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01-17-2020, 08:04 PM   #1
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To step up or not? And how far to step.

I'm looking at picking up some filters for my lenses. My 50mm and 35-80mm lenses use 49mm filters. My 70-210mm (which I am not sure if I'll keep) and 28mm lenses both take 52mm filters. My 100-300 lens takes a 58mm filter. (I also have a Tamron 28-300mm lens that takes 72mm filters, but I'm not going to try and step all of them up to 72mm.)

Should I get filters for each size, or would it make more sense to get one size and step them up to that? I originally was thinking perhaps doing a 49 to 52 and getting the filters in 52mm. But then I realized my 100-300 was a 58mm lens and then thought about doing a 49 to 58 and 52 to 58 and get the filters in 58.

The filters I'm considering picking up are maybe a few ND filters for bright days when I want to either shoot wide open or do some long exposures to smooth out water and a CPL, mostly for seeing into water. I'm rather new to all of this, so I'm not sure if I'd need any filters for the 100-300. The fact the front turns while focusing on it, the 70-210, and the 35-80 I understand can be an issue with a CPL as well.

With work, the weather, and other things, I've not had a lot of chance to really try out my kit a whole lot, so I'm not really sure what I'll end up using the most. Most likely, the lenses that I see using where I would need filters would be the 28mm and 35-80mm lenses and probably the 50mm as well. (Also the Tamron, but as I said, not going to try stepping my 49 up to 72mm.) I could be wrong on what I'll end up actually using. But the 28mm is probably my goto right now for landscapes and general walkaround, followed by the 35-80 for the zoom versatility. Though the 28-300 is even more versatile, but also heavier.

And now that I've rambled way too much, would you recommend using a step-up ring on the 49 and go to a 52 or a 58? I'm not sure if I'll end up with any other lenses that are a 58 and I don't see the need for a filter on my 100-300 at this point, but not sure if I'm missing a good use-case for this. (Beach perhaps? I dunno.)

01-17-2020, 10:17 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
Should I get filters for each size, or would it make more sense to get one size and step them up to that? I originally was thinking perhaps doing a 49 to 52 and getting the filters in 52mm. But then I realized my 100-300 was a 58mm lens and then thought about doing a 49 to 58 and 52 to 58 and get the filters in 58.
recently just did this.....got a 52 VND and a 49 to 52 step up (as suggested by a forum member).....it covers several lenses for me......the next will be 55 to prolly 58 with a 58 VND but do not know yet.....have not even experimented with what I got already mainly wide open on film bodies that max at 1/1000 and maybe get slow enough to use flash......also recently got the da15 of course after the 49-52 deal and it was suggested to get wider than 52 even more than 58 stepping up and getting past the hood......it's really gonna depend on the lens sizes you really intend to cover and several combos that can be done......
01-18-2020, 06:51 AM   #3
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I originally did just get filters for the largest size I had at the time (58mm), Thinking what would I need larger for. Then ended get another lens with a 77mm filter thread, so had to get more filters, Then later got another lens with 82mm thread, Damn, More filters....What I found is that it is easier to buy large filters and step them down than buying filters over and over....Maybe it's just me...
01-18-2020, 07:29 AM   #4
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Well, right now I've got a Tokina 28mm f/2.8 lens on my camera which is 52, but I still want a wider lens. I'm not sure about 3rd party lenses, but I found a list of (I think it's all of the older lenses at least) Pentax lenses and their filter sizes. While I'm certainly not complaining about my Tokina, it's taken some nice pictures so far and I only paid for shipping, but I probably wouldn't even be wondering about this if it was the Pentax-A as it's a 49 as well. But I'm glad I have it because if I pick up a Pentax-A 24mm f/2.8, that's another 52. Though I'm not sure if a 24mm lens is wide enough. The Pentax-A 20mm f/2.8 jumps up to 67 which I could probably step up to meet my Tamron at 72. Though a DA 21mm f/3.2 Ltd is a 49 size filter, but I doubt I can find one in my price range. Though the Pentax-A lenses seem to be rather hard to find too, so it might be a moot point.

Looking at the list though, it seems like a lot of the older primes are either 49mm or 52mm threaded lenses with several macros and zooms at 58mm. Actually, I just noticed the K18 f/3.5 and it is a 58mm threaded lens as well, though I'd really rather a lens that I can control with the camera body. And the rest seem to be either 67mm or 77mm, except for the really big lenses that give you the option of a filter in the middle or at the end of the lens. Also an exception, the DA 18-135 WR that's a 62mm thread and a lens I'd really like if I could afford it right now.

As I understand it, the only trouble with stepping up the lenses is that using a hood becomes problematic. As I don't have any hoods for any of my lenses except my Tamron, I can mitigate this by buying a hood that would work with the stepped up lenses. Or possibly several hoods, the stepped up hood, and the hoods for when not stepped up as I believe the hoods can be gotten for much less than the filters. But figuring out what hood(s) to use for my lenses is probably a completely different conversation that I can get into later.

One thing I haven't seen or looked at are the older screwmount lenses which are always an option as well, so I've no idea what size filters I'd need for those or even if they have threads for filters. (As I said, I've not even looked at them or really learned anything about them, other than I can use them.) I rather like being able to control everything from the camera body, but I did pick up a Pentax adapter a while back so that I could keep my options open. Stop-down metering isn't as convenient, but it isn't that hard either. And if I am just using them for landscapes and other such things where everything is fairly static, it wouldn't be that much of an imposition. I am probably doing myself a disservice by constantly not looking at lenses that don't have the A setting. (I have shot with the Pentax-M 50 f/1.7, so I do know how to do it, I'm just a bit lazy and like letting the camera do it. I also like that I can step down in 1/3 stops on the camera when the lens only allows 1/2 stops, though I'm not certain that actually works on lenses where the aperture ring only does 1/2 stops.)

01-18-2020, 07:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
One thing I haven't seen or looked at are the older screwmount lenses which are always an option as well, so I've no idea what size filters I'd need for those or even if they have threads for filters.
most do and why I want to use a ND filter with film......they vary in size as well but the ones I like using are generally 49 to 52.....but have one that is 55 or 58 (I ferget) and part of my process of how to step up/down next
01-18-2020, 05:23 PM   #6
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I prefer to buy larger filters and step up rings as necessary, my largest filter is a 77mm, with several others in between down to 49mm.

I also use some Cokin slide in filters.

Also, if you are shooting Black and White film, try out some red, orange, yellow, green, or blue filters. Pretty interesting results.
01-23-2020, 12:11 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Maybe I am just careless with my $$ but I have bought filters for each size of lens I own.
I have purchased a good quality UV protection filter for every lens I own and use (except my 10-17 fisheye which has no filter thread). I would rather clean/replace a filter than a lens as I don't want to ever touch my lens glass with anything but light if possible.
I also have seperate CPL and various ND filters for the lenses I mainly use and have never used them with step/step down rings.
In reading your situation, you may be suited to the slide in filters for the versatility they provide as you could use your step up/down rings to match the filter holder to your lens. Drop in filters can include gel or resin filters and depending on which brand you buy can be more optically pure than glass and also lighter to transport.
A full set of drop in filters can often be much cheaper than a full set of glass UV/ND/CPL/Colour Graduating/Colour Correction & Variable filters in some of these varieties.
The downside however is that non-glass filters are easily damaged and in the case of gel filters, near impossible to clean when smudged by an errant fingerprint. So if you do go this route, be extra careful when handling them and by all means invest in a box of disposable plastic or cotton gloves.
As far as your lens hood concerns go, consider rubber lens hoods with screw mounts to attach to the front of your lens filter ;-)

Last edited by VILLAINofOZ; 01-23-2020 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Mistakes and missed info.
01-23-2020, 02:15 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I bought a quality polarized filter at 58mm to fit my 18-50. And I bought step up adapter 49 -> 58 for DA 35 and DFA 50 Macro and consider adding a 52 -> 58 for DA 50. It works great.


Of course I also have 62mm and 82mm filter lenses, but cost increase greatly with size and I won't use a polarizer for each shot, so it was a compromise. One filter, three size, and some lenses are out. Telephoto lenses are not really suited for polarizer usage anyway, the only miss was the Sigma 10-20 at 82mm, but with such a huge size, vignetting may happen if the filter is not thin enough, so I'll live without for that lens. ;-)

01-25-2020, 06:16 PM   #9
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found this and got it because I would be spending 5 bucks on a 55-58 and recently came won a bid on an old school 23 58mm filter system so I would need a 52-55 anyways and may just go for a 67 VND since the same brand I already is basically the same cost as the 52 I already purchased.....

7pcs Metal Step Up Down Lens Filter Ring Adapter Set 49-77mm For DSLR Camera 746125070183 | eBay
01-25-2020, 06:52 PM   #10
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I thought about something like that before, but I'd rather get a 49 to 58 and 52 to 58 instead of stacking multiple rings.
01-25-2020, 08:37 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gorgarath Quote
I'm looking at picking up some filters for my lenses. My 50mm and 35-80mm lenses use 49mm filters. My 70-210mm (which I am not sure if I'll keep) and 28mm lenses both take 52mm filters. My 100-300 lens takes a 58mm filter. (I also have a Tamron 28-300mm lens that takes 72mm filters, but I'm not going to try and step all of them up to 72mm.)

Should I get filters for each size, or would it make more sense to get one size and step them up to that? I originally was thinking perhaps doing a 49 to 52 and getting the filters in 52mm. But then I realized my 100-300 was a 58mm lens and then thought about doing a 49 to 58 and 52 to 58 and get the filters in 58.

The filters I'm considering picking up are maybe a few ND filters for bright days when I want to either shoot wide open or do some long exposures to smooth out water and a CPL, mostly for seeing into water. I'm rather new to all of this, so I'm not sure if I'd need any filters for the 100-300. The fact the front turns while focusing on it, the 70-210, and the 35-80 I understand can be an issue with a CPL as well.

With work, the weather, and other things, I've not had a lot of chance to really try out my kit a whole lot, so I'm not really sure what I'll end up using the most. Most likely, the lenses that I see using where I would need filters would be the 28mm and 35-80mm lenses and probably the 50mm as well. (Also the Tamron, but as I said, not going to try stepping my 49 up to 72mm.) I could be wrong on what I'll end up actually using. But the 28mm is probably my goto right now for landscapes and general walkaround, followed by the 35-80 for the zoom versatility. Though the 28-300 is even more versatile, but also heavier.

And now that I've rambled way too much, would you recommend using a step-up ring on the 49 and go to a 52 or a 58? I'm not sure if I'll end up with any other lenses that are a 58 and I don't see the need for a filter on my 100-300 at this point, but not sure if I'm missing a good use-case for this. (Beach perhaps? I dunno.)
I did this exercise some years ago, but I insist on using a proper fitting hood with each lens. I can’t really use step up rings. I ended up reducing the types of filter I get in each size based on what I would actually use the lenses for, so I don’t have expensive duplicates of every diameter.
01-30-2020, 08:15 PM   #12
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I don't like to use a lens without a hood, so stepping up can be difficult. I have lens with filter sizes of 49, 55, 58, 62, and 77. I have a few ND filters and at least one CP to cover all the sizes. Keep you eyes open as sometimes there are some good deals, but be careful, there are fakes on ebay.
02-01-2020, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I don't like to use a lens without a hood, so stepping up can be difficult.
True, but closer to the OP's Q, I've stepped up from 49 to 52 and found that the bayonet hood on my DFA 100mm macro fits over the 52mm filter.
02-01-2020, 08:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
True, but closer to the OP's Q, I've stepped up from 49 to 52 and found that the bayonet hood on my DFA 100mm macro fits over the 52mm filter.
I hadn't thought that much about hoods as I only have the Tamron that has a hood currently. And it's the only one that takes a bayonet hood. The rest would all have to use screw-on hoods which means I could just get a hood for the stepped up filter threads.
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