Last updated on September 20th, 2020 at 10:14 am
Cokin Filters System Review
Cokin Filter Guide: It’s a Different World Altogether
Traditionally, camera lens filters have been screw-on type filters. The filters are screwed on the top of the lens, and it is ready to use, with the ability to add more filters on top of the previous one.
While this is a convenient method because we use so many different lenses, we often require an entirely new set of filters for different lenses, and it comes out cheaper in the long run.
To avoid this issue, the filter manufacturers are developing square filters, which can be added via adaptor and filter holders easily.
One of the popular systems is the Cokin System, which involves filter holder series and filters based on the widest focal length you intend to use. Therefore, the first step toward using the Cokin system is to identify the camera body or bodies you will be using, and the widest focal length you would be using.
Cokin Filter System Series – Guide
After that, Cokin has four series. These can be deduced from the image below:
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Now the series has been decided; it is about the selection of the filter holder. It is based upon the maximum number of filters you wish to stack-up together, the versatility you require, and the filter size of your lenses.
Although there are adaptors and step-up rings to cover some of those factors up.
S Series / A Series:
- Filter sizes: 67 x 72mm(rectangle) and 67 x 67mm (square).
- Adaptor rings 36mm-62mm filter size range.
- High-impact plastic.
- The holder can take up to 3 filters.
M Series / P Series:
- Filter sizes: 84 x 100mm(rectangle) and 84 x 84mm (square).
- Lightweight but fixed design.
- High-impact plastic.
- Holder holds up to three filters and 95mm circular polarizer (screw-on)
- Adaptor rings 48mm-82mm filter size range.
L Series / Z-Pro Series:
- Filter sizes: 100 x 150mm(rectangle) and 100 x 100mm (square).
- Lightweight with a Modular design.
- Most versatile.
- The high-impact plastic that holds up to 3 filters and 105mm circular polarizer (screw-on).
- Adaptor rings: 52mm-96mm filter size range.
XL Series / X-Pro Series
- Filter sizes: 130 x 170mm(rectangle) and 130 x 130mm (square).
- Lightweight but fixed design.
- High-impact plastic.
- Holds up to 3 filters and 127mm circular polarizer (screw-on).
- Adaptor rings: 62mm-112mm filter size range.
Filter Adaptors and Step-up Rings
Considering you have an 82mm filter size and an L series holder, you will need an L series 82mm adaptor ring to put it over your lens.
If you have two lenses of different filter sizes, all you need are different size adaptors ring for them, while the filter holders can be the same. Adaptors are low cost, and the main price is of filters.
Therefore it saves much of the cost following the Cokin system and other similar systems.
I suppose you have a filter size range with a minimum being 62mm, and you have a lens with a 49mm filter size – what do you do? There are no adaptors but step-up rings.
These step-up rings first help in stepping up the filter sizes to the necessary value. After that, adaptors and filter holders can be automatically used.
The Types of Filters
Some of the most common types of applications of filters in common photography genres are:
Landscape photography is one genre of photography that is exceptionally blessed to have the availability of filters.
Many filters affect landscape photography in varying degrees, often coming up with results vastly different and better as compared to ones that would have been without these filters.
CPL or Circular Polarizer filter is perhaps the most critical filters a landscape photographer carries. This helps the landscapes by
- Making the blues of the skies darker and thus having the white puffy clouds stand out
- Taking the reflections off the water a bit and giving it a more serene look.
ND of Neutral Density filters cut stops of light. This is useful while taking pictures during sunlight, and you want to use the slow shutter.
A slow shutter helps capture movements of the clouds and water by giving them a motion blur. The same is the case in the case of waterfalls and rivers.
Landscape photographers love the beautiful moving skies and water, and the motion blur and an ND filter are a go-to. ND filter is of two types
- Constant – which stops consistent stops of light.
- Variable – in which you can vary the stops of light to cut out.
A constant ND of 2 stops will require you to slow down the shutter two stops while keeping the aperture and ISO the same.
c. Graduated ND
Graduated Neutral Density filters cut the stops of light in one half of the frame. This helps in getting the exposure of sky and land correct in the same frame in case the skies are overexposed.
The filters of Graduated ND are generally rectangular, thus allowing you extra space to control where the gradation of transparent and translucent parts occurs. Translucent part stops light while transparent allows all the light to pass through.
2. Portrait & Studio Photography
ND filters are an amazing addition to a studio photographer’s arsenal. While it is commonly considered that ND filters can be used only outdoors, sometimes in the studio, especially in larger studios, the light can be too much.
To get shallow depth of field in such scenarios, the ND filter is of immense value as it helps in cutting down stops of light, and thus allowing a wide-open aperture to be used instead of a stopped down the aperture to cut out excess light.
Cokin Filter Systems are a beautiful addition to the filter management because you have to buy the main glass only once, as also the filter holder.
The step-up rings and adaptors are all you will be spending on, and those aren’t as costly and valuable as the glass – the main part of any filter.
How to Use Cokin Filters
Below you have an image showing you in what order to assemble the Cokin System:
- Attach the Adapter Ring to your lens
- Slide the Series Filter Holder
- Slide the Cokin Filter
It is that simple.
How Do Cokin Filters System work?
If you’ve ever looked at a professional’s photographs and wondered why they looked so much more realistic, intriguing, or dramatic than your own?
The answer: Cokin Filters
Because the human eye and cameras do not respond the same way to all colours, filters are most often used to adjust the colour of light from the scene, so that the shades reproduced on camera correspond to those we see with our eyes.
A colour filter permits the light of its colour to pass through and, to varying degrees, absorbs or blocks the light of other colour.
Nearly all filters, because they reduce the light entering the camera, require a larger aperture or a slower shutter speed than you would use without a filter.
The change, although now frequently given in f-stops, is traditionally specified as a filter factor – a number that indicates how much you must multiply your exposure.
A filter factor of 2, for example, tells you that you must double the amount of light-the equivalent of a one-stop change. A factor of 4 requires four times as much light-the same as a two-stop increase.
When you purchase a filter, be sure it is the same size as the diameter of your lens, adapter or holder.
Cokin Filters System – Tips
- A Cokin Filter System allows you to put different filters on the lens of the camera.
- Different lenses use different ring sizes for their accessories.
- Buying a filter on every size for every lens you own can get expensive.
- This system works by having one holder that attached to many lenses with different ring sizes.
- You use the same holder, and you switch the ring to fit the lens you want to use.
- The system will allow you to have different effects on the image.
- Cokin filter system that can be used with film and digital cameras.
- With digital cameras, you can see the results right away so you can check as you go.