Is a polarising filter with step down rings a good idea?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by manju69, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Hi. I have three lenses which I may want to use a polarising filter on but want to avoid purchasing three filters. Aside from using a cokin like set up (which is a bit bulky for me) could I buy one to fit the biggest lens and some step down rings? Would the rings affect the filter at all?

    I have the:
    Olympus 25mm - 46mm thread
    Panasonic 35-100 - 58mm thread
    Olympus 12-40 - 62mm thread

  2. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    It shouldn't do. I use both polariser and vari-ND at 77mm (from my DSLR days) on the M43 lenses using step down rings to the various sizes needed. I've not noticed any problems thus far. YMMV.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Airth

    Airth Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 2, 2015
    Japan Alps
    I agree with DaveEP. I've been using step down rings for as long as I can remember without (as far as I can tell) any ill effects.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Same here.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Excellent. Wonderful news and saves me a load of cash! Thanks all
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I have all my lenses bushed to the same filter size, some up, some down. I would test a 58 mm filter to see if it vignettes at 12mm. If not, standardize on that size. Less cost, less bulk.
  7. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    I use step down rings for my Polarizer and ND filters. The only drawback is they don't allow the use of lens hoods.
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Step down or step up? Step down would use a 58mm filter on a lens with a 62mm filter thread. That shouldn't interfere with a bayonet-type hood but it would interfere with attaching a screw-in hood. Step-up, which increases the diameter of the filter (46mm lens thread, 58mm filter) might interfere with a hood. It depends on the lens design and the hood design.
  9. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    I have 58mm filters that fit on my 40-150 and rings for my 25mm, 45mm and 14-42, they are 46mm and 39mm filter sizes. The lens hoods will not work when I use my Polarizer or ND filter on them.
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    This man gives me a headache
  11. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Don't see why. I've found his videos to be very informative. He's a successful pro so he must know what he's doing.
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    • Hoods don't fit
    • caps don't fit (easy to pick up an extra cap the size of your filter)
    • Depending on the size difference, you may not be able to set the camera down without putting stress on the filter
    • Filter might make access to MF and aperture rings a bit more difficult
    • Could block grip if you did this on a pancake lens.
    Generally, no issues, though. 46-62 is not too bad. I remember one guy wanted to use 82mm filter on a pancake with a 37mm filter and I wasn't sure that was going to work OK.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Just be glad you don't have to get filters for the Little Tuna with it's 82mm, I am not the guy mentioned above although I do remember that thread. I want a CP and 2 stop ND (possibly a 3 stop also), the price for large filters really makes me angry :mad: 
  14. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    I have 12-40 and 40-150PRO, 40-150 have 72mm and I use CPL 72 with step-down to 62mm on my 12-40 and it works perfect .. it even looks on 12-40 like it is made for that lens :) 
  15. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    ... also
    since polarizers are in a rotating mount and often designed to be as thin as possible, it can be somewhat difficult to separate a polarizer from a step ring which is also very thin.

    I use a Panasonic zoom lens that has a 52mm thread as my main lens. That, combined my my ancient history of owning Nikons where 52mm was a common size, has led me to "permanantly" attached a 49-52 step-up ring to my Takumar 50mm f/1.8 so that it can share caps and lens attachments with my kit zoom.

    As has be briefly noted above, the industry standard terminology for step-up and step-down rings is based on the idea that the ring modifies the lens and not the filter. A step-up ring has a smaller male thread and a larger female thread and vice versa for a step-down ring. Thus the OP would need step-up rings, rather than step down rings, to adapt the lenses with smaller filter sizes to the size of the largest lens. Use the terms incorrectly and you'll end up buying the wrong adapter and have to buy again.
  16. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Re "caps don't fit" I consider that to be an advantage. Like dwig (same ancient history, too) I use 52mm. Caps are a dollar apiece on eBay so cost is not an issue. Interchangeability means that I can carry one or two spare caps when traveling and have everything covered.

    And, again, "hoods don't fit" is hardly an absolute. At one point I had: 9-18, 12, 20, 45, 14-140, and 100-300 all bushed to 52mm and all the hoods fit just fine.

    I think that the key to this approach working is to NOT standardize on something huge, even at the expense of one of your lenses not being standardized. If you think about it, most lenses have a ring around the objective that announces the lens name, etc. You can cover most of this ring with a step-down adapter and in most cases it will not cause any vignetting. For example, my 100-300 wants a 67mm but bushes down to 52mm just fine. YMMV so test it, but rings are cheap so the experiment is hardly a budget-breaker.

    One thing I did with all my rings and filters is to use a tiny artist brush to apply a liquid moly compound to the threads. This reduces the likelihood of something getting stuck. This is the stuff:

    Finally, I have filter wrenches to suit my setup. Again, dirt cheap and nearly weightless. It's silly not to have them.
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