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    ND Filter Options for FE and E-mount Lenses
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    Hi guys,

    I'm in need of a proper ND solution for my a7r ii. I've been getting by with a Hoya variable ND so far. I've found trying to work this out really complicated. The purpose is mainly for shooting SLOG, opening up the aperture during the day, and also for some long exposure photography.

    I've been reading this forum for ages on this topic. Seems like a pretty standard piece of advice - buy Hoya PROND. Where I find this tricky is that my FE/E lens lineup is all over the place in terms of filter thread size (49, 62, 67, 72) and new lenses like the G Masters have filter threads of 77mm and 82mm, which I might buy in the future. Hence it is tricky to pick a size that is future proof. With whatever size I go with I'm going to need a stack of stepup rings. I've seen the XUME system on here which looks fantastic, and would probably result in me actually using the filters. I don't know how that system would play with say a FE55 - with 49-77 stepup ring, then the XUME, then the ND.

    It is also tricky to pick which stops to get. I've seen a few combos on here (3,6,9) (1,2,4,6) (2,4,6,9).

    I shoot half video/half photography, mainly on the move, so I want a system that I will actually take with me and use.

    I've seen the Lee Filter System as well, which I really like the look of. I don't know if it would just fall off doing video work though and if it is more for stills. What I love is that it can be adapted really easily to any lens and the investment will be completely future proof regarding lens purchases.

    I know you guys have really tested your systems so would really appreciate your feedback.

    Also my variable ND is impossible to clean. Do you guys have any tips for this and is it just as difficult with these standard ND filters?

    Thank you.


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    #2
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    I hadn't even considered vignetting on wide angle lenses. The FE 16-35 (72mm) is my most used lens so I'm not sure how I would get that to work with the Xume system. Apparently it will even vignette with a step up ring to 77mm so I'd probably have to go to 82mm.
    Last edited by Luke Bacich; 09-27-2016 at 06:35 AM.


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    #3
    Cinematography/Lighting Mod Ryan Patrick O'Hara's Avatar
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    I bought a set of 82mm Firecrest IRND's and stepping rings down for all my lens threads below. 82mm is pretty future proof for 90% of photography lenses. I use these on cinema lenses sometimes (drone work) and they won't work on some larger lenses, but that's ok. Didn't want to buy GIGANTIC screw-in filters that would cover all lenses but be ridiculously large when on a small lens.

    I'm happy with my choice.

    If cinematography wasn't infinite, I'm sure I would have found the end by now.


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    #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. What's the smallest filter thread size you've adapted the 82mm to and how do you find it?


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    #5
    Cinematography/Lighting Mod Ryan Patrick O'Hara's Avatar
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    I own a lot of vintage nikons with 52mm fronts. I use a 52mm -> 62mm ring + 62mm-72mm ring + 72mm-> 82mm ring.

    I also have a 77mm -> 82mm ring.

    So I can use my 82mm filters on 52, 62, 72, 77 and 82mm lenses.... they make step up rings for almost any size. Just beware you order the right ring. I always mix up how I call it. For instance is it a 77-82 or 82-77? You get the idea though.

    If cinematography wasn't infinite, I'm sure I would have found the end by now.


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    Senior Member Samuel H's Avatar
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    I try not to use several rings on top of each other because they tend to get stuck. Maybe it wouldn't happen if I didn't buy the cheapest ones I can find, but using something like this works well for me.

    I have two sets of Hoya ProND filters: three 67mm ones for my set of vintage Leica-R primes (3, 6 and 9 stops of filtering), and four 49mm ones for my RX100-IV (3, 5, 7 and 9 stops of filtering). Talking about the strength, I prefer this second option: I have to change filter more often but the RX100 can't handle as big an ISO increas as the a7S (which is the camera for which I bought the 67mm set). And I'd also prefer having a camera that can shoot at lower ISOs so I don't need this crazy amount of filtration XD


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    #7
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    Thanks heaps for your responses. They've been really useful. My final problems are (1) what to do for wide angle lenses, as they will vignette with the xume system, and (2) what to do for lens hoods. If I use step up rings I won't be able to use any of my lens hoods so this is really tricky. It seems as though the only easy solution is using the same filter size nds, with the xume system, on normal to telephoto lenses - which isn't very versatile.


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    #8
    Cinematography/Lighting Mod Ryan Patrick O'Hara's Avatar
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    They make lens hoods that are threaded. I use a rubber 82mm hood that can be adjusted to three positions depending on lens FoV

    If cinematography wasn't infinite, I'm sure I would have found the end by now.


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    #9
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    That sounds perfect. Do you know the brand/model of the rubber hood?


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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Patrick O'Hara View Post
    I own a lot of vintage nikons with 52mm fronts. I use a 52mm -> 62mm ring + 62mm-72mm ring + 72mm-> 82mm ring.

    I also have a 77mm -> 82mm ring.

    So I can use my 82mm filters on 52, 62, 72, 77 and 82mm lenses.... they make step up rings for almost any size. Just beware you order the right ring. I always mix up how I call it. For instance is it a 77-82 or 82-77? You get the idea though.
    I'm struggling to understand why you would ever do this. I too have all sorts of lens sizes, but I step them all
    to my 82mm ND filters with ONE (and only one) step ring. 52mm-82mm. 62mm - 82mm. Whatever the size of
    your lens, there is a step up ring for it so that you can do it with only one ring instead of using 52 > 62 > 72 >82.
    You start running into more of a chance of vignetting the more you add step rings and get the ND 'out in front'
    on the lens. Just search on Amazon and you can find the step rings you need to do it in one shot!


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