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View Full Version : step-up rings, and filters




Westside guy
Mar 30, 2007, 03:48 PM
Hi,

I've had a bad habit of buying a lens, then buying a filter or two for that lens, then buying another lens later that wears a different filter size, rinse & repeat. So, I'm (finally) thinking about in the future standardizing on 77mm filters, and just buying a step-up ring for those lenses that aren't 77mm. But it seems like, occasionally, I've read people complaining about problems with this setup... so I thought I'd ask you folks, in your experience...

- what has been the drawbacks (if any) to doing this?

- are there filters that don't work well with a step-up ring? I figure a neutral density filter shouldn't be affected at all; but I am wondering about polarizers etc.

- can you get a hood to work in this setup?

Thanks for any help or guidance you can provide!



bmat
Mar 30, 2007, 07:31 PM
I use step up rings for my specialty filters (polarizer, close up when I had a 500D), but for an ordinary UV for protection I just have a one available that fits that lens. (Of course, those filters aren't cheap either, since I usually get B+W mrc.)

Personally, I find it hard enough to use a circle polarizer with a hood (so I don't when using one), so using one on a step up ring (if it even fit, which I don't think it would) would probably be impossible.

Westside guy
Mar 30, 2007, 11:24 PM
Personally, I find it hard enough to use a circle polarizer with a hood (so I don't when using one), so using one on a step up ring (if it even fit, which I don't think it would) would probably be impossible.

I could have explained that part better. With a circular polarizer I don't think I'd be using a hood (don't see how that'd even work) - but with a neutral density filter there are times I might. I found myself wishing I had an ND filter for my 18-200 just this morning - that's what started this thought process. I hardly ever use a lens hood; but I thought I'd ask while I was thinking about it. :p

I currently have two circular polarizers for two different lenses, which seems a bit silly (and isn't exactly going to scale well as I add more lenses over time!).

sjl
Apr 1, 2007, 07:15 PM
I have three lenses: the EF 100-400mm, the EF 50mm f/1.4, and the EF-S 17-85mm. These have, in order, a 77mm thread, a 58mm thread, and a 67mm thread.

Rather than buy a polariser for each of them, I bought a 77mm polariser, and step-up rings to go from 58mm and 67mm to 77mm.

The only drawback to this system is that you cannot use a lens hood whilst using a step-up ring. The other thing to be aware of - and it's only an issue for wide-angle lenses - is that the ring and/or filter may cause vignetting. Not likely to be a concern for most uses, though; as I said, it'll only be an issue for wide-angle (say, around the equivalent of a 20mm lens or wider on a 35mm camera as a ballpark figure.) If you think it may be an issue, stick the filter and ring on the lens and try it before using the combination in the field.

Of course, this whole scheme got somewhat blown out of the water with the release of the mark 2 16-35mm f/2.8 L, with its 82mm filter thread. Argh! Fortunately, the need/desire for that lens is low, at least until I can afford a 5D (many years off yet.)

ChrisA
Apr 2, 2007, 12:00 PM
Hi,

I've had a bad habit of buying a lens, then buying a filter or two for that lens, then buying another lens later that wears a different filter size, rinse & repeat. So, I'm (finally) thinking about in the future standardizing on 77mm filters,

Lens hod that go over the filter will not fit but the screw-in hoods will work. You can buy a rubber 77mm generic hood if you want.

How many filter do you need? with film I'd use them to change the color but not with digital.

Westside guy
Apr 2, 2007, 02:22 PM
How many filter do you need? with film I'd use them to change the color but not with digital.

ND (right now just one, but I plan to pick up at least one more later), circ polarizer. Probably 1-2 graduated NDs down the road (which would mean a holder too, at that point). Not sure what else - but I'm finding I don't always want to carry my camera bag around, so I'm looking to go lighter sometimes. I'm ordering a set of filter caps, so I can just do the "dense pack" thing with whatever filters I have.

I've been putting UV/Haze filters on all my lenses; but I'm in the process of rethinking that (and in any case I realize those aren't relevant to this discussion).