Thanks for the link, Neal. I would also suggest KEH for filters. Much better prices than B&H, and an APUG sponsor. I bought several through them recently, and they were in great condition.
I'd second KEH as well, but bear in mind that most of their products come with no case/caps/etc so you should also look for filter cases if you buy from them.
Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
I have Hoya, Cokin and B+W filters in my collection. No problems with any of them.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Lee system filters
I've heard in several places other than this thread that the Cokin filters are terrible. How about the Lee system filters? Are they any better?
The cokin ND filters are not actually neutral (though supposedly the newer ones are better). They will add a color cast to your image. However, you can use the Cokin _system_ without using Cokin _filters_. HiTech and Singh-Ray both make excellent filters that fit the Cokin system.
The Lee system is very good, but more expensive.
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Keep in mind the Tiffen filters that are used in the motion picture industry are probably not the same ones sold in the still photography market.
I have owned Tiffen and Hoyas in the past. Then I bought a B+W. They definitely are much better built. I have a Nikkor 105 2.5 that has a slight dent on the filter screw mount. I have trouble screwing Hoyas and Tiffens on that lens, but the B+W goes on nice and easy. They aren't too much more expensive than the other multicoated filters, so I personally chose those over the less expensive brands. My $.02.
Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
A factor for me regarding glass screw-in filters is consistancy. I have pretty much standardized on Hoya after realising that, ostensibly the same filter made by different companies do vary a lot, the most evident is the No.15 (Type G orange). So it would be better to stick to one brand, preferably one which is satisfactory in performance and moderately priced.
I had more or less abandoned glass screw-in filters due to the number of different sizes needed. I have Hoya, B+W, Tiffen, Heliopan, Zeiss, Leitz, Voigtländer and a few others. And Cokin (both A and P sizes) and Lee...
Some films give strange colours with Cokin "neutral" filters, but it varies with the film too. That's why I bought a Lee holder and two Grads. And a B&W set, and a IR filter. And then I decided to use 35mm IR film, and bought a Heliopan filter. Mostly because a Lee filter holder would look ridiculous on a 21mm Color-Skopar lens
But the Heliopan screw-ins are great, no doubt about it. The mechanical quality is way beyond anything else I've seen!
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I don't consider the fact different companies make different filters a problem. I actually consider it a benefit. It lets you choose exactly what you want.
A #15 is actually supposed to be a dark yellow. A #16 starts the orange side. Some companies make a dark orange [#21?]. Some even make a orange/red filter.
One nice thing about Tiffen is they still have a fairly wide range of filters available.
Filters must be the biggest photo rip off there is.
Tiffen should be fine, though I've only got one.
I use Hoya, Kood, B+W, Jessops and Hamma, plus that Tiffen.
I can't tell one from the other. If you are using an SLR type camera then multi-coating is a waste of time, you get what you see, look out for flare and shade the lens when you see it.
Also check the secondhand camera stores, they have drawers full of secondhand filters, the good guys will sell em for pennies.
Oh and don't over tighten the filter, I never get em stuck (famous last words) cos I don't torque em up.
"Tiffen filters are widely used in the movie industry (but they also have budgets to replace filters as needed, pay assistants to clean them, shade lenses properly, etc.)."
Exactly, keep em clean, and when you see flare shade the lens. Now do you really need an assiatant to do that?