View Full Version : Back to the Future (Filters)

5-Jul-2005, 12:15
The filter size situation is absolutely crazy, and the lens manufacturers apparently don't care. It seems like nearly every lens I own takes a different size filter. I have five coupled lenses for my Technika, from 90-360mm) and there are FOUR different filter sizes, plus three uncoupled Dagors each with it's own Series filter adapter. I think that Kodak had it right with their Series Filters -- maybe we should go back to it. But I'm not sure that anyone even makes Series filters any more, and the step-up/down rings are available only in one or two sizes. Pardon my Primal Scream -- Aaaaahhhhggggggggggggggggg!

Dean Tomasula
5-Jul-2005, 12:23
I use a Lee Gel Snap filter holder and Lee gelatin filters. One holder fits all my lenses and I just drop in the gel filter when I need it. Makes more sense than buying different size step-up/down rings for each lens.

Sal Santamaura
5-Jul-2005, 12:35
Bill, get thee some nicely machined, brass, non-galling Heliopan adapter rings. Then you'll be able to use your largest filters on all the smaller lenses too. I've put one on each lens and been quite content ever since.

Sal Santamaura
5-Jul-2005, 12:37
Of course, do check with Bob Soloman concerning the Series sizes. I haven't had to deal with those.

Antti Aalto
5-Jul-2005, 13:05
No more then an hour ago I was thinking of a way to use gelating filters I got for free in different sizes. I came across with the Lee Gel Snap thingy online and made myself one from a piece of wire, a rubber band and some tape. The holder part for all sizes I got from the cardboard packaging the filters came in. Seems to work okay.

Bob Salomon
5-Jul-2005, 13:34
Heliopan makes the following series size filters:

Series V
Series 5.5
Series VI
Series VII
Series 7.5
Series VIII
Series IX
Series 9e

Most are available only on special order. However we do stock UV and skylight in Seris VI, VII and VIII.

Adaptor rings are a different story. Basically you have to supply your own

Brian Ellis
5-Jul-2005, 13:41
Maybe Lee has changed its system but when I used it a few years ago everything I saved by having only one set of filters was given back by needing a different adapter ring for each lens.

Tom Westbrook
5-Jul-2005, 14:08
The Gel Snap doesn't need adapter rings like the Foundation kits do. The Snap has a fairly thick rubber band to hold it on any lens up to, I think, 87mm.

Steve J Murray
5-Jul-2005, 14:28
I use gel filters mounted behind the lens on a filter holder sold by Calumet. I forgot the brand name. I glued velcro on the "feet" of this filter holder and have velcro spots on the back of each lensboard.

Bob Salomon
5-Jul-2005, 14:34
"Series 9e"

Sorry, Should be Series 93.

David A. Goldfarb
5-Jul-2005, 15:00
I have a Gel Snap and find it kind of wonky, but it does take 4" filters, so it's handy for big lenses when there's no other convenient method (like the Nikkor 40/4.0 on my Bronica S2A, which takes 90x1mm filters [did this filter size ever exist?!])

If you don't have lenses bigger than 77mm, I prefer a clip-on 3" gel holder (also holds resin or glass) with two adjustable barndoors made by Voss. I think it cost me $12 or so from KEH. It's more stable than the Gel Snap. Lately I'm using this for all the lenses in my 8x10" kit except the 10" WF Ektar, for which I found a 4" gel holder that looks like it was actually made for this lens (ser. IX, I think).

Vick Vickery
5-Jul-2005, 15:40
Go back to Series filters...HECK, I NEVER LEFT!!! Almost all of my lenses will use Series VI filters and I have adapters for all of them. I vary that with 3x3 gels and a universal adapter for those which will spring-clamp to any lens up to about 2.75".

mark blackman
5-Jul-2005, 23:12
Brian: "Maybe Lee has changed its system but when I used it a few years ago everything I saved by having only one set of filters was given back by needing a different adapter ring for each lens."

Not sure if they've changed it, but the adapter rings cost around 15 (although go up to 40 for larger sizes like 95mm). Compared to the cost of, say, 100 for a set of Grads, or 80 for a polariser, it is still economical. Less stuff to lug around as well.

phil sweeney
6-Jul-2005, 03:50
Here is a series IX adapter I had made:
seriesIX (http://home.att.net/~shipale/filter_adapter_seriesIX.jpg)

I can use my 67mm filters and also series IX. I have series IX lens shades. The biggest lens I have is a 24 inch red dot. This would not work on large modern lenses.

ronald moravec
7-Jul-2005, 12:29
Go with the step up ring and filters that fit the largest lens. If your largest one is excesively large, match up to the next size and then have a set for the really big lens.

I had some Lee polyesters that were submerged in a flood for 48 hours. The were mounted in the cardboard holders. I dried them, cleaned them and I still use `em. The snap gell thing may be a little hokey, but it works and is cheap. You can`t do a lens shade over it though.