Wide Angle Filters vs. Normal Ones.. Advantages/Disadvantages?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Moe, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Moe

    Moe Guest

    Hello, does any one know the disadvantages of using wide filters
    instead of regular filters (I'm trying to get a polarizer and a UV
    filter for my 50mm lens, to be also used with the 18-55mm digital
    rebel kit zoom - both happen to share the same thread size: 58mm). Can
    I stack filters on top of each other with "wide filters" or will I
    lost this capability to regular ones?
    Also any recommendations? I'm thinking of getting the "B+W" ones so as
    not to give my self any "equipment-related" excuses when the photos
    turn out bad :)
    Thanks for your thoughts..

    Moe, Feb 17, 2004
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  2. Moe

    Bob Salomon Guest

    A wide angle filter is larger in diameter in the front then the rear of
    the filter.

    Some people believe that thin filters are wide angle filters. However
    they are not. They may work on wider angle lenses then "standard'
    filters but the still extend the length of the lens so vignetting is
    still possible. Especially with stacked filters. Slim filters are made 2
    ways, in the case of Heliopan they only make slim UV, color, and B&W
    filters. All have a front thread for stacking filters, adding a lens
    hood or a snap-on cap. However Heliopan offers a choice of standard or
    slim circular polarizers as their slim polarizers do not have front
    threads. In the case of B+W slim filters there are no front threads.

    The good news is that you should not stack a UV and a polarizer as the
    polarizer will also cut UV. You might want to stack a Skylight filter
    with other types as the Skylight is a warming filter. The UV does not

    You also have to be careful with extreme wide angle shots with a
    polarizer as the sky has areas that are polarized. When you have a wide
    expanse of sky that you use a polarizer on you can get banding from the
    areas that are already polarized.
    Bob Salomon, Feb 17, 2004
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  3. Moe

    KBob Guest

    Often wide angle filters have no internal threads on the outer side,
    preventing the stacking of additional filter elements. They are
    generally thinner, and thus less likely to degrade lens performance at
    the edges. As I recall, they are also relatively expensive.
    KBob, Feb 18, 2004
  4. It is always risky to stack filters on a wide angle lens - and almost
    never necessary. You are almost certain to get some visible vignetting
    before you get to 18mm. (You may even get it with one filter at 18mm if
    the lens design does not have a filter ring wider than the minimum
    necessary to accommodate the glass.)

    To add to Bob's comment, if you want to use a polariser and a warming
    filter, you can get warming polarisers which do both things in one
    filter. I personally don't care for warming filters that much, as they
    tend to make the sky go a little cyan, but it's a matter of taste.

    If you really want to use sophisticated filters with 2 or 3 types in one
    shot, then the only really reliable solution is to use a slot-in system
    like the Lee, Hi-Tech or Cokin Pro. The first two are used by many pro
    photographers and in the movie business; they are undoubtedly expensive
    and cumbersome, but they work every time.
    David Littlewood, Feb 18, 2004
  5. Moe

    Bob Guest

    Wide filters are usually thinner than normal filters to help prevent
    vignetting. They also usually don't have threads on the front. You
    don't want to stack filters since that will add to vignetting.

    B+W filters are some of the best and use brass instead of aluminum.
    Brass doesn't have a lot of the problems that aluminum does, like
    seizing, so they come off the lens easily. Heliopan is another top
    notch brand.

    Bob, Feb 18, 2004
  6. Moe

    Moe Guest

    Thanks Bob..

    I take it that there is no reason why a wide angle filter shouldn't
    work perfectly on, say, a telephoto lens; Other than the outside/edge
    metal threading design there aren't more differences.. right?

    Moe, Feb 18, 2004
  7. Moe

    Bob Salomon Guest

    That only make slim filters and do have front threads and are brass
    mounts with Schott (Zeiss) glass. Standard or 12 layer MC per side.
    Bob Salomon, Feb 18, 2004
  8. ----------

    With only limited filters used occasionally and to avoid the clunkiness of
    Lee and Cokin front ends I have used step rings with a single step from my
    46mm; 48mm; and 52mm lenses to 72mm and fitted 72mm glass filters with a
    72mm lens hood at the end. Though more expensive in that size they also fit
    directly at 72mm to my 28-200 telephoto lens - so one filter for all the
    lenses without the Lee or Cokin A or P adapters to fool with.

    Journalist-North, Feb 19, 2004
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