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01-18-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
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Help! Lens filter question

I am a newbie. Recently bought a KX and am now upgrading my lenses which as you know is not cheap. I want to get uvfilters, polarizers, and a gradient neutral density filter for all of the lenses which would be a 77mm,49mm, and 67 mm. The cheapest way is to get stepdown rings and use 1 set of filters for all, however, in order to step down from 77mm to 49mm Id have to get two stepdown rings so Ive decided just to buy seperate filters for each lens.

Ive read conflicting things about filters ect and I dont want to put a poor filter on an expensive lens. On the other hand I dont want to spend more than I have to on filters. Can someone give me some advice on which brand and model of uv filter, polarizer, and gradient neutral density filter to buy? Is it best to get glass filters vs plastic? If so, which brand and model is the best bang for the buck?

Also, I am buying a Pentax 12-24 wide angle lens. I have read not to use a polarizer on a wide lens as it will cause vignetting but Ive also heard you can get a slim polarizer for a wide lens. Should I forget about the polarizer for wide angle or go with a standard one or get a thinner wide angle one. The sales guy at B and H said the 12-24 didnt require a wide angle filter but that a standard one would be ok?

Any input, opinions, or experience you have would be very much appreciated!


01-18-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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Don't get screw on filters except for the UV's (though their actual need is hotly debated). Get a set of Cokin-type rectangular filters instead. One of each type of filter, and how ever many adpaters you need.
01-18-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
Damn Brit

Moved to Beginners Corner where the discussion should benefit more people.
01-18-2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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Well, in my opinion if you are planning to use the filters for several different lens and you want a screw type. You should be looking at getting step up rings not step down rings. The general rule you should follow is to buy the filter for the largest lens you have; in terms of filter size. Then buy a step up ring for the remaining lens for that one size. Instead of the way you originally posted. This is because if you step down to get get the 77mm lens to use the 49mm filter you with definitely get interference.

As for UV filters go. They are pretty much pointless. Most people I talk to only use them as a protective ring to prevent the lens from getting damaged if it is banged against the wall or floor. I use it as a protective barrier from getting my lens scratched from dust or dirt. Other than that pretty much pointless.

As for polarizers go. Look for a circular polarizer as linear ones will reek havoc with DSLR cameras as I have been took.

Don't really know which is best, I've been using Hoya, Tiffen, and B+W. Not sure which is better than the other.

01-18-2010, 10:32 PM   #5
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Firstly, I would save some money and not buy UV filters. Where I would put a little money is into polarizers & ND grad filters (gray). BTW, to save a bundle you can shoot with linear polarizers on Pentax DSLRs--I do, get awesome results, and save big bucks with no IQ cost when compared with circular polarizers. For brands, I have had great luck with Marumi filters.

It is not a 12-24 Pentax, but I use a linear polarizer on my Sigma 10-20mm with no problems--works great. I bought a B & W, known for being pricey, but I bought their very excellent linear polarizer which is less than half the cost of their circular polarizer (77mm). The 49mm filters are easily had for much less money. Best!
01-18-2010, 11:26 PM   #6
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So, its ok to use lienear poloarizrs with a KX or any Pentax? Thats interesting. Thanks
01-18-2010, 11:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dehanson1 Quote
So, its ok to use lienear poloarizrs with a KX or any Pentax? Thats interesting. Thanks
I do. I've read about two potential issues: AF and exposure errors. I usually use manual focus lenses anyway so I wouldn't notice AF issues. Exposure errors might happen too, but I haven't noticed anything unusual. My biggest issue with polarizers is prescription polarized sunglasses.

With ultrawide lenses, your field of view can include regions where the polarization varies. A polarizer can produce some odd effects, like a deep blue sky only in the center of an image. (That can also happen without polarizers.) Some lenses also require filters with really thin rims to reduce vignetting, and polarizers tend to be thicker so they can rotate.
01-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #8
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dehanson1:So, its ok to use lienear poloarizrs with a KX or any Pentax? Thats interesting. Thanks
I use them, with no auto focus issue on my AF lenses. Search the web, there is information on this. Pentax auto focus systems have a different design from the competition which allows for this. I researched this sometime back--you can do the same.

Linear polarizers are completely okay for manual focus lenses. Exposure is something I do %95 of the time in manual mode--so I have no ill effects on exposure with LPs.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 01-20-2010 at 11:09 AM.
01-19-2010, 01:47 PM   #9
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Practical advice:

You don't need UV filters at all. Get a polarizer for the lens size you most, and if you really see the need, a grad nd for your wide angle lens(es) where you are most likely to want it. Unless you're someone who really *loves* playing with filters, getting one of each for every lens is major overkill.

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