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10-11-2016, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #16
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When I started in photography the manual focus 35mm film SLR was most popular.
Back then the major camera/lens manufacturers kindly tried to standardize filter size.

Most Nikon lenses used 52mm; most Canon lenses used 55mm; Pentax 52mm and then 49mm etc.
Later when AF and big zooms became popular things became *much* more complicated.

I've continued to use those old manual focus lenses, with 49mm and 52mm filter threads mostly.
I have ruled out buying various lenses because it would require buying an additional set of filters.

In an effort to simplify things a few years ago I began restricting filter use with my SLRs to a polarizer only,
and shooting any black and white that requires a colored contrast filter with a non-SLR camera.

Chris

10-11-2016, 05:56 PM - 1 Like   #17
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As others have posted, Get is good as you can afford. You can do a basic test of a circular polarizer if you have a tablet phone. Set the screen so it is displaying a white background, and place the polarizer filter in front of it. rotated 90° and see if there's any color change. Then flip it over and do the same thing. In the normal orientation, it should go from almost full brightness to almost full black. And there should be very little color change as you rotate it, if any. If you flip it over, there should be little if any change in the level of light. And this should not be any noticeable color change.

As far as protector filters goes, they are only meant to provides protection for dust, chemicals, fingerprints from kids, and light scratches. they will not protect from catastrophic events, such as dropping your camera, or rocks and other projectiles striking the front of your lens. If something of that type is going to hit your camera lens, there's not much you can do to protect it short of putting bullet proof glass in front of it. And to prevent you from dropping your camera, use a neck strap. And always inspect your gear before you go out.

A ND filter is a different subject, A good-quality ND filter is always preferable, but they can be expensive. My recommendations is to stay with the name brands. On all filters. Stay away from the chinese junk. In my opinion, Stay away from Vivitar. They used to have a few decent filters. But the last Vivitar filter I purchased, was advertised as all glass and high-quality, It turned out to be one glass filter, of poor quality and the others were plastic filters. I returned them immediately. you get what you pay for, and as far as filters goes, if you want good quality, you will have to pay for it.

Joe.
10-12-2016, 12:37 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
When I started in photography the manual focus 35mm film SLR was most popular.
Back then the major camera/lens manufacturers kindly tried to standardize filter size.
Looking historically at it, it was normal to have a large stack of different filters back then. Polarizer, soft, star, orange, yellow, light blue, several ND and more. Today the need is much smaller, in my opinion a basic filter set consists of only two filters: a CPL and a ND4 or ND6 filter. Screwing and unscrewing filters are unnecessary cumbersome. Looking into the future, I wish those two filters gets integrated into the camera body. Both filters should be able to move in and out of the optical path and CPL should of course be turnable. Preferably by a wire system. This would save much cumbersomeness, eliminate the filter size problem, total cost and bag space. It can be hard to find space inside a DSLR, but mirrorless should have space enough.
10-16-2016, 10:12 AM   #19
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Thanks everyone for your very helpful advice.

I have come to the following conclusion. Will appreciate if I can get some reviews of the same.

1. Buy CPL for each of my filter sizes and leave it on during day time and especially if the loss of light is acceptable. Reason: a CPL may come into use at any time onE is photographing in sunlight. I know a better idea is to buy a CPL for every LENS, but for now I will keep it to every FILTER SIZE.
2. Buy ND 3 and ND 6 filters for only landscape and portrait FLs. I see absolutely no reason why one would mount one of these on a birding lens - unless that is being used for portraits.
3. Buy the best quality filters possible. Swaying towards Breakthrough Photography's X4 filters... BUT with the above ideology I would have spent almost same amount as what an FA 31 costs!!! Something deep inside me is shouting, "This is STUPID!"

10-17-2016, 01:55 PM   #20
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the reason you would need a ND filter for birding is if the bird that you wanted to take a picture of was partially toward the sun. You could set a ND filter to block the sun, but leave a clear shot of the bird/subject in question. that is one reason they make graduated ND filters.

Joe.
12-23-2016, 01:20 PM   #21
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Simple. Put a separate correct size high quality UV filter on each lens. Trust me, despite what anyone says you want this. It is not just to protect them from dirt but from being dropped.

Twice I dropped a lens and both times the UV filter took the hit instead of the front element. Cheap insurance for your lenses!

IF you buy any other filters, buy the biggest size you will use and use step-up rings.

Last edited by Theov39; 12-23-2016 at 01:27 PM.
12-28-2016, 01:18 AM   #22
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Thanks Theov39.

One popular view is that once the filter breaks its shards will scratch the front element of the lens. What was your experience in this regard?

12-28-2016, 09:45 PM   #23
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For some types of photography (landscapes and still life mostly) you can get by without polarizers and ND filters. It depends how much patience you have in shooting and post-processing. Here's an explanation by Tony Northrup:

12-29-2016, 06:32 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by AmaZing Quote
Thanks Theov39.

One popular view is that once the filter breaks its shards will scratch the front element of the lens. What was your experience in this regard?
I could imagine that happening but it depends on the fall. In my case the ring of the filter hit the ground, bent and shattered the glass BUT the glass stayed in place (but like when you drop a smart phone).

In both cases, that would have been the edge of the lens itself that would have taken the hit with perhaps damage to the front lens element.

In any case, minor scratches on the lens surface won't affect the image quality as the camera tends to 'look' past surface scratches because the focal point is further away.
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