Filter size buying choice - is bigger always better?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 8,917
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.

It's usually step up to go from a smaller lens to a bigger filter. Like a 77 or 82 on that 67. The problem though is that sometimes with very wide angle lenses that can mean vignetting. If the filter is quality it shouldn't matter IQ wise that it's bigger. But note that CPLs on say wide lenses have issues.

Other alternatives are like a 100mm x 100mm square filter and filter holder with adapters for different sized lenses. But rather bulky.

If I were starting over, I'd look into clip filters for my camera, the kind that fit between the lens and body.

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