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08-13-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
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Always get 77mm filter sizes?

Forgive me if there is an obvious answer to this question.

If I were to consider buying a filter (I'm eying circular polarizers), should I buy the best (or very good) quality 77mm filter and buy adapter rings to share/use it on other lenses with narrower filter threads? Or just buy filters that match the thread sizes on my lenses? Some of the prices on the top grade filters are quite expensive, so I'm wondering if it's better (or at least much cheaper but more than adequately functional) to buy one filter to fit them all...

[note: I'm not interested in cheaper filters cause the way I see it, filters can last you for years and years, so I deem it a worthy investment to buy quality in the beginning once and for all and not have to upgrade those kinds of things later]

That's all. Thanks for any advice.

08-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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I do not know that there is a right answer to this. In my opinion, it falls into a personal preference. I have 2 main lenses that I want to shoot with filters - a CPL and ND, a 58mm and a 77mm. I was able to find a set of top quality 58mm filters for my FA31, second hand for a total of $24. I also have an excellent quality 77mm CPL, but to use it everywhere I would need step up rings. So it comes down to what you want to carry and how you want to use them.

08-13-2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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While step-up rings will work, in most cases they will prevent mounting a hood. The proper hood is essential to reduce or eliminate flare. Buy a good quality CPL for any lens you use outside to eliminate glare and haze. The only other filter that can't be replicated by software are ND's that enable longer exposures and/or larger F-stops(smaller number=larger F-stop) when trying to control motion or depth-of-field. Almost exclusively used outdoors so again, the hood is essential.
Also, a hood should be matched to the lens, so even a screw on 77mm hood will be less than optimum.
I would buy quality filters only in the sizes needed over time, starting with your most used outdoor lenses.
Filters have there own drawbacks, especially flare and reflections. Definitely bad for sunsets and sunrises because strong sources on dark fields (sun, street or house lighting) can be duplicated.
08-13-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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It depends on which lenses you have. Large filters will not get along with built-in lens hoods on some lens like the DA15 or FA31. All of the limited lenses except the FA31 use 49mm filter. The situation might call for a 49mm filter for your limiteds and maybe a larger one for zooms?

08-13-2010, 09:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mdave13 Quote
The only other filter that can't be replicated by software are ND's...
PL (linear polarizers), CPL (circular polarizers), ND (neutral density) GND (graduated neutral density), IR (infrared-pass), and SD (split diopters) cannot be replicated in software. Maybe a couple others, but I don't have a complete list.

[/nitpicking]

A basic rule of photography: lens hoods are mandatory, filters ain't. Even old uncoated glass can do wonders when properly hooded. The PH-RBA 52mm that came with my DA18-55 is a wondrous invention, with a removable section so a CPL or GND or other spinning attachment can be manipulated while the lens is hooded.
08-14-2010, 06:12 AM   #6
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You are best to buy filters that direct fit with no step down rings since the more glass you put in front of the lens the more chance you have of getting flare.
Plus you should still be able to use a properly fitted hood.
For Pentax, a circular polarizer is not a must have, a linear will work just fine most of the time.
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