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Tim Hyde
24-Jun-2006, 19:34
This behemoth takes 135mm filters. Aside from the thousand-dollar center filter, I can't find any filters that size for sale. I would like a polarizer and one or two b&w filters, but nobody seems to carry them anymore, and the Lee systems are too small. Any suggestions on where to find such large filters?

Andre Noble
24-Jun-2006, 19:57
Hoohray, a brave soul who actually bought this lens! I was ONCE thinking of one. Is it ridiculously huge? - I mean, like even a layperson chuckles when they see it?:) Is it sharp???

Regarding filter question, I was under impression of the possiblity that filters could be mounted at rear of a 210 XL lens???

Tim Hyde
24-Jun-2006, 20:13
No, I haven't actually purchased the thing yet, but I'm standing on the edge of the cliff just about to jump. It does take 72mm filters at the rear, but it is my understanding that using rear filters in general--and particularly with this lens--somehow makes it difficult to determine precise focus on the gg; that is, that it somehow moves the focus plane a centimeter or two off. Does anyone know if this is true?

Don Hutton
24-Jun-2006, 20:13
The rear of the lens is threaded to take 72mm filters. It's a decent solution if you don't want to go up to huge, expensive regular filters. Not sure what you want to use it on, but I'm not convinced it is a sensible choice for 8x10. I used one a bit on 11x14 and finally sold it - it is enormous compared to any other lens I own.

Don Hutton
24-Jun-2006, 20:16
I had no issues using rear mounted filters - theoretically, you can get a small focus shift so you should do a final check of focus with the filter in place - no big deal. I would guess that any focus shift would likely be under 1mm - not close to 1cm. To be honest, I never noticed any major shift at all. It's a bright lens anyway (so it should be for the size) so focussing with a filter in place is dead easy.

Andre Noble
24-Jun-2006, 20:35
Also consider Elmer Fudd physics (an obscure branch of Newtonian physics) : A lighter lens, if accidently slipped through the fingers, will pause a moment before descending at 9.8 m per second per second. This will allow you time to recover and catch it before it starts its descent. A lens with the mass of a 210 XL will descend without this pause.:)

Eric Leppanen
24-Jun-2006, 21:06
I own a SS210XL that I use on my 8x10. It is certainly huge, but for short hikes from the car it is quite usable in the field. It rates its own camera bag, so when I go hiking the SS210XL bag goes in my left hand, tripod goes in my right hand, camera and holders are in my backpack, and off I go! The SS210XL has better flare resistance and a much larger image circle than the smaller lenses in its focal length, and for shooting architecture and "extreme" landscapes (shooting up from the bottom of steep canyons, etc.) it has no peer IMHO, even on 8x10. Tim, you'll be the proud owner of a superb lens if you go that route!

IMO the most practical, cost-effective way to attach filters to this lens is with tape. I tape my 4x4" Lee resin B&W filters to the rear element (be sure to focus with the filter installed, and that will take care of any focus shift). Attaching something as thick as a polarizer to the rear element, on the other hand, is not advisable due to the potential for spherical aberration (particularly with a wide-angle lens such as this), so I purchased a square 6.6x6.6 inch polarizer (sold primarily for use on 35mm cinema cameras) which I position over the front lens element and tape to the lens barrel. Not the most elegant looking solution, but it works like a champ! The 6.6x6.6 filter is large enough to accommodate the center filter if you later elect to buy one (I own a CF since I shoot a lot of chrome film); going a bit smaller than 6.6x6.6 doesn't really save much cost-wise.

B&H can order such a polarizer for you (Tiffen is the cheapest: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=58819&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) as can a variety of other dealers of camera and video equipment. I ultimately paid a bit more and bought a Tiffen UltraPol (provides stronger polarization than the standard product) from Birns & Sawyer in Los Angeles. Such polarizers also show up used from time to time on Ebay, under the video products section. Schneider also makes similar polarizers. 6.6x6.6 is a fairly common size, so you shouldn't have to wait long to get one; if you need rapid availability, I suggest calling Tiffen and Schneider directly to find out what they have in stock.

Andre Noble
24-Jun-2006, 21:28
Eric, I've been following your lens posts, you've certainly got all the goodies, it seems.:)

Ron Marshall
24-Jun-2006, 23:16
I use rear mounted filters on one of my lenses, because some of my filters would contact the front element. I focus with a UV filter in place, then replace it with a colored filter.

Michael S. Briggs
25-Jun-2006, 01:55
Assuming an index of refraction of 1.5 (which is reasonable), a glass filter on the rear shifts the focus by 1/3 the thickness of the filter. Obviously this is much less than a centimeter. In some cases the shift won't be important compared to the depth of focus. It's best to refocus with the filter in place. If the filter is too dense, you can substitute a lighter filter of the same material and thickness, as suggested by Ron.

The rear mounted filter (in the converging beam) will also introduce some spherical aberration (as mentioned by Eric), but I suspect that the effect will be unimportant at typical taking apertures.

If you use a gel or thin polyester filter, both effects will be negligible.

You could contact Schneider or Heliopan to see if you could special order filters for the front of this lens, but the price might be breathtaking, but on the other hand, the lens isn't cheap, and you only want a two or three filters. It would be peculiar if Schneider provided filter threads, but Schneider/B+W made no filters to fit those threads.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
25-Jun-2006, 03:09
Heliopan makes 135mm filters. But not many.

George Stewart
25-Jun-2006, 04:22
I had four extra-wide (they flare outward like B+W's do) gelatin filter holders made for my 210XL. SKGrimes did the work, and I used Kodak 6" gelatin filters. I trimmed the gels to fit in the holders than screwed down the retainers. They used to have a link for these, but I couldn't find it. However they do have this: http://www.skgrimes.com/thisweek/10-01-04/index.htm

Eric Leppanen
25-Jun-2006, 11:06
George's post stirred some memories. I also talked to Grimes about my SS210XL, specifically whether they could fashion a 135mm round polarizer for me. As I recall, they checked with their glass supplier (I believe it was Schneider) who did not respond, so this idea died.

The video industry uses 138mm round filters, but these would require a custom step-up ring, which could potentially cause vignetting.

I think these experiences resulted in my abandoning the round filter approach and going square.

Tim Hyde
25-Jun-2006, 12:04
Eric-

I routinely use adhesive putty to attach square filters to my Fuji GX617 panoramic lenses, so your system should work for me now that you have pointed me to the 6.6x6.6 filters. In some ways, this method is easier than digging out the holders and rings I use on other lenses. Thanks.

tim