Filters for the 24/3.5 II

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by yakim_peled|1, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. For many years I've been shooting only with only one filter - 77mm B+W MRC CPL, mostly on my 10-22 - and was happy. However, lately I've been feeling a need for ND and GND. The CPL can act as a 2.5 stops ND but it's not always enough.

    Now that I have the 24/3.5 II I thought to myself: I'll buy 82mm ones and add a 77-82 step-up ring when I use them on my 10-22. So, I ask all those who use filters with that lens, which filters do you use and what is your impression? Also, I guess a slim version is a must, right?

    Happy shooting,
  2. Not certain as I don't have that particular lens, (24-105 I use slim design) but I'd question the step up ring as wide angles tend to vignette regular filters. Slim design might work with the ring, might not- due to the cost of quality filters I'd wait for confirmation, here or elsewhere (BH Photo staff or wherever you plan to purchase etc).
  3. If you get lucky Henry Posner from B&H might chime in, he usually lurks here and is very knowledgeable.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Have you considered the Cokin X-Pros Series?
    (I have set of Cokin P Series which are very seldom used now) . . .
    One of my projects on the back burner is to make 135 Format T/S Kit.
    I have been thinking through lenses and filters.
    Canon TS-E or adapting my Sekor Lenses for the lenses, but I believe I have decided Cokin X-Pro Series, for the filters.
  5. If money is an issue, then the step-up ring solution is a possibility. I have a bunch for my filters that I bought when I first got into this hobby, but now I find them impractical. First, it's a set of extra stuff you have to carry around. Then, your lens hood can't go on because the filter (being too big) gets in the way (not that I do that often because you can't rotate the filter once the hood is on, but the possibility is gone). It's also a lot of extra screwing on and off when you need to be focusing on your photography. Finally, your original lens cap won't fit unless you take off your filter. I just found them to be an impractical pain, that now I simply have separate filters for the few lenses that need them (the ones I take on nature trips).
    Also a CPLs polarize, whereas GNDs don't, and decent CPLs act only as very weak NDs.
    I also own the TS-E 24mm II along with some B+W MRC CPLs. The only CPL I don't have is the one for my TS-E, because I'd been waiting to get the new XS-Pro one for its super-slim design. I use Lee GND filters on a full-frame camera, so I want to keep the stuff stacked on my lens as thin as possible to avoid vignetting.
    One setup for me may be the XS-Pro with two Lee filter holders held together with a tandem adapter, so it does add up...
  6. It can be a big investment , and the X-Pro set I have has a book value more than the lens. Ultimately the issue of ND and GND for extreme movements is handled well by bracketing too. The X-Pro size is very wind sensitive as they are huge, and it is very easy to knock your lens out of focus with that setup. The Cokin brand are very good, and you will see no difference between them and the Singh Ray that I also have in that size, but there is a distinct difference in the graduation levels.
    In my opinion the best filter for the TS-E 24L II is the Sigma 82mm threaded slim circular polarizer. I have used B+W, Schneider, and the Cokin X-Pro and just like a few things about the Sigma more. In terms of the graduated filters I like the Cokin X121F and the Singh Ray graduated 3 stop.
    For long exposures I have the Sigma polarizer on, I then add my X-Pro adapter to the front of the sigma as it is threaded, then add the Cokin polarizer but reversed to give a 8-10 stop ND filter with one slot left for the graduated filter of choice. With polarizer, plus reverse polarizer you can't even see through the eyepiece really at max setting, so it can be a bit of a crap shoot if you knock focus out, but it can be fund to try with.
    Slim version is not a must by the way, but nice if you want to add something, you're only going to notice at extreme movements, but then you vignetting and distortion anyway so what does it really matter.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "The X-Pro size is very wind sensitive as they are huge"
    Noted, thank you.
  8. Guys, thank you for your suggestions. Here are some clarifications.
    I'm not interested in filters which can not be bolted directly to the lens. On of the (least important) reasons why I purchased it its filter capability so I'm looking at 82mm filters. Also, AFAIK B+W MRC are the best so that's more or less a given. Mine was performing very well for several years.So, the only questions are:
    1. Is a slim design necessary because of the shift? I'm currently on APS-C but FF in the future is a possibility. Then again, it might be APS-H.... :)
    2. How many stops to go with the ND? As I said, the CPL can act as a 2.5 stops ND so I'll need more. But how many more? Anyone tried the ND 1000 (10 stops)? If it's too much then the only intermediate step is a 6-stop ND.
    3. How many stops to go with the GND? I guess this will be especially important in sunsets. So, how many stops is your GND when you shoot sunsets? Is it enough for you?
    Happy shooting,
  9. I use a Lee holder reduced to two slots and mounted with an 82mm Lee wide-angle adapter ring. This mounts my
    Singh-Ray graduated ND filters.

    I don't use polarizers often, but I have an 82mm Moose Peterson filter that fits well. If I need to use the polarizer and
    the grads together I mount the Lee circular polarizer to the front of the holder.
  10. Hakim I do not have the 24 TS (I went with the 17 instead as it gives me a 28 on crop and will work with the 1.4x TC
    with care to give 24mm on full frame) I do however have the 16-35 F2.8 II and have years of using a 35mm TS and
    MF lenses on TS mounts.

    I would suggest that you get thin filters with the 24mm - you will probably get away with a standard width filter but
    when shifted or tilted I suspect it will be marginal. On the 16-35 (also 82mm) you can see a full size filter vignette at
    about 21mm. You only need to consider the thin filters if you go full frame and even then I think a regular one will
    work. The thin filters will also allow you to stack 2 filters. In terms of a step down ring I suggest that you get one or
    two. I use a 77 to 67 for my 70-200 F4 IS and 100 Macro as almost all my other Canon lenses are 77mm

    For ND filters I find I use 2 and 4 stops the most. I do have a 9 stop Which I occasionally use. These big filters need
    to be screw in but a 2 or 3 stop can be Cokin or Lee.

    For ND grands I find I use 2 stop the most, followed by 1 then by 3. I would suggest you look at Cokin X series or
    similar (although the P series will fit 82mm it does not work well). The Cokin filters are very high quality and about $45
    to $60 so they are half the price of screw in filters. For ND Grads I find that the square filters are much easier as you
    can adjust the horizon and stack the filters.

    Hopefully this helps with your decision - unfortunately I cannot be more helpful as I decided on the 17mm which does
    not take normal filters. The only other thing to be aware of is that tilting the lens increase the chance of reflections
    between the filter and the lens. You should also look at Cokin X or Lee - while the systems are a bit clumsy they are
    much easier for ND grads as you can position the grad where you want it.
  11. I'll comment on your question #3. I have soft-edge 1-stop and 2-stop filters. They can be stacked to yield a 3-stop filter. Shifting the two filters up and down slightly allows you to play with the edge hardness, i.e. if they are stacked perfectly then the edge is more abrupt than offsetting them slightly. 3 stops is quite a bit, and anything more would turn a sunset into something alien IMO.
    Of course nowadays people often bracket and stack in post, but messing around in the field can be a nice thing to do.
  12. The thin filters will also allow you to stack 2 filters.​
    In my experience, the slim B+W filters (and probably others) have no front filter threads, so the base filter of a two filter stack-up would still need to be of normal thickness. I've been using the step-up ring method for ages, and aside from the obvious lens hood issue, it works fine for me (albeit never with a T/S lens).
  13. "1. Is a slim design necessary because of the shift? I'm currently on APS-C but FF in the future is a possibility. Then again, it might be APS-H.... :)"
    No, this is a myth, that is why the filter diameter is so large in the first place; and you have to deal with vignetting and distortion at extreme movements anyways with the 24 TS-E II since as great as it is, it still has to obey some of the laws of physics.
    "In my experience, the slim B+W filters (and probably others) have no front filter threads, so the base filter of a two filter stack-up would still need to be of normal thickness."
    "Also, AFAIK B+W MRC are the best so that's more or less a given."
    The Sigma 82mm is a thin model, and has a unique filter thread at the front with a metal flange to protect the glass when adding a second filter.
    I too used the B+W MRC for years, but on the 24 TS-E II prefer the Sigma again for polarizing, and for ND combo option. It is an expensive filter{The Sigma], and very high quality that accepts the Canon lens cap, though I use my B+W 85mm slip on cap over the Sigma filter most of the time. Rather than taking a thing for a given, I do enjoy making my own discoveries, and that is why I again recommend the Sigma [which I own] over the B+W [which I owned].
  14. I made a quick couple of images just now of polarizers for this lens that I use plus two GND among others. You have the B+W, Singh-Ray, Cokin, and Sigma, plus the Cokin graduated I mentioned and the Singh-Ray. Probably is not much help, especially since they are in no order, but I am more surprised if I can remember how to use this site so sorry if nothing shows:
    Sigma EX DG 82mm wide on lens:

    Inside threads Sigma:

    Lens and four different brands of polarizer plus GNDs:

    Close-up so you can see the brands I guess:
  15. The Cokin filters are very high quality​
    I was under the impression they are not. Has things changed?
    Happy shooting,
  16. Yes, the Cokin are great quality in the X-Pro, and as you can see in the photo I also use Singh-Ray alongside them. I have about a dozen Cokin and the same for Singh-Ray, plus Heliopan, B+W/Schneider/Rodenstock, and I think that people get a little too carried away with bashing pretty good gear, especially now that we can shoot RAW or use AWB. Most people had issues with how their slide film turned out with the Cokin I think, but I actually find them more neutral than the Singh-Ray for example [in terms of ND and GND]. The Cokin Polarizer there that is made in France costs more than all the others polarizers put together, and while cost is not always a determinant of quality, they do have nice stuff that I suspect most people have never actually used but somehow deride the quality. Also, look at the relative colour of the GND filters and polarizers on the paper. The down side of the Cokin and Singh Ray is that they are easy to scratch and chip, and maybe Lee is further ahead there?
  17. You asked about filter threeads on slim filters - my Hoya and B&W filters have very usable threads to allow filters to
    be stacked (this goes for UV, ND and cic pol). While the front threads are fairly new on thin filters they work fine.

    In terms of Cokin quality I find that their ND and ND grad filtered are fine - optically I see little difference with Lee and
    Cokin. I have noticed that the smaller Cokin P series filters have a slight green cast but on the Z and X series this
    does not appear to be present. Perhaps my term was too general when I said they were high quality. What I should
    have said is that their Z and X series ND, ND grad and coloured filters for B&W work very well with no image issues.
    Their circ pol filters etc... are not high quality in my experience.
  18. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I think that the comments you linked to are a little harsh and cannot be applied to the whole range of Cokin Filters, available now in 2011. (note it cites the P Series Only).
    As I interpret the text, NK Guy basically lampoons the coloured and “special effects” filters of the P Range and the intent is to state that those effects (and CC) are now not necessary with digital.
    I have a Starburst, Prism, Rainbow, a range of colours and few and a other P Series Filters which I used in the 70’s and 80’s: as it was a trend then and customer wanted the starburst Wedding Portrait: cheesy by today’s fashion maybe, but fashionable then.
    Also with all due respect to NK Guy (whom I do hold in respect), the image degradation (for example) of the starburst or rainbow, or for the matter the graduated “colours”, really did not matter much even for the professional applications in the 1970 – 1980. We would set the Bride under the Lamppost, whack on the Rainbow Filter and shoot with side sunlight at around F/8 and any "crap" on, or from the Filter was lost in the “effect”, anyway.
    I think that KK Guy’s script has to be taken in context. It is a retrospective comment, singling out a specific subset and application of the Cokin range which has little application and is not really used much now. As I mentioned in my first post, my P series collection is gathering dust – but my Daughter used them recently, (and also my matt boxes): as she shoots film and also uses wet processing and an enlarger and has recently engaged some styled themes for a recent series of her Photographs.
    The Cokin X-Pro Series, ND Filters I have sampled seem to me, very good quality: and that is why I mentioned them to you, as I made the reseach a few months ago, as intend to have the same application on the TS-E 24 MkII, shortly.
    I have not used the X-Pro series GND, which was the other filter about which you were asking - but I ASSUME it would be as good as the ND's I have used.
  19. I still do not understand how to imbed photos, so I just put a few up from a stitched image using the TS-E II with two Cokin filters stacked in front of it. The example shows clearly that I do not understand how to use tilt, but I don't think that the filters limited me or then lens in any way. Also, it was windy, and as I mentioned earlier the filters can just about do double duty as a lean-to if you need shelter they are so big.
    Pano using TS-E II and Cokin polarizer plus Cokin gnd:
    700 pixel crop on left of same photo:
    700 pixel crop centre:
    700 pixel crop right:
  20. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I still do not understand how to imbed photos​
    Go to the image in your portfolio. (Or other URL)
    Right Click on it
    Drop down to “Properties”
    Open menu
    Copy the address (e.g.
    At the “Contribute a response” menu box you have a little tree icon – open it.
    Paste the address.
    700 pixel crop on left of same photo:
    etc . . .
    Also noted - what I just did was naughty: as I am not allowed to post any images in a thread which are not mine - so the example might disappear.
  21. That's cool, much appreciated William! I hereby authorize you to use my photos on this site for such [educational] purposes as this retroactively; though it is likely more is gained from your lesson than my examples. That said, in terms of the cropped portion of the image through two cokin filters stacked, I think that is fairly sharp/detailed - or whatever it is that cokin filters are supposed to errode in terms of image 'quality'. Note that I did not own the Sigma filter yet, but would use it plus the GND now by attaching the cokin holder on front. The cropped portion is just taken from the original panorama without resizing or any of that fancy stuff.
  22. Example Photo
    • 5D Mark II
    • TS-E 24 II (with tilt movement for focus and fall to maintain vertical lines)
    • Two-slot 100 mm Lee Foundation Filter Holder
    • Singh-Ray ND Grad
    • No polarizers
    Notice that there is no vignetting in the image.
  23. That's a wonderful pic Dan. Thanks for posting it. I hope some day I'll be able to make similar ones.
    Thanks for all for sharing your knowledge. I'll look into this deeper. If you'll think of more things I need to know, please add.
    Happy shooting,

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