Filter System for 100mm thread

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Behan

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Hi Folks - Happy new year!!

I would like to get a filter system to use with my Nikkor W 300mm lens (my only lens right now, which I use on a Tachihara 8x10)..the trouble is that the filter thread is 100mm..much bigger than anything I have owned or used in the past.

I only shoot in B+W so I'm interested in the standard contrast filters - reds, oranges, green etc. I'm also interested in getting a couple of Grad ND filters.

I do not know very much about the various systems available eg: Lee, Cokin X-Pro etc...but would very much appreciate advice/experience.

The reason I'm thinking about such a system rather than screw-in filters is the potential for adapting to other lenses I might acquire in the future. Are there any thoughts on compromises in optical quality between decent screw-in filters and modular systems ?

Kind regards,

Niall
 

Loose Gravel

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I use 4 inch gels in those cardboard holders. For most of my lenses, I use the Lee Gel Snap to hold the holders. This works fine except for those lenses that take 100mm filters. For this I use a piece of foamcore in which I cut a hole that exactly slides over the end of the lens. Then I either clip the filter to this or use little 'corners' to hold the gel. I don't use filters for every shot, but this system has worked for me.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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4" gels are a good option, or you could get a 105mm step-up ring and use gla$$ filters.
 

Ole

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I use Lee filters (gel or resin), and when I don't have an adapter to match I resort to the "Digital Holder": Two fingers.
 

Helen B

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Have you thought about behind-the-lens filters? Have you heard of 'snot tape'?

I have a Lee compendium shade for use with 4x4 filters. There are adapters for 95 mm and 100 mm lens threads. I use mostly Schneider glass filters with it.

Here are my brief opinions on the various types of filter material for use with the Lee, in approximately descending order of quality:

glass (eg Schneider, B+W) - either dyed-in-the-mass or gelatin sandwich. Available coated. Can be equal to best screw-in filters if care is taken to prevent light leakage into the edges/slots.

gelatin (eg Wratten) (Flexible) - optically good, until damaged. Can't be coated. Easy to use behind the lens.

polyester (eg Lee) (Flexible, sometimes referred to as 'gel', but this causes confusion with the real gelatin filters.) - optically not far behind gelatin. Not as easily damaged, easier to clean. Can't be coated. Easy to use behind the lens.

resin (eg Lee, Cokin) (Rigid) - quality depends a lot on the manufacture, but I don't have a lot of experience with resin filters, so can't really comment. Can't be coated.

Apart from the obvious advantages, modular systems also have an advantage over the screw-in type when more than one filter is to be used: it is easier to set one of the filters at a slight angle to prevent multiple reflections from parallel surfaces. The Lee holder can be shimmed to do this.

Best,
Helen
 
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Behan

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Thanks Folks,

This might be a stupid question but will a 4x4 filter be large enough to provide enough coverage over the front of the lens without vignetting ?

Niall
 

Ole

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In most cases, yes. I use the "digital holdit" with a 90mm SA on 5x7", which has a lot more angle of view than a 300mm on 8x10".
 

David A. Goldfarb

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4" is just a bit larger than 100mm, so it should be fine. At worst, you might get a little vignetting from the filter holder with extreme camera movements, but often you can take care of that by orienting the filter holder in a different way (depends on which holder). I use the Lee 4" polyester filters in my Linhof compendium with big lenses or lenses that don't take a standard filter size, like the 11.5"/f:4 Verito. Another attraction of these filters is that they are quite lightweight and compact.

As far as comparing filter types--I have a lot of 3x3" resin filters (mostly Ambico, but they are all made of the same CR39 resin. Some, like Lee and Hitech, are better in that the color will be more accurate and ND filters will be truly neutral). In my experience, even a cheap multicoated filter like a Vivitar VMC will show less flare and ghosting than a resin filter or a single coated filter. Resin filters often seemed as good in this regard as single coated filters. The main downside to resin filters is that they are more prone to scratching.
 

roteague

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Ole said:
I use Lee filters (gel or resin), and when I don't have an adapter to match I resort to the "Digital Holder": Two fingers.

One photographer I read about, Tim Fitzharris, talks about using just plain duct tape in one of his books. I haven't tried it, but it seems to work for him.
 

rbarker

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Another option to consider is the HiTech 100mm (4") filter holder system that uses a holder with separate threaded adapter rings (up to 105mm, as I recall). That's what I opted for when I looked at the available solutions a few years back. Unfortunately, that was after I had already bought several 105mm filters for my 300mm/5.6 APO Symmar. (sniff, sniff :wink: )

But, I often use the same TFA unit as Ole does - the Two Finger Adapter. The minor filter motion that might occur during the exposure doesn't seem to be a problem, and is often actually better with diffusion filters.

One thing to remember with behind-the-lens filtering - the filter will introduce a slight focus shift, depending on thickness of the filter, so it must be in place to focus. Plus, many feel any imperfections in the filter will affect image quality more if placed behind the lens (after the image has been formed by the lens).

The key factor, I believe, is to consider how the features of each system fit with your individual shooting style, equipment, and other accessories. I don't think there is one "best" system that will work equally well for everyone or in all situations.
 

Loose Gravel

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I don't know why it would matter whether the filter is before the lens or after the lens, unless polarization is involved. I'd be interested if someone knows the reasoning behind this.

Focus shift is a fraction of the thickness of the media that is placed in the light path. With gel filters at 0.004" thick and the shift being a small fraction of this, I would focus without the filter. It will be easier to see the image and make up for any shifts that will be less than a 1/1000".

Behind the lens filter seems like such a good idea -- out of the wind, dirt, glare, etc, but it is such a pain that I don't find it that useful.
 

Helen B

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'One thing to remember with behind-the-lens filtering - the filter will introduce a slight focus shift, depending on thickness of the filter, so it must be in place to focus.'

This is one of the reasons why gelatin and polyester filters are good for behind-the-lens use. A gelatin filter displaces the image by about a thousandth of an inch (0.03 mm).

'Snot tape' rather than gaffer tape appears to be the most common way of securing behind-the-lens filters in the movies. The sunday name of snot tape is probably 'adhesive transfer tape' - it is just sticky acrylic on a release liner. Scotch or Permacel ATG tape.

'Plus, many feel any imperfections in the filter will affect image quality more if placed behind the lens (after the image has been formed by the lens).'

I've never observed that, and would like to learn more. The practical improvement in flare resistance with behind-the-lens placement is more obvious - a reason to use gelatin filters behind the lens.

Best,
Helen
PS I wrote this before Loose Gravel's reply was posted, so a lot of the info is duplicated.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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For a few lenses I have, where the only practical option is to put the filter behind the lens, I've epoxied a 3x3" resin filter holder (also good for gels in frames) behind the lensboard. Sometimes this involves some sort of spacer arrangement, but for little wideangle lenses that don't protrude very far into the camera, it's a very handy system.
 
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rbarker said:
Unfortunately, that was after I had already bought several 105mm filters for my 300mm/5.6 APO Symmar. (sniff, sniff :wink: )

You can buy adopter ring that will let you use 105 mm filters on Lee's holder system. I saw that on Robert White's site somewhere.

Marko
 

rbarker

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Helen B said:
'Plus, many feel any imperfections in the filter will affect image quality more if placed behind the lens (after the image has been formed by the lens).'

I've never observed that, and would like to learn more. The practical improvement in flare resistance with behind-the-lens placement is more obvious - a reason to use gelatin filters behind the lens.

PS I wrote this before Loose Gravel's reply was posted, so a lot of the info is duplicated.
The theory I've heard advanced is that the light rays coming from the rear of the lens are "organized" (actually, many mis-use the word collimated here), so the filter abberations directly affect the focused image, whereas placement in front of the lens means that filter imperfections are grossly out of focus, and thus less noticeable. I haven't tried to test the theory, but the logic seems reasonable.
 

MarkL

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Hitech filter system

Hi,

I saw this year-old thread about filters. I'm thinking of eventually investing in the Hitech MK4 filter system. Is this what you have, and if so, how's it working out for you? I see on B&H Photo that their polarizer is $330 bucks and your average colored filter for B/W is $46. I"m sure its good stuff but seems expensive. BTW, I shoot 4x5 and have three lenses - 67, 77 and 82mm.

Mark



rbarker said:
Another option to consider is the HiTech 100mm (4") filter holder system that uses a holder with separate threaded adapter rings (up to 105mm, as I recall). That's what I opted for when I looked at the available solutions a few years back. Unfortunately, that was after I had already bought several 105mm filters for my 300mm/5.6 APO Symmar. (sniff, sniff :wink: )

But, I often use the same TFA unit as Ole does - the Two Finger Adapter. The minor filter motion that might occur during the exposure doesn't seem to be a problem, and is often actually better with diffusion filters.

One thing to remember with behind-the-lens filtering - the filter will introduce a slight focus shift, depending on thickness of the filter, so it must be in place to focus. Plus, many feel any imperfections in the filter will affect image quality more if placed behind the lens (after the image has been formed by the lens).

The key factor, I believe, is to consider how the features of each system fit with your individual shooting style, equipment, and other accessories. I don't think there is one "best" system that will work equally well for everyone or in all situations.
 

Eric Leppanen

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Are you sure the filter size of your lens is 100mm? According to current Nikon specs, the front filter thread size for the 300mm Nikon W is 95mm, and the front barrel diameter is 100mm. See:

http://www.europe-nikon.com/specifications.aspx?countryid=20&languageid=22&prodId=514&catId=149

My 300mm APO Sironar-S (100mm filter thread) vignettes when moderate movements are applied with a 100mm Lee screw-in adapter ring (to which a Lee filter holder is affixed) is in place; the adapter ring just blocks too much of the front lens element. I solved this problem by using a Lee press-on holder (which fits over the lens barrel, rather than using an adapter ring). In my case I had to use a special Lee 115mm press-on holder (FK115) and had SK Grimes fabricate a custom "doughnut" spacer ring so that the holder would fit on my Sironar's 105mm diameter lens barrel. Assuming your Nikon has a 100mm diameter lens barrel, you can use a standard Lee 100mm press-on holder (FK100) which should resolve any vignetting problems.

I have found that for larger lenses my Lee 4x4"/4x6" filter system has been the best way to go, as I can use the same filters and holders throughout my 4x5 and 8x10 lens lineups. I use Hitech B&W and Lee ND grad filters and have been very happy with the optical quality. I also use a square linear polarizer (I own both a 4x4" and 6.6x6.6") which I either load into one of the filter slots, or tape to the front of the holder when I need to orient the polarizer differently from the holder (e.g., when using the polarizer and ND grad filter simultaneously).
 

paul owen

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Hi. The filter thread of this lens is actually 95mm, the outer barrel is 100mm - therefore the LEE FILTERS 100mm PUSH-ON FIlter Holder will work - in fact I ordered one this morning from Robert White for a Nikon 90mm 4.5 using a B+W EW filter!! Cost £78 GBP.
 
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Eric Leppanen said:
Are you sure the filter size of your lens is 100mm? According to current Nikon specs, the front filter thread size for the 300mm Nikon W is 95mm, and the front barrel diameter is 100mm.



My 300mm Nikkor-W definitely has a 95mm filter ring. I have more or less convinbced myself to go the Cokin X-pro route, but meanwhile blutack gels onto the rear of the lens: no discernible degradation of the image as yet.


Richard
 

Shmoo

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I've used the Lee filter holder on my 90mm SAXL and it works fine. It slips over the rim of the lens and you use a small tensioning nut to fix it. Works great, but I've also used Helen's "snot tape" with gels...and it's pretty economical and works just as well. Roll a bit of tape and place in 3 places around the rim of the lens at the edges...then pop the filter on the tape. The key to using the gels is to have fastidiously clean fingers...
 

Eric Leppanen

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Tape, rubber band or home-made filter holders can work well in many cases, and they are certainly cost-effective. However, there is no substitute for a full-fledged filter holder such as the Lee holders when using ND grad filters. Setting the horizon line of an ND grad requires sliding the filter in the filter holder with one hand, while looking through the ground glass and holding your focusing loupe with the other. The filter holder needs to stay stable during this process; otherwise setting the horizon line properly becomes nearly impossible. The Lee press-on holder is machined to tightly fit a 100mm diameter lens barrel, plus it has a clamping mechanism to ensure it stays on tight.

I've seen several homemade foam-based holders that worked great for holding a single 4x4" filter. But they could not handle a sliding 4x6" ND grad.

Another issue is whether or not you want to use a compendium hood (such as the Lee hood) at least some of the time. To use the Lee hood, you will need more than one filter slot (the hood is attached using the outermost slot), and here again a full-fledged Lee filter holder will be the most stable solution.
 
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