View Full Version : Which way to go with filters?

7-Sep-2006, 08:51
Hi all...

I shoot both MF and LF, and have been wondering which way to go regarding filters. So far, I haven't delved into this area...

My largest LF lens is 67mm and the largest MF lens is 77mm. I'd love to get a system that would work with both formats. I could get a step-up ring for the LF lenses and buy 77mm glass filters and use them on each format...or would you suggest something like a Lee filter holder and using the resin/gel filters.

In general, I'd like to keep costs down while still maximizing my optical results. What's the best way to go, and is there another method I'm not familiar with that you could turn me on to?


7-Sep-2006, 08:55
Do you have anything now? If you have some 77mm filters keep those and get a step up ring.

If you want Gels various hoods are being sold cheap used right now. They attach to the lenses in various ways. This way you get a hood and a filter holder for about the cost of the Lee snap holder.

Brian Ellis
7-Sep-2006, 09:33
How many, if any, sizes are there between your 67 and 77? If those are the only two sizes you have then it wouldn't be a big deal to get a step-up ring with circular glass filters. If you have multiple sizes in beteen then rings can become something of a pain and in that case you might investigage the Lee systems (rubber band and hood/shade). I've used both Lee systems and liked both of them but I had six or seven lenses with various filter sizes so step-up/step-down rings were too big a pain. If you only have the two filter sizes (67 and 77) the only reason I can see offhand for you to get the Lee system would be to have the hood (if you get that instead of the rubber band), which functions as a shade as well as a filter holder, and also in case down the road you start accumulating more lenses with different filter sizes.

Filters are always a pain, I think I've tried every system there is at one time or another and never found one that was perfect. In general, I like the circular glass filters for ease of cleaning and installing on the lens but I've literally got a box full of them in sizes for lenses I no longer own.

7-Sep-2006, 09:50
I generally keep all my filters in 72mm, and use step-up rings. However, I also use the Lee System, which I love, for my most often used filters (split neutral density, 81-A,B).

Ron Marshall
7-Sep-2006, 10:31
I leave step-up rings on all of my lenses that are smaller than my standard filter size, 67mm.

Robert Ley
7-Sep-2006, 10:44
I have also standarized on 67mm filters. I have found that many LF lenses and even my Pentax 645 have 67mm accessory threads and if not I leave the step-up rings on the lens and use a 67mm plastic snap-on lens cap. I have one lens that uses 77mm and I have the basic filters for that lens. I also have the Cokin P adapters and holders that I use for the occasional Cokin filter and my Singh-Ray ND Grads. I also prefer the round glass filters and feel that if I can use the filters on so many lenses that I can justify getting the best MC B&W filters.

7-Sep-2006, 19:28
All of my 4x5 lenses use 67mm filters, from 47mm to 500mm.
Most of my medium format use 67mm filters (one 58mm uses a step up ring)
All of my 35mm lenses are also 67mm.
I guess you can tell there is a pattern here! ;)

Anyway, yes, I have traded some lens speed (as compared to much faster/larger lenses), but in most cases I also have saved significant weight not only due to the "smaller" size of the lenses but also the ability to share a common set of filters across all cameras I am likely to bring on a photo expedition.

Too bad 67mm is falling out of favor these days...

Jim Jones
8-Sep-2006, 05:25
Remember, it is possible to use step-down rings and filters smaller than the lens is designed for. Obviously, there are potential disadvantages: vignetting with wider lenses, incorrect TTL metering, reduced maximum apertures, and perhaps more. Despite this, it can work. Sometimes we have to make do with what we have at hand.