No, I have not purchased a square kit for my lenses. I bought round/circular filters.
Before we get down to the purchase itself, I have to ponder about a couple more things in regard to the potential of buying the square filters.
IF – and that is a big if – I buy square filters, I will have to buy 2 to 3 holder adaptors: one for my regular lenses (100mm filters), one for my Sigma 20mm ultra wide angle with domed lens (150mm filters) and maybe one for Big Bertha (150mm filters). The initial set up may be a bit more expensive, considering I have to buy 2 to 3 adapters, but the interchangeability of the filters among most of the lenses may pay off in the future. How so?
The adaptor that will fit my regular lenses, as I mentioned, will fit most lenses. Currently, I have to buy one filter set for each lens, that means that if I start going pro-filter, it would be 5 times each filter. If I buy a Hoya PROND ND 1000 Neutral Density filter for my 77mm lens for $100, that means that if I want a similar result with 5 lenses, I will spend an estimated total of approximately $500 (very gross approximation as the price of the filter for 77mm will be different than for 58mm). On the other hand, if I want to do the same with the square filters, I would spend about $750 for a kit that comes with and adaptor that fits 3 of my 5 lenses, it already comes with a CPL filter, a ND 1000 and a GND8. That’s because we haven’t event touched on how difficult it is to find a circular/round GND filter. Does it seems like it pays off? In the long run, yes. Each filter we buy, will be reusable for all 5 lenses. Plus, to get it to work on the 4th and 5th lenses (my 50mm and my 105mm), we would need an adaptor ring for 58 to 82 mm and 62 to 82 mm (which shouldn’t be anywhere close to the $100, making the business case for the square filters stronger). But that is, assuming we will use all filters for all lenses.
That just won’t be the case. The real world scenario is that for these filters, I would generally use on my wide angle lenses and/or maybe for my most prized prime lens (my case, the 50mm) for landscape/nature/architecture photography. The business case loses all it’s strength this way AND if I introduce that I need to buy a complete new kit (150mm) for my prime wide angle lens (Sigma 20mm) it all goes downhill. As a VERY strong reminder: the Sigma 20mm was acquired/desired as a night sky photography lens, and adding ND and GND filters would be and extreme edge case.
After ALL this discussion, I still want the square filters, but just can’t justify buying one (yet). That’s what this whole exercise was about, me trying to justify to myself why I should (or shouldn’t) buy a square filter kit.
So, the result from the warming filter exercise has boosted up my desire to use more filters. I loved the effect that the warming filter on Hughey’s photos.
As a result, I bought warming filters, for each of the lenses that I foresee using the filter in the upcoming days.
The first usage will be for my sunrise and sunset photos in my Woodend Trip. I may use my Sigma 20mm for these photos as well, but I will use my Nikkor 18-24mm on them. Having that in mind, I purchased a Tiffen 77WID812 77mm Wide Angle 812 Warming Filter from Amazon AU. If the wide angle lens works for the photos, then I already have the right filter for the photo. I may also use my Nikkor 50mm or a telephoto lens, if I feel the wide angle just isn’t capturing the mood.
The second lens I bought warming filters for was my Nikkor 50mm. Now, the main reason I bought this one wasn’t for the sunrise/sunset photos on the trip. It was for portraiture photos. A close family member of my husband has asked me to photograph her for the website of her new business venture. She is opening her own service and needs a photo of herself (doing a variety of things related to her business). Warming filters are known to help correct skin color. Not only that, it also gives a good warm and trusting feel to whatever you are showing. That’s what we want, for her (potential) customers to trust the image they see. I bought myself Hoya HMC 81 filters (warming), which will do have to make due for the shoot. If it doesn’t work (I will do some pre-session tests with the filter), then I will not use it on the shoot and won’t be too upset because, unlike the Tiffen 77mm wide angle filter, this filter was less than $40.
I will see how well these filters will go with the purpose I bought them for.
Go to Filters – Part 4: Vignetting