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Tian Ya Filters: Graduated filter, any experience?

Jeroen B , Feb 18, 2007; 06:26 a.m.

hello there,

Is there someone who has experience with the chinese Tian Ya graduated filters?

It looks like they have copied the cokin P system. A photoshop in the netherlands advertise them as a bit better than Cokin.

I have found two links on the web with some info:

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187653

(link)

A set with a grad ND4 filter + adapter looks cheap, about 27 euro's. Is this a good buy, quality wise?

bye, Jeroen

Responses


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Leszek Scholz , Feb 18, 2007; 08:30 p.m.

It is definitely a good buy - money wise. I do not know about quality.

But usually you get what you pay for. There is a reason for good filters (ND grad) to cost from U$60 to U$130 a piece. On the positive side - if Tian Ya filters are bad, you do not loose much. Buy and see.

Jeroen B , Feb 19, 2007; 12:58 p.m.

Yes, I think I am going to try it. If it's not that good, I can always use the P adapter for a better filter.

I guess when you stack filters, lack of quality will be visible. Someone has to be the first to try and report.... so it's my turn now :-)

Ilkka , Feb 21, 2007; 08:54 p.m.

I think I have a few. I bought them in China because they were dirt cheap. 27 euros is a terrible price. I think I paid less than 3 euros per piece, could have been 2 (20 yuan). They are a bit green, just like Cokin, and were not as clean out of the box.

Jeroen B , Feb 22, 2007; 02:33 p.m.

FYI: the filter only is not 27 euro, the whole set with filter and P holder and 55mm ring is, including the price for sending. So it's probably 23 euro for the set.

But maybe this is still a bit too much. Price is not my main problem, quality is. I hope it is not cheap junk (like the Soligor eye cup I once bought for my minolta MF camera, useless, too small hole to look through).

I have ordered the set, could be fun! If the holder shows up vignetting, I will saw off the rails for the second and third filter.

Ilkka , Feb 22, 2007; 10:47 p.m.

If the actual price of the filter is 2-3 euros, the adpater maybe another 2-3 euros and the filter ring 1-2 euros, the total comes to about 5-7 euros. That is cheap. And whether you pay 20 or 30 for the same setup it is still worth only 5-7 euros. Do not expect it to be as good as Lee or SinghRay. In my experience, it is not even as good as the cheap original from which it has been copied (Cokin). It is much more roughly made. As I said, I bought a few filters because they were so cheap. I would not have paid 10 euros for them. I looked at them before buying and could see that the colour was a bit off. I suppose there is big variation in manufacturing and you might stike it lucky and get some that are not too bad. And in any case, some people like to use green or tobacco coloured filters for special effects so for that purpose these should work just fine.

Ilkka , Feb 25, 2007; 09:55 p.m.

I had a fresh look at my filters. Yes, they are Tian Ya. I have some circular ones fitted with filter rings as well. These were dirty but being glass they are easy enough to clean. The Cokin type filters look clean but colours are off and all different. One looks quite grey to the eye, but another one is clearly green and one is more of a bluish cast. One is lighter and a bit yellowish at the top (the bottom is clear, then in the middle it starts to get grey and in the top there is a bit lighter yellowish patch). This is after careful examionation, to a quick casual observer they all look 'greyish'. As I said, I bought them because they were about 10 euros for a set of four. I would not have paid a yuan more. I did not buy the filter holder because I already have two Cokin ones and the Chinese copy looked so roughly made that it might scratch the filters.

Jeroen B , Feb 26, 2007; 01:16 p.m.

Thanks for looking! I have seen that the filters ordered directly from China (*bay) are much cheaper, set of 3 filters, ND2/4/8 with sending for aprox. 16 euro. Anyway, I will just try the set with the ND4 and cheap adapter, maybe I have some luck with a clean filter. If I really like it I can always buy a Cokin set.

Jeroen B , Mar 30, 2007; 02:52 p.m.

My Tian Ya ND grad filter and P-holder just arrived, at first sight it looks allright. The P-style holder is indeed a bit cheap and lightweight, but I have no experience with cokin.

The ND grad filter feels very fragile, thin plastic, I am afraid I will scratch it real easy.

D Syd , Oct 01, 2008; 11:22 a.m.

I know this thread is really old but I'm posting this mainly for those in the future who might be searching the forum for more opinions on Tian Ya filters.

I bought the Cokin P style holder, 2 ND filters and a circular polarizer- I think this was 2 different purchases from 2 different ebay vendors, both Asian obviously.

First of all, these sellers conformed to the old sell cheap stuff with high enough shipping charges that nobody in their right mind will take them up on any returns for refund.

My circular polarizer arrived in a case that looked aged- much less fresh than the two ND filters from the other vendor. Sure enough it had permanent marks on the glass that cleaning could not remove. I have never handled the Cokin filter system- and I guess this is supposed to be a knock-off of that system, but I can't imagine a reputable name like Cokin would make garbage like this.

The slots in the filter holder are too large for the filters so they slide through. Yesterday I had to pick up my NDs off the ground three times. The circular polarizer goes into the slot nearest the camera lens and that slot is partially blocked by tabs on the top and bottom of the holder. On the good side this means at least the polarizer will not fall out while shooting. On the bad side- you really have to use brute force to remove the polarizer, to pull it around the tab (plenty of risk of scuffing the filter in that effort, aside from just being awkward), and the idea that you can turn the polarizer in the slot to get the desired level is also very fumbly and awkward.

To prevent the NDs from falling out I eventually caught on to the idea of rotating the holder horizontal so that the filters go in sideways- but that doesn't help much if you're using a graduated ND filter. Not often that you want to divide the frame vertically

The holder always turns on its own as it is very loosely set to the threaded adapter. So almost every time you look at it (more noticeable if you have the big sguare hoods on it) it is sitting off kilter. Makes you look like a boob actually- if you wanted to look the part of a seasoned photographer forget it.

And finally to the image quality- I'm not an expert to thoroughly analyze the results, but I had all kinds of flare, ghosting and color cast issues- my photos looked like they were shot with a cheap camera rather than a semi-pro DSLR, and at the point in the day when I took the Tian Ya filters off, when I reviewed the photos later on my computer it was like at that point the shroud was lifted from over my eyes and the colors were back, bold and beautiful. So yeah they are cheap, but they are worthless- at least in my humble opinion.


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