Best size filter to get for max compatibility

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't have any lens filters now, but I understand that I can buy large ones and use $5 step-up rings on my smaller-threaded cameras. I would like to do this for my present cameras, but perhaps I should go even bigger in case I get other cameras or lenses in the future. What do you think the best size filters to get so that I'm covered for the most common lenses? I'm most likely to stick with Pentax in the near future. Both my current lenses are 49mm threads; are all Pentax lenses 49mm?

    Right now I have two Pentax-A, one Nikon AF 50mm/1.4, and a Canon FD 50mm/1.8.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you buy used the small common sizes aren't much more then step up rings. Using really big filters with step rings means carrying big filters and step up rings all the time.

    I'd look for used

    49mm
    58mm
    68mm
    82mm

    filters. Then use step rings in between those sizes. With care the 68mm and smaller shouldn't be that expensive.
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've had no luck finding used filters so I was going to go ahead and start looking for cheap new ones. Mostly what I need is a 49mm yellow, but most of the used filters I see are being sold with a bunch of other stuff I don't want.
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Strange. Ebay used to be full of yellows and reds. Plus sets in the main sizes.
     
  5. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Ah, perhaps. I'm on a fast from popular internet auction sites at the moment due to personality conflicts. Although I might have to make an exception for this.
     
  6. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Have you looked at Cokin or similar filter systems?
     
  7. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    By and large Pentax lenses from 28 to 135 mm take 49 mm filters, the 24 and 200 mm that I have need 52, the 300 and (IIRC) 20 mm that I used to have needed 67.

    A vast number of Nikon 35 mm lenses (and LF lenses) use 52 mm. To try to curb the ridiculous number of filters that I have, I tried to standardise on 52 mm and have 40.5 -> 52 and 46 -> 52 stepping rings. Might work for you, too.
     
  8. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    It's been like that for some weeks. You may find a page but nothing interesting, and if you want an exact size (I search 49mm) not many interesting listings.
    Heck, even a good big store here didn't have listed yellow or red filters; Though I seen blues and greens when I went there last time a month ago.
     
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Try(as always) KEH.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been through various systems, and I use various systems, but for glass screw in filters, I've settled on 67mm, which covers a good chunk of what I use. I have some lenses that are larger, and for those I tend to use 4" square filters, and I also have a pretty large collection of 3" square filters. While it seems to make sense to go by the largest filter size you have and use step-up rings for everything else, and that's probably a good idea at your stage, if you've got a really wide range of lenses for different cameras, you don't want to be carrying enormous filters around for every lens, and on a small camera, a large filter can get in the way of the camera controls. I've also got sets of small filters for when I want to be more compact.
     
  11. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good question, BetterSense;

    This exact question is what influenced me most strongly in my selection of lenses when I was beginning with an SLR and interchangeable lenses. In looking through my manufacturer's catalog (Minolta) I did notice that most of the lenses in the common range had at least one model that accepted 55 mm diameter screw-in filters. On that basis, I selected my first "system." It ran; 28 mm, 35 mm, 58 mm, 100 mm, 200 mm, and 300 mm, all with a 55 mm diameter filter thread. Yes, in the longer focal lengths I had to accept the smaller aperture, but they were also cheaper. I chose to look at the whole system and tried for maximum compatibility and utilization of space in the carrying case. There is more than one way to approach the filter question.
     
  12. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I sorta try to pick a big one and adapt, but my system keeps changing! I had a small assortment in the 52 -58 mm range. But then I got the Bronica which takes 67 mm; except for the 1:1 macro which I didn't intially plan to buy that takes 72mm. As I have an EF L-series used on something I can't talk about that takes 77mm, I figured I'd buy 77s and an adapter. Alas, in attempting that I found an ePrey deal on an assortment of 72mm stuff so I bought 'em at a ridiculously low price. I am slowly accumulating some adapter rings to further confuse myself.

    Getting the largest possible has two hazards; 1) interference with controls - or even the viewfinder on a RF if the filter is way oversize, and 2) the big stuff gets pretty pricey. If you're just getting started and don't have ambitions to quickly get larger lenses it could be less painful to get a modest sized set to cover immediate needs. I guess I just don't go out and shoot enough, but I also find I don't grab my green or orange filters as often as a yellow or red so one might also pick them up one at a time.

    Be it also noted that d*git@l types seldom would use the filters for black and white photography, so with that, and the prevalence of color film use prior to the digi stuff, there are probably way fewer such filters in circulation.

    DaveT