Lee vs Cokin Filters

Started May 26, 2010 | Discussions
Griff01
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Lee vs Cokin Filters
May 26, 2010

Good evening all,

Im toying with investing in some ND grad filters to use on my 7D. Im not interested in spending a pittance on ebay or elsewhere for cheap imitations, primarily because i dont want to sacrifice IQ (im sure some will argue the case of some but that is the topic for another thread).

Im looking at either the cokin or the lee holder systems. Cokin do a few sets, that include filters and a holder, whilst Lee seem to sell each seperately, though they do sell a set of grad filters.

Is it worth paying the extra for the Lee system? Anyone use either brand that can offer some advice on this. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

verybiglebowski
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Re: Lee vs Cokin Filters
In reply to Griff01, May 26, 2010

Hi,

I used both Lee ND Hard grade and Cokin Z ND soft grade. Maybe I had bad sample, but with Cokin I wasn't able to get sharp focus even in the viewfinder.

Lee is expensive, but flawless. (Cokin is cheaper, but not cheap, and mine was rubbish). However you might consider buying ring and holder from Cokin, (Z series) as they are supposed to be compatible and cheaper. (I have Lee adapter and Cokin goes well in, I don't know if it is also other way around.)
Hope it helps,
Viktor

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photonius
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Re: Lee vs Cokin Filters
In reply to Griff01, May 26, 2010

Griff01 wrote:

Good evening all,

Im toying with investing in some ND grad filters to use on my 7D. Im not interested in spending a pittance on ebay or elsewhere for cheap imitations, primarily because i dont want to sacrifice IQ (im sure some will argue the case of some but that is the topic for another thread).

Im looking at either the cokin or the lee holder systems. Cokin do a few sets, that include filters and a holder, whilst Lee seem to sell each seperately, though they do sell a set of grad filters.

Is it worth paying the extra for the Lee system? Anyone use either brand that can offer some advice on this. Any help would be much appreciated.

I compiled a bit of information here:
http://photonius.wikispaces.com/Filters
http://photonius.wikispaces.com/ND+gradient+filters

First thing is that Lee is only 100mm. Depending on what lenses you have, a Cokin-style size P is often enough. Unless you want really nice holders like the Lee, the plastic holders for Cokin P size filters you find for example at maxsaver.net are essentially the same as the Cokin P holders - plastic, and work fine.

I have Hitech filters that I use with the plastic cokin size P holders, they are ok supposedly better than the Cokin. The Cokin P filters are possibly the least color neutral, though I couldn't test a recent set.

If you are really serious you might wish to go for the Lee - but they are quite big.

Thanks,

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Daniel Clune
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Re: Lee vs Cokin Filters
In reply to Griff01, May 27, 2010

To comment on whether to use Cokin P series or Z series. Z series are same size as lee, 100mm wide. or 4 by 6 inch. If you will only be using it on 7D crop camera and dont need to go to wide angle then the p series will work. But if you want to say use the filter with like a 10-22 lens get the bigger 4 by 6 inch filters. In cokin thats there Z series. I have some hitech filters and some z series cokin and i cant tell the differance between them. I have no problems with focus. I used mine on a 1DSMKII but also a 7D now.

Heres a pic with a cokin 3 or it might have been my 2 stop grad ND filter.

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Mike K
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Re: P or Z Filter holders
In reply to Griff01, May 27, 2010

I agree that the bigger decision is to go with the Cokin P size or Z size (same size as Lee).

I originally built up a collection of GND using the Cokin P series since I had quite a few lenses with 77mm threads. Quite a few Canon L's use 77mm threads. Then I got some WA lenses that used 82mm threads, what to do now since the ID of the Cokin P filter holder is only 74mm? WA lenses place much greater requirement on the holder since the image can easily show vignetting from the edges if holder showing up in the image. One solution is to use a larger size filter and filter holder, and the Lee and Cokin Z do this. The Lee also made available a Wide Angle adapter in several sizes common to WA lenses. These WA adapters move the lens thread forward into the "hole" of the holder. This places the front lens element very close to the first filter slot, effectively making the filter slots closer to the lens, and further reducing the chance of vignetting. this also reduces the possibility of flare from reflections off the back of the resin filters. While Cokin does not sell this type of WA adapter, its Z holder can be reconfigured to be almost identical to the Lee WA adapter:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=34697350

Thus if you are never going larger than a 77mm front thread, the P series work great and the holder is cheap. http://www.2filter.com had a great introductory price for a Hitech GND, Cokin P holder and adapter for the price of just the filter. The Hitech GND filters are fine, people complain about Cokin GND color cast so avoid those.

If you are ever going to get a WA lens with an 82mm thread, then you might consider getting the Lee foundation or Cokin Z holder, but obviously the filters are more expensive than the P size as they are larger. While more expensive, the Lee holder is generally liked more, but I think the Cokin Z works fine, and can be adapted to the WA use as above. On both the Cokin and Lee, some of the slots can be removed from the holder further reducing the chances of vignetting. Lenses for Canon mount that are 82mm threads include Canon 16-35 f2.8 II, 24 TSE f3.5 L II, Zeiss Distagon 18 ZE and Zeiss Distagon 21 f2.8 ZE (not all inclusive list).
Mike K

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Griff01
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Re: P or Z Filter holders
In reply to Mike K, May 27, 2010

Id been looking at the Z holder, after seeing it being used in a video on youtube. It would be used on my 17-40mm whcih has a 77mm thread.

So are the cokin filters themselves worth avoiding, image quality wise? Am I better off getting the more expensive Lee filters?

Thanks,
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Chris
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robbert100
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Re: P or Z Filter holders
In reply to Griff01, May 27, 2010

Using a P filter holder with your 17-40 lens should do provided you are using a crop camera like the 7D. Cokin also sells a low profile filter holder with only one filter slot, with this one there wouldn't be any vignetting at all on your 17-40 for sure.

About image quality i think the Cokin "P size" ones have a good price/performance compared to Lee filters.

Using a tripod, MLU and remote control will contribute more to image quality.

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photonius
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Re: P or Z Filter holders
In reply to Griff01, May 27, 2010

Griff01 wrote:

Id been looking at the Z holder, after seeing it being used in a video on youtube. It would be used on my 17-40mm whcih has a 77mm thread.

It should be fine with a Cokin P, if you don't stack a lot. I did vignetting tests with various lenses.

Even with the Canon 10-22, which is wider, you can use a single rectangular ND grad filter without vignetting using the Cokin P:
http://photonius.wikispaces.com/Vignetting

On the Sigma 17-70 (72mm) a Cokin P is fine. Remember, on the 17-40 you don't use the full image circle on a crop camera.

Having said that, the Lee is probably better, but for me it's also a question of taking the stuff along, and these things are big. I already find the Cokin P annoyingly big, compared to the Cokin A, which worked fine in the film days on 24mm wide angle, 50mm, 70-210.

So, it's up to you to make the calculation in terms of how serious you are and weight the trade-offs of size (if it's to bothersome to take along, it wasn't worth the investment), cost, how often you are likely to use it etc.

So are the cokin filters themselves worth avoiding, image quality wise? Am I better off getting the more expensive Lee filters?

Thanks,
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Chris
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Mike K
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Re: P or Z Filter holders
In reply to Griff01, May 27, 2010

Griff01 wrote:

Id been looking at the Z holder, after seeing it being used in a video on youtube. It would be used on my 17-40mm whcih has a 77mm thread.

So are the cokin filters themselves worth avoiding, image quality wise? Am I better off getting the more expensive Lee filters?

A Cokin Z holder is about the size of a CD in diameter. Look at the link I provided in my previous post to see some pictures of it.

Yes, avoid the Cokin filters. Other brands include Hitech, Formatt, Lee, Singh Ray, Tiffen. Of these the Hitech is notably less expensive, which is good as these resin filters are easily scratched.

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JohnnyBlood
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Re: Lee vs Cokin Filters
In reply to verybiglebowski, May 27, 2010
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jhal
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Re: Lee vs Cokin Filters my experience
In reply to Griff01, May 28, 2010

I use a Cokin polarizer and ND grad filter with the P holder. All was good with 1.6 crop cameras but with the 1.3 crop i get vignetting with the 17-35 at 17mm and 24-105 at 24 when I use the Cokin square lens hood. The filter quality is very good, perhaps not as good as Lee but I am not big into landscape photography. If I shoot wide i have to correct the dark edges due to vignetting in PP.

Here is an example with 1D MKIII, Tamron 17-35 and Cokin polarizer

IMO if you are serious about landscapes LEE is the top system but for the occassional shooter the Cokin is good value for money.

John

Griff01 wrote:

Good evening all,

Im toying with investing in some ND grad filters to use on my 7D. Im not interested in spending a pittance on ebay or elsewhere for cheap imitations, primarily because i dont want to sacrifice IQ (im sure some will argue the case of some but that is the topic for another thread).

Im looking at either the cokin or the lee holder systems. Cokin do a few sets, that include filters and a holder, whilst Lee seem to sell each seperately, though they do sell a set of grad filters.

Is it worth paying the extra for the Lee system? Anyone use either brand that can offer some advice on this. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

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samWebster123
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Lee Holder + 4x6 grads
In reply to Griff01, May 28, 2010

Avoid the P size and get the 4x6 size as you'll end up with these eventually if you go smaller initially.

Lee Foundation Kit is the way to go.

I'd suggest the Galen Rowell Grad set from Singh-ray 3 stop hard, 2 stop soft!

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