My 3 lenses all have a different size thread. (77, 67 and 58mm) I am to purchase a good CP filter for the 77 and 67 thread. I don't have any filters for the 58mm thread lens but I was thinking about perhaps getting a step-up ring and use my 77mm filters on the 58mm lens.

Are there any known issues with using filter step-up rings? I am thinking maybe even getting only one good 77mm CP filter and use with with all my lenses with a pair of step-up rings.

Any thoughts?


4 Answers 4


The only thing you have to be mindful of is with wide angle lenses. You just want to make sure that with the step up ring and filter attached that you don't see the filter edge in the field of view. Slim filters can help with that. Otherwise it's just fine. I do the same myself with 77mm filters.

  • \$\begingroup\$ good point. My wide angle is the 77mm so I would be stepping up the normal prime and the telephoto. Should be safe then. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2012 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh yeah, definitely. With a smaller angle of view you won't run into any issues with step up rings. Most of my rings have been for macro lenses in the 100mm range. \$\endgroup\$
    – nwcs
    Apr 14, 2012 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ As with any filter or similar, there is also the risk of damaging the lens's filter thread by cross-threading. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2012 at 22:04

The only ones I encountered is not being able to use a lens hood and not working at all with lenses which have a built-in lens hood.

It is possible it may vignette on some lenses but I have not seen it happen on a DSLR. On one fixed-lens camera I needed a slim step-up ring by the manufacturer to do the trick.

Based on the cost of good filters, this is the approach I chose and live with those limitations and I standardized on one 77mm and one 62mm set of filters. The 67 has a step-up ring to 77 and all the others (49, 52, 55 and 58) step up to 62. That way I do not need a 49-77mm adapter which would get unwieldy. Unfortunately 77mm was too tight, since I later bought a lens with an 86mm thread. So you should really take into account future lenses you may buy. I patched things up with an 86mm polarizer but now I have 3 and an incomplete set for the big lens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you handle the issue - do you skip hood usage, have sets of screw-in hoods, ...? \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Apr 22, 2012 at 7:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I do is skip the hood when a filter which requires a step-up ring. First, I am not a big filter user and then, a good number of my lenses actually require 77mm or 62mm, so the cases where I end up with at a disadvantage or not frequent at all. No compromise is perfect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Apr 22, 2012 at 17:45

Step-up rings aren't usually a problem, except that it means you won't be able to use a normal lens hood on the smaller-diameter lenses. That's one of the reasons why square filter holder systems like Lee and Cokin (as well as matte boxes) are popular—they have their own hood systems that can be adjusted (or assembled) to match the field of view of the lens for good flare prevention.

As nwcs pointed out, you do need to be careful with ultra-wide lenses as well.


There is another issue that can bite you in the field: Filter step up/down rings, especially when multiple rings are combined, have a certain propensity to seize to each other or to what they are mounted to, especially when worn, when stored assembled or when subjected to temperature changes or rough handling.

If being unable to remove one in the field can compromise your project, carry tools that help handling stuck put rings - pipe wrenches, fitting pliers, broad rubber bands - and strong dikes in case only the destructive option works.


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