using filters

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by SimplyMo, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. SimplyMo

    SimplyMo TPF Noob!

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    well, i'm ready to start playing around with filters...

    but what im not sure about, and this may seem very basic, is---
    what is the difference between : step-up rings, step-down rings, and adapter rings ??

    i've never used filters before.. i want to experiment with altering colors in an image, starting with just b&w film.. so im hoping that i may be able to just purchase some sort of filter kit with gelatin filters..

    therefor i would need to buy a filter holder, and adapter ring..is that right??

    my lens diameter is 58mm..

    so i guess all im wondering is, which type of ring do i need for the filter holder? step-up? step-down? or adapter?
    and would i just need a 3x3 filter holder?

    i hope this makes sense:blushing:
     
  2. bullitt453

    bullitt453 TPF Noob!

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    Seems to me that, if you are wanting to go with the square filter (which I get that impression because you mention the 3x3 filter holder), then you want need any of the rings. The filter holder should place the filter infront of any size lens you have. Of course, I've never used square filters, so there may be something with their attachment points that I don't know of.

    As for what the rings are:
    Step-Up ring allows for the attachment of a larger filter to your lens. For instance, a step-up ring of 55mm-62mm will allow you to use a 62mm filter on a 55mm threaded lens.
    Step-down ring does the exact opposite of a step-up ring.
    Adapter ring allows you to attach a different mount lens to your camera.

    on edit:
    After a bit more looking around, it looks like there are adapter rings that are used to attached the square filter holder to the lens. By looking at some of the images, it looks to me like you would need an adapter ring for all of your lens sizes. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will post up soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  3. SimplyMo

    SimplyMo TPF Noob!

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    so basically the step-up and step-down rings are also "filter holders"? except you use circle filter?

    i don't know where to begin.. ive just been browsing different filters, and all i've seen are square filters... which require that filter holder i mentioned...

    i just want to experiment.. i see that you can buy separate filters that all attach separately.. but i was hoping to just buy a kit, using one holder.. it doesn't matter whether the filter is square of circle..

    hmmm.....
     
  4. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    No, think of step up/down rings as cross-overs from one thread size to another. Thats all. Look at a picture of them on the internet and you'll see what they are. They don't "hold" anything. They are simply a crossover.

    Derrick
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Unless you have lenses with different filter sizes (you only mention 58mm) or if you are going for a Grad ND, why not just get the screw-on that fits your lens? No need for step-up/downs or adapters.

    If you are wanting rectangular/square filters as Cokin, Lee, Singh-Ray etc., I would suggest the P size Cokin holder as a minimum size.

    Personally, I think the first add-on filter should be a circular polarizer. Photoshop can handle a lot of your filter effects other than a CP

    Just my 2¢.
     
  7. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    An adaptor ring is a ring that can hold a square filter holder onto your lens. Unless it already comes supplied with one, your square filter holder will need one in order to work.

    A step-up ring is NOT completely necessary all the time, only when you have two (or more) lenses with different filter thread diameters. A step-up ring allows you to fit a larger-sized filter onto a smaller-sized lens thread. For example, I have a 55mm Circular Polarizer (because of my Sigma lens), but I also have a 55-52 step-up ring for my 52mm lenses.

    A step-down ring is the opposite of that; it allows a SMALLER-sized filter to be fitted onto a larger-sized lens. However, if you decide to get one, you should be very careful to make sure the lens does not vignette (darken the edges of the image) with the filter. Basically, try to avoid using a step-down ring, but if you must, don't use one on a wide-angle lens.

    Also, I agree with Kundalini in that the first lens you should get is a Circular Polarizing filter. The effects you can get with it are pretty much unique. A UV filter is also good for general protection.
     
  8. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Another thing to watch out for is when using step up rings, your lens hood may no longer be able to be attached to the lens.

    Derrick
     
  9. SimplyMo

    SimplyMo TPF Noob!

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    i want to just try out different colored filters...
    like yellow--to affect the sky...
    but i noticed that if i just buy the separate filters that screw on (with out a filter holder) aren't they more expensive?
    like 50-60 dollars for one?
    i was just considering the filter holder so i could spend less, but try more...

    what do you think?
     
  10. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It depends which kind of screw-in filter you get. If you get a top-of-the-range B+W or Hoya filter, then yes, they will be about $60, possibly more for the B+W. But if you get the lower-end Hoya stuff (which is still very good, might I add), they're more like $30-40. My Hoya CPL only cost me £25, and it's much more expensive in the UK than in America.

    Also (in here, at least), the Cokin stuff is more expensive, which is why I decided to get the screw-in.
     
  11. srt86hil

    srt86hil TPF Noob!

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    After you've bought a holder, does Cokin actually work out more expensive? I'm a bit confused because I was considering Cokin having seen CPs on ebay for about $20, but when I look on reputable camera sites, they sell for over $100. Why are they so cheap on ebay? Are they not as good quality or cheap knock-offs?
     
  12. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The ones you see on Ebay are almost certainly knock-offs. They are often made with much cheaper gelatin rather than glass, which can quite easily break. From www.speedgraphic.co.uk, the price of a P-series (84mm) circular polarizer is £49.95, whereas a Hoya Standard CPL is £27.10 (in a 55mm mount). However, the P-series Neutral Density filter is £9.90, whereas the Hoya 55mm is £15.10.

    Personally, I like the screw-in ones as they are easier to fit and use (IMO, of course). But really, there isn't a massive difference in price (I thought there was :blushing:). It's your choice, really.
     

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