Anyone use Cokin system?

Joined
Mar 31, 2005
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Toronto Canada
More importantly the graduated ND filters. Picked up the P filter holder, have to get adapter ring and probably a graduated ND2 or maybe I should get the grad ND4? Just want some feedback on ease of use, where 2 or 4 is better for sky/land shots. I've used ND filters for waterfalls but haven't used any grad filters for bright skies. Thanks in advance for any help, Cheers, Sandi
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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35,172
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Arizona
Real Name
Chris
Hi Sandi, I have a Cokin G2* rectangular graduated filter for the P system, however I do not have the holder. It needs to be held by hand over the front of the lens. I used this filter a lot with both color and black & white film to darken bright skys, but I have yet to use it (with good result) with my digital camera. It is easier for me to achieve similar results with software. I carry it anyway, because you never know.

* It's an old filter, and I don't know how this number relates to the ND series. It cuts light by one and two thirds stops.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
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1,275
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Bainbridge Island, Washington
Hi Sandi,

I have a cokin setup with a graduated and a full ND plate. They do work but in my opinion are a bit of a hassle. the glass plates are a concern in a bag full of heavy stuff and the attachment does not work with very wide angle lenses. Having said that, there is a place for these filters and they can actually overcome a harsh contrasting light situation fairly simply.

This is an alternative solution for landscape work. If you have time to mount your camera on a tripod or solid surface. You can do this in PS, I am just showing you this website as an example. also I have used his actions and they do work well and are easy to use.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/shopping/DmRI

I have not tried it yet but if you are using a D2x or D2h and set the camera to shoot brackets, it may shoot them fast enough that you can even get by with this hand held.

If you are still interested let me know. I will sell you what I have.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
14,469
Location
Toronto Canada
Thanks Chris and Scott. The reason I haven't purchased the adapter and any filters is because after I got this thing home, I started thinking and came to the conclusion that this whole set up might become a right royal pain in the @ss - fiddling around with glass sheets, fiddly adapters, etc. Scott, I think the handheld bracketing idea might be the answer and use I tripod when I can. Thanks so much for your help on this. Cheers, Sandi
 

gho

Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
2,556
Location
California
I used to use the Cokin system, but now it's easier to apply the effects via PS. Plus, it doesn't limit the original image like filters do.

BTW, the filters are plastic, not glass.
 

gho

Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
2,556
Location
California
Oh, I should clarify - the square slip in kinds are plastic. I had a 77mm system and a step down adapter for my other lense (I only had two lenses before :/)
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
14,469
Location
Toronto Canada
Thanks Gregory, plastic might even be worse - scratches!! LOL I'm looking at the Fred Miranda plugin as recommended by Scott - might be a lot easier, and as you say, leaves the original image alone. Thanks for your input.
 
R

Robin Horlock

Guest
Hi Sandi,

Another use for Fred Miranda's DRI action is to process the image
so that the bright sky looks the way you want it to, then process the
same image but set the exposure for everything else and let the sky
burn out. Copy and paste one image over the other and click on FM-DRI action.
It will keep the best of both images. You may have to experiment
with the order of the two images.

You can also use this technique to pull out detail in an underexposed
backlit portrait, without bracketing your exposure.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,275
Location
Bainbridge Island, Washington
PSCS2 also has a setting that automates the proceedure.

Take two or more open images that differ in exposure before you do any other editing so they are as shot out of the camera. Choose File>Automate>Merge to HDR (High Dynamic Range). This will create a single image containing the range of all the images. There is a slider that allows you to chose brightness levels. You save the image and then go to Image>mode menu to pick 8 or 16 bit to convert it from an HDR image to what ever file you choose, ie. tiff, jpg, etc

The trick is to use a tripod and take your images all at the same f stop so the depth of field does not change. So leave camera at a given f stop and shoot it at different speeds until you get the sky exposed right in one image and the forground in another. You can even average several at different exposures and apply curves or whatever to make the picture really pop out.

Pretty cool.
 
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