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Thread: Step up ring vs separate filters

  1. #1
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    Default Step up ring vs separate filters

    Hi guys,

    Here's something of which I've had no experience on. I've done some research and have a fair idea of how filters work (CPL, ND8 etc). I also know that lenses range in different sizes (how convenient).

    I have an 18-55 for my D50 which I will keep, planning on getting a filter for it but then I thought about getting an 18-200 VR later on which is different in size (77mm vs 52mm).

    Now I'm still not sure if the 18-200 is better than the 18-55 within the same range (18-55) as some reviews quoted the 18-55 to be sharper, but I think I might appreciate the greater range the 18-200 has. I don't really want to lose sharpness for convenience but if anyone can advice on this then please do. Maybe I don't really need an 18-200 and can forget this step up ring altogether.

    Well to my question, will having a step up ring + filter cause more problems than with just a filter? I read that the thicker the filters the greater the vignetting. Not sure how thick is too thick but yeah that is my query really.

    Also, how do you stack filters on top of each other?
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  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    52mm filters does not cost much, just get a 52mm filter will do, more over, you don't need a lot of filters.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    For CPL, I got the two extremes of 52mm and 77mm, anything else I had stepped up rings to 77mm. ( Although what I usually do travelling is i will permanently fix a step up ring and use a 77mm lens cap on them to save trouble of changing - the Nikon 18-200mm has a 72mm filter thread )

    Stacking filters can cause more vignetting ( and possibly IQ degradation, flares etc .. ) . You can stack by screwing on another filter onto the existing filter ( note that some of the slim filters lack the thread and may even not be able to put a lens cap on )

    For NDs / GNDs, I got the rectangular filters, and stacking can also be done on the P filter holders ( although most of the time i handhold ) Vignetting can occur with the holder at wider focal lengths

    Ryan

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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    Thanks guys, I have seen one guy with the square filter or was that a p filter holder?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    There are several "standard" sizes to these filters, and for Cokin there is the P size, the Z pro sizes etc. By far the most popular for typical users will be the P size.
    Lee has their own size as well. ( The larger sizes are preferred for the wider angle lenses to prevent vignetting on their holders )

    The filter holder is this plastic thing that is attached to the front of the lenses to hold these filters, and holders are specific to the sizes of filters you are getting.

    Ryan

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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    edited : already answer sorry!
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    newbie here also, regarding that cokin p filters, its the square glass with diff colors right? is it like the IQ of the individual screw type filters?
    (sorry if this question hijacked youre thread MRSAMO but its also on the topic)
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  8. #8
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    Quote Originally Posted by billycadiz View Post
    newbie here also, regarding that cokin p filters, its the square glass with diff colors right?
    Filter shape depends on the brand. Cokin P sizes are squarish, some makes their P size filters longer for more flexible placement.

    Colors depends on what kind of filter you are purchasing

    Quote Originally Posted by billycadiz View Post
    is it like the IQ of the individual screw type filters?
    IQ is pretty subjective at times. Again dependent on the maker. You probably cannot compare a high end screw thread filter against another cheaper P filter.
    What are you looking at in particular ?

    Ryan

  9. #9

    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    Thanks ryan, I've been blown away by the photos on timecatcher website, I like to take landscape and the array of filters of cokin is like a lot of choices and quite affordable, like TS said, he don't want to compromise the sharpness for convenience but if the cokin will par a bit with the seperate ones, then its a good buy, when you can go trekking then its convenient to have a filter with many glass. and about the step-up ring, vignetting even when the filter will get wider?TIA.
    ╬Pachelbel in D .357cal

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    Heya billy, no problem at all!

    I'm probably doing the same sort of thing as you, landscape, and looking for filters to take care of overexposed sunlight and deepen the colours of the sky and sea. I think I'm too rugged to be carrying around holders and several filters as I've only got a small camera bag for just a camera and maybe an extra lens.

    Giantcanopy, is there an advantage to having a rectangular filter apart from being able to cover different sized lenses?
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  11. #11
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Step up ring vs separate filters

    Quote Originally Posted by MRSAMO View Post
    Giantcanopy, is there an advantage to having a rectangular filter apart from being able to cover different sized lenses?
    Apart from being able to cover a variety of lens diameters

    For grad neutral density filters in particular, having a ( long ) rectangular filter has advantages of flexibility in placement of the transition zone. You can also vary the transition zone if you stack them as well ( sometimes i do ) . For screw type GND filters, the transition is dead fixed and your composition is actually filter limited.

    Also ( handheld ) stacking you can have closer placement with reduced risk of vignetting as compared to screwing on another filter.

    The one thing i can think of that needs to be circular is the polariser. there is however a sprocket ring version of a polariser that fits onto the Cokin holders.

    Ryan
    Last edited by giantcanopy; 13th December 2008 at 01:02 PM.

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