Heliopan filters any good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Steven Blake, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Steven Blake

    Steven Blake Guest

    Hi ... I'm in the market for a better quality circular polarizer. Was
    initially thinking about B+W (or Singh-Ray) but don't think I can justify
    the expense. Heard about Heliopan.

    Anyone have any comments on quality?


    Steven Blake, Jul 24, 2003
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  2. Steven Blake

    Mark M Guest

    Heliopan is excellent, but it is even MORE expensive than B+W.
    I just tried to order some from B&H, but went with B+W after learning that
    Helipan was a special order item.
    Mark M, Jul 24, 2003
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  3. Steven Blake

    Jim Nason Guest

    Heliopan's are probably the best... I buy Heliopan UV's... ie the
    ones on my lenses all the time.... like the 20mm and my 105. I save
    the bucks on the off beats (like the polarizers) and buy B+W or
    Tiffen for the lessors.... Don't know B&H's price off hand... but
    list price at local store for Heliopan 72mm Circular... 169.00....
    Tiffen 82.00....which I negotiated down to 70.00 bucks... not enough
    better to warrant the extra 99 bucks. I bought a 72mm tiffen for the
    front of my 80-200 2.8..... and I only use it rarely when outside.
    Most of the time this lens is inside and has no filter... the hood is
    enough to keep my greasy paws off the front element. Heliopan just
    wasn't worth price for occasional use.. IMHO...

    Jim Nason, Jul 24, 2003
  4. Newsbeitrag
    They are very very good, especially new multicoated line,
    sh-pmc. I'm using only this filters, but I'm lucky - I live
    in Munich, where Heliopan has a factory :)

    Aleksander Heba, Jul 24, 2003
  5. Steven Blake

    Olaf Ulrich Guest

    Well, I don't know the prices where you live ... but here
    in Germany, Heliopan filters are even (slightly) cheaper
    than B+W filters---and both are the same level as far as
    quality is concerned.

    In my experience, B+W and Heliopan filters are the best
    you can get, at reasonable prices. The filters offered by
    the original camera makers---like Canon, Leica, Minolta,
    Nikon---also are top-notch ... but those tend to be *really*
    expensive, and choices of types and diameters are limited.

    By the way, I just happened to find out that the current
    Rodenstock filters are just re-badged Heliopan filters.

    Steven, a high-quality polarizer does cost a lot of money,
    no matter which brand. Don't believe that you cannot
    justify the expense! Actually, you cannot justify not to
    buy top-quality. A low-cost polarizer will compromise
    the sharpness of your photos more than any other kind
    of (low-cost) filter, particularly with telephoto lenses---
    so buying one of those is a complete waste of money.

    Olaf Ulrich, Jul 24, 2003
  6. Steven Blake

    Evanjoe610 Guest


    I agree wholeheartily with you. I use mainly B & W or Heliopan filters for my
    cameras. Thst alsdo include all of polzarizers. When I compared using my Hoyas
    & Tiffen MC filters against the B & W and Heliopan, there IS a noticable
    different in how it works!! SInce then, I buy B & W and Heliopan slowly to
    replace my Hoyas & Tiffen. Yes, its more expensive, but itdoes matter when you
    get the final results.
    Evanjoe610, Jul 24, 2003
  7. Steven Blake

    T P Guest

    Heliopan and B+W use identical Schott glass for most, but not all
    their filters. Basically, Heliopan has similar glass at a lower
    price, usually because the filter rings are made of cheaper materials.

    Consider the "Kaesemann" polarisers which have the edges of the
    glass/polarising medium/glass "sandwich" sealed with epoxy resin.
    They are extremely resistant to moisture and dirt and are well worth
    considering. Both B+W and Heliopan offer these.

    There are several photo dealers in Germany who offer reasonable prices
    for Kaesemann polarisers (plus other B+W and Heliopan items) on eBay
    Germany - with worldwide shipping.

    Try searching eBay for the User ID "foto-walser" for starters. There
    are several other dealers too.

    If you go to eBay Germany ...


    .... then click on "Foto", you will be able to search on "B+W",
    "Heliopan", "Kaesemann" or even "Käsemann".
    T P, Jul 24, 2003
  8. Steven Blake

    EDGY01 Guest

    << Hi ... I'm in the market for a better quality circular polarizer. Was
    initially thinking about B+W (or Singh-Ray) but don't think I can justify
    the expense. Heard about Heliopan. >><BR><BR>

    When it comes to polarizing filters the B+W and Heliopans are nearly on a par.
    All first rate. As a Nikon user I have never bought a Nikon polarizing filter
    because of their rediculous polarizing hood and filter designs. They're
    worthless for wide angle usage. The Heliopans are of a similar
    construction/material quality to Nikon and my choice for polarization.

    Dan Lindsay
    santa Barbara, ca
    EDGY01, Jul 25, 2003
  9. Newsbeitrag
    But in in the same class of filter?

    Aleksander Heba, Jul 25, 2003
  10. Steven Blake

    Olaf Ulrich Guest

    T.P., most what you wrote on B+W vs Heliopan is true
    except the following:

    Same glass.

    Not true. Both B+W and Heliopan use the same high-
    quality material for their filter rings---black-anodized
    brass. No aluminum. No plastic.

    I don't know why Heliopan filters usually tend to be
    sold at slightly cheaper prices but the reason definitely
    is *not* cheaper materials. I guess it has to do with
    marketing and distribution---Heliopan filters are not
    as easy to acquire to the end user as B+W filters
    because Heliopan seems to rely more on cheaper
    distribution channels, like e. g. mail-order retailers.
    I guess that's why Heliopan filters more often than
    B+W are special-order items ...

    Olaf Ulrich, Jul 25, 2003
  11. Steven Blake

    Olaf Ulrich Guest

    Oops?! Heliopan filters tend to be slightly (SLIGHTLY!)
    cheaper than the respective B+W filters---but $90 vs
    $178 CDN definitely is not a minor difference.

    Are you sure you actually was quoted the prices for
    corresponding polarizer filters?---i. e. same size, same
    principle (linear vs circular), same coating (none, single,
    simple MC *, super MC **), same type (Käsemann or

    * 'Simple' multi-coating, in Heliopan filters, means
    three layers of coating per air-to-glass surface.

    ** 'Super' multi-coating, in Heliopan filters, means
    seven layers of coating per air-to-glass surface; it's
    called SH-PMC (Super Heliopan Protective Multi-
    Coating). B+W calls their form of 'super' coating
    MRC (Multi Resistant Coating).
    Olaf Ulrich, Jul 25, 2003
  12. Steven Blake

    T P Guest

    No, that is not true. Every single Heliopan filter uses Schott glass,
    but the same cannot be said of B+W.
    I own B+W filters in both aluminium *and* brass rings. There has been
    more than one range of B+W filters, and they *definitely* don't all
    have brass rings. However, the filters sold at my UK B+W dealer *do*
    all have brass rings.
    Possibly. I think the difference in price is because B+W appeal to
    the professional user who needs to know his/her dealer always has the
    filter he/she needs in stock and is prepared to pay more for that
    service. Heliopan appeal more to the amateur who is not especially
    disappointed when the filter takes days or weeks to arrive. I have
    never once been disappointed my by B+W dealers in the UK and Germany,
    but if I want to save money I buy from Germany well in advance of
    needing the filters - for example, I replace my most-used filters
    regularly and can easily plan when to do it.
    T P, Jul 25, 2003
  13. Steven Blake

    T P Guest

    It is most unlikely that you are comparing like with like.
    T P, Jul 25, 2003

  14. I'm surprised at the price for the B+W filter. I recently
    ordered a B+W Kaesemann CP filter for $150 CDN.

    Michael Moore, Jul 26, 2003
  15. I forgot to mention that it was 52mm.
    Michael Moore, Jul 26, 2003
  16. Steven Blake

    Olaf Ulrich Guest

    Not true---a few don't, e. g. close-up lenses,
    trick filters made of prisms, Duto softeners,
    Unichrome gradual filters ...

    I guess it's just the same with B+W---of course,
    I don't know for absolutely sure.

    That's right, there are older product lines that
    used lesser materials, like aluminum. I guess
    the same is true for some of the older Heliopan

    But Heliopan's and B+W's current product lines
    use brass filter rings only.

    I guess he doesn't sell old filters, does he?

    Olaf Ulrich, Jul 27, 2003
  17. Steven Blake

    T P Guest

    The claim that Heliopan filters use 100% Schott glass does not come
    from me. It comes from Heliopan.

    I was merely repeating it.
    T P, Jul 28, 2003
  18. Steven Blake


    Oct 25, 2008
    Likes Received:

    i've read in this thread, that Heliopan and Rodenstock filters are exactly the same.

    So is Rodenstock HR UV series equivalent to Heliopan SH-PMC series, or not?

    if not, then.. which? :/
    mrQQ, Oct 25, 2008
  19. Steven Blake


    Oct 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    hm, so noone has experience with them, I guess..
    mrQQ, Oct 27, 2008
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