On the rear or up front?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Was interested if there were any pros or cons of rear or front mounting filters? My lens having a 90mm+ front thread makes me shudder at the thought of glass filter prices. Surely alot cheaper to buy small and rear mount?

I will look forward to your replies.

-- Matt (mattbenbaily@yahoo.com), May 29, 2002


Matt, there is an archive on this board specifically related to filters - go back to the New Questions list from here and scroll down. There are several topics re' rear mounting filters.

Good luck,

-- Bob (bobphoto@techie.com), May 29, 2002.

This issue is addressed a bit lower in the list of questions: "Behind the lens filter placement": http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=009CSM

-- Michael Briggs (MichaelBriggs@EarthLink.net), May 29, 2002.

Sure rear are smaller and cheaper. They also degrade the image quality more then any front mounted filter would as well as create a focus shift.

But you save some money and that's what counts

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmarketingcorp.com), May 29, 2002.

Use 3" (or 4") square Gelatin filters behind the lens. That is the best solution when using filters. No focus shift. No flare. Make sure filters are dust free. Handle filters by corners (which are out of view).

-- Per Volquartz (volquartz@volquartz.com), May 29, 2002.

After collecting virtually every filter size ranging from 39mm to 82mm for my various lenses, becoming totally confused with which filter went with which step up or step down ring for which lens, and being weighed down by carrying around anywhere from six to twelve circular glass filters, I finally decided to forget about using circular glass filters. Instead I now use Lee polyester 4"x4" filters and the Lee rubber band system on all my lenses from 35mm to 8x10. They aren't cheap (about $65 each) but since they fit all lens sizes they save money in the long run and work just fine, not to mention being far lighter and less bulky to carry around. The only exception is polarizers, which I still have in circular glass since it isn't practical to use the Lee rubber band system with a polarizer. Of course you don't need any in-camera filters at all if you scan your film and then work with Photoshop so glass filters will probably will disappear one of these days.

-- Brian Ellis (bellis60@earthlink.net), May 29, 2002.

FWIW, check out the Tiffen websight and click on Ira Tiffen Tech Talk. A lot of information on this subject. Cheers!

-- John Kasaian (www.kasai9@aol.com), May 31, 2002.

To suggest that rear mounted filters degrade image quality more than front mounted filters is a bit naive.

It's true that, if one is shooting very small focal lengths, behind the lens filtration can introduce some amount of spherical aberration. But, for typical focal lengths, it's not an issue. All photography is subject to aberrations, but they're small enough so as not to be an issue. Even apo lenses introduce aberrations for all but three wavelengths, but for practical purposes, they are insignificant.

It is also true that rear mounted filters are subject to less flare, which has a positive effect on image quality. So, we weigh that advantage against other considerations, and we compromise on what best fits our needs. The trick is to be informed about the effects of different configurations, which is one of the advantages of participating on this site.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), June 01, 2002.

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