/ Filters - some basic questions

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Pete_Robinson on 30 Apr 2013
1. Circular polarisers - Am I right in thinking there's little/no point getting a circular polariser for an ultra wide angle lens (the Tokina 11-16mm) due to the noticeable polariser effect giving dark bands/corners?
But worth it for, say, a 16-85mm to get landscapes at the wider end? And what about a 35mm F1.8 prime lens?
[these will be on a DX crop body btw]

And any recommendations of decent makes that won't break the bank?

2. Filter holder kits - Is it right that with a screw-in circular polariser in place on the lens you then can't attach a filter holder for adding more lenses (Cokin/Lee system). So not worth getting a screw-in one if you intend to add more lenses at some point? Is it likely that you'll be stacking ND filters on top of a circular polariser?


So with a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 wide angle, 16-85mm F3.5-4.5, and a 35mm F1.8 prime lens what starter filter combination would you go for (mainly to get landscapes) in order to give most flexibility without playing around too much with effects you can achieve in post-processing?

Thanks for any advice.
Blue Straggler - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

People more experienced than me will come along and chip in and their info will hold more water. These are just opinions.

The point of a polariser is that you turn it to suit the shot that you want. By putting a Cokin/Lee square filter system atop it, assuming you want to use grad filters which must obviously be orientated to be level with the horizon, you have nullified one of the points of having the polariser (it will still have an effect and probably a useful one, but you have less choice over what goes on).
Hoya is a perfectly good brand IMHO.

I don't know about the "polariser effect" per se but in general very wide lenses run the risk of vignetting the image just due to the physicality of the filter being on there (i.e. the sensor "sees" the metal ring that houses the actual filter). It's a small price to pay, and on a crop sensor it may not be visible (well, maybe at the 11-14mmm end of your superwide) You can get "ultra thin" filters to minimse this effect. Priced accordingly.

MJ - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

So not worth getting a screw-in one if you intend to add more lenses at some point?

The main problem with screw-in filters is that they will only fit one diameter lens. The way around that, is to buy a large diameter filter in the first place and then use stepping rings for your smaller lenses.
joe.91 - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: I had the same problem a while back, I went with a cokin p-series system with 3 varied grad ND filters. They work really well and I'm hoping to expand with some standard ND filters.
Sean Kelly - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: More glass beware = more chance of lens flare!
AdrianC - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: Not sure about Q2 but I sometimes use a Hoya cpl on the Canon 15-85. There's a noticeable difference in the colour of the sky across the shot at the wide end, particularly if you're shooting at 90 degrees to the sun. With the sun behind you it isn't so bad but then you're looking to use it on a wider lens.
Pete_Robinson on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> The point of a polariser is that you turn it to suit the shot that you want. By putting a Cokin/Lee square filter system atop it, assuming you want to use grad filters which must obviously be orientated to be level with the horizon, you have nullified one of the points of having the polariser

Does the Cokin P system allow you to slot in a circular polariser behind the square grad filters which you can then spin round to suit?
Blue Straggler - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
>
> [...]
>
> Does the Cokin P system allow you to slot in a circular polariser behind the square grad filters which you can then spin round to suit?

I have no idea. That sounds ideal. I will let others answer. At a pinch you could frig it with Blu Tac or similar (no joke)
stroppygob - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:
> 1. Circular polarisers - Am I right in thinking there's little/no point getting a circular polariser for an ultra wide angle lens (the Tokina 11-16mm) due to the noticeable polariser effect giving dark bands/corners?


Not totally true unless you have huge swathes of blue sky in the image. (As I tend to her in Aus.) It's fine when you have blue sky broken up by cloud.

It does need judicious use though.

These were taken on a Canon 17-40mm, with a 77mm circular polariser.

http://www.fatbeetle.com/galleries/feb%2013/slides/twp.html#picttop

http://www.fatbeetle.com/galleries/feb%2013/slides/clouds.html#picttop


> But worth it for, say, a 16-85mm to get landscapes at the wider end? And what about a 35mm F1.8 prime lens?

Definitely, should be good for that, again with judicious use.

Garbhanach - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: Video link which might answer some of your questions http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/polariser#nd-videobox

I have a lee 100mm filter system I mostly use a big stopper and resin 0.6 and 0.9 soft ND grads very rarley use a polariser though you can buy one for the lee system which screws on the front of the adapter (see the Video)

I have used a Hoya Polariser with the lee adapter usually taking the lens UV filter off first to cut down vignetiing, then screwing the lee adapter holder onto the polariser, you have to be carefull your not rotating the polariser when your rotating the clip on filter holder.

The Lee system is a bit dear but it is good.

Combining with Polyester Filters
If using a polarising filter in conjunction with polyester filters, the Polariser must be placed in front of the polyester filters, not behind, otherwise it will not function correctly. This problem does not arise when the polarising filter is used in conjunction with resin filters.

Pete_Robinson on 01 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

Thinking a little more about this and what grad filters I might want to use, I can likely only see myself using a single ND grad such as the 0.6. Might it be simpler (and cheaper) to then get a screw-in polariser for the two wider lenses (11-16 and 16-85) and just play around with attaching the grad filter with blue-tack to avoid vignetting at the widest end? Is blue-tack really a feasible solution?

Having looked into the Cokin/Lee systems a little more it looks likely to run into several hundreds of pounds with the more expensive (bigger/wider) holder, wide angle adapter, adapter for each lens, more expensive polariser etc. Maybe not really worth it just to stick one ND grad filter on the end?
Garbhanach - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: With my Nikon lenses which are mostly 77mm fiters I only have one lee wide angle adapter which costs about 37.00+ lee foundation kit 56.00, lee 0.6 ND grad 72.00.

Yes Blue tack is feasable but the holders are quite cheap compared to the filters,I do not buy lee adapters for lenses smaller than 77mm I just get a step down ring about 10.00.
psaunders - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: Yes, the cokin P holders have a narrower slot for a polariser at the back. The polariser is a round filter so it can rotate in that slot.
Pete_Robinson on 02 May 2013
In reply to Garbhanach:
> With my Nikon lenses which are mostly 77mm filters I only have one lee wide angle adapter which costs about 37.00+ lee foundation kit 56.00, lee 0.6 ND grad 72.00.

How wide angle do your lenses go? With my 16-85mm I can't foresee any major problems but with the 11-16mm ultra-wide I'm concerned that I'm going to get serious vignetting problems at the wider end limiting what I can capture.

> Yes Blue tack is feasible but the holders are quite cheap compared to the filters

I thought blue-tack might prevent the vignetting problem as well as being a cheaper alternative? Could be wrong though.
Pete_Robinson on 02 May 2013
In reply to psaunders:
> Yes, the cokin P holders have a narrower slot for a polariser at the back. The polariser is a round filter so it can rotate in that slot.

The trouble I keep coming across is that with the ultra-wide lenses (11-16mm) I'd be looking at the Z-pro Cokin system to avoid vignetting, but then it's significantly more expensive for the holder and the polariser to fit this system is well over 200!

Blue-tack seems like a very tempting solution currently...
Blue Straggler - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:
>
> Blue-tack seems like a very tempting solution currently...

I was the first to mention Blu-Tac so now I'm putting in a disclaimer!
Blue Straggler can not be held responsible for Blu-Tacked filters dropping off your lens :-)
dek - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:
It's worth noting, what's being called 'vignetting' here, is actually uneven polarising of usually Blue skies, by wide angle lenses. Not the filter holders fault.
I find uneven polarising is quite evident on normal 24mm lenses, 28 seems to be the limit, before it's too annoying.
Bluetac works for grads, if you want to go light. A little patience required!
(i have Lee W/A adapters, and Cokin holders with cut off sides etc..)
Pete_Robinson on 02 May 2013
In reply to dek:
> It's worth noting, what's being called 'vignetting' here, is actually uneven polarising of usually Blue skies, by wide angle lenses. Not the filter holders fault.

I was aware that on ultra-wide angle lenses there is the uneven polarising effect giving limitations in clear blue skies as to how wide you can go.

What I was referring to as 'vignetting' is the holder/lens edges creating black corners (i.e. the holder straying inside the field of view). Something I'm worried about with my 11-16mm lens.
Fraser on 02 May 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Pete_Robinson)
> It's worth noting, what's being called 'vignetting' here, is actually uneven polarising of usually Blue skies, by wide angle lenses. Not the filter holders fault.

I've maybe misunderstood what he was meaning, but I took it to be the suggestion that the Z-series holder should be used as it's physically wider than the P-series holder, which can cause some vignetting whenused on ultra-wide lenses at the 'wide' end. Because the Z-series is wider, it eliminates the issue.

At least, that's how I read the comment.
Pete_Robinson on 02 May 2013
In reply to dek:

Beautiful shots in your gallery btw!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Fraser on 02 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

FWIW, I use a wide-angle, P-series holder (single-slot only, so it's much slimmer than the usual triple-slot) on my Sigma 10-12mm and it still suffers from vignetting at anything wider than about 12mm.
Pete_Robinson on 02 May 2013
In reply to Fraser:
Yeh that's what I'm meaning. The holder physically being in shot, meaning an upgrade to the Z-pro needed which seems prohibitively expensive and may give vignetting at the wide ends anyway.

Hence being drawn towards blue-tack ;-)
dek - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Fraser:
Yep, the Lee recessed W/A filter adaptor is the same idea, but at 16mm it doesn't really work.
There might be some kind of software 'workaround'? Probably best to try before you buy in a shop,with the lens+filter combo?I
dek - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:
SeanB of this parish, might be along to advise on this. I'm sure he uses ultra wides, in his daily Pro photog life?

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