Filters: Cokin vs. Lee
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Old 04-24-2006   #1
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Default Filters: Cokin vs. Lee

What would yo guys go for?

Im looking to begin a basic filter kit and dont want to be buying multiple filters for different lens threads so I'm looking at either the Lee kit or cokin kit, that way I just buy one filter, a holder and different adapter rings for my lenses.

Now my question is why it the Lee Foundation Kit around 50 where as the Cokin holder is around 10? There are also big price differences between lens adapters and the filters themselve. Basically can I justify the extra money for the Lee kit or is the Cokin just as good? Will filters by Cokin and Lee fit in their respective counterpart holders?

Thanks for any insight into this.

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Old 04-24-2006   #2
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Default Re: Filters: Cokin vs. Lee

The Cokin filters are not as good as the Lee filters, HiTech filters, or SinghRay filters. They work, but there are some issues that should be considered. Case in point would be the graduated ND filters. Cokin doesn't make a graduated ND filter. Instead it makes graduated color filters (gray, tobacco, orange, etc). This is fine for adding that effect to your photos, but it should be noted that there is a color difference between a graduated gray filter and a graduated neutral density filter (which should have no color cast). All of these polycarbonate filters can be scratched, regardless of which company you go with, and thus longevity of the filters must be taken into account.

The Lee filter holder is larger and takes larger filters, but I can't comment on the construction differences. Personally, I use a Cokin holder and fit it with HiTech filters graduated ND filters. I'm not sure if HiTech are readily available in the UK.

You didn't really mention whether you were shooting digital or film. That might make a difference since many filter effects are easily controlled better in post production than in camera. One thing you might consider is buying a regular circular filter for your largest lens and then buying stepup adapters to fit the filter to the others. You won't experience vignetting with this setup, however it does prevent mounting manufacturer lens shades in many cases.
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Old 04-24-2006   #3
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Default Re: Filters: Cokin vs. Lee

Thanks for the reply ohenry. I shoot digital (Nikon D70 in my sig) and realise I can control some effects post production, however I am a fan of being able to get things right from the outset.

I never thought about getting a filter for my largest lens and buying adapters, Ill look into that. I apreciate the info on longevity, I didnt realise they could be scratched easily (should have though as they are some sort of gel arent they?) But like most things if you take care of your equipment it will last. I will look into HiTech filters, never heard of them before so not sure of their availability.

Thanks again for the info
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Old 04-24-2006   #4
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Default Re: Filters: Cokin vs. Lee

Hi, I use the Cokin system because I couldnt justify the cost of Lee etc when I only use polarizer and graduated neutral density for occassional landscapes. I have heard (as ohenry says) that Cokin graduated filters can put a coulour cast on an image but I have NEVER had this happen to me so wonder how much of a problem this it really is or whether its a myth

I believe that Lee filters are expensive because of the way they are quality manufactured, so I think the choice is that if you can justify the cost of Lee filters then go for them, otherwise go for Cokin, put I personally doubt you will be disapointed with either

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Old 04-24-2006   #5
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Default Re: Filters: Cokin vs. Lee

Unless you have specifically compared an image shot with a graduated gray filter with the same image shot with a neutral density filter, it is unlikely that you would notice a difference.

For an opinon on filters from Thom Hogan (well respected author and Nikon-guru), click here. An interesting read on filters in general, as well as talking about color neutrality.


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