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Photography Question 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
 

Filter Size


Ok, so I'm making the leap from my Canon Powershot SD800 to the new Canon EOS Rebel XSi - and I'm thinking of getting the 18-55mm IS and 55-250mm lenses to go along with the camera. I love taking landscape photography and I've been reading a lot on this web site and Jim's books that polarizers, ND filters, and Graduated ND filters are pretty much a must. Now, I checked Canon's web site and under both of the above lenses it said "Filter Size: 58mm" - I am assuming that that means when I look for the filters that that's the size I need. I know this is a dumb question, but I want to make sure that I get the correct equipment and don't waste money. Thank you all in advance!


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5/28/2008 12:33:31 PM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  Also, are brands of personally preference basically? Jim's book mentions Cokin as being affordable - especially for beginners, but I've read on some of the older postings on this web site that Tiffen, Hoya, and B+W are good.


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5/28/2008 12:40:50 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Yes, both the lenses you mentioned use 58mm diameter filters, usually marked "58mm" on the front of the lens. Digital cameras are more susceptible to internal reflections off the sensor than film cameras, so spending more for multicoated filters is recommended.

For Graduated ND filters, the large square filters for Cokin, Lee, and other filter systems are preferred since you can place the transition anywhere in the scene. With screw-on filters the transition is always going to be dead center.


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5/28/2008 12:48:10 PM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  Alright, thanks for the info Jon!!!


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5/30/2008 11:41:23 AM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  Would you suggest getting one of the filter holders - can you move the filter up and down in the holder? Or would you suggest simply holding the filter in front of the lens?


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5/30/2008 11:47:59 AM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Yes. ;)
The system holders are more convenient, and allow the filter to be moved up/down and rotated. If you are shooting handheld the holder is recommended. On the cheap and using a tripod, the filter can be held by hand or held in place on the front of the lens with gaffers tape.


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5/30/2008 3:04:26 PM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  Ok, thanks for the help again Jon!!


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6/2/2008 2:14:30 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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carltonwardphoto.com
  Hi Jeff, I have a B&W Kaeseman Circular Polarizer and I love to use this for landscapes & waterfall images. You will lose about 2 stops but if you use a tripod, no problem. It does really well at controlling the reflection of water & makes for bluer skies and more detail. I use a 77mm CP myself and it fits 4 of my lenses. (17-40mm , 24-70mm, 70-200 f/2.8L & 100-400mm) I use the 17-40mm for landscapes but recently used the CP on my 100-400mm on a whale watching boat and had nice results.


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6/2/2008 2:47:31 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  If you have enough light, you can hand-hold the graduated ND filter. It's easier if you have it in the filter mount, though...but if you're like me, you may find it a hassle to screw the mount on, place the filter in the mount, shoot the photo, unscrew the mount, take off the polarizer...or put on a polarizer, etc. I've been to some classic sunrise locations, like Moraine Bells, Colorado..and lots of people with thousands of dollars of camera gear, were handholding the graduated ND filter. I had to smile. I'm not saying right/wrong...just that it's pretty easy to hand hold, if you're rushed. And I totally agree with Jon...don't get a screw-on graduated ND filter because you lose control on where to place the center of the filter.


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6/2/2008 2:57:48 PM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  Thank you Carlton and Ken!! This information will definitely help me out.


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6/2/2008 4:09:26 PM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  One last question, regarding polarizers: What's the different between linear and circular? I will be using it for waterfalls, landscapes, etc.


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6/2/2008 4:36:16 PM

 
Ken Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
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  I did a google search and found this. I have a circular polarizer and I'm sure one of the BP techies can chime in.
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There are two types of polarizing filters available linear or circular. Linear polarizers are more effective and less expensive than circular ones. But circular polarizers are needed with just about any camera that has a through-the-lens metering system, or autofocus.

The reason for this is that both of these systems use semi-silvered mirrors to siphon off some of the light coming though the lens. If that light is linearly polarized it renders either the metering or the autofocus ineffective. This means that you're going to have to buy circular polarizers unless you're shooting with a pre-1970's camera, or a view camera.
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6/2/2008 6:15:23 PM

 
Jeffrey L. Harwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/16/2008
  Thanks Ken! I guess I could have searched myself..lol.. Being lazy, I guess. There's so much to learn.


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6/3/2008 1:43:45 PM

 
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