myself the prices some other maker/vendors ask for what are still little squares of resin, after all is said and done.
    Cokin has been undergoing "reorganization" but there should be plenty of stuff still in the pipeline.
  7. Where are you guys finding them for cheaper, I looked at the prices at BH and foud the hitech filters around $80 each.
    Are you sure this isnt a wise investment?
  8. david_henderson


    Careful on the pricing of Hitech. Buying direct from the factory in Wales with no discount, if the OP is talking about the smallest size they are available at £12.77 each which equates to about $20. A set of three at different strengths in the 85mm size costs under $50. Even the largest 100 x 150 grads I use cost c.$135 for a set of 3 which as an exported item would be free of UK. tax. Anyone can buy from the factory.
    Now it may be that the OP doesn't know which size is being offered here, but irrespective, new Hitechs can be bought quite cheaply- cheaply enough in my view to mean that I don't have to consider the cheaper and IMO worse Cokin brand.
  9. David,
    Are your prices correct for what I am buying?
    Here is a picture of the set i might buy.
    Im meeting with the guy tomorrow so any last feedback would be great! Thanks.
  10. justine, the $80 Hitech filters are the 100mm wide ones. The ones advertised in Craig's list are the 85mm wide ones, which are very much cheaper.
  11. david_henderson


    Your pictures show the smallest (85mm) size available from HiTech, so my prices are correct assuming you buty from the UK factory and ship. However I think that if you look at the B&H site the price for these filters new is about $30 there.
    There is a utility in buying new ND filters. The material scratches more easily than glass and whilst the myriad tiny scuffs and scratches you often see on ND grad filters, even the expensive ones, don't often affect the image there comes a point when you look at these things and conclude that you'd be better off with new ones. So for me to buy ND grads used-
    • They'd have to be pristine
    • They 'd have to be the size for my lenses. For example do you know that the nominally 85mm HiTech are big enough to avoid vignetting from the holder? Is the ring the right size for your lenses screw-threads.
    • They'd have to represent a deep discount from new
    • Any other items in the package would either have to be stuff I wanted, or priced so that I wouldn't be likely to take a loss when selling on.
    On the face of it, if 85mm is the size you need, you could buy a set of grads or a "special set" of three in whatever strength and hard/soft edge you need , and pick up the Cokin ring and holders , for less than your seller wants.
  12. The Hitechs are great, I use the same ones. Cokin ND has a (reddish) color cast, I now use a tiffen 52mm. Forget the Varicolor and save the $$ towards a future NIK color efex pro. For a 77mm, check for vignetting before you buy (almost works fine for me at 72mm but I wouldn't push it).
    Only use soap and water to clean the filters. Do not clean resin filters with isopropyl alcohol, the pigments leech out (slowly).

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