View Full Version : First filter help

Andy M
1st November 2011, 06:50 PM

I'm interested in experimenting with some ND filtering and polarizing with my E-P1.

I've been looking into what filters I might need and I read a suggestion that by adding 2 polarizing filters on top of on another you can vary the amount of ND effect from 4x to basically black by rotating them through their polarizing planes.

I was just wondering if this was the case and if it was worth doing, or in fact if it is a bad idea. It's obviously appealing as it gives me the option to try a variety of things by only purchasing two filters rather than a set of NDs and a polarizing one.

The other issue is filter size... I have two lenses I use most of the time, the E-P1 kit lense (Zuiko 14-42mm) and a 4/3 Zuiko 40-150mm with the MMF-1 adaptor.

A friend has suggested I just buy filters for the larger size and then get an adaptor ring to scale the fitting down to work with the smaller lense. Is this is good option or are there negative side effects I should consider?


1st November 2011, 07:43 PM
You are more likely to get vignetting by stacking two or more filters together. I would stick with one ND. It is also more economical to get the filters that will fit your largest lens' thread and buy individual stepping rings to enable use on smaller Lenses. I have done this for years without any problems.
By the way extreme NDs such as 8 or 10 stoppers are great fun and allow some interesting results even in full daylight.

1st November 2011, 07:45 PM
The polarisers-make-ND-filter thing is a useful trick, but beware. If you buy linear polarisers then you could stack on on the other and it should just work.

Linear polarisers are not popular 'cos they mess with autofocus mechanisms.

However if you buy the more common and more useful circular polarisers, I bet the trick doesn't work unless you have one of the filters backwards, ie thread facing the wrong way. Maybe someone else can comment...


1st November 2011, 07:48 PM
Definitely get a larger filter - vignetting is quite bad on the 14-42mm at 14mm with a 40.5mm filter. A 58mm would be better and would also fit the 40-150.


Nick Temple-Fry
1st November 2011, 08:03 PM
Linear polarisers are not popular 'cos they mess with autofocus mechanisms.


But they work just fine with the contrast detection af of the Pens.

Though once you've stacked them whether you will have enough light is a moot point.


Andy M
2nd November 2011, 12:32 AM
Thanks everyone. Looks like I'll definitely be going with the 58mm and stepping down.

So... if I didn't go with a double stack of polarizers, how does one go about choosing which ND level to go for?


Andy M
2nd November 2011, 12:38 AM
I've also noticed on the old eBay some "variable ND" filters which I assume are the stacking polar method? There are also some "ND sets" which are very reasonably priced...

Am I right in assuming that, like most 'affordable' eBay optics these aren't worth bothering with?

2nd November 2011, 09:17 AM
Hi Andy,
I am also asking the same question, as regards the variable nd filters on ebay. But as for Polarizing filters i have just bought a 58mm "HOYA" polarizer brand new off Ebay for just over 11 WITH FREE POSTAGE. Its always a handy filter to have. This came from PC World-Currys Ebay outlet and arrived within 2 days. It is the 0ne in the green packaging. Here is the item number : 130581576862

Hope this helps.


Andy M
2nd November 2011, 07:36 PM
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the tip. Just bagged one myself. Also got a stepping ring so I can use it on both lenses.

Now for the ND... I'm tempted to take a punt on one of the cheap variables and just risk it. I was pricing up the Hoya ND's and they were coming in at about 30 each so even if I throw the variable away it's not a lot of money wasted.