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Thread: Stacking Filters

  1. #1
    HDphotography's Avatar
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    Stacking Filters

    Hello,
    I have a Nikon D90 with a Nikon 18-300mm lens. I currently use a B & W 77MM UV filter, which I have on the lens since day one I received the lens. I am thinking about buying a Circular polarizing filter. However, I do not want to remove the UV filter and replace with the CPL filter and vice versa.My concern for not changing filters is I am paranoid about introducing dust on the lens. So my question is, is possible to stack a CPL filter over my UV filter ? Would it affect image quality ( Vignetting ) ?
    Please share your thoughts. Thanks.
    - Hemant

  2. #2
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Yes you can stack, but depending on the filters, you might find a bit of vignetting at the shortest focal lengths. A low profile polarizer could reduce / eliminate this issue

    I personally find I prefer to use just one filter at a time, but that is just the way I have always shot. You might find that you end up having to remove both filters regardless. The UV and CPol may come off without you being able to separate them. Somehow I find that filters tend to bind more tightly when they are stacked than when they are just screwed onto the lens. Invest in a cheap pair of platic filter wrenches to help getting them apart (and off the lens itself)..
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 24th January 2013 at 02:44 PM.

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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Buy the CPL as you'll need it anyway then just try if for yourself in a few different scenarios. Make some comparisons and you'll get your answer yourself and be more informed for it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    I'm also a bit paranoid about lens cleanliness, but as Manfred points out, every filter you add is a chance for odd reflections, vignetting, or other optical errata. Personally, I think cloning out lens flares and correcting vignetting is more of a pain than dusting a little more often. Normally stacking filters is no problem, but most people (including yours truly) prefer to hedge our bets and shoot one filter at a time.

  5. #5

    Re: Stacking Filters

    I use a UV filter to protect the lens from scratches and knocks, but I'm not too fussed about getting dust on the lens as it's trivial to remove. I don't consider it a problem, you can wipe it off with a dedicated cloth or a puff of air from one of those puffer things.
    Dust on the sensor (potentially introduced when changing lenses) is more difficult to remove.

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    Re: Stacking Filters

    I usually will shoot using a single filter. When I need a CPL, I will usually have it attached to my lens for the entire shoot. It takes over the protective duties of my CPL in addition to polarizing the light. So I don't usually need to switch filters in the field.

    Along that line, I am more concerned with changing lenses in dusty conditions which is why I most often shoot with two cameras. I have CPL and UV filters for each lens: 67mm for my 70-200mm f/4L IS and 77mm for my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. I find that the focal range covered by these two lenses are good for about 90% of my shooting. However, with your 18-200mm lens attached, you should not need to do much lens switching in the field...

    BTW: I always carry a pair of OPTECH Rainsleeves in the back pocket of my photo vest. They are inexpensive, extremely light weight and will potect the camera/lens from blowing dust as well as from rain or snow, Shooting in the Americqn Southwest Desert; dusty conditions are a frequent occurrance. I also carry a few rubber (elastic) bands to secure the Rainsleve to my cameras/lenses...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 24th January 2013 at 04:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    I find the concern of exposing the front element of the lens to the environment a bit of a non-starter. I own four lenses that cannot take filters over their front elements; two of these lenses ( Leica f/2.8 19mm Elmarit-R and Leica f/6.3 400mm Telyt - this lens has a filter slot about 1/2 down the lens barrel) I've owned for over 30 years without an scratches on the glass. My newer Samyang f3.5 8mm fisheye and my Nikon f/2.8 14-24mm also cannot take filters on the front element

    With the other lenses, I shoot like Richard suggests; I have around 5 or 6 polarizers and when I head outside for a day's shooting, these filters stay on the lenses unless I stay out late and it gets too dark to warrant leaving them on.

    Your lens front element is glass and can be cleaned almost as easily as a filter.

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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post

    Your lens front element is glass and can be cleaned almost as easily as a filter.
    Yeah ... just run it under the tap with a bit of dish-washing liquid on it

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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by HDphotography View Post
    I am paranoid about introducing dust on the lens.
    It'll have ZERO impact on image quality.

    You might find this article interesting ...

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008...ment-scratches

  10. #10
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Yeah ... just run it under the tap with a bit of dish-washing liquid on it
    That is why I said "almost as easily as a filter" instead of "as easily as a filter".

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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by HDphotography View Post
    Hello,
    .My concern for not changing filters is I am paranoid about introducing dust on the lens. So my question is, is possible to stack a CPL filter over my UV filter ? Would it affect image quality ( Vignetting ) ? - Hemant
    I think your concern is quite unjustified becuase long ago I learnt that a little dirt does no harm, less than frequent cleaning of a lens is likely to do .... you avoid that by using the UV filter and possibly suffer a little loss of IQ when you stack the polariser along with possible vignetting ... only you or somebody with your equipment can answer that worry for sure ... try at the shop before you buy ... rather hard these days with everything sealed up tight in a ton of packaging I know.

    I would avoid working without a lenshood when you mount the polariser, for the actual photo even if you set up the CPL without the hood ... I did see a photo of a lenshood with a lower area cut away to give access to rotate the filter recently .... and letting the light source shine on the lens. Modern lenses are very good but even they need to have simple common sense practices to be followed such as that last one.

  12. #12
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Re: the JCUKNZ post above...

    I wish that a third party (China?) would produce lens hoods like this one which could be used on a Canon lens. This happens to be a Pentax hood...

    It has a sliding door which can be opened to allow the rotating of the CPL filter and then closed for shooting...

    Stacking Filters

    Another possible fix would be to cut out a portion of the hood with a Drenyl Tool and then use gaffer's tape - if needed to close the slot. The advantage of gaffer's over other tape is the lack of sticky residue when the tape is removed.

    Or, it would help to have long skinny Ginch-like fingers to fit in-between the hood and the filter. No problem, the fingers don't need to be green like the Grinchs fingers
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 24th January 2013 at 11:01 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    A bit off topic, but here's a tongue-in-cheek look at stacking filters... http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011...th-bad-filters

  14. #14
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    I virtually never use a lens hood when shooting with a polarizer. In fact I often leave the darn things at home. I guess I learned to shoot back in the dark ages before every lens had a lens hood and I learned to shade my lens (when required) with my hand.

    Generally this is not necessary when shooting landscapes with a polarizer (which is most of the time for me) because I am pointing more or less at right angles to the sun and flare is not an issue. I generally don't shoot with anything too wide angled to ensure I don't get any banding in the sky from using the polarizer. I find I spend a lot of time tweaking the polarizer (i.e. determining how dark I want the sky to look), so I want really good access to the front of the lens.

  15. #15
    AgfaB2's Avatar
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    Re: Stacking Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Re: the JCUKNZ post above...

    I wish that a third party (China?) would produce lens hoods like this one which could be used on a Canon lens. This happens to be a Pentax hood...

    It has a sliding door which can be opened to allow the rotating of the CPL filter and then closed for shooting...

    Stacking Filters

    Another possible fix would be to cut out a portion of the hood with a Drenyl Tool and then use gaffer's tape - if needed to close the slot. The advantage of gaffer's over other tape is the lack of sticky residue when the tape is removed.

    Or, it would help to have long skinny Ginch-like fingers to fit in-between the hood and the filter. No problem, the fingers don't need to be green like the Grinchs fingers
    Hi Richard

    Excuses, excuses

    You don't need a Dremel, a pair of scissors will do:

    http://www.lenshoods.co.uk/

    So, get creative

    Anyway, there is simply no excuse for shooting without a lens hood, filter or not.
    I use collapsible rubber lens hoods. They come in normal and wide angle variations and for the price of 1 'genuine CANON' hood you get 5 or 6 of them.

    Examples:
    http://www.henrys.com/Categories/168-Lens-Hoods.aspx/1

    This is the first site I stumbled on to with Google. Your mileage may vary.

    As for working with filters.

    I screw the pol filter onto the lens and the lens hood onto the filter and this makes rotation easy.
    If, with varifocal or parfocal lenses, you get vignetting at the wide angle setting simply fold the hood halfway back. It still will give you some degree of protection against stray light. Not so much but better than nothing.

    And for our fisheye aficionados there is this nifty gadget, aka 'French Flag'.
    And it looks like it can double as a fly swatter

    http://www.flarebuster.com/fb.html

    Cheers

    Wolf

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    Re: Stacking Filters

    When I bought a nice camera with a reversing lens hood to match the super Lowpro bag it came with 2/h ... I cut a hole in the bottom of the bag and glued in a plastic pottle so that from then on the hood would remain on the camera 7/24 as with other camera bags I have I use my hand too on occasions, or place the sun behind something. When I organised a lenshood, a length of plastic drainpipe for a lens without any thread I noticed a distinct improvement with the sun behind me.

    Flare buster ... if the lady moves the camera to her right she will expose the lens to the sun, it is almost doing that in the photo .... URRRGH Gadgets!
    Last edited by jcuknz; 26th January 2013 at 07:44 AM.

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