Last week I told you that I thought the Cokin filters would have to go back and I hadn’t really had much chance to use them. Well I was given an opportunity to explore them some more and I’ve been trying to make the most of it. I’ve been out a few times to see what I can do with them. I suppose that is the wonderful thing about digital, it does make experimenting a lot easier.
In the kit that was sent to me, I got a 77mm adaptor ring for my lens, the Z-Series bracket, and 3 graduated filters. I was lent the ND2, the Tobacco and a Blue filter, it is all part of a kit that you can purchase.
Graduated filters, for those that don’t know, are where the filter starts at the top and the colour goes down and then fades to clear. The coloured part covers about 2/3 of the filter, which measures 10cm to 15cm. The advantage of that is that you can then use the filter as a graduated filter, or you can use the end as a filter that will cover your whole lens. So I have been experimenting with both.
I found the adapter ring and bracket easy to use and didn’t have any trouble with them. I had heard that the little things that stick out make it hard to use some filters because they wouldn’t go down, but I just pushed them back, which also made it fit more snugly on the adapter ring. I actually found myself using it a lot, which surprised me. I would fit it to the camera and just carry the filters I wanted to use in my pocket.
I tried to see what would happen if I stacked all three filters in the kit with the above image. So it is an exposure with all three.
One of the things I found hard, at first, was using them as graduated filters, the filters are subtle and I couldn’t tell the difference from the clear part to the filter part, but with practice I got better at it. The above two images show the difference between no filter and the graduated ND filter. I was surprised at how dark the foreground was without the filter, but how with the filter it would leave it looking lighter. I tried to get the ND2 on the sky and not the foreground.
These two were done the same way. The filter has made the clouds more like the colour you would expect as well.
I tried using my ND400 to see if I could get smooth water, and then thought what if I stacked the ND2 on it as well. I was told years ago that you shouldn’t stack ND filters, but then the guy I have been talking to at Maxwell International Australia suggested I do that, so I did it with the second image. The first image was a 10 second image, and the second a 15 second, so it gave me more time to achieve what I wanted to do.
I did the same here, using the ND400, but this time the first image was 15 seconds and then I added the ND2 and I got a 30 second exposure. I know the differences are subtle and you really have to look carefully at them to see the differences, but they are there. I was surprised at easy it was to stack them and the results.
I took these yesterday at Marysville. The first image is a close up the water without the filter, and the second is with it. Again a subtle change, but the second was double the time of the first, so the water is more blurred.
I also want to add that all of these images, well the pairs, have been processed the same. They were processed in Lightroom and then the second image was synced with the first so that the only difference between them was the filter, and some slight variations in composition. The idea was to show how different the filters were.
One of the purposes of using the filter system was to see if it would remove the vignetting I was getting with my other Cokin Series, the P series, and I am happy to say that there was none of it. I found it easy to use, and the covers for the filters were great to just slip into the camera bag or your pocket. I don’t know that I would get the filters that came with this particular kit. I think I would possibly go for the ND series more, so I would get the ND2, the ND4 and the ND8. I do like the idea of the graduated filters and the options they give you, you do get more.
I am not sure when they are going back, but I really hope to get down to the beach for a chance to try them out some more. It would be good to try some of those slow motion images I’ve been trying to do with the filters, see what I get. I am hoping to get down this week.
I know this hasn’t been a typical bits and bobs post, but I already told you my big news and really this is what I have been doing this last week, experimenting with the filters. I am going to put all the images into gallery, though all the pairs are also in smaller galleries. I hope you have lots of experimenting happening where you are.