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Photography Question 

filter factor compensation

I have a Minolta Maxum 5 and recently purchased some filters. The brand name is Quantaray. I was wondering if these are decent filters as I have not used them yet. Also, does the Maxum 5 compensate for filter factors automatically or would I have to do that manually? I know some cameras do it automatically and at the moment I have misplaced my manual!
Thanks, Katie

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8/4/2002 11:19:38 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Quantaray is not a manufacturer, but a name applied to items made by other manufacturers. It's used exclusively by the Ritz camera store chain. Who really made the filters is anyone's guess.

The best filters are made by B+W, a subsidiary of Schneider Kreuznach, and by Heliopan. Both are German companies and with a very few exceptions, all of their filters are made from extremely high quality Schott optical glass. Schott Glass is one of the companies in the Zeiss Foundation (Stiftung). These filters are also made with brass rings which will not gall and become hard to remove when screwed onto a lens as aluminum filter rings can.

Just a notch below these two companies is Hoya, a Japanese company. The exclusive wholesale distributor of Hoya filters in the U.S. is THK Photo Products (which also distributes Tokina and Kenko products in the U.S.). Not certain if Vivitar still makes filters, or if they're still made as well as they were some years ago. I classify a couple older ones I've had about the same as Hoya.

Another notch below Hoya are the Tiffen filters. While Tiffen is noted for cinema filters used by the motion picture industry, their consumer still photography filters are different. Tiffen also uses aluminum filter rings, which is why I classify them a notch down from Hoya.

Again, this is all my humble opinion about filters.

Yes, your Maxxum will automatically compensate for filters. It meters for exposure through the lens, and therefore through the filter.

The only time you would have to worry about doing compensation yourself is if you meter using a separate hand-held light meter and manually set exposure from that meter reading. As long as you're using the metering inside the camera, you don't have to worry about making a compensation for the filter. I do recommend being aware of what your filter factors are so you can predict occasions under lower light levels when you can end up shutter speeds too low to hand hold the camera.

-- John

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8/5/2002 2:00:03 AM

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