December 12, 2017, 07:28:13 AM

Author Topic: Filters - screw in or filter holders  (Read 1022 times)

TGCorneliussen

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Filters - screw in or filter holders
« on: November 21, 2017, 10:07:34 PM »
Hi guys and gals!

I am going to a switch from my unbranded cheap ND filters; and I have settled on getting some filters from Formatt Hitech (unless someone can recommend another brand and why) but i am stuck on whether to get the screw in filters and step down rings (the 2 main lenses i would use are 82mm and 77mm threads) or whether to go for the 100mm filters and the filter holder.

Does anyone have any experience with both?

Thanks in advance!

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Filters - screw in or filter holders
« on: November 21, 2017, 10:07:34 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 10:53:15 PM »
For graduated ND, go with rectangular and a holder, with round ones you are stuck with the horizon in mid-frame.  If you only need/want solid ND, screw-in may be better (I prefer them for convenience, and I can live view compose/focus through a 10x ND for 30 s exposures). 
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Zeidora

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 11:17:46 PM »
Depends. for WA lenses, many filter holders vignette, so screw-in may be better. But if you need ND-grads, then for adjustability you rather want holder. Some holders can be modified to be as slim as possible, some have recessed mounting rings and can ameliorate the WA problem. Portability is another issue. If you want to have a walk-around filter, I would not suggest filter holder.

For screw ins with step-up rings, the WA vignetting issue may be worse. I am not aware of recessed step-up rings, they all add distance between lens and filter.
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ahsanford

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 12:11:50 AM »
95% of the time, for simpler single filter needs (that aren't grads), I go with threaded circular filters.  It's easier to walk around with, smaller footprint in your bag, easier to quickly store / draw the camera from a bag, and nothing can get bumped and slide out.  Further, it also seals the front element from dust/moisture, something a holder system can't do unless you want to attach your holder off of an on-lens filter (something I never do).

But if I need a grad, if I know I am going to be sitting on a tripod, if I need to stack a bunch of things etc., out comes the holder.

But if I didn't shoot landscapes, I wouldn't even own a holder. 

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slclick

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 12:27:39 AM »
Formatt Hitech , especially Firecrest are some of the finest filters available, great choice!

johnf3f

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 06:13:47 PM »
I have a couple of Hitech square filters and their Firecrest 82mm CPL - very happy with them!

For solid ND filters I believe screw in ones are fine though I don't have any. For graduated filters a 100mm or larger (if you are going very wide) filter holder is the way to go IMO.
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TGCorneliussen

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 06:39:00 PM »
Thanks for the answers. yea - in general i do not do a lot of landscape; although i have been leaning that direction lately for an interest - and with an upcoming Iceland trip next year sometime i decided to invest a bit.

@johnf3f - do you have the latest filter holder that you can close and block from light leaks? Do you find yourself using the CPL much? I starting to think maybe the filter holder is the way to go - and possibly just buy a ND screw in to use like ahsanford does on the side for those times i am not planning to use or bring a tripod. More expensive  - but who said photography was cheap XD

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 06:39:00 PM »

ahsanford

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2017, 07:00:22 PM »
Thanks for the answers. yea - in general i do not do a lot of landscape; although i have been leaning that direction lately for an interest - and with an upcoming Iceland trip next year sometime i decided to invest a bit.

@johnf3f - do you have the latest filter holder that you can close and block from light leaks? Do you find yourself using the CPL much? I starting to think maybe the filter holder is the way to go - and possibly just buy a ND screw in to use like ahsanford does on the side for those times i am not planning to use or bring a tripod. More expensive  - but who said photography was cheap XD

It's the weird Venn diagram overlap of [in-camera management of contrast with grads] + [UWA shooting] that generally forces you to a holder.

If you shoot landscapes, you'll probably need an ND grad eventually (unless you prefer bracketing/compositing/HDR/etc. in post), so get a holder -- but don't expect that to serve all your general filtering needs for the reasons I mentioned.  Circular filters are much more convenient, unless you shoot U-UWA (I'm talking wider than 20mm FF), in which case you kind of have to get a holder as those lenses often lack filter threads.

But if neither of those apply to you, don't make the investment to the holder.  If you don't shoot landscapes and live north of say 20mm FF, I actually would not get a holder.  On-lens solutions should completely cover your needs there.

Understand the investment: 

  • Lee Holder + 0.6 hard grad + 0.6 soft grad + 77mm UWA filter ring (a not uncommon 'starter' setup) = $80 + $110 + $110 + $55 = $355.

  • Tack on a 105mm CPL ring in front plus a decent 105mm CPL and you tack on another $250-300.  Really solid 105 CPLs run north of $300 and still may cause UWA vignetting depending on your FL.

  • Want to support the Canon 11-24 or Nikon 14-24 and you have to step up to bigger/badder flavors of the above.  Doable, but be prepared to lose even more bag real estate for the larger pieces and be prepared to spend some money.

...now compare that to the price of simply owning a few 77mm (or 82mm) CPL, ND, etc.  It's not close.  So only make the plunge if you need UWA filterability, need to stack stuff, or need grads for landscapes.

- A
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 07:03:09 PM by ahsanford »

johnf3f

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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 05:31:51 PM »
Thanks for the answers. yea - in general i do not do a lot of landscape; although i have been leaning that direction lately for an interest - and with an upcoming Iceland trip next year sometime i decided to invest a bit.

@johnf3f - do you have the latest filter holder that you can close and block from light leaks? Do you find yourself using the CPL much? I starting to think maybe the filter holder is the way to go - and possibly just buy a ND screw in to use like ahsanford does on the side for those times i am not planning to use or bring a tripod. More expensive  - but who said photography was cheap XD

My filter holder is an E Bay cheapie - unbranded! With my 6 stop Formatt ND filter there is a sponge light seal around it's edges which seems to do the job well.

I do not use CPL filters as much as I used to but they can be handy especially where water is involved.
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Re: Filters - screw in or filter holders
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 05:31:51 PM »