Filter for Rodenstock-Sironar 180mm : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Just entered the world of large format (4X5)- I like it a lot..I have one lens (so far) a rodenstock-sironar 180mm 5.6 - I shoot mostly landscapes/outdoor shots and need a polarizer. Do I buy a screw-on circular? What size? It looks to be about a 60mm. Would a 60mm to 77mm stepup ring and a 77mm polarizer work? What about for B/W work? Are the screw-on type filters OK? Seems like I've read of using "behind the lensboard filters"? Help, and thanks.

-- Anthony (, November 27, 1999



If your lens is a modern one, just use screw on filters. Since your veiw camera has no behind the lens metering, a regular polarizer will work just fine.

It's the same for B&W. Just buy whatever kinds you need as screw on glass filters.

I'm going to guess that if your lens is fairly new, it takes 58MM filters; a pretty common size. You can use step up rings without trouble, but unless you have a big investment in 77MM filters, why bother?

-- Brian Yarvin (, November 27, 1999.

Just make sure you buy a filter of high quality, no cheapie glass to ruin the performance of an excellent lens. Try B+W or Singh-Ray, both are good, with Singh-Ray probably being a bit more neutral in its color bias.

-- Dan Smith (, November 28, 1999.

Except for center filters and softars all Rodenstock branded filters are made by Heliopan just as are Linhof's, Minox's, Rollei's, etc.

The Heliopan polarizers are absolutely neutral and are available in Kaesmann and non Kaesmann versions. If added warmth is required Heliopan also offers Warm Polariizers and if ring depth is a problem Heliopan has slim polarlarzer in the circuular type. Naturally circular type polarizers can be used with any type camera.

If you place the filter behind the lens you will introduce a focus shift = 1/3 the thickness of the filter glass. Also any dust, dirt, marks, etc on the filter will degrade the image on the film. Finally it is virtually impossible to adjust a rotating type filter while it is behind the lens

-- Bob Salomon (, November 28, 1999.

The answers above are correct for polarizing filters, and will certainly work for B/W filters (#8 yellow, #25 red, etc.) The only problem with screw-in filters for B/W is you need a new one for each size lens you buy in each of the filters you commonly use. This can get expensive. Moreover, for some LF lenses in 4 X 5, especially wide-angle, the size of screw-in filter you would need can be quite expensive in and of itself. My solution, and that of a lot of people, is to buy a screw-in polarizer, but use gel filters either in front of or behind the lens. The point that Bob S makes above applies to polarizers, but not to gel filters, which are thin enough that they can go in front or behind the lens without correction. Advantages of in-front of lens filters (eg: the Lee system) is that they can drop right into your lens shade (if you use one), and are probably a bit easier to put on. Advantages of behind the lens (eg: Calumet's Xenophon filter system): cheaper than Lee, can often use cheaper three-inch filters that would not cover the front of a big lens. The behind-the-lens filters can be a bit more of a pain to use (mounting them, getting them to go in through the lensboard, at least on my Linhof Tech). Whether you go in front or behind, I would think seriously about investing in a gel filter system rather than screw in for B/W filters if you are going to buy more than one lens. Finally, you will hear from purists optical about advantages of top of the line screw-in filters. Perhaps true for polarizers, butI don't think this applies to B/W gel filters, as they are just too thin to have much impact on where the light goes. That's based on my personal experience, any way.

Hope this helps.

Good luck, Nathan

-- Nathan Congdon (, November 28, 1999.

"The behind-the-lens filters can be a bit more of a pain to use (mounting them, getting them to go in through the lensboard, at least on my Linhof Tech)"

As a point of interset Xenophon Beake made the Xenophon system to use on his linhof's. He uses a B and a TK.

So there might be an easier way if you ask him.

-- Bob Salomon (, November 28, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ