Quality of Cokin filters

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by benjamin_ng, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. I would like to buy a few color filters 81A and 82A. And I found the
    Cokin system very flexible.

    However, the salesperson told me that most people using Cokin would
    only buy their funny filters. For serious use, like polarizer and
    color correction filters, the common glass filter would be more

    My questions:

    1. Are those Cokin polarizer, ND, gradual and color filters quality
    good enough to be used?

    2. I would scan all my film into computer for processing instead of
    printing out. Should I make the color correction with my PC instead
    of those color filters?
  2. The quailty of Cokin isn't that good, and the filters don't last long if you use them. The get really scratched etc.

    You can make all the adjustments but polarizing effects on computer (double expose and sandwitch for grads)
  3. So, are there any other flexible and higher quality filter system in the market?

    As you said, polarizing effect could not be added in the digital darkroom, it is necessary. How about the Cokin polarizer... as bad? Should it be glass or plastic?
  4. The Cokin polariser is glass, and is actually pretty good. Their warm-up filters and grads are plastic, but despite their bad press are quite usable. The grads aren't 100% neutral (mine have a slight magenta cast) but it's rarely a problem.
    You can of course spend a lot more on Lee or Hitech filters, but Cokin is so cheap (apart from the polarisers) that you lose next to nothing by at least starting out with them. The Lee filter system is considerably more expensive, and for me at least the difference in quality isn't worth the extra money.
    Taken with a cheap and nasy Cokin grad on my lens
  5. As found mentioned in someplace else, some other filters could fit into the Cokin P system.

    Do you know any one of them?
  6. (See, Ellis, it's answers like Pierce's that irritate me.)
  7. Try them and see - they're cheap. FWIW I've never seen any deterioration in image quality with Cokin filters, but they're soft plastic and uncoated so use a lens hood and keep them in their boxes when not in use.
  8. I've been using the Cokin polarizer for about a year with no scratches or other problems. It seems solidly made so I expect it to last quite a bit longer. I also use the cheap closeup filters (I'm not very seriously into macro work so this is a good compromise for me) and I'm surprised by their sharpness - have a look at this link for an example if you like: http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo? topic_id=1481&msg_id=005GjR&photo_id=1546542&photo_sel_index=0 . However, one of my Cokin closeup filters does have a small scratch so I'm glad I consider it a toy, not a serious piece of professional equipment. I make all colour corrections on the PC so don't use these filters, but I would use a graduated ND filter if I did a lot of landscape work. I've heard that the Cokin ND filter is not quite colour neutral, but that is also probably something easily corrected on the computer.
  9. I have about 50 Cokin filters (left over from my digital days) along with assorted accessories. I found that the idea of an interchangable filter system was a good one and the filter holder for the square filters (especially with grads) was invaluable.<P>
    I must say that I use very few filters these days (warming filters, polarizers, ND and grads) and the Cokins are...good enough.<P>
    Filters for a photographer are like adjetives for a writer. Used sparingly they enhance the work, but, overused, they get in the way.
  10. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    I use them, mostly grey and tabacco grads, a bunch of fun ones. Many have noted the grey gradient is not a true ND becasuse it put a color (grey ) into the photo. I still like 'em and us 'em to stop down bright skys; the other system filters are just too pricy for me.

    The other Cokin I use a lot is a 80A for working in museums under lights when I can't use flash.

    I personally like them. They do get scratched. If it was for something one uses a lot and you have a series of lenses that have different filter size needs, certainly for the 81A I'd probably get one for the widest filter you need and then get step down rings.
  11. Well.. I have a Cokin Polarizer and a few more filters and I think they're not as bad as most people make them... They are uncoated, however, and seem to have a near-magnetic attraction to dust (though cleaning them with some lens cleaning fluid seems to make them less dust-attracting)-.... but, they are CHEAP (the polarizer is some 45$ or so, but thats cheap for a pol. filter)

    Anyway, the system is pretty nice, and you can get filters by hitech, tiffen and singh-ray (the latter are VERY expensive, but apparently excellent)

    BTW, Cokin makes several sizes of filter systems... "A" is for lenses longer than 35mm and 36 to 62mm filter threads (the filters are 85mm wide). "P" covers the 48 to 82mm filter size and also works for wide-angles... "X-Pro" is an oversized system for really big glass...(120mm wide) and recently launched (in europe, at least) "Z-Pro" is a Lee-compatible sistem (100mm wide)
  12. Chalk up another fan of their funny filters. I don't much care what they might do to ultimate resolution - it's the effect I want.

    The resin filters do scuff fairly easily but what the heck, are they any worse than the fragile gels photographers used for decades? Nope.

    As for whether to use filters on the camera or do it digitally, it depends. Sometimes it's easier to do it one way, other times another. Negative film responds one way to filters, positive film (slide) responds another way. Some will argue - legitimately so - that by shooting the film straight you keep your options open.

    As for digital captures, my experience is limited to experimenting with my Olympus C-3040Z P&S digicam. It really struggles to manage the heavier Cokin funny filters, like their dual color polarizers. It can't autofocus through them and has a difficult time getting a correct exposure. But it would be tough trying to duplicate the effects via Corel Photo-Paint (my weapon of choice).
  13. I've owned and used a Cokin Polarizer for over 15 years and it's still in good shape. No scratches here. However, I am anal retentive about cleaning my equipment (actually blowing dust off rather than using tissue). The polarizers are glass, and work just fine.<p>As for the resin filters, I use their color correction filters with slide film. I use a light blue one (82A) to correct tungsten lighting to daylight film on my copy stand, shooting with the 60mm micro Nikkor. I can see fine details quite clearly to the corners, so I'm not crying about loss of resolution.<p>If you want to see how expensive plastic filters can get, price a Zeiss Softar. They cost as much as a prime lens for a funny bumpy piece of plastic. At this price, the Cokins are a great bang for the buck and work very well too. Unless you use the filter with every single shot, forget what the filter snobs say. Spending big $ on filters just doesn't make any sense for the small percentage of shots that I actually use them with.

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