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Getting the best filter setup for a variety of lenses

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by bobby_t1, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    I am in the middle of a huge transition from a D700 and D7000 to an OM-D. I have the camera and am picking up a variety of lenses. Not sure on the exact set but it will look something like the following (with filter sizes)

    Panasonic 7-14 (TBD)
    Panasonic 14 2.5 (46mm)
    Panasonic 20 1.7 (or the PanaLeica 25 1.4) (both 46mm)
    Olympus 45 1.8 (37mm)
    Olympus 40-150 (58mm)

    In my DSLR past, all of my lenses were either 77 or 82mm, and I only dealt with circular polarizers). When I had all my gear, it wasn't a big deal to slap in a few more filters since I was already carrying 15 lbs of gear. Now with my OM-D setup, I'm looking to really optimize things down to the bare essentials and reuse when I can.

    Questions:
    1. I'm thinking of getting a single circular polarizer, then using step-up/down rings to fit my various lenses. Is this the recommended approach or should I be doing something else?
    2. There doesn't seem to be consensus on a super good quality screw-on variable ND filter (except the Singh Ray which is crazy expensive and way too big). Assuming I find one (and willing to live up with the drawbacks, e.g. color cast), can I stack a polarizer and Variable ND together?

    If you have specific tips or suggestions on filters I'd also welcome it. Thanks in advance to everyone for easing my transition to m4/3 format :)
     
  2. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    My answer to the problem is the Lee RF75 system. If you buy into it you only need one polariser. Variable NDs are problematic though, although you can get glass NDs which don't have a colour cast.
     
  3. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    813
    Jan 9, 2011
    Canada
    For the record, you can use a CPL, but only require a linear polarizer for m43 lenses.
     
  4. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    287
    May 7, 2012
    If you already have 77mm filters, why don't you keep them and step up your lenses?
     
  5. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    I use 46mm filters (and keep a 37>46mm step up ring on my Oly45mm at all times). It's a bit problematic as it won't fit my big telephoto zoom (I have the 75-300 instead of the 40-150), but I find that it's "good enough" 97% of the time, although perhaps that's because the 75-300 is so dark that I've never considered needing a ND filter.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    Perhaps I'm being obsessive but I'm looking to downsize everything. I figure why have a 77 if a 47 or 58 will work. Also I might look to keep step up ring on my lenses at all times and a 37->87 is rather large.
     
  7. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    That's why I went for the RF75 system. My normal Lee stuff looks enormous on an OM D.
     
  8. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    I'm a fan of the Lee system but wow, they are expensive. I wasn't familiar with the R75 system so I just looked it up. WOAH, talk about pricey :eek:

    RF75 holder ($179)
    RF75 clip on polarizing filter ($399)
    Each adapter ring ($40)

    That is insane and too rich for my blood at this time. Eep.
     
  9. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    Btw, do you guys think that having a polarizer for the 40-150 is a good idea? If so, I might go with a 58mm filter size, and get 37->58 and 46->58 step ups (although it's more annoying to keep those step up rings on full time)
     
  10. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    I know that it is expensive. Have a look at Robert White. They used to be the cheapest around. It is good stuff and you only need a new adapter for a new lens size. This stuff is like tripods. Cameras change but you still have the same tripod.
     
  11. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    I know that it is expensive. Have a look at Robert White. They used to be the cheapest around. It is good stuff and you only need a new adapter for a new lens size. This stuff is like tripods. Cameras change but you still have the same tripod.
     
  12. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    I settled on 52mm filters and use stepping rings to fit them to my lenses with 37, 46 and 58mm diameters. Due to the small front element on the 40-150R, a 58-52mm step-down ring works fine with no vignetting. I also use a 58-43mm step-down ring to attach my Raynox 150, as I don't like the clip-on adapter.
     
  13. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    Good point. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was tempted :)

    I don't see any adapters for a 37mm in the Lee RF75 system though. Smallest they have is 39.
     
  14. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    I bought a 37-58 step up and a 58 adapter. I keep adapters for each size. Screwing around with things when you are out makes no sense to me. The adapters are the cheap bits.
    It makes me long for my old Hasselblad which had only one filter sze.
     
  15. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    What did you mean "you keep adapters for each size"? From what you said, I thought you have one Lee 58 adapter, then step up rings for all your lenses to go to 58?
     
  16. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    I have one adapter for each filter size - 67, 58, 46 and a 58 with a 37 step up ring for the Oly 45. i'm just an old klutz. If I can drop something or lose it, I will. This way I minimise the chances of disaster. When I'm out shooting, I want that to be what I do. The idea of swapping step up rings holds no appeal, YMMV
     
  17. bobby_t1

    bobby_t1 Mu-43 Regular

    60
    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks! This is super informative. I'm going to go with this approach.
     
  18. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    +1.

    52mm seems like the current sweet spot and I can confirm re: the 40-150mm and stepdown ring.
     
  19. allenrowand

    allenrowand Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Apr 10, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Allen Rowand
    Thank you (and Phrenic) for pointing out what should be an obvious fact that I completely overlooked! Off to buy a step-down…
     
  20. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    just a little note on step up/down rings, beware when you put too much rings together, more than 2 or three plus the filter, specially on wider lenses like the p20 or 014 you'll start getting vignetting around the edges. I always try to use, one step up ring and the filter and try not to use step up rings on my wider lenses. meaning i have the same CPL for my p20 and p14 and a step up ring for the O45. works like a charm. just my 0.0002 cents.