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I want to buy some ND grad filters but am unsure whether to purchase the Cokin a-series or p-series. I prefer smaller and lighter equipment because it is easier to transport and since my lenses (18-55mm and 55-200mm) both have a 52mm filter thread, is there any disadvantage to buying into the a-series rather than the larger p-series?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The 18mm focal length of your wider lens would show the filter holder in the frame, if you used the A-series. Cokin themselves only recommend using the A series for 36mm focal lengths and above, but if you're using a cropped sensor camera you could probably get away with 24mm. Even the P-series are recommended for 28mm and longer, but again that would probably be more like 18mm on a cropped sensor, so you may just get away with it.

The P-series filters and holders aren't really too cumbersome, and even if you are restricted from using the wider end of your 18-55mm zoom, that would be less of an inconvenience than having to lug around and pay for the very expensive X-Pro or Z-Pro series.

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I use the Cokin P system (albeit by a different manufacturer) with my 18-55 and the holder doesn't show even at the wide end (that's on a DX format camera). – ElendilTheTall Apr 3 '11 at 14:34
That makes sense, thank you! – Nathan Dimmock Apr 5 '11 at 20:23

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