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Thread: Using filters on LF lenses

  1. #1

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    Using filters on LF lenses

    For 40+ years now, I've always held thin gel filters against the front of the lens whenever I needed a filter (don't actually use 'em all that often.) I have a need to use a glass filter because my hands will be working a computer. I've seen other photographers using filters on the front of the lens, but is there any considerations or reasons why I couldn't screw one onto the rear element? Assuming, of course, that threads are available. Seems like it would be a good place to have a filter; eliminate reflections, light flare, etc. Would vignetting be an issue? Would the image quality be degraded?

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    I’ve used filters behind the lens many times. You may have to refocus.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Horseman offered a LF rear lens filter holder

    I have one somewhere, never used it

    I also have a DIY one for Horseman, it was wood glued to the back of a Horsemen lensboard

    None for sale

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Most lenses are not designed for rear filter use. A few are. There can indeed be an image quality penalty. I've tested for that with high quality MC glass filters. Guess it depends on how much you need to enlarge the neg; but I'll never rear-mount one again. A second liability is that you'll be composing and focussing with a dimmer image, whereas during normal front-mount filter applications you can do all that first, and then, afterwards, apply the filter just before the shot. As far as reflections are concerned, you need a good compendium shade regardless, in flare-prone situations.

  5. #5

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Any dirt, dust smudges, etc will effect the lens from behind much more then in front. And there will be a focus shift.

  6. #6

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Thank you, all. Front it is!

  7. #7

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    I've been putting gel filters behind one of my lenses for 25+ years and never noticed a resolution or contrast difference. It's a 1950s Schneider 121/8 Super-Angulon, where ong ago I attached a Calumet "Xenophon" gel filter holder; it fits on the back of the lens board.
    Focus shift, well, I put the filter in first. Admittedly not the theoretically perfect answer, but it does work. Since I'm running low on gels, I may have to break down and buy a few 82mm threaded filters.
    ...and per Ansel Adams, the focus shift with a filter behind the lens is 1/3 the thickness of the filter.

  8. #8

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Any dirt, dust smudges, etc will effect the lens from behind much more then in front. And there will be a focus shift.
    Focus shift and Refocus is mentioned now and then, please confirm my assumption the focus shift is only when attaching filter after focusing without filter first.

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Oslolens, that is correct. Focus first, add the filter, refocus. Or add the filter and focus for a single time. Some say simple gel filters don’t require refocusing.

    I’ll point out that Sinar shutters, which go behind the lens, have cutouts on the rear for filters to be attached.

  10. #10

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    Re: Using filters on LF lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    I've been putting gel filters behind one of my lenses for 25+ years and never noticed a resolution or contrast difference.
    I, too, have used gel filters behind the lens for 40+ years. But, in this case the filter I need is very specific and can only be obtained as a glass filter. I looked at all the lenses I plan to use and I can get a 72mm filter and use step-up rings for the smaller lenses.

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