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04-21-2010, 05:06 PM   #1
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step-up ring vs different size filters

A few months ago I bought a K-x with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses. Now that summer is approaching, I'm starting to think about the type of shooting I will be doing. And one of my favorite things has always been waterfalls. So I will need to get CPL and ND filters. The problem is that these two lenses have different filter sizes (52 and 58). Since most of my waterfall shooting will probably be done with the 18-55mm lens, I could get by with just 52mm filters.

However, down the road (a year or so, whenever I can justify the money) I want to add the Sigma 10-20mm or similar super-wide, which will take a 77mm filter. So I am considering going ahead and getting 77mm filters instead of 52mm, and then using step-up rings with my current lenses. They are significantly more expensive than the smaller ones. But I am pretty sure I'd end up wanting them for the 10-20mm lens down the road, so I might as well buy one set instead of two.

My question is this: Does the use of a step-up ring have any detrimental effects on the image or on the effectiveness of the filters themselves? (Other than the potential for vignetting, that is.)

Thanks for the help.

04-21-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by math guy Quote
My question is this: Does the use of a step-up ring have any detrimental effects on the image or on the effectiveness of the filters themselves? (Other than the potential for vignetting, that is.)
The answer is "no."

A step-up ring to a large filter works fine.

But since you mentioned 10-20mm lens and CPL: beware that CPL used with ultra wide-angle lens may produce "uneven" lighting. Some people use them together effectively but I myself think it's too much hassle.

If I were you, I'd buy a 58mm CPL and a 52-58 step-up ring for now.
04-21-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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I think your real problem is going to be going from 52mm to 77mm in a single ring. It's my theory and someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the closer the filter is to the glass the better off you are. I understand that 77mm filters can be a huge expense but I would get a set of 62ish or even 58mm filters right now and buy a single ring to adapt them to your 52. Then later when you get the wide angle, buy the 77mm filters. They will also work on the DA12-24, the DA14, the DA*16-50, and the DA*300 (to name the ones I'm certain of). If you end up with a lens thread greater than 58mm and less than 77mm, you're in a better situation to adapt at that point.

Just my 2

04-21-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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Cokin:

You buy one set of filters, and rings for your various filter diameters. Also works with the lens shade attachments.

Look at my lens list below and figure out how the heck I could have filters to accommodate ALL of them.

One set of filters, and different rings.

Greatest invention since sliced bread.

04-21-2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
The answer is "no."

A step-up ring to a large filter works fine.
Thanks.

QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
But since you mentioned 10-20mm lens and CPL: beware that CPL used with ultra wide-angle lens may produce "uneven" lighting. Some people use them together effectively but I myself think it's too much hassle.
Yeah, that is especially true when the sky is involved, which would be the case for lake scenes and the like. But I also use a CPL for waterfalls, in which case it would not be as problematic. I've never used an ultra-wide (my smallest back in the film days was a 28mm), so I'm sure it would take getting used to.

But even if I decide that I don't like the CPL on the 10-20mm, I'd still need the ND at times for waterfalls.
04-21-2010, 05:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I think your real problem is going to be going from 52mm to 77mm in a single ring. It's my theory and someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the closer the filter is to the glass the better off you are.
This is really what I was wanting to know. So if someone else can verify or correct Jeff's theory, that would be great.
04-21-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Cokin:

You buy one set of filters, and rings for your various filter diameters. Also works with the lens shade attachments.

Look at my lens list below and figure out how the heck I could have filters to accommodate ALL of them.

One set of filters, and different rings.

Greatest invention since sliced bread.
Thanks, Ira. It seems you have verified what I had hoped -- that step-up rings do no harm to the images.

You also bring up another good point, though, and that is the lens hood. The hood for my 18-55mm lens has a nice little hole in it for CPL adjustment. But if I use a step-up ring, then the bayonette hood is out. I guess I would need to get a 77mm screw-on hood.
04-21-2010, 06:40 PM   #8
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filter ring is one great invention. it has eliminated the need to buy individual filters for each lens with different filter diameter size and can save you a lot of money.

04-21-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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Step up rings will not hurt your photos. They contain no glass in them and therefore no damaging effects. However one thing should be mentioned. If you place too many filters on or filter step up rings you may have a problem at the corners of your photos. Especially going super wide. Something to keep in mind.

Step down rings are a different story though. Never buy step down rings. Unless you want that effect.
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