Wanted to do a small write up\ shout out on the filter system I’m using and how well it works. I’ve been a Cokin Ambassador for a little while now and I’ve really grown to love the filters and the company. Great group of people to work with and my contact is always on the ball getting me the latest gear. You guys ROCK! Alright well let’s get started! I began using the XL CP right off the bat and immediately enjoyed the look it gave me. Really helped with improving my water scenes in camera and made less work in post.
Cut glare on rocks and off the water. It increased my saturation by dropping exposure. All good things came from the CP. The system holding it to my lens is great. It slides in really nice and snug to the lens leaving plenty of room for some grads or even a neutral density filter.
If I’m not in the mood to reach in and spin the filter I can loosen up the outside set screws and spin the entire system that way. Removing the filter was a different story. I had some issues with it at first because I was missing the “filter tool” which is a small plastic spike that slides behind the CP making it a snap to push out of the lock. Sold. The system is rock solid, and I don’t have a lot of fuss putting it together.
If I know what lens I’m using, then I know the size of the step-up ring I’ll need. I ended up turning my filter tool into a necklace, so it is always on me when I need it. Makes quick work of jumping from CP to Infrared.
My second in command have got to be my Graduated neutral density filters. Love them dearly. I like to consider myself an old soul or even just old school If you will and I refuse to shoot HDR. Sorry it’s just not my thing. I would much rather spend a little extra time setting up my Grads to capture the shot. Everyone knows I’m no stranger to taking a little extra time with my photography.
I get a lot of questions about these filters and I believe in my opinion they are misunderstood. Graduated filters are used to either hold back your sky or your foreground if you have reverse filters. Now what I think is misunderstood is that these filters don’t magically go POW! Here’s your amazing sky. They keep your sky from blowing out in a single exposure.
Meaning you should be able to achieve a nice detailed sunrise or sunset using these filters in one shot. There is always post to be done. Trust me on that one. The image you saw online that made you by that set of grads was most definitely processed. Now you have to decide would you like soft or hard? Personally I enjoy the soft grads because it makes it much easier to hide that blend line. Jumping into feathering is an entirely different monster. I use a 2,4,8 and 16 GND, each one for a different scene and situation. All the filters are perfect in size to cover my lens, the split is amazing and these filters are something I couldn’t shoot without. So you have a little to think about before you pull the trigger on a new set of filters but nothing you cant handle. Get what works for you and if you don’t like them, I’ll be willing to bet you don’t use them.
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