View Full Version : Center filter recommendation

Steve Gilbert
4-Feb-2006, 23:57
I've never used a center filter before, but I'm noticing some falloff with wide angles in my skies, and want to try one. Considering the price of these, it would really be great if there was a single filter that would work for all my lenses (all are 67mm thread). I have 75mm SA, Nikon 90mm f/8, and 110mm SS-XL (I probably don't really need the Nikon with these other two, but I still use it). I'd like to someday get a 58mm SA-XL. Which would be a better "universal" center filter for all these: the Heliopan 67mm, Schneider #3, or Schneider #3b? I really don't want to buy two of these things, and hope there is no reason to do so. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

Bob Salomon
5-Feb-2006, 06:10
You jusy might have to: dends on the lenses.

The Rodenstock 90mm 6.8n the 72mm 4.5, the 35mm 4.5, the 55mm 4.5 and the 45mm 4.5 Grandagon and Apo Grandagon lenses all have a 67mm filter thread.

However the 90mm 6.8 and the 75mm 4.5 use one 67mm Rodenstock center filters while the 35mm 4.5, 45mm 4.5 and 55mm 4,5 Apo Grandagons all reqquire a different 67mm center filters.

It depends on the len's design as to which CF is required, Not just the filter thread.

Donald Hutton
5-Feb-2006, 07:13
Contrary to Bob's advice (if you can wade through those typos), I can vouch that a Schneider 3b works perfectly on all three of these lenses, and should you pick up the 58XL down the road, it is also the specified CF for that lens too.

Bob Salomon
5-Feb-2006, 08:42
" I can vouch that a Schneider 3b works perfectly"

That means that you have tested the various lenses you mention against any and all CF recommended for those lenses?

At one time Rodenstock recommended one center filter for all of their 67mm diameter wide angle lenses. Experience proved that one filter could not work properly for lenses whose coverages ranged from 120 to 102. That is why they now have two 67mm CF.

David A. Goldfarb
5-Feb-2006, 09:47
I have a Schneider III that I use on the 90/8 S-A, 75/4.5 Grandagon-N, and 55/4.5 Apo-Grandagon. I've compared it with a IIIb, and the difference is about 1/4 stop. Rodenstock's recommended 2-stop filter would be better for the 55mm lens on 4x5", I'm sure, but the one I have isn't too bad. If I find myself at some point using the 55 very frequently on 4x5", then I'll get the recommended filter, but for now, the III works pretty well, and so would the IIIb.

My point is that you can get the recommended filter that works for most of your lenses or the lens you use most often, and then if you find later that it isn't good enough, you can get another one. In the meantime a filter that undercorrects a bit still is a substantial improvement over no CF at all. You might even find that a certain amount of falloff is desirable for some images, and there are cases where even if you had the recommended filter for a certain lens, you might prefer the image made with a weaker filter.

Donald Hutton
5-Feb-2006, 10:00
Actually Bob I have tested a III and a IIIb on my 75mm f5.6 (when I owned it - I subsequently sold it) - on three separate chromes with large areas of sky deliberately shot close to the edge of the image circle there was no discernible difference between the III and the IIIb so I simpy returned the III and kept the IIIb which I already owned. There is no center filter manufactured specifically for the Nikkor, but as I indicated, I have used the combination extensively and it works well.

And what's more, I don't make a living selling filters...

Kirk Gittings
5-Feb-2006, 11:19
Has anyone ever developed a cross referenced/cross brand chart for center filter use?

William Stone
5-Feb-2006, 15:15
Sounds like another good project for Kerry Thalmann - if he hasn't already done it, that is!

I'm interested as well because I have a Schneider IIIb CF I use on my 80xl and, rarely, on my 110xl but I am in the market for a 55mm or 58mm lens and would like to know my options which don't involve buying another CF. Schneider specs the IIIb for their current 58mm, so I know I'd be OK that way.

Bob Salomon
5-Feb-2006, 16:36
"a cross referenced/cross brand chart for center filter use?"

A more interesting one would also include the color shifts inherent in all center filters and how they compare to each other.

steve simmons
5-Feb-2006, 16:58
View Camera magazine did an articl;e on center filters a couple of issues ago. If you don't have it call

505-899-8054 m-f 8-5 mountain time

steve simmons

Dan Baumbach
6-Feb-2006, 16:28
I have 75mm and 90mm Nikkors and the 58mm SA XL. I use a heliopan center filter on the 75 and 58 and I'm very pleased with the results. On the 75 the Heliopan is just about perfect. On the 58, there's a little vignetting but not enough to be a problem. I don't find the 90 f/8 Nikkor needing a filter.

- Dan.

Steve Gilbert
6-Feb-2006, 20:53
Thanks for all the replies. I think I'm going to just go with either the Heliopan or the Schneider #3, whichever I can find the cheapest (and hopefully used). My 110 XL is my newest lens...haven't used it a whole lot yet, but I don't see any vignetting with it whatsoever...I'm not even sure why they make a center filter for it (for 5x7 users, maybe?). I'm calling it a non-issue. I don't know how soon if ever I'll get that 58mm, so I'm not going to base the decision on that either. That just leaves the 75mm SA (definitely seeing a problem), and my Nikon 90mm f/8. I've never noticed a problem with the Nikkor, either. Sounds like the Schneider #3 is what I need...or a Heliopan if I can find it any cheaper. Thanks again.

Paul Stuart
1-Jan-2007, 23:58

Thanks for all the good feedback.

I hope someone has a response to this--I have a Fujinon 90/8; is there a "best" center filter.....??