What is the difference between a step-up and a step-down ring?

I want to put a large diameter filter on a small diameter lens.

Do I need a step-up ring or a step-down one?


A step-up ring allows you to fit a filter that has threads larger than your lens. A step-down ring does the opposite (with possible vignetting issues).

If you have 72mm lens threads and want to fit a 77mm filter, you need a step-up ring. If you have 77mm lens threads and want to fit a 72mm filter, you need a step-down ring.

So in your case you want a step-up ring.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    To be clear, it might seem like you can just reverse a step-up ring to get a step-down ring, except that the directionality of threads means that this doesn't work. (And you can use the direction of threads to identify whether a given ring is step-up or step-down.) – Hao Ye Feb 19 '15 at 22:06
  • Just note that step down rings are usually not recommended because the ring can show up in the shot and you will have to crop the picture. – Nelson Feb 20 '15 at 4:44
  • 1
    Yes that's the vignetting I mentioned – MikeW Feb 21 '15 at 8:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.