Beginner help w/ filters, etc...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Valethar, May 10, 2008.

  1. Valethar

    Valethar TPF Noob!

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    Greetings,

    I'm just getting back into film SLR photography, and need some advice on what I should get in the way of basic filters for the lenses.

    I know for outdoor shots, I'm definitely going to want a polarizer to help with clarity and reduce reflections, etc. What would you suggest as something for everyday use on the lenses, other than the polarizer?

    My main goal is helping to protect the front optics from contact. Mr. Murphy being the sneaky guy that he is, I know he'll eventually reach over, knock the cap off and try to create problems. It's cheaper to replace a filter than it is a lens, so I'd rather the filter take the abuse.

    When I started dabbling in photography, back in the 80's, I seem to recall that someone had mentioned skylight filters being a general purpose accessory that would do the job, and not have an overly negative impact on the pictures. Granted, that's advice that's 20 odd years old now, so I thought I'd ask for some opinions before I buy anything.

    The rig I have now is:

    Canon AE1-P body
    Auto Image 28mm 1:2.8 (55mm filter)
    Sears 135mm 1:2.8 Macro (52mm filter)
    Vivitar 75-205mm 1:3.8 (58mm filter)
    Vivitar 2800 flash
    Kiron MC7 2x teleconverter
    Hoya +4 filter in 55mm
    Hoya Star 6 filter in 52mm

    I'm not entirely sure what the Hoya +4 does. I'm guessing adds 4mm to the focal length of the lens, but I honestly don't know. It came with one of the other lenses when I bought it. I know the 2x double the focal length of the lens, and will alter how I approach shutter and aperture settings in manual mode.

    I'm eventually going to pick up some other lenses for this. I'd like to get the original 50mm, as well as the 70-210 I had years ago before the original rig was stolen. I also plan to take the basic photography courses at the Pierce County Community College here where I live, and then look at taking the other courses as I progress.

    Any advice or wisdom you want to impart would be welcome. :)
     
  2. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't know of other 'everyday' filters to get but if you want to protect from front element contact get a UV/Skylight filter. They're cheap and protection is its main purpose. It doesn't do much else.

    Any filters you pick up I would advise purchasing them in the 58mm size so as to avoid vignetting on the zoom when stacking filters and get the adapter rings to go from 52-58 and 55-58.

    As to other filters to purchase, for general photography I would suggest an arsenal of ND filters. An NDx2, an NDx4 and an NDx8. This can give you a lot of options when you want to lengthen your shutter speed with a brightly lit subject area (ie. waterfalls, moving objects on sunlit days). If you are going to do any black and white photography then the whole gambit of color/contrast control filters is needed. But you can get by with a red 1, a blue 1 and a yellow 1 and that will cover most situations where slight contrast control is desired.

    The teleconverter will change your settings in manual. But if you have TTL metering you won't know it. The metering system will automatically adjust for any changes of lens focal length by simply reading the light as it always does. But if you meter with a handheld meter then you need to bear in mind that in doubling the focal length of the lens the apertures become half the size that the f numbers represent. f2 becomes f4. Reason being that, say, take a 50mm lens with a maximum aperture diameter of 25mm, this is an f2 lens. Put the 2x on it and the focal length is now 100mm. With a 25mm maximum aperture diameter it is now a f4 lens. Same with other settings. f2.8 is now f5.6. f.4 becomes f8. f5.6 becomes f11. f 8 becomes f16. f11 becomes f22. f16 becomes f32. f 22 becomes f45.

    I would also pick up a copy of Ansel Adams' 'The Negative'. This book is my photographic Bible and Chapter four on the Zone System is my John chapter 3. It's well worth the read anyhow. Have fun and good luck.
     
  3. evo5gsr

    evo5gsr TPF Noob!

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    If you just wanna protect your lens, then using your lens hood might not be such a bad idea.
     
  4. Valethar

    Valethar TPF Noob!

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    The hoods I have don't have glass, though that's definitely something to remember.

    I'm shopping around for a decent deal on some 58mm UV filters now. I hadn't thought of using the step-up rings until Christopher mentioned it, but that makes a lot of sense. Fewer things to carry around, and if one does get damaged, I can swap one out as needed until I can pick up a replacement.
     
  5. evo5gsr

    evo5gsr TPF Noob!

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    Of course they don't. Hoods don't have glass, except the lenses that they're attached to. I suggested using one so that in a situation where the front end of your lens bumps onto a hard surface, the hood will take the damage instead of the actual glass.
     
  6. MRivera

    MRivera TPF Noob!

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    To protect the lense I only use a UV filter..
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To protect my lenses I'm just more careful with where I have th (CRASH!) Aw, crap!
     
  8. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    UV filter for everyday use/protection. Lens hood as well.
     
  9. Valethar

    Valethar TPF Noob!

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    Ahh, I see what you mean. Letting the rim of the hood take the abuse. misunderstood what you meant there. :blushing:
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    UV filter to filter out ultraviolet rays. Clear glass protector filter for everyday use and protection.
     
  11. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I use a UV filter for everyday use. All the camera shops around here recommend it.
     
  12. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not always. I chipped one of my clear glass fliters despite having a lense hood on. Pointy rock got it.
    I suggest a clear glass filter/protector for the most part. You might go to http://www.bhphotovideo.com they have a nice selction of clear glass some with multicoats on them to cut reflection. I have diffrent filters for diffrent applications too. So it depends on what you are looking to shoot.
     

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