Graduated grey filter

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Tor-Henrik Furmyr Tor-Henrik Furmyr   Post 1 of 18
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If i was to buy a graduated grey filter to make life a little easier when capturing sunsets and similar, what should i go for? G1 or G2?
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Ruud van der Lubben Ruud van der Lubben Post 2 of 18
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Good question, but i suppose this very much depends on the sunset.
If possible i would take both as no sunset is equal to the next one :D
Robert van der Sanden Robert van der Sanden Post 3 of 18
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I have a 2 and 3 stop ND grad. The 3 stop is certailny too strong for most situations, I hardly ever use it. 2 Stops works fine for landscapes but I don't move it all the way into the frame. I use the lighter part of the soft gradient. A 1 stop is on my wishlist, for general use.

In sunsets the lighting conditions vary a lot, depending on the height of the sun above the horizon. You may need a wider range of ND grads to deal with it.
If you like to go for quality and get a more expensive filter, start with a 2 stop soft gradient, as you can always use the lighter part if you don't need more. You can buy a 1 stop later. If a cheaper brand is OK for you, simply get both.

Good thing about having two is that you can move one in from the bottom, to reduce reflections off a water surface.
Ruud van der Lubben Ruud van der Lubben Post 4 of 18
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Definitely a very good advise Robert !!
Tor-Henrik Furmyr Tor-Henrik Furmyr   Post 5 of 18
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Thanks both of you. as a result of your advice a couple of graduated greys are on their way along with a gray 4 filter :-)
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When When Post 6 of 18
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Boy am I glad someone brought up filters. Maybe someone here knows because the young guys who know nothing but PS at the camera store have no idea. The store doesn't even sell filters, national camera store at that.

I bought a new Cokin filter holder for my 72 mm lens - you know, thinking I could actually use it. When I got home I found that my old Cokin square filters were too small. I had always assumed that Cokin filters were universal - I mean unless you are using those honking big teles. As far as I know Cokin only made one size filter...........anyone know if there are larger filters or if I can buy an adaptor so I can use them?

Maybe I'm still old school but these skies over Seattle really need some graduated filter help and its just too hard to hold the filter and shoot at the same time. Id much rather do it in camera than with PS, just not the same is it?
When When Post 7 of 18
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Duh me. On the back of the package for my filter holder was a the Cokin website with downloadable PDF brochures. Man has Cokin expanded since I last knew. Tons of accessories for digital cameras - even the little point and shoots. FUN. I guess my old filters are A series. Looks like I'm starting over with a new collection, but I still don't understand what series I need to go with now. The site just confuses me there - help.

http://www.cokin.com/ico13/ico13.html

Sorry, can't help you myself Tor - lost myself - but really interested in what answers you get.



Post Edited (18:04h)
Ruud van der Lubben Ruud van der Lubben Post 8 of 18
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Hi Wen,

What you should have is the P series.
They are available with ajustment rings from 48 untill 82mm
so larger then the old A series.
Most of the short to medium zoom lenses use the P series
I use myself the P121S = soft Gradual Neutral grey and the P121F = full Gradual Neutral grey

Hope this helpes !!
Robert van der Sanden Robert van der Sanden Post 9 of 18
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Hi When,

P series are good for most SLR's, unless you have larger than 82mm filter size lenses or very wide angles that would otherwise "see" the filter holder.

Quite some color correction filters or filters for B&W photography can be simulated in PS. Still I find it more convenient to start with the right filters in the first place.

I have a handful of Cokin filters for different situations. A few ND grads (neutral - gray - graduated) are always handy to get a better balance in brightness in a picture when the sky is too bright (clouds), but also for creative effects like add vignetting, darken foreground,... This is a filter that is also important in digital photography, because there is little possibility to correct for an over exposed sky if all pixels clipped to full white.

I have several warmup filters for landscape photography (P027,P035) to accentuate clouds in the sky (not as strong as a polarizer) or add some warmth in general (ie. to skin tones in outdoor portraiture)
A light blue to add coolness (tranquility) to a scene.

And a few more...

A description of what each Cokin filter does (with example pics) can be found here: http://www.geocities.com/cokinfiltersystem/
This is not an official Cokin site but maintained by an enthousiast.

If you like to know a bit more about filters, get in touch (Skype...)

Robert
When When Post 10 of 18
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Oh YES, YES, exactly Robert. The reason I went out and bought the holder is because I have a hard time with the milky white skies of Washington blowing out on me. Now that I want to get out and do some landscape photography its become an issue. I find that its a lot of PS work to try to bring out detail, and although I now know how to do it I don't want to have to patch two exposures together to get the detail. Thats fine for somethings but it bothers me with landscapes.

Couple of examples:

I really needed a graduated filter for this shot. When I got it home and processed it I found that in order to get the contrast I wanted I lost what little detail I had in the sky. It's a standard problem that photographers seem to have here. It comes out better in color because the sky had lovely colors, but in black and white they vanish.

[fc-foto:8770532]

This one was with my little Kodak. I had a 1 or maybe 2 filter on it.
[fc-foto:8754242]




Post Edited (22:17h)
Robert van der Sanden Robert van der Sanden Post 11 of 18
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see my answer to the picture

When you say the sky had nice colors; could you have played with the channel mixer for a better translation between color and B&W??
When When Post 12 of 18
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Yeah, tried the Channel Mixer, the Selective Color, Photo Filters. Just didn't convert to black and white. Tried heavily burning and then converting, that didn't come over well either. Just gave up and accepted it as a nice memory with a no detail sky. Eventually I'll go back and work the color version. Having a graduated filter would have been a big help.
Robert van der Sanden Robert van der Sanden Post 13 of 18
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What about a massive color saturation boost before using the channel mixer? To exaggerate the little color the sky has?
When When Post 14 of 18
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Yup. Tried that too, kind of why the log in the foreground went dark. Tried doing layers on it too. Just became a never ending battle and a PS knock out- drag out. What irritates me the most is the detail blow out of the branches that are in the sun.

Kind of a cool place for a nude though. Had all kinds of ideas for it.
Grinstian Grinstian Post 15 of 18
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HI!

by reading through your desciptions of the cokin filter systems I got very eager to learn more about it, and looked up the websites you listed above. but i couldn't find a pricelist or a shop selling this system on the internet. do you know one, or do you have a lokal fotodealer at home, and don't go on internetshopping? is it very expensive to start a new collection of those cokin filters or are they at a moderate price level?
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