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Thread: B/W filters

  1. #1

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    B/W filters

    Hi all

    Not sure where to put this one, but here seems reasonable. I generally don't go for too many filters, but I've recently needed them, so a question...

    I'm inclined to go for Lee filters: I don't want to spend a fortune, but then again there is no point in paying $1000 for a lens and putting a piece of crap plastic in front of it. Lee produce resin and polyester filters - resin being by far the more expensive. Has anyone had experience of these types of filters and is it worth paying the extra for resin; I've heard conflicting reports.These are to be used on both MF and LF kits.

    Thanks

    Geoff

  2. #2
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I think it depends on what you're looking for, Geoff. Resin filters, while still somewhat delicate, are more robust than gels or polyester. Plus, they are thicker - 1mm or so (don't recall exactly), so are designed to fit slip-in holders/adapters that deal with the thickness.

    All of that is separate, of course, from round, screw-in glass filters. There, I believe the Lee filters have aluminum retaining rings, which are somewhat more prone to sticking in the lens threads. The more expensive brands (e.g. B+W) use brass rings, which don't stick as easily. Whether the glass used in the more expensive brands really matters is an issue that will continue to be argued by both the manufacturers and their customers.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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    Gels & polyester filters are of fine quality and will not degrade your images. But they are fragile, and the last time I looked at Kodak gel prices, they are insanely priced.

    I bought gels when they were a few bucks a piece, the last time I looked some were $45. For being so fragile, it doesn't make sense to me to pay that price. Even the polyester filters seem too high in price for what you are getting.

    Personally, I would not use resin filters. The thickness is enough to worry me about image degradation. When I buy new filters, I buy BW coated ones and cringe at the price, but know they are quality stuff.

    Charlie

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    When it comes to resin filters, I believe you get what you pay for. I have a couple of Singh-Ray graduated ND filters that are excellent but they cost about $100 each. Resin is easy to scratch, hard to break. Gels are very fragile, excellent in quality but expensive. I've never used poly filters.

    Good quality screw-in glass filters are rugged and pretty inexpensive in comparison. Even the lower priced Tiffen and Hoyas that I've used have been excellent. B+W filters are more expensive but better made. You can always buy glass filters in the largest size you will ever need and use step-up rings to mount on lenses that use smaller size filters, thereby saving some cash.

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    Thanks for the input folks. I guess it is like everything: you get what you pay for.

    Most of what I do is studio based and I don't have a great need for filters, but I bought a Cokin x-Pro some time ago for an old pentax 67 lens and the thing was so thick I thought it couldn't possibly be any good. It seemed to work OK though.

    I'm more inclined to go for square-type filters since I have many different size lenses that I might at some point use them with, but resin always seems too think, and poly too cheap. I've heard that cheap filters don't damage image quality and I've also heard that they do. I like the idea of glass, but get a bit sick of them getting jammed on the lens. As a result of this thread, perhaps I should look at gels. As I have said, I don't use them a great deal and therefore they won't have a perticularly hard life. Step-up rings are also something my poor wasted brain hadn't thought of, so a look at the higher end screw filters is worth a look. Thanks all.

    Geoff

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    If the thickness worries you ( and I'm not sure it should ) you might want to take a look at HiTech filters , which are also available in 100mm width, since they are thinner than Lee. They are also a bit cheaper, generally.

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    Hi David

    I'll take a look. The thickness doesn't worry me too much; it was just a bit of a shock to see something sooo thick. Price is not so much of an issue either really, it's just that I'd use them so rarely, I don't wan't to spend more than I have to. I'd only need a couple. But I don't want to buy something I'd feel unhappy with using (like using out-of-date film - probably OK, but worth the risk???)

    Datchet eh. I live about a mile from you in Eton. Small world.

    Geoff

    PS: Have you ever been to the Italian in Datchet? Always looks quite tempting.

  8. #8

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    Thats a coincidence. Haven't tried that place personally, though I think my wife has and that she wasn't too impressed. You'll often find me in the Tiger Garden in Eton though.

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    If your primary concern about screw-in glass filters has to do with the filter ring sticking to the lens threads, then check into B&W filters and step rings. Being brass, they don't stick as easily as the aluminum used in the lower priced Tiffens and Hoyas I've used. When you compare prices of the larger size filters, I have found the B&W's aren't too much more expensive than the Tiffens and Hoyas.

  10. #10
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    I don't have a problem with the rings sticking and my gear is only used outdoors and lives in a Lowepro. Normally I leave the adaptor rings on my lenses for long periods of time and when required, they come off no problem. The large diameter does offer lots of leverage should they get stiff. This just hasn't been an issue.

    I have Lee resin filters for colour work and have been using the cheap gels for B+W with no obvious degradation on my 5x4. That said, it is the orange which I use most and has become quite scratched, so have ordered a resin one today. Lee quality control is exemplary.

    Oh and I used to sail at Datchet Water!

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