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Are the threads on all camera makes the same when it comes to filters?

I have a couple of 52mm diameter lenses that I use with my Lumix GX80/85 and would like to buy some ND filters.

Can I chose any 52mm filter or do I need to find ones specifically for Panansonic Lumix micro 4/3 cameras?

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You can use any filters on any lens if they are the same size, with some caveats.

Very few lenses have male filter threads instead of the usual female filter threads. I think the Fuji X100 series of cameras are like this, but don't quote me on that. In this case you either need special filters or an adapter.

Some wide angle lenses will vignette with the usual (thick) filters, or with stacked filters. You either need less filters, or in some extreme cases you need thin filters (more expensive). For example the Nikon 20mm f/4 NIKKOR lens is like this. The good news though is that you rarely need polarizers on wide angle lenses, but on film cameras you might want color correction filters.

For your application the filters should be usable on both cameras.

  • Thanks @Aram. I've often wondered whether this was the case. I can now widen my search for ND filters. I've tried the square Colkin ones, but they are too much of a faff! I'd much prefer something that screws directly onto the lens! – MiguelH Nov 29 '17 at 16:10
  • Quite often if the lens has male threads you can use a normal filter backwards (not circular polarisers) – Chris H Nov 29 '17 at 16:15
  • Yeah, that's a good trick. – Aram Hăvărneanu Nov 29 '17 at 16:23
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    @MiguelH If the exposure time is in the range where hand holding is an option, hand holding an ND filter over the lens might be practical. If the ND filter is a graduated ND filter, this makes positioning it very very easy. A rectangular filter will fit in my pocket. It can be applied to a shot in a few seconds. I utilize the benefits of ND filters more frequently because it is easy. – user50888 Nov 29 '17 at 16:48
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    I handhold grad filters when exposure is short enough, but if I try to handhold a deep ND filter, like a 10-stop, I find that too much light enters through the space between the filter and lens, light that then reflects back into the lens, so beware of that potential problem. I also can't press it on the lens because then I shake the camera, so I just mount it properly instead. But it works great for grads. – Aram Hăvărneanu Nov 29 '17 at 16:51

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