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Author Topic: Best step up/down threads for filters?  (Read 2219 times)

VitorMachado

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Best step up/down threads for filters?
« on: April 15, 2013, 08:51:46 PM »
Hey everyone. I'm sure we all agree that buying the same filter for one thread size is a pain/expensive. Is there such thing as a set that can step up and step down 1 filter size to fit "all"? I know, I know, I'm getting greedy here but I just wanted to know if there's such thing. If not, is there something close?
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Best step up/down threads for filters?
« on: April 15, 2013, 08:51:46 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 09:04:39 PM »
Sure, you can get step-up rings, for example to use a 77mm filter on a 72mm or 67mm lens.  They work fine (I have a couple from B+W). Be sure to have filter wrenches. Also, they usually preclude using the lens hood.
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viggen61

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 09:46:42 PM »
There are two ways to go. Either with round filters by buying the largest size you need, and getting the step rings, or by buying into one of the square filter systems from Cokin or Lee, etc.

In either event, you will likely not be using the lens hood that came with the lens, because a too large filter will end up preventing you from mounting it.

If you plan on shooting landscapes, you might end up with a square system, anyway, so you can use graduated ND filters to best effect.

I bought into the Cokin system, but for circular polarizers, I have filters for two of my lens thread sizes. The Cokin is nice, and necessary for some things, but I'm leaning toward the individual size round filters, as you can keep the lens hood, and they are much quicker to mount & dismount. And, if you are paying Canon "L" lens prices, what's a hundred bucks or so for a good filter?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 09:51:49 PM by viggen61 »
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samkatz

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 10:10:26 PM »
it's not my  $$ but those stepping rings are a p.i.ta.  Sometimes the filter gets stuck on the ring and then you are out of luck.   they also add some thickness so, that compounds the problem w/vignetting w/a wide angle lens.  I hate to spend the $$(esp w/polarizers...) but I invest in the filter and try to keep it forever.

Hillsilly

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 12:14:31 AM »
If you're buying UV filters for protection purposes and you intend using them regularly, I suggest buying them in the right size for the lens.  Mucking around with step up filters can be a hassle.  In many cases, they preclude the use of the right lens hood, and they get stuck to the step up filter very easily and are a hassle to remove (at least mine do - but I use cheaper step up filters).

For filters that you might use irregulalry, such as infrared, polarizers, ND and graduated ND filters, rather than buy a lot of lower quality filters, just buy one quality 77mm filter and use step up rings.  You are saving yourself some money and getting better results at the same time.  77mm is a size that works well with most Canon lenses as many lenses have a 77mm filter thread anyway (and there are very few - if any? - with a bigger filter thread).

In full disclosure, I also have a lot of 58mm filters as I found this to also be a sweet spot for my lens collection.

In the past, I've used the Cokin system. The concept works well, especially when working slowly with tripods and carrying my camera in a camera bag.  Its also reasonably priced.  But being more action orientated with camera at hand, I found it a little cumbersome when moving around quickly.  But depending on your needs, it is worth considering.  The ability to align a graduated filter exactly where you want it is very handy.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 03:36:20 AM by Hillsilly »
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oasis24

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 12:38:34 AM »
I bought a filter or two from B&H and they happened to have a used B+W step up ring that had come in handy. Can't go wrong there! As long as you don't screw on the filters too tight or leave the two attached for days/weeks on end I don't see the "sticking" being a big problem.

RGF

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 05:42:26 PM »
If you're buying UV filters for protection purposes and you intend using them regularly, I suggest buying them in the right size for the lens.  Mucking around with step up filters can be a hassle.  In many cases, they preclude the use of the right lens hood, and they get stuck to the step up filter very easily and are a hassle to remove (at least mine do - but I use cheaper step up filters).

For filters that you might use irregulalry, such as infrared, polarizers, ND and graduated ND filters, rather than buy a lot of lower quality filters, just buy one quality 77mm filter and use step up rings.  You are saving yourself some money and getting better results at the same time.  77mm is a size that works well with most Canon lenses as many lenses have a 77mm filter thread anyway (and there are very few - if any? - with a bigger filter thread).


Mostly agree but now Canon has requires 82mm filter on several lens (16-35 II and 24-70II) they may be the new stanndard size.  Step up rings are cheap.

As far as everyday filter on a camera, normally I don't have filters on my lens.  I do have a stash of UV filters in case I get  rough conditions (windy areas which are blowing sand).

Otherwise I only use CP filters.  I have a collection of colored filters 81A, ... and a few split ND filters, all now useless except as coasters since I can do all the effects better in PS than in the field.

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 05:42:26 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 06:24:31 PM »
I use fotodiox aluminum step up and step down rings but just for trying out things I'm testing.  If I were going to actually put one on a lens and leave it, I'd buy a brass ring.  They cost more, but don't get stuck as badly as aluminum.  Yes, my filter wrenches get used a lot.
 
I have a whole box full of the old Cokin size A filters and holders.  they will only fit a 62mm max size lens, so I'm selling them off.  I did put them on my 15-85 by using step down (or was it step up) rings and saw a huge amount of viginetting as expected.
 
I have way too many filters, lots of old junk ones, and lots of B&W and Hoya / Kenko ones, even a Heliopan.  I can't remember the last time I actually used one, so they need to mostly go as well.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 07:58:08 PM »
If you're buying UV filters for protection purposes and you intend using them regularly, I suggest buying them in the right size for the lens.  Mucking around with step up filters can be a hassle.  In many cases, they preclude the use of the right lens hood, and they get stuck to the step up filter very easily and are a hassle to remove (at least mine do - but I use cheaper step up filters).

For filters that you might use irregulalry, such as infrared, polarizers, ND and graduated ND filters, rather than buy a lot of lower quality filters, just buy one quality 77mm filter and use step up rings.  You are saving yourself some money and getting better results at the same time.  77mm is a size that works well with most Canon lenses as many lenses have a 77mm filter thread anyway (and there are very few - if any? - with a bigger filter thread).


Mostly agree but now Canon has requires 82mm filter on several lens (16-35 II and 24-70II) they may be the new stanndard size.  Step up rings are cheap.

Indeed.  I have 77mm 3- and 10-stop ND's and a 77mm Käsemann CPL, with step-up rings from 67mm and 72mm.  Then I bought the 16-35 II and TS-E 24L II, so I needed 82mm versions of the 10-stop ND and Käsemann CPL - which now also fit my 24-70L II. 

If there's a common filter size for several lenses where you use that filter, sometimes it makes sense to get that specific size.  For example, the 'holy trinity' of L primes (35L, 85L II, 135L) all use a 72mm filter, and a 3-stop ND is the right strength to shoot them wide open for outdoor portraits, so I have a 72mm 3-stop ND.
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tolya99

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 08:36:02 PM »
used some cheapos from ebay a few times. they were just fine.

Hillsilly

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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 08:38:23 PM »
Mostly agree but now Canon has requires 82mm filter on several lens (16-35 II and 24-70II) they may be the new stanndard size.  Step up rings are cheap.

Thanks, I hadn't really noticed this trend before.  A quick check shows Sigma is also using an 82mm filter thread on some of their lenses.   
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Re: Best step up/down threads for filters?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 08:38:23 PM »