Most helpful positive review
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A reasonable compromise
on June 4, 2008
I own quite a few lenses, including some higher end Nikon glass. It was getting cost prohibitive to buy all the filters I wanted for all the lenses, since I have 4 filter sizes. The Cokin P system seemed a reasonable choice.
I do not do much with very wide-angle lenses, I seldom go below 35mm, and I have yet to have a real problem with vignetting. Most of my work is done with 50-120 ranges, and these filters seem to work great. My 24mm lens will sometimes have some dark fringes.
The plastic filter holders do seem a little cheap, and I always expect the filters to fall out, but they never have. I have managed to break one or two filter holders, but at $20, they are not a major expense. I splurged and bought one for every lens that I use regularly with filters- it is easier than screwing them on and off.
The quality of the filters seems ok. I have never had a shot ruined by anything I could attribute to filters. My most commonly used filters are the NDs, both fullframe and graduated, polarizers and diffusion filters. The ND's save a lot of photoshop time, and if I had to buy them for every lens, I don't think it would be worth it.
Because of the interchangeablity, I also find myself buying "crazy" filters, like starbursts, that would be tough to justify for just one filter size.
I am not a fan of the two piece cases that the filters come in- they can be tough to manipulate with one hand and in a hurry. I tried taping one side of the lid to the case, but it is still clumsy. The Cokin filter carriers are a waste of time- they are designed to carry the filters in their plastic packages. By the time you get a ND filter out of this combination, the sun has probably already set. I really haven't found a good way to carry P-series filters. I also do not seem to have the talent to remove a filter from its case and get it in and out of the filter holder without a finger smudge.
One thing I didn't count on was losing the ability to use the original lens hoods- they just don't work with the adapters. This is really a problem with some of the longer lenses I have- you can either use filters or lens hoods. I seem to have ended up buying PL filters for all my long lenses- sort of ruining the advantage of the Cokin system. The Cokin lens hoods are a joke.
In summary- The system does work pretty well, and has saved me money and allowed me to maximize my lens/filter combinations. The lens hood is a problem, and I could see how others have complained of vignetting on short lenses. I would recommend these filters to anyone who has two or more filter size lenses, and likes to play with filters.