Gobe Filters-praise and caution

ektar

Mu-43 All-Pro
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Don
Verbosity alert: The short version of this post is that Gobe filters are incompatible with some vintage lens caps and accessories. If you want more info, read on.

As a baseline data point, I am on the "always use a filter" side of the discussion. It's not really productive to address that here. But, if you're going to put something in the image path that can potentially impact your image quality, it stands to reason that you want it to be as good as possible. There are filters out there whose price brings tears to your eyes (or guffaws of disbelief). Having an optical background of sorts, I always use a multicoated filter. I've used a shedload of Hoyas: HMC, HMC Super, NXT, NXT Plus, Pro1 Digital, HD, HD3... I have one B+W.

I read about Gobe and their environmental ethos aside, the specs seemed excellent for the price. You can read about the three grades on their website (MyGobe.com), but to summarize, they offer One-, Two-, and Three "Peak" versions. I've had all three (speaking of UV filters), and the quality is excellent across the grades. I would match the 3-Peak with anything out there in terms of optical quality. They're precisely made and seem to have no adverse impact on IQ. I just arbitrarily decide how "nice" the lens I'm ordering for is and source the equivalently "good" grade of filter. No science involved.

On M. Zuiko lenses, the Gobe filters fit and work perfectly. On my collection of adapted vintage lenses, my luck has been less consistent. Here's the deal: On modern lenses the OE lens cap fits down onto the front of the lens. The OE hood can either bayonet onto the lens barrel behind the filter (effectively a larger opening than the filter thread) or clamp around the filter/front of the barrel. On the clamp ons, the max opening is bigger than the front of the barrel until it is tightened on.

With me so far?

On vintage lenses, the caps work differently. Early Minolta and all Takumar caps are metal, and fit down onto the front of the lens barrel and are held in place by friction. Pentax -K, -M, and at leasts some -A caps are held in place by the sprung tabs into the filter threads, but they also fit down over the filter or lens barrel. So, there's still some limited clearance between the barrel and the inner diameter of the caps.

Here's the issue: Unlike Tiffen, Kenko, Hoya and B+W, the outer diameter of Gobe filters are fractionally bigger than the lens barrel onto which they fit. I haven't magnified it to tell whether the rim is flared from the threads forward, or there's just a larger step in size from the threads to the outer rim than other filter manufacturers use, but the result is that Gobe's filter will not work with those vintage caps that slip down onto the filter or barrel with some overlap. The OE lens hood for my most recent acquisition fits the same way, so I couldn't use it at all with the filter in place, so I've had to send the "Three Peak" filter I bought for it back.

Hopefully this experience is of some use to someone.
 
Last edited:

PhotoCal

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
383
Good info. Thanks.

For the last few years I've exclusively used Formatt Hitech. I wish I started using them sooner and I wouldn't have a box full of Tiffen and other lower-quality brands collecting dust.

Regarding Gobe: I don't patronize any businesses that donate to charity based on a purchase. It seems a bit exploitative to me.
 
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