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04-01-2014, 02:13 AM   #1
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Which filters to FA 31mm & DA* 60-250?

I've just bought the FA 31mm and the DA* 60-250mm, they are now on their way, and I would of course like too treat these like little babies. I know almost nothing about the filter universe, don't even know if one filter will fit both lenses.

Now, being a rookie, my questions might offend someone - but as we all know you can both protect the front glass and get rid of reflections etc. by using filters. What I need is the protection offered and in addition a filter that is not too strong, just taking the worst of reflections, as I mainly take photos of landscape and architecture.

However, most of the reviews on the WWW that I ran into are outdated - some reviews dates back even as late as 2008. Not useful, as I gather everything has evolved since then.

On the FA 31mm I know that you have to be especially careful for which filters you screw on this lens-lady. Fact is, that some of them will touch the front glass of this lens, as the glass is arched. I don't even DARE to think what will happen to for instance the coating then. So - the filter ring has to have an adequate height to prevent this gruesome scenario.

On Youtube I've seen a video by a fairly competent guy, who recommends a filter named Hoya 58mm Super HMC Multicoated. If anyone can support this (or give a cheaper alternative with similar quality), I'd be most happy to hear about this (it's rather an expensive fellow, that Hoya-filter - isn't it?)

Also, a short review of the Sigma EX DG UV Filter can be found at Sigma EX DG UV Filter reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database. Anyone who know if this will fit the FA 31mm - or indeed the DA* 60-250mm?

And is the front glass of the DA* 60-250 just as arched as the one on the FA 31mm - meaning similar precautions must be taken?

Also wondering if there is a quality website, where you can find filters that fits specific lenses - or which lenses that fits specific filters?

I'm totally in the wild here, but hope to get some good advice.
Thank you beforehand.


Last edited by Ztrejfer; 04-01-2014 at 03:24 AM.
04-01-2014, 04:23 AM   #2
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Modern day lenses due to their coatings really do not need UV filters most lens hoods suffice to cut glare. There is a loss of IQ using a UV filter and most filters for that matter, it may be ever so slight to very noticeable depending on the grade of the filter glass. From my research and from my own experience if you want to use a UV filter to protect your front element buy a cheap one to use for protection ONLY but remove it when you want to take photos. As far as ND filters, Variable ND filter or Polarizing ones etc. your better off buying the best you can afford. Also if you do buy these types of filters purchase one that fits your largest MM lens then buy step up rings to use for your other lenses. The Lee or Cokin filters with step up rings work well for this purpose.

For your reading pleasure;
http://www.lenstip.com/113.1-article-UV_filters_test.html
http://www.lenstip.com/120.1-article-UV_filters_test_-_supplement.html

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 04-01-2014 at 06:14 AM.
04-01-2014, 05:57 AM   #3
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There's no real need for filters on lenses used on digital cameras (with the exception of polarising and neutral density filters) other than protecting the lens itself.

If you put a filter on the lens there will inevitably be some image degradation, however imperceptible that may be.
So if you've spent a lot on good lenses and you want to put a filter on, then spend the money on the best quality filters you can afford.
I see no point in buying a good lens just to chuck on a cheap/low quality filter. You may as well just buy a cheap lens in the first place.

I used to put filters on my lenses for the extra protection, but now I have removed them all to try and maximise image quality/light gathering (for what that's worth). So far the lenses have not come to any harm.
Now I would just use a filter if I were in particularly dust/sandy/windy conditions to protect the lens coatings more than anything else.
04-01-2014, 07:22 AM   #4
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Filters may not be needed, but...

On Top lenses I use B+W MRC nano, and KSM for CPLs. You can get narrow rings (XS-Pro) for the widies. I have been testing Bresson Nanos and NiSi LRs from China. Just as good, and a bit cheaper. I use some Hoya (a 62mm CPL- HD) and a 77mm ProDig1 UV.. OK, but not the B+Ws or NiSi LRs.... We do a lot in "rough country, like the grit protex in blowing sand/ dust/ biota....

04-01-2014, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
Now, being a rookie, my questions might offend someone - but as we all know you can both protect the front glass and get rid of reflections etc. by using filters. What I need is the protection offered and in addition a filter that is not too strong, just taking the worst of reflections, as I mainly take photos of landscape and architecture.
Not sure what kind of reflections you want to get rid of. If it's reflections from shiny stuff in the environment you are photographing, like water, it's a polarizing filter you need. But that's not a good filter to use for general protection of the lens. If it's reflections in the lens itself, like flares and other reflection related abberations, you will not decrease them with an extra filter you will only get more AFAIK.
04-01-2014, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
get rid of reflections etc. by using filters.
With the exception of circular polarizers filters will actually add more reflections, flare, and ghosts. In many situations not enough to be noticeable but they definitely do not improve your image in any way.

Like many I have completely abandoned 'protective' filters and prefer using the lens hood which provides protection and unlike filters actually improves the image. I do use protective filters in severe conditions, blowing salt spray, geysers @ Yellowstone and so on, but remove them as soon as possible. If you feel more comfortable with a filter on that's your choice but do buy very high quality multi-coated ones not cheap grocery store models. You have purchased some expensive and excellent glass, don't ruin your images with cheap filters.

There are filters that serve a specific function such as polarizers and neutral density filters. Use those when you have a photographic purpose for them in mind and not when you don't.

The filter ring dimensions for your lenses can be found here: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
04-01-2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
Also if you do buy these types of filters purchase one that fits your largest MM lens then buy step up rings to use for your other lenses.
I don't think that would work in this case. The FA 31 has a built in hood and is 9 mm smaller than the DA 60-250
04-01-2014, 10:02 AM   #8
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Sorry about my "rookieness". Yes, I believe it's a polarization filter I'm thinking of. And yes - I get the idea of not using filters on a splendid lens like FA 31mm - but I'm also a practical man 😊

04-01-2014, 10:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
I know almost nothing about the filter universe
you can say that again.

Your 31mm will take a 58mm filter. The 60-250 will take a 67mm filter. I'd personally use a protective filter on the 31mm as it's quite exposed with the built in hood the way it is.
04-01-2014, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
Sorry about my "rookieness". Yes, I believe it's a polarization filter I'm thinking of. And yes - I get the idea of not using filters on a splendid lens like FA 31mm - but I'm also a practical man 😊
Polarizing filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com
04-01-2014, 12:10 PM   #11
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I haven't had any issues with my 31 being too arched to accept a filter. I don't always use protection filters but when I do, I find that the Tiffen Digital Ultra Clear works well and they're inexpensive.

Now on my 31 I use an alternative hood. The built in hood is designed for a wide angle field of view on 35mm so it's not very effective on a crop sensor. Use a 58-49mm step down ring to attach generic round metal 49mm hood. The hood will accept a 58mm lens cap.

Last edited by sundr; 04-01-2014 at 12:16 PM.
04-02-2014, 05:25 AM   #12
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@ Oldbayrunner:
Thanks for the tips, also for basic physics on wavelength etc. Always nice to get ones schools knowledge reviewed - especially when it's relevant.

@ Others:
Thank you everybody for taking good care of my request in this thread. There were clearly some things to pick up there. I was myself of course wondering if it was a good idea to cover a good lens as the FA 31mm with a filter, especially when it's already got a good coating. The thing is, that when I photograph landscapes with clouds, I wish these clouds to come into full bloom, to be visible in all their spectacular glory - and I still have the idea this may demand some kind of filter to obtain a good cloud catch. So on this argument I'm still on the hunt for at good quality filter, that delivers good quality photographs of clouds.

Why clouds? Well, actually I'm a member of The Cloud Appreciation Society - hence my request here in forum on filters to get a good photographic cloud catch. I haven't done much research yet on how to photograph clouds, but I will and it will definitely be a top priority when I hunt for this kind of beauty in nature with my new two lenses.

You can experience Cloud Of The Month - March 2014 if you yourself wish to experience a good photograph of a spectacular cloud (by the way - any idea on what filters that might have been used photographing that cloud in any filters at all?). On the site you can of course also experience my fellow members of The Cloud Appreciation Society worshiping living creatures like clouds By becoming a member of The Cloud Appreciation Society you can also yourself share cloud photos on their site. Enjoy!
04-02-2014, 11:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
when I photograph landscapes with clouds, I wish these clouds to come into full bloom, to be visible in all their spectacular glory
That should be achievable either with a polarising filter, or through post processing
04-02-2014, 11:08 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ztrejfer Quote
So on this argument I'm still on the hunt for at good quality filter, that delivers good quality photographs of clouds.
You bought one of the best lenses made. Putting a filter on it will not improve the image, clouds or otherwise. I'm not sure what you are looking for, "magic"? But a filter is only going to degrade your image. A polarizer will deepen the blue color of skies and cut down on reflections from water and trees, other filters have no purpose in digital photography unless you want to use one as 'protection'.

I would focus on learning proper exposure rather than looking for magic filters. Clouds are often the brightest objects in the sky so to get proper detail in them other things must often be shot darker and lifted in post. Or you could try HDR if the clouds are not moving.
04-02-2014, 01:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
You bought one of the best lenses made. Putting a filter on it will not improve the image, clouds or otherwise. I'm not sure what you are looking for, "magic"? But a filter is only going to degrade your image. A polarizer will deepen the blue color of skies and cut down on reflections from water and trees, other filters have no purpose in digital photography unless you want to use one as 'protection'.

I would focus on learning proper exposure rather than looking for magic filters. Clouds are often the brightest objects in the sky so to get proper detail in them other things must often be shot darker and lifted in post. Or you could try HDR if the clouds are not moving.
Interesting. Thank you for those reflections. I'm at the moment going through Bryan Petersons's "Understanding Exposure" and thus already consider learning how to catch the desired cloud images through techniques only based on exposure.
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