Cokin H300 P-Series ND Filter Kit
Cokin H300 P-Series ND Filter Kit
The Creative Filter System: Full ND
Uniform ND filters are vital in enhancing your photos
Uniform ND filters reduce the quantity of light that reaches the sensor – or the film – increasing the exposure time. These filters have 3 main practical applications:
- emphasizing the flow of movement,
- reducing the depth of field,
- avoiding overexposure.
With these filters, images which are impossible to obtain in digital post-processing can be created. The neutral density filters are also currently used in filmmaking and video to maintain a constant shutter speed for example.
The Cokin Full ND Filter Kit consists of three ND plain filters that are used to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor, without affecting the colour balance. Included ND filters in this kit are ND2 that allows a 1 stop shutter speed or aperture decrease, the ND4 filter with 2 stops decrease and the ND8 filter with a 3 stop decrease.
When do we use neutral density filters?
In almost all shooting situations, a photographer is glad to work in brighter light. Higher levels of ambient light allow:
- a lower ISO (less noise in the image);
- a faster shutter speed (reducing chances of camera shake, the use for tripods, and/or sharper moving subjects);
- greater depth of field (more of the subject in focus).
But in some instances, some of these advantages will work against the effect you want in your shot. Each setting can be changed to affect another – for example, if you want a shallow depth of field, you can speed up the shutter and open up the lens aperture. Or you can dial back the ISO of the SLR to make its sensor less light-sensitive.
But what if you want a very slow shutter speed and a wide open aperture? Or you want to make a long time exposure during the day? Many DSLRs offer sensitivity settings down to only ISO 200, so especially in sunlight, this can limit the light levels in which you can work.
Neutral density (ND) filters solve the problem by simply reducing the amount of light coming into the lens. Colour isn't affected – hence the "neutral" part of the name. Even in daylight, shutter speeds can be very long, allowing moving subjects as diverse as flowing water, rippling water surfaces, rustling foliage, people and vehicles to become soft blurs ... or even disappear entirely!
Which Cokin Neutral Grey filter do I choose?
Cokin calls their ND filters "Neutral Grey". In photography generally, ND filters are named after their filter factor. Filter factors indicate how much light is blocked from the camera. Blocking half the light needs a doubling of the exposure time, so the filter factors run in increments of 2. So the ND2 blocks one stop (half) of the light; ND4 is 2 stops; ND8 is 3 stops. For strong blur effects in bright light, you'll choose the ND8; this is a good first ND filter to go for.
Using ND filters on your camera
You may find that with the ND filter attached, the viewfinder is too dark for you to frame the photo. As most ND filter images are taken on a tripod, frame the shot first, then slide the ND filter into its holder. If you're using automatic exposure mode your camera settings will adjust; on manual exposure mode you will adjust the settings according to the filtered light.
The Cokin Creative System advantage
Screw-in grad filters simply rotate the angle of the graduation but cannot change the vertical positioning. The advantage with the Cokin slot-type filter system is that the filter can be moved up and down in the adapter to accommodate the photograph and its composition.