Cokin vs. Lee

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jsimoespedro, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Hi all,

    my first post here.

    I own a Bronica SQ-Ai with 40 and 80 lenses. The 95mm thread size of the 40mm makes the use of threaded filters unpractical ($$$$).

    I was searching for a square filter system such as the Cokin type. I found another manufature Lee which also seels square filters at a much higher price.

    What is the difference from the Cokin to the Lee filters?

    Thanks.

    João
     
  2. iulian

    iulian Member

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    I feel your pain. My Carl Zeiss Jena lenses use 86mm filters.
    You will find that filters do come up on ebay. I bought mine for about 25EUR each, on various auctions (UV, Linear Polariser, Red, YG and green).
    On the original question... no idea. Lee makes glass filters (at least some models) - Cokin made plastic ones. (and I'm not sure if they emerged from the bankrupcy/buyout/whatever happened to them recently).
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    sometimes you get what you pay for. go with the lee and don't look back.
     
  4. dpt2014

    dpt2014 Member

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    I've had both Cokin and Lee. I prefer the Lee filter holder (Foundation Kit) as well as filters. Their filters are more expensive, but the color cast is less significant.
     
  5. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Agreed... Sadly I had to pass on a LARGE set of Lee filters and accessories that were on consignment at my local camera shot. The price for the filters alone was high enough, but then the added cost of lawyers for the ensuing divorce would have taken all the enjoyment out of using them.
     
  6. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    wait, you own 80 lenses?!?! sell some of those lenses and buy filters with those
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    While some will wince, I go a cheaper filter route with a gelatin filter holder for the Cokin line. So far I just use it with the A size holders. Larger holders, if you can fine the gelatine frame should work just the same.

    Rosco (USA vendor) sells a very broad line of gels for theatrical (usually a two or three digit designation) and cinematography uses (usually a four digit designation).
    The normal smallest sheets are about $6 for a piece about 24x30". Lee (UK vendor) also sells the same sort of stuff, with a differing naming scheme. There are also other vendors - GAM is one that comes to mind, and having some unique products.

    The real deal though is a thing called a designer swatch book. Rosco's has over 100 filters in about a 3"x5" size, with a card behind each one showing the transmision curve.
    I think I got mine for $20. B&H sells them, as well as individual sheets. I clip out the pieces to the reuired dimensions and mount them in the gelatin holder clips I have when I want to take them to the field.

    I know they are not the finest optical quality. They are good enough for the bulk of my projects, where I cannot locate a 3x3 Wratteen filter from the accrued stash of them to suit the desired effect.
     
  8. southmine

    southmine Member

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    To my knowledge, most of Lees higher end filters are resin.
    I haven't used the Cokins but I can recommend the Lees (yes they are expensive).
    I don't know if this video *link here* has been linked to here before.
    It's basically a guided tour of the Lee manufacturing facility, and I found it facinating.
    I would never have imagined it to be so hands on and labour intensive.
     
  9. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    The plastic and gelatin filters that I use in my Cokin filter holder meet most of my needs. However, if I needed high quality graduated neutral density filters because landscape photography was my passion, I would get a Lee filter.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/5398208369/
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Espasol

    Espasol Member

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    Take a look at the Hitech filters. They are supposed to offer good performance for the price.
     
  11. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    I've generally found Cokin filters to be fine. I use coloured ones for black and white on my RB67 and 35mm, red, orange, green and also infra-red. The grads are supposed to be a bit iffy, not neutral, so I have Lee for those, thought they are expensive and I think there was a bit of a waiting-list for them. The Lee holders are pretty good, and you can get wide-angle adaptors for them which makes the holder stand out less far from the end of the lens reducing the issue of vignetting. The self-supporting lens hoods are good too. I would say if it's an occasional use of filters, Cokin is great, you can pick up a holder and a pile of filters for next to nothing and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a quality difference on the print. Lee is an investment, but it's a good quality product, hence the price, and I think many people buy into it on the strength of the reputation of their grads.
     
  12. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Thank you all for your replies.
    Thank you Mike for the swatch book information.
    Thank you Smith. I will sell some of my 80 lenses and buy some filters.
     
  13. mark

    mark Member

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    3 of my Cokin filters were optically F***ed. Go with Lee.
     
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  15. v11235

    v11235 Member

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    Does anyone have experience with the Cokin Z pro holder. It seems to be somewhat comparable to the Lee holder and cost slightly less than the Lee foundation kit. Any 4x4 or 4x6 should fit either the Cokin or Lee.

    Also, does anyone have any experience with filters from Cavision? They are glass 4x4 and 4x6 filters, at a reasonably lower price than the Lee filters. Found them on BH.
     
  16. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Care to elaborate?
     
  17. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    I forgot to mention I shoot B&W only. A color cast is ok.
     
  18. jsimoespedro

    jsimoespedro Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012
  19. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I've got hitech for b+w and they're fine. if you end up with glass filters at any point, check the thickness first. most are much thicker than the resin filters and not all filter holders have the ability to add shims to accept them. I use the lee filter hood/holder (not sure which one) and it's far better than the cokin P and the hood is a much in many situations but also keeps flare to a minimum when shooting LF where lens coverage can lead to a loss of contrast.

    I've heard a lot of negative feedback regarding the cavision stuff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    That sounds good. The Lee equivalent is only 1" x 3".


    Steve.
     
  21. mark

    mark Member

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    I bought 2 split density filters new from B&H and a deep red from Adorama (I think) for a trip that did not happen so I put them away in my camera bag and forgot about them for a couple years. When I stumbled on them and decided to use the Split density filters I got weird wavy lines in the transparency. I assumed it was me. When I next used them I held them up to my eye to judge the scene and guess what, there were the lines. Like looking through water. I checked the red and there they were but worse. Neither store would take them back so I tossed them.
     
  22. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I was tempted to say this earlier... (but wasn't sure if my memory was mistaken) I recalled having a Lee swatch book at work that was interesting, but too small to be of use. I used to study the transmission data on the cards in my spare time. Hey... I never said I was cool. :whistling:
     
  23. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I have a Cokin system (sorry I had to use the system word), and yes *most* of them are plastic/resin. The polarizers (cir * lin) are glass and I have not noticed any unusual cast in the ND filters.

    It's not so much settling as I have not noticed anything bad to warrant getting the Lee.
     
  24. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I once tried using a Cokin 720 P007 infrared filter. However it transmitted too much visible red light. I had to replace it with a Hoya R72 infrared filter.

    Two plastic/resin Cokin filters I currently use are the Cokin P120 and P121 graduated neutral density filters. The P120 gives me a two-f/stop gradation and the P121 gives me a three-f/stop gradation. Both give my color images a slight colorcast. The cast is not a big problem with digital images because they can easily be color corrected during post processing. However, the slight colorcast has been a significant problem on some of my 35mm and medium format color slide images.
     
  25. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Same experience with Cokin, affordable and works.
     
  26. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    Who says you have to put the filter in front of the lens?

    Unless you want to use grads or a polarizer, you should think about using gels behind the lens if it is possible. It would be a lot easier to carry around and cost a heck of a lot less. You would have to make a way to hold them on the lens though.

    Skip the Cokin idea. They warp and are junk.