Using Filters on the Canon G11

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When I owned a Canon G9, I bought the conversion lens adapter that Canon made for the G9. I simply attached my Cokin P-holder to the Canon lens conversion adapter using a Cokin 58mm adapter ring and I was up and running using my Singh-Ray filters on my G9. So when I bought the Canon G11, I also purchased Canon’s Conversion Lens Adapter LA-DC58K (the G9 version would not fit of course – thanks Canon!). I assumed that I could simply attach my Cokin P-holder to the new G11 adapter and be off filtering my photos (see photo below).

Well… guess what? The adapter that Canon makes specifically to attach supplemental lenses and filters on the G11 vignettes at the widest lens setting on the G11–see top image in the photo below! What the hell? Why would Canon make an accessory for a camera that does not work properly? Thanks Canon. And to add insult to injury, once a Cokin P-holder and a Singh-Ray drop-in polarizer is added to the set-up, vignetting gets even worse (see bottom image of the photo below).

A solution to the vignetting problem inherent in Canon’s (poorly designed) conversion lens adapter is to buy a 72 mm filter adapter made by Lensmate. This adapter fits onto the Canon G11 in two parts and allows use of 72 mm filters without vignetting. I tried the Lensmate 72 mm filter adapter without any filters and as promised it did not vignette at all. But when I attached my Cokin P-holder with a 72 mm adapter ring and used a Singh-Ray drop-in polarizer vignetting occurred at the widest focal-length setting on the G11.

According to Lensmate, the only way to get around vignetting issues and still use a Cokin P-holder is to slide the P-holder onto the bayonet mount of the Lensmate 72mm adapter and then use a thin mount screw-in polarizer in the threads of the Lensmate adapter (see photo below). If you use this set-up then you have room for one extra drop-in filter in the Cokin P-holder. When I tried this configuration I did not get any vignetting even at the widest focal length setting on the G11. Finally!

With my Canon G9, I could use three filters in my Cokin P-holder. But with the configuration suggested by Lensmate, I can only use two filters with the Canon G11. This limitation is not too serious considering that the Canon G11 has a built-in ND filter (the third type of filter I would normally add). I can still use a polarizer and a grad together on the G11. The main problem with the Lensmate solution is that I needed to buy a separate 72mm polarizer specifically for my G11 – ouch my pocketbook!

If you do not want to spring for an extra polarizer  for your G11 and you already own a drop-in polarizer for your Cokin P-holder then simply understand that you’ll need to zoom out slightly from the widest setting on the G11 to avoid vignetting with the Lensmate and a Cokin P-holder (the price you pay for saving money). So for those photographers interested in using filters on the Canon G11 (or Canon G10), the Lensmate System will work perfectly but it will hurt your wallet especially if you need to buy a separate 72mm thin-mount polarizer.


38 Responses to “Using Filters on the Canon G11”

  1. I love this possibility! I hadn’t heard of the lens mate option. I have the Canon adaptor for my G10 but hardly use it due to the vignetting (and if I am going to the trouble to use filters I usually just pull out the big guns) However when I do I just use the wide zoom and crop out the vignette. One other fun thing about this set up is the weird looks people give you “what camera is that?”

  2. Hi Darwin

    I’m new to your blog and wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed your posts and information that goes along with them.

    I have a Caono 40D with 70-200 2.8f and 100-400 5.6f. I have yet to purchase filters for my lenses and wanted to know which you would say are the best. I’m assuming the Singh Ray, but are their any others that are comparable and a little less pricey?


    • Buy whatever brand of filter you want, but I would not recommend a cheap filter for your Pro L glass. Buy either Singh-Ray, B+W Heliopan, Tiffen or Lee. For your lenses above I would start with a good 77mm screw-in polarizer. Darwin

  3. Canon and Lensmate both dropped the ball on this issue. I was frustrated until I figured out how to make my G11 work with my filter system. I ordered my 72mm polarizer last week and I’m expecting it any day now.

  4. John Arnold Says:


    In the picture it looks like you have a Canon lens cap attached to the thin mount polarizer. My lens caps don’t want to work on thin mount Singh-Ray polarizers. How did you do that?

    • The filter I used as a 72mm polarizer in the photos was actually a Kenko, I had laying around the house. I plan to get a better quality polarizer in the future. I know the Singh-Ray thin filters do not accept a stadnard lens cap. In that case I would use a cokin P-lens cap to slid into the holder over the polarizer. Darwin

  5. Thanks very much for this! I was holding off buying anything until you posted this article. I have a Sony Z5U with a 72mm G lens, so I suppose getting a circular 72mm polarizer will work for both the Lensmate setup and my video camera: worth the purchase! Wish I had the funds to get some of those more interesting polarizers like the blue-gold, but I think I should start with just a regular one.

  6. John Arnold Says:


    Is the reason for the vignetting issue on the G11 vs. the G9 the fact that Canon went to a 28mm wide angle? So is the vignetting with the P-holder the price you pay for the wider angle of view? If that is the case, then I guess you are no worse off than with the G9, it’s just that it’s a bit more of a hassle if you want to take advantage of the 28mm field of view? Does that make sense?

  7. Hi Darwin,

    Thanks for the tip. I just ordered Lensmate with the 72mm filter holder. I do have some 72mm filters but a better selection of 77mm filters. I am thinking of using a 72-77 step-up ring. Hope it will work well?


  8. Yep – Lensmate rock. Their kit is really top notch and they are helpful and responsive.

    I have used their adaptor on my G10 and another Canon P+S. For UK buyers the thin-mount polarisers often work out cheaper than we can get other thick-mount ones in the UK so I ordered one for my SLR at the same time.


  9. I am a flight attendant and have the G9. Just starting to experiment with filters on it. It is a great travel camera. I am planning on buying the summer the Canon 7D too. But have also been debating upgrading to the G11 – is it worth it?

    • The G11 has the benefit of the tilt-swivel screen which I love and use in tight places and for akward angles. Others don’t find it that great a selling feature but I could not live without it. As well the G11 has lower noise at 400 and 800 ISO over the G9, the G11 has a easier to use and more responsive macro mode, and it also has a fater to use Exposure Compensation dial. If you use all these things then the G11 migh be worth getting. If you are happy with the G9 and the results it gives you and the handling of the camera then don’t upgrade. Darwin

  10. Darwin, I’ve been using a similar setup on an older camera – the Nikon 8400. Focus is compromised because the P-holder and rectangular filters interfere with the focusing “eyes” on the front of the camera. Are there any such side-effects of using the system you show here on the G11? I’m considering upgrading to the G11 but not if I encounter the same problem. Thanks!

  11. Tom Smith Says:

    Where can I buy the Lensmate Filter Adapter for the Canon G11 (preferably a store in Calgary)?
    Tom Smith

  12. i recently bought a super wide fisheye lens 0.18 x Zeikos and it doesn´t fit my canon G11 waht can i do????? PLEASE HELP i need to buy an adapter and what adapter???’


    Andrea (Santiago, Chile)

  13. Lynn M. Harton Says:

    I assume that the Hoya PRO 1 Digital Circular Polarizer DMC will work the same as the 72mm Kenko Pro 1 Digital Polarizer used in Lensmate evaluation since they are the same company.

  14. I don’t get it… if i use the Hoya Moose Filter Warm Circular Polarizer 72mm, Lensmate G11, G10 Adapter – part A (the base), Lensmate G11, G10 Adapter Part B ( the 72mm filter holder), and i don’t know what to use for the filter holder cuz when you go to the website there will be three options:|utmccn%3D(organic)|utmcmd%3Dorganic|utmctr%3Dinfrared%2520filters%2520for%2520canon%2520powershot%2520g11&__utmv=-&__utmk=128941324|utmccn%3D(organic)|utmcmd%3Dorganic|utmctr%3Dinfrared%2520filters%2520for%2520canon%2520powershot%2520g11&__utmv=-&__utmk=128941324|utmccn%3D(organic)|utmcmd%3Dorganic|utmctr%3Dinfrared%2520filters%2520for%2520canon%2520powershot%2520g11&__utmv=-&__utmk=98975646

    it’s really confusing and i don’t want any vignetting issues and your information does little help (sorry) please help me thank you.

    BTW if you are wondering, For G11

    Thanks and your website is great!!

    • Buy part B, Part A and use your 72mm polarizer. Now all you need is to snap on a Cokin P-Holder. Buy from the first link you sent in above. d

    • What Darwin said, but if you already have the Cokin P-Holder or get one elsewhere rather than buying the “clone” from Lensmate (they provide an elastic band) you can use a rubber band over the groove to keep the holder from rotating to easily. Avoiding vignetting with the addition of a Cokin holder on the G11 is a bit of a hack, but once you get all the parts assembled as Lensmate recommends you’ll see why the need for and where to put the (elastic/rubber) band. Works like a charm, BTW.

  15. […] A 10 second exposure using the G11′s built in ND filter plus a Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer and a Singh-Ray 5-stop ND filter. This was taken in Yoho National Park. For information on how to filter the G11 see here. […]

  16. Darwin,
    I hope you read this comment although the original post is quite old and get a chance to reply.
    First of all thanks for the info. Another reason to be annoyed at Canon’s obvious carelessness and disregard for their customers which has been annoying me for a while – but there’s no point in whining about that I guess.
    Anyway, I was wondering whether you had tried to use the Cokin Z Holder instead of the P Holder? If so does that creates the same vignetting problems described above?
    A G11 with a Z holder would admittedly look ridiculous and you might well end up looking like the dork of the Rockies, but who cares if it works. A 72 mm adapter ring’s gotta be cheaper than a new polarizer, especially if you go with Singh Ray.

    • I have not tried the Z-Pro holder on the G11 so I am not sure how it would work


    • M Dawson Says:


      I use the Cokin Z holder with my G11 and it works wonderfully. I use a knock off adapter by an Asian company bought on Ebay (looks very much similar to the Lensmate adapter but at almost 1/5th the price). I then use step up filters- you need to use several (do not go directly from 58 to 72) as this gives room for the zoom to move outward. I then place my 72mm cokin adapter ring and holder on, drop in my polarizer and can still use 2 more drop in filters. Works wonderfully. Yes it is large and yes it looks odd, but it is not heavy and I have no vignetting and can use the full range of zoom.

      The only downside I have is that the flash is pretty much completely covered, so fill flash is not possible with the holder on.

      Hope that helps.

      • Thanks for the answers. They do indeed help, although I wonder whether the lack of vignetting and your need to add more space between lens and holder through various step-down filters is not the result of the Asian Company’s adapter’s design as oposed to the Lensmate one Darwin uses. After all if I correctly summon the images of the Z and P holders before my mental eye, they do not significantly differ in terms of how far or near the lens a drop-in polarizer is located. I hope you understand what I am getting at.

        PS: Good to know about the flash – can’t win ’em all, I guess and I hardly use flash anyway, so I can live with the loss. Also you can always pop on a 580EX and make the camera look entirely out of a 50s SciFi movie ;), admittedly that does kill the idea of a point and shoot, though.

  17. […] (to enhance the rainbow) and a Singh-Ray 2-stop hard-step grad (to darken the sky) using my set-up for filters on the Canon […]

  18. Nice review, Darwin!

    Have you read the review ?

    I’ve found it a very creative (and cheap) solution and seems to work just fine; acctualy I have already bought this solution, I’m waiting it’s delivery from e-Bay. In short, the solution requires one part of the 58mm adapter tube and a set of 4 step-up rings (58-62mm, 62-67mm, 67-72mm, 72-77mm). Such set makes a little cone, which prevents vingnetting at wide 28mm and gives room to the tele 140mm — according to author.

    So: wouldn’t it be better to use a 77mm final diameter insted 72mm?

    Regards from Brazil,
    Arthur Costa

  19. […] I am currently on my Fall Colours in the Rockies Photo tour and this year is shaping up to be fantastic for colours even if the weather has been spotty with rain and overcast and snow. But such conditions are perfect for intimate scenes like this with saturated colours and lots of soft light for detail across a wide tonal range. Who needs HDR with light like this? Also I always use a polarizer for this kind of shooting to remove any reflective highlights from the leaves and to saturate colours. Who needs the hue and saturation slider in Photoshop when a polarizer gives you real life saturation? If you want to see how I add a polarizer to the G11 go here. […]

  20. Peter Calamai Says:

    I have only recently found your blog and subscribed to the Daily Snap. So I’m behind in asking this question. Does everything you say above about a non-vignetting way to use the Cokin P holder on a Canon G-11 also apply to the Canon G-10?
    I’m also unclear about how you get a round polarizer in a metal mount inside even the wide slot of the P holder. It has to be a 72mm thin mount, is that correct? I’ve tied unsuccessfully with a 77mm thin mount. Have you any experience with the Conkin P Slim holder, which is designated for super wide lenses? It has only two slots rather than the three slots of the standard P holder.
    Know you are in the field so appreciate a respnse when you have time.

    • Yes the filter holder is the same for the G10 and the G11.

      The Lensmate adapter has a 72mm threaded tube. The filter screws into the threads, the P-holder snaps over the tube.

      Yes I use thed the Cokin Slim holder. I do not use it though because if you have a polarizer in the first slot, a grad will not fit in the second. And the inner slot is thin (for a polarizer only) and so you can only put one grad in at a time. So in effect, even though there are two slots, you can really only use one filter at a time.


      • Peter Calamai Says:

        Many thanks for pointing me at the Lensmate 72 mm adapter, which I have now acquired. You were correct too about the ouch factor of a slim profile polarizer — ~$200 for B+W model.
        Hoping that I’ll get some weather when I can try out the rig soon, including a ND grad, on my G10

  21. Hello, I’m not really into filters, just want to protect the lens when it’s extended. Would you recommend buying the 72mm filter holder as a kind of lens hood/lens protector?


  22. hi!
    this thread is very informative, thank you very much.
    bought a G12 today, cant wait to explore. 😀

  23. Bossman Says:

    Great thread mate, i just got a canon g11 for dirt cheap and it was almost unused. I am tired of the cheap compact small digital cameras, I am looking to get something professional. I found that this blog if very informative for my g11. Thanks again. Can’t wait to buy the stuff that comes with it. Saw a couple of items on amazon and ebay. YAY!

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