Don’t waste money on UV Filters

In general I am not a fan of UV filters, they offer little protection from a fall and the glass at the end of your lens is pretty tough, it’s not going to get scratched unless you are very careless. I prefer lens hoods as they do offer some protection from falls and nicely protect the end of the lens from coming into contact with  random objects without degrading image quality.   I do prefer camera brand lens hoods, I have tried a few of the third party and they often fit just a bit awkwardly making the putting on and taking off just a bit slower. Some of the very cheap 3rd party lens hoods actually use the filter threads to attach, this is bad as it blocks you from adding a filter and is very cumbersome to put on take off.

Circular Polarizer Filters are useful

The one filter I do recommend landscape photographers own (or anyone taking scenic view photos) is a circular polarizer (CP Filter). Some benefits of a CP filter include:

  • CP filters reduce reflections and glare
  • Reduces Haze and blue cast in landscapes
  • Adds saturation to your sky and greenery

More about CP filters. There are other specialized filters worth owning for some situations but a CP is one that many don’t know they need and gives you a look that is not reproducible with post processing. The brands I list I find to be safe choices at each of those price points, there are certainly other brands/choices at each price point.

Roll your mouse over the image to see the effects of using a circular polarizer ( no other changes were made – I simply rotated the circular polarizer from what I call zero effect to maximum effect)

Scroll to the bottom for a plan to save on filters.  Don’t see your lens listed? Check the list at the bottom for all current Canon and Nikon lens sizes.

77mm CP Filters

72mm CP Filters

67mm includes Canon Lenses 18-135mm EF-S STM, 10-18 STM and Nikon 18-140 

Recommended lens hood for 18-135 STM

58mm 18-55 EF-S, 18-55 STM, 75-300, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8, 100mm f/2.8 macro 

Recommended lens hood for 75-300 & (Kit Lens)18-55 EF-S

52mm includes Canon lenses 60 EF-S, 50mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2,  Nikon Lenses 18-55(kit), 55-200

Recommended lens hood for 60 EF-S
Recommended lens hood for 40 f/2.8 STM

Instead of buying a filter or filters for each sized lens you can but this set of step UP adapters and then buy the largest filter(s) you need and use the adapter(s) to fit to each of your smaller mm lenses. So in this example you would buy filters in the 67mm size and use the 67-62 + the 62-58 adapters to use that filter on your 58mm lens. And throw on the 58-55 and the 55-52 to step down to the smallest lens in this example. Truthfully I have never used more than one at a time but there isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t work and these adapters are glassless, so nothing extra between you and your filters.

Fotodiox 7 Metal Step UP Ring Set, Anodized Black Metal. 77-72mm, 72-67mm, 67-62mm, 62-58mm, 58-55mm, 55-52mm, 52-49mm

Complete List of Nikon and Canon Lenses/Filter Sizes

1
NIkon LENS Filter Size
2
3
DX Lenses
4
10.5mm f/2.8G AF DX Fish
5
12-24mm f/4.06 AF-S DX 77MM
6
16-85mm f/3.5G AF-S DX 77MM
7
17-55mm f/2.8G AF-S DX 52MM
8
18-55mm f/3.5-56 II AF-S DX 52MM
9
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR AFS DX 52MM
10
18.70mm f/3.5-4.56 AF-S DX 67MM
11
18-135mm f13.5-5.66 AF-S DX 67MM
12
18-200mm 1/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX 72MM
13
55.200mm f/4.0-5.66 AF-S DX 52MM
14
55-200mm f14.0-5.66 ED AF-S VR DX 52MM
15
AP-D NIKKOR LENS (For Digital & 35MM)
16
14mm f/2.8D
17
16mm f/2.8D AF Fish
18
20mm f/2.8D AF 62MM
19
24nim f/2.8D AF 52MM
20
24mm f/3.5D ED PCE Manual 77MM
21
28mm f/2.8D AF 52MM
22
35mm f/2.00 AF 52MM
23
45mm 1/2.80 ED PCE Manual 77MM
24
50mm f/1.8D AF 52MM
25
50mm f/1.4D AF 52MM
26
60mm f/2.8D AF Micro 62MM
27
60mm f/2.8D ED Micro 62MM
28
85mm f/2.8D PC Micro PCE Manual 77MM
29
85mm f/1.80 AF 62MM
30
85mm f/1.40 AF 77MM
31
105mm f/2.86 AF-S VR Micro 62MM
32
105mm f/2.0D AF DC 72MM
33
135mm f/2.00 AF DC 72MM
34
180mm 1/2.80 AF (720) 72MM
35
200mm f/4.00 AF Micro 62MM
36
200mm f/2.0G AF-S VR 52MM rear
37
300mm f/4.0D AF-S 77MM
38
300mm f/2.86 AF-S VR 52MM rear
39
400mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR L
40
500mm f/46 AF-S ED VR L
41
600mm f/4G AF-S ED VR L
42
AF ZOOM NIKKOR LENS (For Digital & 35MM)
43
14.24mm f/2.8G AF-S
44
17-35mm f/2.8D 77MM
45
24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S
46
24.85mm f12.8-4
47
24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR 72MM
48
70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR 77MM
49
70-300mm f/4-5.6G 62MM
50
70.300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR 67MM
51
80-200mm f/2.80 77MM
52
80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR 77MM
53
200-400mm f/4.0G AF-S VR 52MM rear
54
MANUAL FOCUS AIS NIKKOR LENSES
55
20mm f/2.8 62MM
56
28mm f/2.8 AIS MF 52MM
57
35mm f/1.4 AIS MF 52MM
58
50mm f/1.2 AIS MF 52MM
59
50mm f/1.4 AIS MF 52MM
60
55mm f/2.8 Micro 52MM
61
135mm f/2.8 Series E 52MM
62
TC-201 2x Teleconver
63
TC-301 2x Teleconver
1
LENS Filter Size
2
3
14mm f/2.8L11USM Super Wide-Angle (Rear 8e1)…
4
15mm f/2.8 Fisheye (
Rear
5
24mm f/1.4L USM AF.
77MM
6
24mm f/2.8 58MM
7
TS-E 24mm f/3.5L MF Tilt Shift
72MM
8
35mm f/1.4L USM AF
72MM
9
45mm f/2.8 TS-E (Manual Focus)
72MM
10
50mrn f/1.2L USM AF Normal..
72MM
11
50mm f/1.4 USM .
58MM
12
50mm f/2.5 Macro (1:2) 5
52MM
13
65mm f/2.8 MP-E Macro 1x-5x (MF) 5
58MM
14
85mm f/1.2L II USM AF 7
72MM
15
85mm f/1.8 USM 5
58MM
16
90mm f/2.8 TS-E (Manual Focus) 5
58MM
17
100mm f/2.0 USM 5
58MM
18
100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
58MM
19
135mm f/2.0L USM Lens..
72MM
20
135mm f/2.8 Soft
52MM
21
180mm f/3.5L Macro USM
72MM
22
200mm f/2.8L II USM .
72MM
23
200mm /2 EF IS U
24
25
300mm f/2.8L IS USM . 52MM
rear
26
300mm f/4.0L IS USM
77MM
27
400mm f/4.0 DO IS USM.. 52MM
rear
28
500mm f/4.0L IS USM AF… 52MM
rear
29
600mm f/4.0L IS IS USM AF.. 52MM
rear
30
800mm f/5.6L IS USM 52MM
rear
31
2x EF Extender
32
16-35mm f/2.8L II USM AF
77MM
33
17-40mm f/4L USM AF.
77MM
34
24.70mm f/2.8L USM AF
77MM
35
24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM AF
67MM
36
24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF..
77MM
37
28-90mm f/4-5.6111
58MM
38
28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM
58MM
39
28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
72MM
40
28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM
72MM
41
28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
77MM
42
70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
77MM
43
70-200mm f/2.8L
44
67MM
45
70.200mm f/4.0L
46
70-200mm f/4L IS USM
67MM
47
70.300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
58MM
48
70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
58MM
49
75-300mm f/4-5.6111
58MM
50
75.300mm f/4-5.6 III USM
58MM
51
100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM5
58MM
52
100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM AF 7
77MM
53
EF-S LENSES
54
10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM 7
77MM
55
17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
77MM
56
17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS
67MM
57
18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 13 ..
72MM
58
f/2.8 USM Macro Lens ..
52MM
59
55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS AF
58MM

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Toby, doesn’t one want step up rings, not step down rings, when using filters larger than the filter size of the lens. Step downs are for using a smaller filter than the lens. Or am I bass-ackwards. That NEVER happens to me.

    • Ok, I was confused at first. Now I am not. Hi Toby, there is one more change if possible so others don’t get confused. Even though you changed the link to say and point to “step up” adapters you left the sentence above the link saying “step down” adapters. So when I went to the link without reading it I was confused looking for “step down” on a “step up” page…”Instead of buying a filter or filters for each sized lens you can but this set of step down adapters and then buy the largest filter(s) you need and use the adapter(s) to fit to each of your smaller mm lenses.”

  2. Ok the difference there is pretty incredible; grey and dreary to a lush forest effect. Glass that I must buy! As ever incredibly useful.

    Thanks, Jack

  3. Just got a CP filter to use on my 70-200 f4 but haven’t tried it out yet. Do you use a lens hood when using the CP filter?

    • I don’t. the CP filter usually gets put on for a specific shot or shots and then taken off. It is very hard to rotate the filter when a lens hood is on.

  4. This is great Toby. I just want to clarify that the lens hood for the 75-300 is the same for 18-55? Is it also the same for 55-250? In general, is it pretty easy to use a single lens hood for multiple lenses and just swap out, or is it much easier to buy multiple hoods?

    Also, unrelated, but am I missing much if I skipped the 18-135 STM because I like to manually focus video, aside from needing to switch lenses for the 55-135 range?

  5. Hi Klaas – CP filters are often very tricky to use with a lens hood at the same time. It is difficult to get your fingers in there to turn the filter. I often will take the hood off while using the CP filter. Or maybe a better way to say it would be I only put a CP filter on for certain shots and take it off when done.

  6. But it is possible to screw a CP in the hood? I mostly want to use the 18-135 STM as an allround sunny vacation lens without having to screw hoods and filters on and off all the time. Do you know of a possibility to screw a non-flower shaped hood onto a CP, so turning the hood will affect the polarization effect?

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