Step-Up Ring


As I mentioned earlier, my Olympus E-M5 Mark III is now my primary camera and that means I like to take it with me when out walking, etc.  When walking, I do not like large hoods sticking way out on my lenses, but I also don’t like touching the front of a lens or hitting it on doorways, etc. when the camera is hanging at my side from a strap.

My solution, which might be of interest to some, is to screw a step-up ring on the lens.  On my 17mm lens I am using a 46 to 49mm step-up ring as shown here.  It gives me just a bit more protection for the front of the lens for very little added weight or cost.

Some just screw a clear filter on the front of the lens but I find that I am always needing to clean them and that they eventually get a little scratched and don’t last as long as just using a step-up ring.  In addition they cost more.


  1. jerrymennenga


    I will be the one to disagree. Having worked in media (small daily newspapers) for my career I have found that a cheap UV Haze filter is better than no filter. I am pretty anal when it comes to my own gear but sometimes circumstances beyond one’s control happens. Tripping and falling, the gear takes a tumble, getting bumped into or bumping into someone or something. A branch or twig snapping back while walking with friends on a hike. I always tell students I teach at a local community college that it’s cheaper to replace a filter than a $200-300 or more lens. Scratches happen, but lenses focus through them and they don’t affect the image unless they are really deep. Take eye glasses, for instance. Small surface scratches one doesn’t really register them until the angle of light just happens to hit the surface at a particular angle. Just my two cents. I have owned a variety of gear over the years and have not had problems with most, but there have been those occasions when I am glad to have had a filter over the lens.

    I do use step-up rings though when it comes to filters. I bought a circular polarizer filter that fit my largest lens’ dimension and then step up rings I added to the UV haze filters so the polarizer fits all of my lenses.

    Nice images and best wishes with your health issues. I also tell students what is a better way to enjoy a day than to be out taking photos.



    • John Holmes

      I agree with you … UV filter is better, but I have never ruined a lens yet so I have just taken the cheapest route … and then only with lenses that I tend to touch the front element when handling them. If I was really concerned I would use a filter. Thanks for the comment. I think I have some unused UV filters that might fit some of my lenses so I’ll look for them, and use them when I find them.


    • John Holmes

      It is a practical solution when the front surface of the lens is right up front. Some lenses have the front element sunk back far enough that it isn’t necessary.