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Thread: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

  1. #1
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    "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    I own a Canon 500D with 18-55 mm kit lens and I think it's high time to get a polarizing filter. The problem is that such filters aren't so cheap, but on the other hand I'm not a professional and I don't want to spend a lot of money for something which I'm probably gonna use quite occasionally.

    I've heard that some cheap, low-quality filters can even damage the lens... Some others can purportedly reduce resolution, and yet other ones darken the image. I've planned to spend max. 100 zł (probably around 20) for the filter, so what kind of equipment can I expect for that amount? Could someone recommend me any good and relatively cheap mark or model?

    I'd appreciate any extra tips on the polarizers

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Peter

    My advice, given what you write, is not to purchase.

    Theer are many people who highly recommend the use of a polarizer. There are others, like me, who use one very rarely and, quite honestly, could get by quite happily without one.

    I think the worst option is to get a poor quality filter that will only cause your more problems thanit will help. A polarizer is a specialist piece of equipment that you fir to the front of your lens. It is not just any old piece of glass. Unfortunately, that means it costs money. I would suggest that any cheap version would not be a proper polarizer.

    And given the budget that you have available, I would urge you to consider not getting one at all. You can make high quality images without a polarizer.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    LensTip did a round-up review of CPLs a while back that has been quite well received. You can read it here: http://www.lenstip.com/115.1-article...ters_test.html I started buying the Marumi DHG Super CPLs based on this review, and I have been quite happy with them. They may still be out of your price range -- I'm challenged when it comes to currency conversions. But the article should give you a lot of insight into variation in CPLs by make and model. FWIW

    ETA: While we're discussing polarizers, just about the most pleasing introductory discussion of them that I have encountered can be found here: http://archive.popphoto.com/pdfs/200.../Polarizer.pdf
    Last edited by tclune; 29th September 2011 at 04:23 PM.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Thank you for your replies.

    Well, the test is awesome. It even comes from the Polish site Donald, my 20 limit was apparently too strict. Now, after reading the article, I understand why they're so expensive and I'm still willing to buy it. I realize that my experience comparing to yours is very small, but I think the CPL is worth giving a try.

    tclune - indeed, it appears that Marumi would be the best choice for me, as one of its filter takes awesome 2nd place in the econo ranking (the article says ~35, but I can see it a bit under 30). Thanks again for the links.
    Last edited by PeterK; 29th September 2011 at 08:27 PM.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Peter

    My advice, given what you write, is not to purchase.

    Theer are many people who highly recommend the use of a polarizer. There are others, like me, who use one very rarely and, quite honestly, could get by quite happily without one.

    And given the budget that you have available, I would urge you to consider not getting one at all. You can make high quality images without a polarizer.
    However, once you place one on your lens it doesn't make sense to remove it unless you have a very fast lens and want to have full access to the aperture range.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    I took a chance on a couple of cheapish filters and I ended up with a couple of cheap filters.

    As someone much wiser than I once said, "Buy crap, own crap!"

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Peter

    Something else you might like to consider is that with the Canon 18-55mm kit lens, the front of the lens rotates when the lens changes focus. This causes a complication for a CPL because it must be rotated to it's optimum position to reduce glare etc. It doesn't stop you using a CPL but it means you must re-adjust it's rotation every time the lens changes focus. I've also heard of people holding the rotating part of the filter during lens focus but it all sounds very messy to me.

    Cheers Dave
    Last edited by dje; 30th September 2011 at 12:05 AM.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Shadowman, that's right, apart from some rare situations like e.g. taking a photo/making a movie with any LCD screen They already send polarized light and it may be hard to set the filter in such a way that the camera can see it with their 100% brightness. Hate this effect in my car when looking at GPS through polarizing glasses

    epmi314, "cheap" is relative Now I understand that one can get a (relatively) good filter for the affordable price. The test shows just that and I believe them, I'm convinced. Besides, it's my first CPL, it's not a lifetime purchase or maybe it'll turn out to be one. And I agree with the "sententia", that's why I'm trying to find out what prices the non-craps start from.

    dje, good point. It may be a little bit uncomfortable, but I think I'll get used to it. Besides, I'll probably eventually get myself some prime lens and then, the problem will disappear. The 18-55 is just a warm-up, I guess
    Last edited by PeterK; 30th September 2011 at 11:37 AM.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    One the the factors that increases the costs of many polarizers is the necessity of most modern SLR cameras needing unpolarized light.

    The circular polarizer actually consists of two optical layers, The first scene facing polarizing layer and a second quarter wave retarder on the camera facing side. The polarizing layer does what photographic polarizers have done all along, blocking light whose polarization is perpendicular to the orientation of the filter. The filter solves the SLR's need for unpolarized light by the quarter wave retarder layer which converts the linearly polarized light into circularly polarized light. It does not matter which orientation the circularly polarized light is, clockwise or counter clockwise, but it will no longer cause complications with the camera.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 30th September 2011 at 12:38 PM.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Steaphany,
    right, it has been described quite well in both the article and the test, but thanks anyway It's good to have all in one thread.
    Last edited by PeterK; 30th September 2011 at 05:58 PM. Reason: typo

  11. #11
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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterK View Post
    Shadowman, that's right, apart from some rare situations like e.g. taking a photo/making a movie with any LCD screen They already send polarized light and it may be hard to set the filter in such a way that the camera can see it with their 100% brightness. Hate this effect in my car when looking at GPS through polarizing glasses
    The pros/cons of the polarizing filter is that it has to be ordered to the size of your particular lens. So if you are going to purchase one, choose wisely the lens it will be attached to and that it meets your needs.

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    Re: "Good and cheap" polarizing filter

    Interesting discussions; I'm in the camp that doesn't believe that "good" and "cheap" very often occur together.

    Interestingly I "bit the bullet" today and bought a CPL for my TSE24 - I'd been using the 77 mm diameter CPL from my 24-105 with a ring adapter. After having a number of not too nice "conversations" with the filter and ring (which invariably were stuck together and could not be parted) in the past two weeks travelling down the Oregon coast, I decided I'd had enough.

    When I first mentioned needing a filter to my regular saleperson, the reply was "I can get you a Hoya for . . . . "

    "Stop right there" I said, "I will only buy a German made CPL." She ordered me a Rodenstock 82 mm diameter CPL - I picked it up today. The other German CPL, a B+W was about $100 CDN more. I have other Rodenstock filters and I like them.

    Am I snobbish? Perhaps, but considering how much the camera and lenses have cost, the filter cost wasn't much of a consideration.

    I use a CPL quite regularly for two types of photography - landscapes and flowers - where colour saturation is important. I think a CPL can increase colour saturation by diminishing reflections.

    If I couldn't afford a good CPL, I'd save until I could afford it.

    Just my two cents worth.

    Glenn

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