What is a step ring?

A stepping ring, be it a step-up or step-down one, attaches to the front of a lens and then you can fit a filter, which would usually have a thread size that’s too big or small, to the lens. Stepping rings simply screw on to a lens and the filter then screws onto that.

Are step-down rings bad?

Step-down rings are not as widely used as step-up rings because, in most cases, the smaller filter sizes result in vignetting. In these cases, the smaller image field will often negate any vignetting or image clipping.

Is it better to use step up or step-down rings?

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.

Are step up and step-down rings the same?

Step-down rings do the exact opposite of a step-up ring. They adjust a larger lens thread to accommodate a smaller filter. When using step-down rings and filters, one can notice a lot of vignetting. Basically the corners are getting less light because of the tunnel that is created.

Can you use a lens hood with a step up ring?

Buying a 77mm filter and a 62mm to 77mm step up ring allows you to use the same filter with both lenses. Now, there is a disadvantage – the lens hood likely won’t fit over the filter when you use step up rings. This could lead to some flare problems, but if you buy a decent filter it’s not usually a problem.

What is a step up ring adapter?

A step-up filter adapter ring is a simple glass-less ring with male threads (for your lens) and larger size female threads (for your filter). Filters used on step-up adapter rings are typically circular polarizing filters or neutral density filters. Step down rings are also available, but they seldom make sense.

Do step up rings affect image quality?

A step up ring will not cause any loss in quality. At most it may cause slight vignetting on wider angle lenses.