filter gear

12 thoughts on “filter gear”

  1. No information on this page? Was looking for info on filter types, usage, recommendations for beginners, etc. Thanks!

  2. Are we going to see this page with some content? All your other pages are fantastic and i would really appreciate the recommendations!

  3. Let’s start making content. This is off the top of my head, unplanned, but here goes…

    Filters are great things. They allow you to color your light, limit your light, but in the end they are light modifiers. Most of us have the round filters – UV, Polarizing, Warming, Neutral Density, etc. For these, I favor Hoya (I would favor B & W, but they are a bit out of my price range). I use Tiffens also, but don’t like the color cast I get from them. I’m a big fan of Hoya’s consistency. They also own Pentax and are known for their vision lenses. Little thing I just found out.

    I also use Cokin rectangular filters, using adapters to fit the filter holder, which generally holds neutral density or graduated neutral density (GND) filters. These allow me to capture things like waterfalls in daytime at relatively long exposures giving my photos that milky white texture.

    I’ve recently gotten into Formatt-HiTech for their rectangular filters. These work great. I picked up a 4 stop GND for about $18USD on Amazon. These filters have typically run much higher, so I snatched this one.

    Victor Maldonado, a friend of mine and published Photographer/Instructor told me he never leaves home without his B&W warming polarizer filter. This is a round filter, and I have been using the Hoya Moose’s warming / polarizing filter (81A+polarizer) on my 58mm thread 50mm. It works great. I just ordered one for my 67mm thread 17-50mm lens, which I use for most of my landscape photography (the 50 I use for portraits and puppies/kittens).

    One last thing. There are a lot of filters out there and you can go broke trying every one. On my last trip to Iceland, I wisely rented filters I needed along with the Canon 10-22mm lens I was shooting. It gave me a chance to try the filter, which turned out to be a Hoya for $7 for two weeks. It was a steal (I have no 77mm thread lenses, so it was a real deal for me not having to buy a filter I wouldn’t use afterwards).

    This brings me to the last point.

    Notice how I keep throwing out thread size (58mm, 67mm, 77mm). These do matter with round filters. Get the wrong one and you need to invest in step-up / step-down rings (a major pain and one more thing to carry).

    Learn your filter thread sizes. It’s on your lens and will likely be anything from 49mm to 77mm, although there are extremes such as the kit lens which came with my Sony a6000 – it was “wait for it” – 40.5mm. I’ve never heard of such a thread size, so to use filters on it, I either need to get REAL lucky and find a 40.5mm filter that doesn’t throw ugly color casts, or I can get a step-up ring to the 49mm size, for which I have filters. That’s the way I took it.

    Small subject. Lots to know. It all gets to knowing your camera, knowing your lenses, knowing how you want to modify light, if at all (e.g., UV filters don’t modify light, but can clarify hazy conditions a bit…most people just use them to protect their lenses).

    So, that’s my two cents on filters, and I hope you got a little more than that in value.

    1. One other thing. The strata for filters, for the rest of us, is as follows:

      Tiffen, Hoya, Cokin, Formatt-HiTech, ProMaster, etc. – Middle class filters that generally do the job (I had a bad experience with ProMaster’s variable neutral density filter).

      B&W, Lee, Samyang – High End / Upper Class

      Beyond these, others will have to fill in because I have no experience beyond B&W, which I like, but not THAT much more than my Hoya PRO series filters. And, I use Cokin P series rectangular filters, plus the new Formatt-HiTech for situations where I don’t want to use a round filter. Cheers!

  4. Jeff, thanks for taking time to fill in some content. I have been very confused and getting ready to dip into the world of filters due to the extreme sunshine in my area.

  5. To start, I am a intermediate beginner photographer that owns a Fujifilm XS-1, and not matter what ANYONE says it is a great camera, and the best “bridge” camera you will find. I have sold 2 pictures to newspapers & won one local Photography contest since I have had this camera. not big time, but it is paying for itself.

    I am with Jeff, I like the Hoya’s over the Tiffens, and it cost me a few bucks to find this out.

    Here is my suggestions for a started filter setup…

    First off, a Fotga Slim Wide Fader ND, a variable ND filter that supposedly goes from ND2 to ND400, but in real life I would say it is only usable to ND8 and slightly higher. After this it really starts to get the dreaded random dark spots & X across the scene. But for $15 it is a greater deal, because I have tried out a LOT of them and every one of them, even the big buck ones, do the same thing….they just do it at different levels.

    The Vivitar Series 1 HD Pro Multi Coated kit with UV, CPL, and ND8 filters, and I use these most every day. The UV stays on the lens, and I defy anyone to tell me when it is off or on the camera. The CPL works great, and the ND8 is fine. When I use the ND8 with the Fotga I can get some fantastic effects with only slight degradation.

    To add to my low cost suggestions of the Fotga & Vivitar Series 1 kit, I suggest that you check out the following video….


    I bought this set after watching the video…


    And these to WB the filters…


    Bottom line, I have a good set of filters to work with that WORK and did not break the bank.

    Last tip, when using ANY type of filter, round OR slide in, remember to remove your UV / lens protector filter, it WILL cause all sorts of problems. When I got the Fotga I thought it was trash, I could not even get it to drop 2 stops before dark spots & X’s appeared. After removing my UV filter that I always have on, all problems at lower settings went away.

    Hope This Helps!

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