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Old 28 May 2020, 19:28 (Ref:3978996)   #1
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Filter System Advice

I've been going through my old Le Mans photos recently, scanning negs to my computer and I was reminded that in the mid-90's I played around a little bit with effects filters. I still have one or two, but haven't used them for years and the Cokin holder I had at the time has long since disappeared.

I quite fancy having another go. I can buy another Cokin holder and adaptor rings relatively cheaply, but I wondered if there is any advice to be had about which way to go? I really don't want to spend a fortune on something that I may only use occasionally.

Thanks
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Old 2 Jun 2020, 10:32 (Ref:3979772)   #2
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I've been going through my old Le Mans photos recently, scanning negs to my computer and I was reminded that in the mid-90's I played around a little bit with effects filters. I still have one or two, but haven't used them for years and the Cokin holder I had at the time has long since disappeared.

I quite fancy having another go. I can buy another Cokin holder and adaptor rings relatively cheaply, but I wondered if there is any advice to be had about which way to go? I really don't want to spend a fortune on something that I may only use occasionally.

Thanks
They were all the rage years back and I used to use them on 35mm and movie films on S8, however I find it's easier to do it in post on the laptop.
All the "stuff" I used to use is now redundant and confined to the attic, It cost a fortune back then but can't bring myself round to just chuck it away and I doubt if I'm alone. Even the humble reflex Digi cameras that took over from the 35mm SLRs are dying a death except for the dedicated amateurs and professionals with the advent of the smartphones.
I was watching "Dragons Den" the other week where there was someone showing extra clip on lenses for smartphones and Peter Jones told the budding entrepreneurs that they were wasting their time as they will never replace a "proper" camera, however I am not so sure in that he is right as they seem to be getting better all the time with every new model that comes out. Several people that I know in the advertising industry have been using the latest phones alongside all their top of the range "gear" and have found that the finished article isn't worth spending vast amounts of money for something that doesn't make an awful lot of difference, especially as most people view them on a phone anyway.
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Old 2 Jun 2020, 13:07 (Ref:3979825)   #3
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Yeah, agreed Gordon. I bought a decent video-equipped SLR last year and I was really miffed that the video really wasn't as good as the video on my 2 year old iPhone....
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Old 2 Jun 2020, 20:43 (Ref:3979878)   #4
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Video on an SLR needs to be planned and directed to some extent, whereas an iPhone or traditional camcorder often suits the impromptu video needs.

Most filters can be simulated in photoshop, with exception of polariser. Grads can be recreated if thought to exposure considered.
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Old 3 Jun 2020, 11:01 (Ref:3979949)   #5
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Obviously a decent camera or camcorder with full manual control is best for getting things "just right" for those of us that "care" or "understand" the workings of photography and want to make the finished article as good as you can get. What I have never got my head round is that a lot of people buy quite an expensive camera with all the "bells n whistles" and leave it on auto !
My wife who is a brilliant photographer is always being asked by her female friends "what sort of camera have you got as it takes terrific pictures"
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Old 14 Jun 2020, 10:35 (Ref:3982015)   #6
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Yeah, agreed Gordon. I bought a decent video-equipped SLR last year and I was really miffed that the video really wasn't as good as the video on my 2 year old iPhone....
Using old style filters with a digital camera for anything other than exposure adjustment (graduated filters ND filters) or polarising may not be a fun experiment.

Digital cameras have auto white balance so if you stick a filter in the light path to correct and image the Auto WB will attempt to correct it back again.

As Gordon said, easier to fix in post processing or by using the many options built in to most cameras f you want to play with "Styles".

Plus, in general, the optical abilities of digitcal sensors and modern lenses, at least as 35mm film size "alternative" offerings, is usually well beyond anything one could reasonably expect to achieve with consumer lenses and films from back in the day.

Stick a filter in the light path (many will suggest) and you simply run the risk of reducing the overall optical quality.

Even ND and graduated filters can be confusing for digital sensors unless one takes into account the available features one is using in the camera and for actions shots polarising filters are almost impossible to use even if attempting "static" subject positions. Fun, though, if shooting landscapes, architecture, products/still life and maybe some types of outdoor portraits.

Now so long as you are aware of such things there is no harm at all in wanting to play with the filters to see what happens. It's low cost these days with no film to process!

Filter holders are available at relatively low cost but iirc Cokin worked with at least 2 sizes (of "square" filters - I assume the type you have if you need a holder) and I'm not sure whether both sizes are equally readily available.
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Old 14 Jun 2020, 11:39 (Ref:3982029)   #7
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Cokin have three sizes - A, P and Z. Small, medium and large. P (Medium) or Z is mostly used with modern cameras.

Lee Filters - expensive.
Formatt Hitech - cheaper.

I've got some surplus Cokin P's on ebay at the moment, including filter holder and some lens step up rings.
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Old 14 Jun 2020, 14:31 (Ref:3982071)   #8
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Thanks for that. I confess I wasn't thinking about 'normal' filters like ND or grads. I used to occasionally use, for example, speed or star filters for 'different' effects.
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Old 14 Jun 2020, 15:40 (Ref:3982077)   #9
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Thanks for that. I confess I wasn't thinking about 'normal' filters like ND or grads. I used to occasionally use, for example, speed or star filters for 'different' effects.

Just thought I would mention the grads. etc., for some degree of completeness. Just in case.
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Old 14 Jun 2020, 17:11 (Ref:3982083)   #10
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Absolutely, I didn't really outline my intentions very well, not that they're really intentions as such....
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Old 15 Jun 2020, 00:30 (Ref:3982120)   #11
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Going back to Smartphones, I happen to know a couple of local blokes that are at the top of their profession in photography, one who flies all over the world showed me just how good the latest ones are by producing an amazing quality film in a couple of hours that was also edited on the phone. Another guy that I know who is an award winning film editor on "Game of thrones" is always singing their praises as well. Obviously you have to know what you're doing and understand "film language" and the limitations of the phone but I am impressed with the results. As I stated earlier a lot of films and adverts are viewed on phones/tablets/laptops anyway and the resolution is amazing, However I don't intend throwing my 4k camcorders just yet
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