SLR Newbie - Step-up rings / lens cap questions

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Brent Geery, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Brent Geery

    Brent Geery Guest

    I'm a new DSLR user, and I'm trying to build my kit. I've got a new
    D80 with standard 18-135 kit lens.

    In October, I'm planning on getting the Nikon 50mm F/1.8 D AF Lens,
    and 77mm Hoya Pro 1 Digital Circular polarizer with front threads,
    I'll need both a 52mm-to-77mm step-up and 67mm-to-77mm step-up filter
    rings.

    What are good and bad brands of step-up rings? I don't what to go
    crazy on buying the "best and most costly" for such a simple item.

    I'm also planning on using the $10 white balance lens caps that can be
    found on e-Bay. Can I use a 77mm white balance lens cap over the 77mm
    polarizer filter?

    What about a lens hood? How is one used when using a filter and
    step-up ring? And, what size to use?
     
    Brent Geery, Sep 27, 2007
    #1
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  2. Brent Geery

    Paul Furman Guest

    The cheapest (very cheap) ones at Adorama can get stuck but as long as
    you don't scrape the bottom of the barrel you should be OK... I got some
    other ones from them that cost a little more & they were fine.
     
    Paul Furman, Sep 27, 2007
    #2
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  3. Brent Geery

    John Guest

    I would recommend the 50mm f/1.4 which is a little better. I have both.
    Always try to go as low on the f stop as possible when buying a lens. I
    would also recommend a filter wrench set which is pretty inexpensive. The
    less expensive filters and rings are not made of steel and can get stuck by
    flexing when you try to remove them.

    Good luck.
     
    John, Sep 28, 2007
    #3
  4. Brent Geery

    Tony Polson Guest

    Better in what way, exactly? It has only an extra two thirds of a
    stop, which the average shooter will use how often? It has no other
    redeeming features.

    Optically, they are both pin sharp across the frame at f/8, but they
    both have hideously harsh bokeh wide open. The f/1.8 has much better
    sharpness wide open than the f/1.4 used at f/1.8, so what is the
    point? Unless you absolutely need that extra two thirds of a stop,
    the f/1.8 is a much better buy. Smaller, lighter, sharper, and very
    much cheaper. One of the sharpest 50mm lenses ever made.
    Nonsense. Buy the lens that offers the most in the areas that matter.
     
    Tony Polson, Sep 28, 2007
    #4
  5. Brent Geery

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Practically irrelevant. As long as you don't get something from like
    "Bob's Bait, Tackle, & Filter Step-Up Rings" you should be fine. Note
    that it'll be a lot less fiddling to avoid step-up rings though.
    Probably. I don't see much point in those things though. Just another
    "gadget" to waste your time with.
    The hood would go on the end of anything else you've got "stacked" up.
    Thus, on top of the filter. So, the hood will need to be threaded for
    77mm if that's the size of your filter.

    Honestly, you're going to be annoyed. Just get a 52mm polarizer for
    the smaller lens, and a hood threaded for that size. You'll want the
    longest hood you can get away with. Sadly, hoods are pretty generic;
    a "telephoto lens hood" threaded for 52mm will be fine.
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Sep 28, 2007
    #5
  6. Brent Geery

    John Guest

    I suppose you think the 50mm f/1.2 that cost $1300 is no way as good as
    your cheap f/8 at $60.00...Wahahahahah...........
     
    John, Sep 28, 2007
    #6
  7. Brent Geery

    Tony Polson Guest


    It appears that you have lost the ability to think,
    if you ever had it, that is!
     
    Tony Polson, Sep 28, 2007
    #7
  8. I tied quite a few AF zooms and primes on the way to assembling my
    present SLR kit of six (or is it seven?) lenses I can't live without
    =')

    I suggest renting the expensive ones for trial, rather than depending
    too heavily on the recommendations of experts. I even wrote a little
    essay about reviews vs. trial & error:

    http://web.mac.com/olddognewtrick/iWeb/Site/experimenting.html

    I own an inexpensive 50 mm f/1.8 and it gets a lot of use. On my D80
    it's a great portrait lens, and I've never felt the need for anything
    faster.

    Choosing tools is a very subjective affair. Many of the lenses I picked
    wouldn't even be in the top ten for other people, but here they are:

    12-24 24-85 50 100 manual (E) with PK-11 105 Micro AF-D 70-300 VR
    ....and a draft pick to be named later...
     
    sheepdog 2007, Sep 28, 2007
    #8
  9. Brent Geery

    Tony Polson Guest


    Some nice lenses there.

    In my Nikon days, I was particularly fond of the 100mm f/2.8 Nikon
    Series E you mentioned. Possibly my favourite Nikon lens was the
    75-150mm f/3.5 Nikon Series E, which was an optical gem.

    The optical design of the current 50mm f/1.8 AF-D Nikkor started out
    in the 50mm f/1.8 Nikon Series E. With the addition of improved
    multi-coating it became the 50mm f/1.8 AIS Nikkor, then the AF, AF-N
    and finally the AF-D.
     
    Tony Polson, Sep 28, 2007
    #9
  10. Brent Geery

    John Guest

    Wahahaha.............Brilliant come back. Saying nothing goes a long way
    to confirming your ignorance doesn't it?
     
    John, Sep 28, 2007
    #10
  11. Brent Geery

    Tony Polson Guest


    It certainly seems to work for you. Plonk! Bye!
     
    Tony Polson, Sep 28, 2007
    #11
  12. Brent Geery

    Paul Furman Guest

    Well I only paid about $300 for my 50mm f/1.2 but it's not as sharp as a
    50mm f/1.8 for $100 just faster so interesting for special uses. They
    have to make compromises to get a lens that fast. But yes as a general
    rule faster more expensive lenses are better than cheap slow lenses.
     
    Paul Furman, Sep 28, 2007
    #12
  13. Brent Geery

    Robert Coe Guest

    : I tried quite a few AF zooms and primes on the way to assembling my
    : present SLR kit of six (or is it seven?) lenses I can't live without
    : =')
    :
    : I suggest renting the expensive ones for trial, rather than depending
    : too heavily on the recommendations of experts. I even wrote a little
    : essay about reviews vs. trial & error:
    :
    : http://web.mac.com/olddognewtrick/iWeb/Site/experimenting.html
    :
    : I own an inexpensive 50 mm f/1.8 and it gets a lot of use. On my D80
    : it's a great portrait lens, and I've never felt the need for anything
    : faster.
    :
    : Choosing tools is a very subjective affair. Many of the lenses I picked
    : wouldn't even be in the top ten for other people, but here they are:
    :
    : 12-24 24-85 50 100 manual (E) with PK-11 105 Micro AF-D 70-300 VR
    : ...and a draft pick to be named later...

    That is an eclectic mix. What jumps out at me is that you don't have anything
    resembling an 18-50 f/2.8, which is my most heavily used lens by far. What do
    you consider your "normal" zoom? The 24-85?

    Your list would be easier to grasp if you specified the speed of each lens.
    You Nikonians may recognize them and know how fast they are, but those of us
    in the Canon world don't. ;^)

    What's the "draft pick"? An offer you've got running on E-Bay?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 29, 2007
    #13
  14. Brent Geery

    Robert Coe Guest

    : Tony Polson wrote:
    : >
    : >> Tony Polson wrote:
    : >>>>
    : >>>> I would recommend the 50mm f/1.4 which is a little better. I have
    : >>>> both.
    : >>>
    : >>> Better in what way, exactly? It has only an extra two thirds of a
    : >>> stop, which the average shooter will use how often? It has no other
    : >>> redeeming features.
    : >>>
    : >>> Optically, they are both pin sharp across the frame at f/8, but they
    : >>> both have hideously harsh bokeh wide open. The f/1.8 has much
    : >>> better sharpness wide open than the f/1.4 used at f/1.8, so what is
    : >>> the point? Unless you absolutely need that extra two thirds of a
    : >>> stop, the f/1.8 is a much better buy. Smaller, lighter, sharper,
    : >>> and very much cheaper. One of the sharpest 50mm lenses ever made.
    : >>>
    : >>>> Always try to go as low on the f stop as possible when buying a
    : >>>> lens.
    : >>>
    : >>> Nonsense. Buy the lens that offers the most in the areas that
    : >>> matter.
    : >>
    : >> I suppose you think the 50mm f/1.2 that cost $1300 is no way as good
    : >> as your cheap f/8 at $60.00...Wahahahahah...........
    : >
    : >
    : > It appears that you have lost the ability to think,
    : > if you ever had it, that is!
    :
    : Wahahaha.............Brilliant come back. Saying nothing goes a long way
    : to confirming your ignorance doesn't it?

    If the shoe fits, wear it, Jack.
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 29, 2007
    #14
  15. Brent Geery

    Robert Coe Guest

    : John wrote:
    : > Tony Polson wrote:
    : >>
    : >>>I would recommend the 50mm f/1.4 which is a little better. I have
    : >>>both.
    : >>
    : >>Better in what way, exactly? It has only an extra two thirds of a
    : >>stop, which the average shooter will use how often? It has no other
    : >>redeeming features.
    : >>
    : >>Optically, they are both pin sharp across the frame at f/8, but they
    : >>both have hideously harsh bokeh wide open. The f/1.8 has much better
    : >>sharpness wide open than the f/1.4 used at f/1.8, so what is the
    : >>point? Unless you absolutely need that extra two thirds of a stop,
    : >>the f/1.8 is a much better buy. Smaller, lighter, sharper, and very
    : >>much cheaper. One of the sharpest 50mm lenses ever made.
    : >>
    : >>>Always try to go as low on the f stop as possible when buying a lens.
    : >>
    : >>Nonsense. Buy the lens that offers the most in the areas that matter.
    : >
    : > I suppose you think the 50mm f/1.2 that cost $1300 is no way as good as
    : > your cheap f/8 at $60.00...Wahahahahah...........
    :
    : Well I only paid about $300 for my 50mm f/1.2 but it's not as sharp as a
    : 50mm f/1.8 for $100 just faster so interesting for special uses. They
    : have to make compromises to get a lens that fast. But yes as a general
    : rule faster more expensive lenses are better than cheap slow lenses.

    Not to lecture Paul, since he obviously knows this, but lenses of equal
    quality but different speeds are usually designed to have different points of
    maximum sharpness. Back in the film days, my wife and I had two 50mm lenses
    for our Nikons: an f/1.4 and an f/2. Both were excellent lenses; but IIRC, the
    point of maximum sharpness of the f/1.4 was f/4, while that of the f/2 was
    around f/5.6. So while the extra stop of the f/1.4 was nice indoors, the f/2
    was a better outdoor lens.

    Today I have a 30mm f/1.4 for my XTi, but I use it strictly as a low-light
    lens. I figure my 18-50mm f/2.8 is a better bet outdoors.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 29, 2007
    #15
  16. Brent Geery

    Robert Coe Guest

    :
    : > What are good and bad brands of step-up rings? I don't what to go
    : > crazy on buying the "best and most costly" for such a simple item.
    :
    : Practically irrelevant. As long as you don't get something from like
    : "Bob's Bait, Tackle, & Filter Step-Up Rings" you should be fine. Note
    : that it'll be a lot less fiddling to avoid step-up rings though.
    :
    : > I'm also planning on using the $10 white balance lens caps that can be
    : > found on e-Bay. Can I use a 77mm white balance lens cap over the 77mm
    : > polarizer filter?
    :
    : Probably. I don't see much point in those things though. Just another
    : "gadget" to waste your time with.
    :
    : > What about a lens hood? How is one used when using a filter and
    : > step-up ring? And, what size to use?
    :
    : The hood would go on the end of anything else you've got "stacked" up.
    : Thus, on top of the filter. So, the hood will need to be threaded for
    : 77mm if that's the size of your filter.
    :
    : Honestly, you're going to be annoyed. Just get a 52mm polarizer for
    : the smaller lens, and a hood threaded for that size. You'll want the
    : longest hood you can get away with. Sadly, hoods are pretty generic;
    : a "telephoto lens hood" threaded for 52mm will be fine.

    A step-up ring forces you to use a hood that's larger than the lens requires,
    which makes the hood less effective in reducing flare. And a screw-in hood
    (the only kind you can use with a step-up ring) is more likely to cause
    vignetting than a bayonet hood designed for the lens. I'm with Jeremy: forget
    the step-up rings and just get the filters and hoods you need for the lenses
    you have.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 29, 2007
    #16
  17. Brent Geery

    Tony Polson Guest

    The ~50mm Nikkors were also optimised for different focusing
    distances. Most were optically at their best at infinity. Obviously
    the 55mm Micro Nikkor was optimised for macro work, but it was still
    exceptionally sharp at infinity.

    The 50mm f/1.2 AIS Nikkor differed in being optimised for a focusing
    distance around 3 to 6 metres (10 to 20 feet). It was aimed squarely
    at the photojournalist market, and that range of distances was thought
    to be most often used. At wider apertures, it was noticeably less
    sharp at infinity than at 6 metres. Stopped down to f/8, it was
    adequately sharp at all focusing distances between about 2 metres
    (6 feet) and infinity, but it made a poor lens for close-up work.

    In Japan, the 50mm f/1.2 is very much a cult lens. It is a quirky
    optic, and it takes skill to get the very best out of it. Of course
    it lives in the shadow of the superlative 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor,
    whose characteristics are very different.

    The Noct-Nikkor is a beautiful lens, one which carries a very high
    price tag. Good used examples even exceeded the price of used Leica
    50mm f/1.0 Noctilux-M lenses until Leica significantly increased the
    price of that lens earlier in 2007.

    The rare Elcan-made glass used for one element of the Noctilux is no
    longer manufactured. Therefore, it would appear that Leica has
    decided to cash in on the remaining stock, after which the Noctilux
    may not be replaced in the Leica range.
     
    Tony Polson, Sep 29, 2007
    #17
  18. Yes. I came very close to buying a 17-35 f/2.8. I even rented one for a
    weekend, and it was a wonderful lens. In the end, I bought the 12-24
    and the 24-85 for less money. My choices are those of a hobbyist, as I
    don't do any photography for pay these days. I'm well-satisfied with
    all the lenses I have now, but I'm pretty fickle. I rarely keep a lens
    until it's worn out, but there are several I've sold that I wish I
    still had, like the 18-55 that I used for the opening rosebud (link
    above).
    The 12-24 is an f/4. the 24-85 varies from 3.5-4.5, the 105* is a
    Micro-Nikkor f/2.8D (not the newer version with VR), the 100 mm f/2.8
    is an older manual focus version that works with extension tubes (no
    CPU contacts), and the VR 70-300 varies from f/4.5-5.6.
    Well, I'm tracking several items on eBay, but I'm having a hard time
    deciding which I need more: a fast wide-angle or a fast short tele.
    *I don't know what it is about that focal length, but over the years
    I've had several 105 Nikkors. Even though the DSLR makes them look like
    a 157 mm, I still like 'em.
     
    sheepdog 2007, Sep 30, 2007
    #18
  19. Brent Geery

    Ray Paseur Guest

    As a veteran of a number of stuck rings, my solution has always been to
    exert pressure on the front of the lens to twist the rings (this works with
    stuck filters, too). I've been able to release things this way even when
    the wrench couldn't budge the ring. I place the camera lens down on the
    wooden floor, lean over it and gently turn as I add weight until the ring
    or filter comes loose.

    That said, a lens hood is almost always a good thing to use and I would
    avoid any step-up rings that interfere with the use of the correct lens
    hood. If you had to choose between a lens-specific polarizing filter and a
    lens hood, you might want to make the lens hood your first purchase.

    ~Ray
     
    Ray Paseur, Sep 30, 2007
    #19
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