Filter size buying choice - is bigger always better?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,305
Re: Filter size buying choice - is bigger always better?

Tekkido wrote:

I need some advice on what size filters makes sense for someone just starting out to get a minimum number of filters but of decent quality without breaking the bank.

I have a Canon EOS 550D DSLR and a Leica D-Lux and a collection of lenses with filter thread sizes from 49mm to 67mm. I am particularly interested in landscape, time lapse and long exposure photography and hope to get some ND (possibly ND8, ND64, ND1000) and CPL filters.

I am fretting about whether I should just get 67mm size filters and use step up/down rings as my current largest size lenses are 67mm or go even bigger to say 77mm or 82mm to accommodate potential bigger lenses just in case if I should consider wanting to expand my lenses collection in future?

I use my 67mm lenses a lot more than the others. I am wondering if I should get a 77mm or 82mm filter, would there be additional distortions introduced or other negative factors to consider when using a step/down ring to fit onto my 67mm or smaller lenses?

Would appreciate any advise or insight.

Obviously, if you want to use all filters on all lenses, then the larger-size (plus step-rings) may be your only option.

But, first of all, POLARIZERS are not always practical for Wide-Angle lenses anyway, so maybe that may simplify your choice there. (they are only effective at 90-degrees to the sun so if used on the sky, part will be darker than other parts)

BTW: If you are not using dSLR (w/ mirror), you do not-need a (more-expensive) "C"-PL.

And I suggest you may not need "3" ND's. If your lens has a usable f/22, you may be able to get slow-enough anyway, and I suggest a 10-stop may be all you need for water-flow, etc.

I personally also have a 6-stop but only because my (bridge) camera is limited to f/8 and I sometimes like to shoot @ f/4 & 1/30s (for small amounts of dynamic-movement).

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