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What ND filter kit to use with 18-200mm 72mm lens?

Richard Boon , Feb 05, 2008; 04:56 a.m.

Hi all, I'm brand new to this forum so please be gentle with me.

I have just purchased the 18-200mm Nikon Nikkor DX VR lens to go with my D40x, and now i'm looking at kitting it out with some new filters. The one filter type I'm struggling with is the neutral density filter and any help here would be greatly appreciated.

In my research I have sort of established that to begin with I should ideally go with an ND4 (0.6) soft grad, and I've also established that rectangle/square is better than round because they're more flexible in positioning the graduation.

My real problem is that I find myself a little overwhelmed by the amount of varying types on the market, from Cokin P Series to Lee to everything else. I'm really after someone to point me in the right direction. Round screw on filters seem so much easier to use, but like I mentioned, don't seem to offer the best use other than for flat line horizons. Does anyone disagree?

There's so much on the market that I'm a little lost as to what to go for. Are there any kits that anyone knows of that come with the holder, the adapter and some filters? Can anyone recommend a make, size, type etc?

This is obviously for landscaping.

All help of any kind is GREATLY appreciated.

Kind Regards Richard


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James Symington , Feb 05, 2008; 07:51 a.m.

I have a set of Lee grads and lots of adapter rings and am very happy with them. The adapter rings come in standard, wide angle and even super wide angle flavours that help reduce or eliminate artificial vignetting on wide angle lenses.

What I don't know is if Cokin produce rings that will allow you to get around this potential problem - somebody else with a Cokin kit should help there. It may not be an issue with the 18-200mm but it may become problematic if you get a 12-24mm for example.

What I would say is that a hard 2 stop filter is in my experience much more useful than a soft one for landscapes although of course that has its uses too.

Richard Boon , Feb 05, 2008; 08:43 a.m.

Thanks for your reply James, I have decided to opt for the Cokin P Series for now, it was a little confusing at first, what with all the options, but the Cokin P Series with adapter for my 72mm seems to fit the bill for what I need.

I have opted for the P series rather than a round ND filter because I want the flexibility.

The issue with vignetting on wide angles isn't too much of a worry for me initially, as I don't own any other lens, but I am looking into getting a super-wide angle, so will perhaps need to reconsider my choice then and buy something specifically for that.

Mind you, I'm hoping that I won't suffer any vignetting when at the 18mm end. Anyone know if this is likely from their experience with the Cokin P Series?

I have gone for a Cokin P153 NDx4 filter which I hope will suffice as I'm running out of budget!

I have to admit that I'm still concerned that I'm going to find the whole thing a little fiddly in comparison to using a circular one, but if the results are better then so be it.

I will soon know after testing!

Thanks again Richard

Peter Hamm , Feb 05, 2008; 08:49 a.m.

I bought the cokin holder and cut off the front filter holder like here...


I also only bought the cheap cokin ND Grads to see how often I'd use them before dropping a lot of dough on expensive ones.

I don't use them that much, so I never bought the expensive ones after all. Still might...

James Symington , Feb 05, 2008; 09:30 a.m.


Whatever you do don't buy a round ND filter - they are only good for skimming across ponds. The ability to make fine adjustments to the filter's position is of fundamental importance.

Lee filters and equipment are fantastic but they are expensive so Cokin is the way to go to start with.

Lilly W , Feb 05, 2008; 10:06 a.m.

<Whatever you do don't buy a round ND filter...> We'll assume James meant 'Graduated' ND. Round/screw-on ND's are fine for their purpose of decreasing shttr spd. But when using a Graduated ND the square/rectangular are most certainly the preferred way to go in order to place the gradation precisely where it's needed in the composition.

My set-up consists of Cokin P filter holder with several Singh-Ray Grad ND's. The S-Ray's, unlike lesser and cheaper filters, have no color-shift. Lee filters are also very good. I've no experience with Cokin ND / Grad ND filters but have read on this forum that more than one person has seen a shift. Spend a few minutes searching archives for more opinions.

Richard Boon , Feb 05, 2008; 10:53 a.m.

Thanks for the response guys, really appreciated. And don't worry, I will steer well clear of round grad NDs.

However, and I know this is stupid (I'm so new to NDs) but I think I've made a mistake and purchased the wrong filter. I ordered the P153 ND4x filter, but it doesn't say gradual or graduated in the title, does this mean I've just bought a filter that will reduce light intake but not help me balance my ground with my sky??

The text on the link...


...says "An ND4x Neutral Density P-Series filter has a progressive graduation from the middle to the top of the filter." That makes it sound like a grad?? I'm so confused, because on the same site there is one like this...


...which actually says gradual grey and has a picture of a filter with one half white and the other grey!


Robert Hooper , Feb 05, 2008; 12:00 p.m.

The P153 is a strictly ND filter, Richard. Can you cancel the order?

Richard Boon , Feb 05, 2008; 01:09 p.m.

Robert, thanks for your reply. I went onto Cokin's site and found a nice PDF chart of their ND filters. It was too late to cancel/change the order (it made up part of a much larger order) but it doesn't matter as it was only ?9.99 and I'm sure I'll find a use for it, everyone should have a ND filter in their arsenal right?

As for a grad filter, I've purchased the P121M ND4 Gradual Grey filter as well now so I think I'm covered. (Unless I've understood that wrong too and still not bought the right thing!! - I wouldn't put it passed me!)

Thanks for all your help guys, just looking forward to testing it all out now!


Robert Hooper , Feb 05, 2008; 01:39 p.m.

You might find some helpful information here, Richard.

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