I like to think of lens filters as tools to manipulate your photography and/ or exposure. Some filters can get you an exposures that would other wise be impossible, other filters you can easily re-produce  post processing. Lens filters, just like the other accessories can vary greatly in price and quality. Quality optics are expensive, therefore the good filters are also expensive. To save yourself some cash I recommend highly recommend getting the largest filter you think you will need for your lens line-up. Then you can get “Step-Up” adapter rings so you can use the same High Quality lens filter on smaller lenses. Basically making the investment once, although a bit more expensive upfront will save you money in the long run. For example: I have a really high quality Circular 77mm Polarizer and a circular Adjustable ND Filter for my Canon professional gear. I simply use a step-up adapter ring in order to attach the larger lens filters to my smaller lenses like the 135mm f/2 L lens which has a 72mm filter thread size. The “Step-Up” adapter rings are cheap and Quality Lens Filters are expensive, therefore it makes sense to me to make the investment once when applicable.


Some lens filters screw on the front of the lens itself with the threads, and they are sized by mm’s when your looking to buy them. You need to look at the front of your lens to determine the size filter it will except via the threads. I put the most common sizes for Sony lenses below, but pretty much all sizes are available.You can also stack filters if the filter has threads on the front of it like the lens.Other lens filters have brackets that mount to the end of the lens, then glass sleeves slide in front of the lens. These are great, because it’s easy to stack them and use combinations of gradient filters with ND filters etc.. They are also a bit harder to keep clean I’ve noticed with my experience. I have the Cokin P-Series Filter kit as well, and it works great for a lot of applications.
 
Neutral Density Filters by size 40.5mm, 49mm, 62mm, 67mm
   Polarizing Filters by size 40.5mm, 49mm, 62mm, 67mm
 

There are so many lens filters available and it can be overwhelming if your not familiar with all the different kinds, so this guide should help point you in the right direction ;)

Sony Nex LensesSony Alpha LensesNex Lens Adapters

 

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral Density filters are primary used to slow down the shutter speed of the camera. Why would you want to slow the shutter speed down you might wonder?? The Blurry Water Effect, Flash Photography Sync Speed Matching, and evening out the sky with a gradient ND filter are a few of the most common reasons you would need a ND Filter. Their also very useful for video when working in sunlight conditions if you want to use really fast aperture glass.

ND filters simply use tinted glass for the most part, or high quality plastic for some of the gradient style filter solutions. Sunglasses will even do the job in a pinch with a small lens ;)

Singh-Ray 77mm (Thin Mount) Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter

Niagara Falls NY – Taken with the Singh-Ray 77mm (Thin Mount) Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter

 

Sony 49mm Neutral Density FilterSony 49mm Neutral Density Filter

Improve contrast and detail in bright sunlight with this neutral density filter for your 49mm DSLR camera lens. Most of the Nex E-Mount Lenses are 49mm by the way so if you don’t plan on getting any larger lenses, this would be a good filter choice.

  • Slim design that avoids vignetting
  • Exclusive case attached
  • Carl Zeiss T* Coating
  • Suppress flares and ghosts
  • Improves contrast and detail in super-bright sunlight
  • Minimize reflections between filter and lens surface

Price: ~$55.00

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Sony 67mm Neutral Density (ND8) Multicoated Glass Filter Sony 67mm Neutral Density (ND8) Multicoated Glass Filter

This neutral density filter improves contrast in bright sunlight and features a slim design to avoid vignetting and Carl Zeiss® T* coating to protect your 67mm lens from dust and scratches. Additionally, the VF-67NDAM filter also suppresses flares and ghosts, giving your photographs a more professional look. A hard plastic case is also included to keep your filter protected.

Price: ~$90.00

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Sony 72mm Neutral Density Filter

Price: ~$95.00

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Sony 77mm Neutral Density Filter

Price: ~$110.00

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Tiffen 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 Filter

Tiffen 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 FilterThe 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 Filter from Tiffen has several uses and offer the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. It enables the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. ND filters appear gray and reduce the amount of light reaching the either the sensor of a digital camera or the film plane of a traditional film camera. Neutral Density filters are used to create some unusual special effects such as capturing the “blur” of the rippling water of a waterfall or the swirling effect of city traffic. Tiffen’s ColorCore glass is produced through a process that entails permanently laminating the filter material in between two pieces of optical glass that are ground flat to tolerances of a ten-thousandth of an inch, then mounting them in precision aluminum rings. Determining which neutral density filter yields ideal results for any given lighting situation takes knowledge, experience and a collection of such filters.

Price: ~$43.00

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B+W 77mm 3.0 ND MRC 110M Filter

B+W 77mm 3.0 ND MRC 110M FilterThe B+W 77mm 3.0 ND MRC 110M Filter is a solid neutral density filter providing a 10 stop exposure. This 3.0 density creates a darkening of the entire image, allowing you to photograph with a wider aperture or slower shutter speed than normally required. By slowing your exposure time or increasing your aperture, you are able to control depth of field and convey movement more easily. Neutral density filters do not affect the overall coloration of the image. The Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC) is both an anti-reflection coating as well as a protective surface. It helps to increase light transmission by reducing reflections, scattered light, and ghosting. Additionally, it offers greater protection to the filter substrate and stays cleaner for longer than uncoated filters. B+W filters are constructed from high quality Schott glass for increased optical clarity and color fidelity. They feature a brass filter ring for durability as well as jamming prevention.

  • 3.0 ND filter darkens the image, allowing you to photograph with a longer shutter speed or wider aperture than normally required.
  • Providing a 10 stop exposure reduction, this filter allows you to control depth of field and convey movement more easily.
  • Filter does not affect coloration of the image.
  • Multi-Resistant Coating offers both protection to the glass and helps to improve light transmission and image quality.

Price: ~$185.00

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Singh-Ray Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density FilterSingh-Ray 77mm (Thin Mount) Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter

The Singh-Ray 77mm (Thin Mount) Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter – This neutral density filter gives you the capability to use fast film in bright sunlight. ND filters have several uses and offer the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. They enable the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. ND filters reduce the amount of light reaching the film. When used with a digital camera, you can effectively see how this filter works. After the initial exposure, you can check your LCD image and then make whatever change in exposure you feel you need to enhance your image. By rotating the ring, you can either increase or decrease the ND effect. This will be especially useful when trying to achieve “blurred” or “panned” shots. The filter contains “index” points to help you mark your spot. They do not represent actual ND settings , i.e. non-calibrated – but are there to help you re-set your filter when you wish to recreate the effect.

Note! Singh-Ray cannot predict when vignetting may occur – especially with very wide angle lenses. To avoid vignetting, adjust your focal length, position, and/or composition to remove the vignetting – use your digital camera’s display for reference.

Price: ~$390.00

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Genus 77mm ND Fader Filter

Genus 77mm ND (Neutral Density) Fader Filter The 77mm ND Fader Filter from Genus is unique in the world of neutral density filters. Other companies make you buy individual ND filters to meet your needs (i.e. 1-stop, 2-stop, etc.). Genus provides one filter that generates 2-8 stops of neutral density depending on how it is rotated. In addition, the filter is indexed so you know exactly how many stops of neutral density you are getting. It screws on like any other filter and with a mere twist of your wrist, you dial in your filtration. No need to constantly change filters – as the light changes, just dial in another grade of filtration. Neutral Density filters have several uses and offer the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. They enable the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. ND filters appear gray and reduce the amount of light reaching the film.

Price: ~$175.00

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Cokin Filter SytemThe Cokin P-Series Filter System

The Cokin filter system is another great solution that I personally own. I have the P-Series, but they make multiple sizes depending on your needs. I honestly haven’t used it in a while since I’ve been using more HDR Photography techniques, but it is a excellent system that allows the flexibility to get the perfect shot strait off the camera with no post processing. You can also stack filters as the holder that mounts on the fron of the lens can hold several at once. Stacking a Gradient ND and a Full ND Filter is quite common for a sky/ water scene and by the ocean for example and I see Photogs often with these on the front of there cameras. Cokin makes a ton of different filters and kits so below is just a few.

Cokin Graduated Neutral Density Kit

Cokin Graduated Neutral Density Filter Kit for "P" Series (3 Filters and Filter Holder) The Graduated Neutral Density Kit from Cokin consists of three filters: 121L (1 stop), 121M (2 stops) and 121S (3 stops). Often it is necessary or desirable to balance the light intensity in one part of a scene with another. This is especially true in situations where you don’t have total light control, as in bright contrasty landscapes. Exposing for the foreground will produce a washed-out, over-exposed sky while exposing for the sky will leave the foreground dark and under-exposed. Cokin graduated ND filters are part clear, part neutral density. They allow the transition to be blended into the scene, often imperceptibly.

These filters have several uses and offers the possibility to achieve very interesting results. They enable the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. An ND filter appears gray and reduces the amount of light reaching either the sensor of a digital camera or the film plane of a traditional film camera.

A Neutral Density filter is used to create some unusual special effects such as capturing the “blur” of the rippling water of a waterfall or the swirling effect of city traffic. Since it allows the use of slower shutter speeds in bright light, it becomes possible to create these special effects that would normally not be possible to capture without the filter. And, since it can also help to control your depth of field, it permits you to shoot at wider apertures. Ultimately, its value is in helping to prevent bright, overly washed out images shot in bright light.

Cokin filters are used worldwide by pro and amateur photographers. They present an affordable alternative to more expensive filter systems.

Note! Kit requires adapter rings to for your lens, see below

Price: ~$83.00

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Complete Square Filter Kit for Cokin P Series

- Includes: Graduated Green, Coffee (Brown), Yellow, Purple, Orange, Grey (ND), Blue, Pink and Red Filters + Graduated ND2, ND4, ND8 and Full ND2, ND4, ND8 Filters + 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77MM Adapter Rings + Filter Holder + Lens Hood + 1 Premium Goja Microfiber Lens

*Cokin Filter KitGoja Brand. Manufactured to meet the highest standard of design and quality. Compare to Cokin Brand and save!

- Generic Graduated Color Filter Set for Cokin P Series – Red, Blue, Orange, Grey, Yellow, Pink, Coffee, Green and Purple Square Filters*
– Graduated color filters provide a gradual color transition for a smooth blending effect. Give your landscape and skin texture a more colorful touch.
– Simply mount the adapter ring and filter holder to the front of your lens, then slide in different filters to take beautiful, colorful shots.

- Generic ND Filter Set for Cokin P Series – Graduated ND2, ND4, ND8 and Full ND2, ND4, ND8 Square Filters*
– ND filters reduce the amount of light reaching the film without affecting the color. Can be used to enable slower shutter speeds. Also can be used to better separate subjects from the background by allowing wider apertures, effectively decreasing depth of field. Great for portraiture and outdoor scenes.

- Generic 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm Adapter Rings for Cokin P Series Filter Holder*
– Made of high quality anodized black aluminum.

- Generic Square Filter Holder for Cokin P Series*
– To use the square filter holder, an adapter ring must first be mounted on your lens. Slide the filter holder onto the ring adapter until it snaps into place. The filter holder can hold up to three square filters at the same time allowing for creative use of light correction or special effects.

- Generic Square Lens Hood for Cokin P Series*
– This lens hood is designed to work with Cokin P Series filter sets. Easily mounts onto your filter-holder by pressing on the upper and lower parts of the lens hood. Stackable design allows you to attach several of these lens hoods on top of each other, allowing for increased versatility and protection from accidental impact.

- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Included

Price: ~75.00

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Cokin P-Series Adapter Rings:

Basically you need to connect the Cokin filter system to the front of your lens via the filter threads. So you will need a Cokin lens adapter for that task consisting and here are the few most common sizes:

Price: ~$20

P” Series 77mm Adapter Ring (P477) – Compare Prices @ BHPhoto (Click Here) Amazon (Click Here) Adorama (Click Here)
“P” Series 49mm Adapter Ring (P449) – Compare Prices @ BHPhoto (Click Here) Amazon (Click Here) Adorama (Click Here)

Polarizer Filters

You’ve probably had a pair of polarized or UV Protection sunglasses at some point, or at least tried a pair on. What you will notice is a clearer, crisper images when looking perpendicular to the sun with Polarizers and usually a bluer sky with more contrast in the clouds.. It’s explained in detail how it works Here on Wikipedia, as it’s pretty hard to explain. UV Filters simple absorb the ultra violet light and are also commonly used for lens protection when you don’t want your expensive glass exposed.

Sony 72mm Circular Polarizer Sony 72mm Circular Polarizer

This circular polarizing filter features a slim design to avoid vignetting and Carl Zeiss T* Coating to protect your 72mm lens from dust and scratches. What’s more, the VF-72CPAM filter also suppresses flares and ghosts, giving your photographs a more professional look. An exclusive case is attached to keep your filter protected.

Price: ~$119.00

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Sony 49mm Circular Polarizing Glass Filter Sony 49mm Circular Polarizer

Price: ~$77.00

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UV Filters

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