I'm fairly new to photography and I only own two lenses (one with a 52 mm diameter and another with a 58 mm diameter). I want to buy a good polarizing filter but I don't want to buy one for each lens. From what I've read online, stepup adapter rings can be used to mate larger filters with smaller lenses.

Since I don't know the diameter of any lenses I might buy in the future, I'm planning on buying a large filter (~77 mm) and then buying adapters for each of my lenses. Is there any disadvantage to using a stepup adapter with an oversized filter? Is this a good strategy?


2 Answers 2


Other than the cost of the step up rings, there are two possible disadvantages:

1) The lens hood may not fit over the larger filter. This will vary according to the lens model and the type of hood it uses.

Because Canon names their lens hoods according to the size of the opening, you can easily tell if there might be a problem.

For example the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 has a 58mm filter thread and uses the ET-65 lens hood. If you were to use a 67mm filter with a 58-67 step up ring, the ET-65 lens hood with it’s 65mm opening would not be able to be installed over the 67mm filter.

2) Ultra Wide-Angle lenses will be more prone to vignetting(darkening) in the corners.

Examlpe: Canon EF-S 10-18mm STM with 2 stacked step up rings (67-72 and 72-77) and a regular CPL, there is definite vignetting visible at 10mm.

If you were to use a single 67-77 step up ring and a Slim CPL you may not see any vignetting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition, you may suffer from some vignetting. I use a 77-82 step up ring to attach a 100mm system to the 16-35 f/4 and get very dark corners at 16mm. IMO, absolutely worth it; but a disadvantage all the same. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 11:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Larger glass at the front will also increase the chances of flaring, dispersion and unwanted reflections in the optical path. In other words, a larger filter will require like a larger sunshade or matte box. \$\endgroup\$
    – user39557
    Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 17:27

I've never really missed a lens hood, a hand or helpful assistant usually suffice but I do like a lens cap with a bit of string and a dog clip. Cost pennies on the net and keep everything scratch free as the camera goes in and out of the bag. The only other consideration is the price of bigger filters, though this is usually less than buying one for each lens you own.


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