Recently I'm into landscape photography and trying to build a convenient and practical setup.

I have the Cokin Z-Pro filter holder, Lee ND Grad filters and as solid Hoya ND16 filter. However, to set everything up takes ages. First, I have to install the Hoya solid ND filter. Then, screw the filter holder adapter on, mount the holder and then put in the ND grad filter. All this needs to be done before focusing and composing as once you mount the Hoya ND filter you won't see anything through the viewfinder.

So my question is this. Can I mount the solid ND filter in front to the ND grad filter? That way I can focus and compose with the ND grad filter on and then add the solid ND filter at the end.

I saw a few videos on YouTube where people just slided the solid ND filter / polariser in front of the ND grad.


I can share with you what I did and what worked for me. It may not directly help you(or it might) but it may help others in a similar situation. I have a Canon full frame camera and my widest lens that I use with this setup currently is the Canon 17-40mm f/4 L.

Essentially what I did was purchase the standard Cokin P holder, modify it a bit, then position it directly on top of either a CPL or ND filter. Here is what I am talking about:

enter image description here

What I did was buy a 77mm circular polarizer as would normally fit my landscape lenses. Then I bought the Cokin P Holder, and removed 2 of the 3 slots by using a small saw and some other tools I had. Then I also enlarged the size of the middle whole of the holder so that it just perfectly fits snugly over the 77mm filter size. This allows me to position the CPL as desired, then simply add in the 85mm graduated neutral density filters and holder right over everything.

Obviously this isn't a perfect solution, but it is MUCH less expensive than buying the Cokin-Z Pro system and it's associated specialty CPL's and larger 4x6 filters. It is also a much smaller kit to fit in my bag. I'm very happy with it. Images do not vignette at all due to the grad ND addition. The only issue that comes up sometimes is light leaking in from the sides, which can be prevented with a cloth if necessary(most the time it is not).

Here is a shot of the Cokin P holder before any modifications were made. Notice how the lens is just sitting on top of the filter holder and the holder isn't around it. Also notice the 3 slots for filters instead of 1:

enter image description here

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  • 1
    This is the sort of mod that makes me think about how 3d printing is going to change the world. – dav1dsm1th Nov 15 '13 at 23:31
  • 1
    Thanks a lot for sharing. I'm beginning to be convinced that I may have to modify my filter holder myself to make it do what I want. – Greg Nov 16 '13 at 0:41

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