- No Step Up Rings? No Problem! Meet Revo Ring
- RevoRing: An Inexpensive, Yet Highly Valuable Tool for Photographers
Sooner or later, most avid photographers end up needing a step up ring for filters.
What are step up rings? These are non optical (no glass in them) rings that adapt from one filter size to another. They allow you to mount a larger filter on your lens than what your lens thread diameter is.
Among photography accessories, step up rings are one of the most useful yet inexpensive items in your camera bag. There are step down rings, too, but due to the issue of vignetting or intruding into the image area, they’re not as common.
What Are Step Up Rings?
A step up ring is a thin piece of metal that is threaded on two ends. On the smaller side of the ring, it is threaded in order to screw into the filter thread of a lens. On the larger side of the ring, it is threaded in order to receive a filter being screwed in.
You might use the adapter in the way we use a three prong to two prong adapter when plugging in something to a wall outlet. You are adapting from one size to another.
Why You Need Step Up Rings
photo by xxmmxx via iStock
Now that we know what a step up ring is, the reason for having one is easy to figure out. You have a filter that is one size, but your lens takes filters of a different size. So, you adapt the sizes with the step up rings.
Step down rings, going from a smaller filter to a larger size lens, are not as popular because they tend to hamper the image in ways photographers don’t like, such as intruding in on the image area due to vignetting.
The most common reason for having step up rings is to avoid duplicating expensive filters. You might have a UV filter on most of your lenses for protection, and that’s fine. But other filters aren’t on our lenses all the time and some are rather expensive.
A high quality circular polarizer or variable ND filter would be a little costly to reproduce for each lens size we have. Even though lens manufacturers try to keep many lenses with a similar filter diameter, fast, ultra wide, or very long lenses tend to have larger filter diameters than our kit lens, Nifty Fifty, or normal range zoom lenses.
Plus, if you’re like me, you tend to buy, sell, and trade photographic equipment. I may run across a desired lens at an estate sale or listed in an online catalog of used photo gear that I want and the filter diameter is way down on the list of features for most of us. We end up with a lot of different filter diameters on our lenses.
I tend to do what photographers have done that I learned from and buy the biggest specialty filter size I need and then step up my from other lenses.
Quirks Of Using Step Up Rings
The issue with step up rings for me is that I never seem to have the right one with me even though I have purchased literally dozens through the years. Plus, it takes time to find the right two sizes, since the writing of what sizes it’s stepping is either too small to see or has worn off.
In the back of my mind I have had thoughts of there must be a better way to handle this necessary camera chore.
H&Y Filters RevoRing
Which is why I’m excited about the RevoRing Kickstarter from H&Y Filters. The RevoRing is a variable size adapter for filters. Instead of needing several rings and fiddling with finding the proper combination of inner and outer szes, the RevoRing lets us adapt to almost any lens.
Another great feature of the method used for variably adapting to different lenses is that it becomes a lens filter quick release. It takes much less time to mount on my lens, especially if we count the time spent finding the right step up rings.
There are three different sizes of RevoRing, pretty much optimized for the three most popular advanced digital photography formats, MFT, APS-C, and Full Frame.
If you have ever had the need to adapt from one filter size to another, you should consider this new photography accessories tool. I opted in already, a full user report will come soon.