How to Step Up Your Filters
Camera accessories are like any other, they only work if they fit. This can be an issue if you have a 58mm lens and a 77mm filter, but thats where a step-up ring comes into the picture.
What Are Filters?
The idea behind using filters is simple. It modifies the light hitting your sensor, in effect pre-processing your picture. There are several different kinds available, each of which modifies light in a different fashion. One thing they all do is help protect your lens from dust and other hazards. Some of the more common ones include:
- UV/Haze: These remove ultraviolet light, which has the side effect of reducing the effect of atmospheric haze and improving colors.
- Neutral: These reduce the total light input, allowing for use of more sensitive film in broad daylight.
- Polarizing: Famous for making clouds stand out against the sky, they also remove reflections from water and enhance colors in outdoor photography.
What Does Stepping Do?
A step-up ring is like any other adapter; the adapter ring works to ensure that two components with different threads can work together. It helps a lot when youre working with a different filter size than your lens supports. Tiffen rings are threaded on both the inside and outside and screw onto the end of the lens, providing the correct mount to place the new filter. You can even use a series of rings if one isnt enough, but its usually better to avoid that if possible. There are two kinds of rings available:
- Step-up Rings: Step-up rings use a larger filter on a smaller lens; such as the aforementioned 77mm filter on a 58mm lens. Most brands use either aluminum or alloy construction and the only real downside is that you sometimes have difficulty mounting a lens hood.
- Step Down Rings: These let you use a 58mm filter on a larger lens. They are less common than step-up rings because they can cause vignetting, where you only expose part of the picture.
Reasons for Using Step-up Rings
The biggest reason for using Tiffen step-up rings comes into play if you have multiple cameras with different size lenses. It lets you standardize on a single set of accessories and use them with all your cameras. Its an easy way to focus your collection and reduce the weight of your camera bag to something reasonable. This option is really helpful if you have multiple special effects filters as it lets you increase your flexibility by getting more accessories because you dont have to double or triple up for all your different sizes.
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