Putting the creativity back to the camera not photoshop

3 04 2008

Lately I’ve been going “retro” with my photography. I bought a spot meter and a creative filter kit for me camera. It’s all part of my deliberate effort to slow my photography down and shoot less shots that are higher quality.

Getting into filters again has been interesting. I decided to go with the ZPro size Cokin filter holder because it allows me to use my ultra-wide lenses without vignetting.

After a fair bit of research I decided to go with the Singh Ray Graduated ND filters which I love! I also decided to buy a Cokin 3 stop ND filter. I figured that even though Cokin are cheap filters I couldn’t go too badly wrong with a simple ND filter…… Wrong!

When I started shooting I noticed a kind of candy pink colour cast coming out in my shots (you can see it clearly in the shot below.

The Old Boy Being Swept Away

I was perplexed by the pink sky I was getting but didn’t get a chance to diagnose the source. About a week later I was shooting some sunrise shots and I clearly saw the pink cast again come up on the camera LCD, so I did a simple test… I pulled out the Cokin ND and left in the Singh Ray filter. Here’s the results…

Cokin's NOT SO Neutral Density Filter

Now whether you like the pink sky or not… the fact is that it SHOULD be neutral (the colour on the right). If I want a coloured sky then I would add a tobacco filter or colour it in post production. But I didn’t.

I have taken my Cokin ND back to the shop I bought it from and I am trying to get a refund. I am paying the extra money for Lee ND filters which have come highly recommended.

Moral of the story… You get what you pay for… filters aint filters.




6 responses

25 04 2008

Hey Brent,

Great job with your blog ! I love it ! Your entry about the ND grad filters is so timely as I’ve been thinking of buying one as well. I know it’s horses for courses, but that pink sky effect is very nice. But I guess you don’t want the ND grad casting that hue in all shots. I’m subscribing to your blog.



26 04 2008
Thomas Folke Andersen

Hi Brent, interesting note on the Cokin filter. I use Lee ND filters and have had no issues with mine.

19 05 2008
Mel Brackstone

Agree about the colour cast with cokin, another reason I switched to Lee.

26 04 2009

I remember this saga on Flickr.

It was your experience that steered me clear of Cokin filters.

The “neutral” part of “neutral density” is rather the operative word, eh?

Like yourself, I invested in Lee filters, having recently bought the Lee holder, 82mm adapter ring and 0.6 and 0.9 soft GND filters.


8 07 2009

I’m having the same problem with the Cokin ND’s – not too bothered for the moment though, just using them to get into the feel of using ND’s and grads, then I’ll upgrade to Lee later. Loving your photos and your tips on here – thanks 🙂

9 07 2009

Hey Charliebrown

Thanks for your comment… I trust you have read the latest 3 articles that I have written on camera filters.


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