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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #1
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filters and wide angle lens together - cheapest way?

Hey all

I'm picking up my new camcorder in a few days :the Panasonic GS400 , and I want to get some information straight before I talk to the salesman. I want to buy a wide angle lens for the camcorder, but then I need to also buy a UV filter to protect the cam. How do I cost effectively use these without having to buy seperate filters for the cam's threads, and the threads on the wide angle lens? Because the cam always needs to be protected with it!

I need a UV filter, Do I get one that will fit the standard threads on the cam, or one that will accomodate the threads on the wide angle and just always keep the wide angle on, since it the raynox site says you have full zoom capability with it.

I figure I will keep the wide angle on a lot, but wondering how far I can zoom with it on?

What's my best bet buying seperate filters for the cams threads, and buying seperate filters for the wide angle lens threads? What do most people do in this situation? Because I'll also want to use polarizer filter, neutral density etc but i know it is mandatory to always have the UV filter on.

I'm lost! Is there some kind of product you can buy to easily interchange filters, or will I have to resort to route of a bunch of steup/step down rings and if so..which ones, in what order???

Luke McMillian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2006, 03:20 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2005
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"...i know it is mandatory to always have the UV filter on."

Actually, it is not mandatory, but you get two demerits if you are caught without a UV filter. Seriously, a UV filter is not that important. Diligent use of a lens cap is sufficient. It won't destroy your lens if it is carefully cleaned a few times a year. The most important thing to keep in mind with any lens element is to never clean with an abrasive. This can be accidentally introduced due to a contaminated cloth or simply from dried seaspray. Just be careful and everything should be fine.

What I would recommend would be to simply leave the wide-angle adapter in place as long as it is not causing image problems like chromatic abberation or visual distortion. With a wide-angle lens, you will probably only be able to use one filter at a time, so get a UV filter and a polarizer for the adapter and switch between the two. It's generally a good idea to get a larger filter for your camera than it's filter threads and use a step-up ring to make it fit. This will help eliminate vignetting and help you save money if you buy a larger camera later. For instance: if your wide-angle adapter uses 49mm filters, get a step-up ring and get a 52mm or 58mm filter set. 52mm filters are common SLR size and 58mm filters are used on cameras like the Sony PD/VX cameras and the Canon GL camera. This way, you only have to buy filters once, even if you upgrade your camera later.

I just got the Cokin P series filter system with appropriate filter thread diameter adapter rings. Now, I can use any filters I buy on any camera up to 72mm HDV lenses. There are many filters made for this system, even from other manufacturers than Cokin. The one thing that also can only be done effectively with square filters is the use of graduated filters. This allows coloration or darkening of the sky but leaves the foreground unchanged. Now, I can get the sky to be exposed properly without the foreground going completely dark. Colored filters can also be used to tint the sky any color. The filter holder allows the area of tint to be lowered into position perfectly.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #3
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Nice to see someone talk sense about UV filters. In the UK, when buying a photographic lense, one is often pushed to buy a filter on account that it will protect it. The coatings on photographic lenses are very tough and I.see no reason that video lenses are any different. I've never put filters on my video cam lense and they don't get a mark on them.

With regard to grad filters, I've been experimenting making my own in Photoshop Elements, the in Premiere you can play around with their positioning and opacity. I suppose they're not as good as the real thing but it's fun making a grey featureless sky look rather more dramatic.
Premiere Pro 2. Sony HC1E cam.
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Graham Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #4
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Z1 filters

On the Z1 a 72mm polarizer used for still cameras is wonderful for sky and glare. You can get 'em at any photo store and there are good deals at B & H. The wide angle .7 Century uses a lens shade, and you have to use a 4 x 4. It is pricey, and with and a polarizer is only partially effective unless you have a matte box with a rotating mount. Also very pricey.
Jack D. Hubbard is offline   Reply

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