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05-10-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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Cokin Z-pro filter system with 6x7 lenses?

I have a number of questions regarding vignetting with filter holder systems and specific 6x7 lenses. For my 35mm setup I use a Cokin-P holder which I use mostly with ND grads. Now that I am putting together a 6x7 system I was hoping to use that same system. However, it occurs to me that it might not be big enough for some 6x7 lenses and could lead to vignetting, in which case I would probably have to just bite the bullet and invest in the Cokin Z-pro system for the 6x7.

I am still mulling over exactly which combination of lenses to purchase for my kit (I have only have the 105/2.4 lens at the moment). But the one thing I have read is that the 45mm f/4 apparently does vignette with the "-P" holder (with which filters, I don't remember). People talk about hacking off the last slot or two from the holder and apparently have made it work; but I would prefer not to do that.

The 55-100mm zoom is another lens which I may be interested in, but it seems like it is a non-starter with the Cokin-P holder given its big 95mm filter size (Cokin-P goes up to 82mm, I believe). Then again, maybe one could use a step-down ring to mount the P holder. Has anyone done this and does it vignette at the wide end? I'm guessing this isn't going to work, but figured I would check first! If not, is anyone using the z-pro system with this lens?

So I am curious what people use and where the vignetting issues are. For reference, the minimum "stack" of filters I want to plan for is a polarizer and one grad. And that is assuming a drop-in polarizer, rather than screw in.


Thanks.

05-11-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
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You are correct that the P holder won't work as well as you'd like with 82mm front threads--that's the largest the P holder will go and it will vignette with wide angle lenses. I never even bothered to try it with film as you can see the vignetting in the viewfinder with stacked filters and P holder and grad on the 45mm wide angle. The Zpro system works great with the 45mm, 100mm Macro and M* 300mm. It will fit the 112mm threads on the M*400mm too, but that lens is picky about too much stuff out front. I haven't tried the grads since obtaining the drop-in polarizer a few years ago (I try to confine the use of grads to the smaller three lenses). So you are also correct to presume that the Zpro system will work. It works fabulously for this application and the resin filters are better quality than I expected.

On the 45mm, I have used a thick ring Kaesemann Polarizer and a single grad on the zpro without vignetting. I can't recall whether I generally leave my ubiquitous Pentax Cloudy filter on as well. You mentioned something about drop-in polarizers yet the lenses you mention do not have a filter drawer for drop-ins, so your polarizer will end up in front. Unless you are trying to stack multiple grads, I don't anticipate that you'll have any issues with the set-up you are thinking about. Multiple grads may not be a problem either as the Zpro is VERY large compared to the 82mm front filter on the lens.

Note also that Lightroom 2 now has the slickest built-in grads you've ever seen. Choose ND or color and hard or soft edge (edge area is variable), so much of the graduated filter issue can be addressed in post processing--presuming that you still have some detail available in the highlights. For me, adding grads means a two shot .7 stop bracket. Well, with that same bracket I can do the graduated filters in Lightroom too when playing with the scans. Personally, I prefer the grads, but the post processing option does exist.

Have fun!
05-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Ron, that's the kind of information I was looking for.

I'm not sure if "drop-in" is the right term. What I am referring to are polarizers that are designed to be placed in the first slot of the holder (not screwed onto the lens), and can be rotated in the holder.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
You are correct that the P holder won't work as well as you'd like with 82mm front threads--that's the largest the P holder will go and it will vignette with wide angle lenses. I never even bothered to try it with film as you can see the vignetting in the viewfinder with stacked filters and P holder and grad on the 45mm wide angle. The Zpro system works great with the 45mm, 100mm Macro and M* 300mm. It will fit the 112mm threads on the M*400mm too, but that lens is picky about too much stuff out front. I haven't tried the grads since obtaining the drop-in polarizer a few years ago (I try to confine the use of grads to the smaller three lenses). So you are also correct to presume that the Zpro system will work. It works fabulously for this application and the resin filters are better quality than I expected.

On the 45mm, I have used a thick ring Kaesemann Polarizer and a single grad on the zpro without vignetting. I can't recall whether I generally leave my ubiquitous Pentax Cloudy filter on as well. You mentioned something about drop-in polarizers yet the lenses you mention do not have a filter drawer for drop-ins, so your polarizer will end up in front. Unless you are trying to stack multiple grads, I don't anticipate that you'll have any issues with the set-up you are thinking about. Multiple grads may not be a problem either as the Zpro is VERY large compared to the 82mm front filter on the lens.

Note also that Lightroom 2 now has the slickest built-in grads you've ever seen. Choose ND or color and hard or soft edge (edge area is variable), so much of the graduated filter issue can be addressed in post processing--presuming that you still have some detail available in the highlights. For me, adding grads means a two shot .7 stop bracket. Well, with that same bracket I can do the graduated filters in Lightroom too when playing with the scans. Personally, I prefer the grads, but the post processing option does exist.

Have fun!
05-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
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I don't know about the Cokin holder but I use the Lee Holder with my 45mm without vignetting. First I attach the Lee Wide Angle 82mm Adapter ring to the lens filter thread, then the Lee Holder with one or more Hitech ND grads inside and then at times the circular Lee 105mm filter ring is attached to the Lee Holder (on the front side) to carry a 105mm Polarizer. I have tried this combination with one ND grad and the polarizer without any vignette, and two filters in the Lee Holder plus a polarizer should not be a problem either. Good Luck!

05-17-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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update

Thanks for the information al-khalil. To follow up on my situation, I just took the plunge and purchased the 55-100mm zoom! I am still not sure if I will be getting the 45mm lens down the road, but given that I will have at least the zoom it is pretty certain that my Cokin-P system isn't going to work, so that part of the puzzle is solved and I am now looking at either the Lee holder system or the Cokin z-Pro.

Let me ask specifically for the 55-100mm zoom then: can anyone with this lens describe which filter system they are using, and what vignetting issues they are having with it (if any)? If either system can work, it may come down to the polarizing filter, which is quite expensive in this size. I am accustomed to having a solid, high quality, multi-coated glass CP, so I would like that for this system as well, if I can afford it. With Cokin, they have their own special unit (Z164) which is mounted on an adapter to go in the first slot (closest to the lens). Can anyone comment on the quality of this polarizer? (I think I read that it is resin, not glass). The Lee system calls for a larger, 105mm polarizer mounted out front, which requires purchasing an additional adapter (if I understand it correctly).

As for ND grads for the system, I notice that the Hitech versions (the brand I use with my Cokin P) are only 4" x 5", while Lee's are 4" x 6". It seems to me that the 5" length might not quite be long enough given the diameter of this lens. Anyone find otherwise?
06-21-2009, 06:01 AM   #6
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Hi, I have been also using the Lee filter system with my 55-100 and my 45 mm lenses with no issues. I prefer not to use the Cokin polariser and will be using the Lee - I have an order in now. But it is expensive. I have been using Hi Tec 4" x 5" ND Grads on the 55-100 with no problems as well. I thought it may be an issue and have used a friends - but I am buying Lee for myself. My opinion having used both is that both are good.
06-21-2009, 10:39 PM   #7
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Bloggs,

I would be curious to know which polarizer you decided to go with, and why. For a while I was toying with the idea of getting a linear polarizer instead of the circular variety, since my 6x7 doesn't really need it, and since they can typically be had at somewhat lower cost. But then I got to thinking about how I will be metering. Basically, I am a spotmeter kind of guy , and in fact I recently purchased an old Pentax V Spotmeter which I intend to use with my new toy , especially for slides. Anyway, when I tested the spotmeter with various polarizers I found out that unfortunately it is rather sensitive to the type of polarizer used. When looking through a linear polarizer, the spotmeter showed errors of up to something like 1 stop (I don't remember the exact difference).

In the end I suppose I just need to accept that the polarizer is going to cost an arm and a leg - just suck up the cost for a good one, and be done with it!

As for the ND grads, its good to know the Hitech 4x5's are working well for you on this lens. Do you have a sense of how far up or down you can place the ND grad "line" before the other end of the filter starts being visible in the scene? Maybe I'm not doing the math right and 5 inches is enough to keep this from happening at all. In any event, I'm curious about the limits here as I could be quite happy with the less expensive Hi-Techs compared to the Lee 4x6's, provided they have enough coverage.

By the way, I have only just today run my first roll of film through the camera, so I have been a little slow at getting up and running! But I am definitely still mulling over my options for a filter system, so I appreciate the feedback.

Jeff


QuoteOriginally posted by Bloggs Quote
Hi, I have been also using the Lee filter system with my 55-100 and my 45 mm lenses with no issues. I prefer not to use the Cokin polariser and will be using the Lee - I have an order in now. But it is expensive. I have been using Hi Tec 4" x 5" ND Grads on the 55-100 with no problems as well. I thought it may be an issue and have used a friends - but I am buying Lee for myself. My opinion having used both is that both are good.
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