Polarizer advice?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Dallas, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    For many years I shot with Tiffen polarizer and loved the way it could
    saturate the green on trees and really make azure Caribbean water pop.
    It gave a nice wow factor to some shots.

    Then I changed cameras and needed a different sized polarizer. This
    time, I got a Quantaray assuming that a polarizer is a polarizer.

    This Quantaray doesn’t seem to have the “punch” that the Tiffen did.

    I just ran a test that seems to confirm what I’m thinking:


    So I’m looking for a sanity check.. there is a qualitative difference
    between polarizers, right?

    And, obviously.. is there a brand I can buy to be assured I’d get more
    blue/green saturation?
    Dallas, Apr 17, 2012
    1. Advertisements

  2. Dallas

    otter Guest

    B+W filters are highly recommended, but not cheap.

    Hoya filters are rated pretty high, too, and not so expensive.

    There are others. You'll need to do the research and decide.
    otter, Apr 17, 2012
    1. Advertisements

  3. Dallas

    Savageduck Guest

    No kidding! Not all filters, CPFs or others are created equal.
    Let's start with what you already know, the Tiffin does what you expect
    of it, so consider buying one of those appropriately sized.

    Then there are the high end Circular polarizers such as Singh-Ray, B&W,
    Schneider, Heliopan, Nikon, & Hoya.
    Also since you are possibly looking to effect blue/green saturation
    beyond changes imparted by the CPF, you might consider one of the
    polarizer/effects combos such as the Hoya CPF+81A (warming), Singh-Ray
    LB Warming CPF, and Tiffin also has some of these to select from. The
    big caveat here is many of these are very expensive and some are linear
    polarizers, not CPFs, so be careful of what you are actually buying.

    ....and then beyond use of the CPF, tone/hue adjustments can be made in post.
    Savageduck, Apr 17, 2012
  4. I own a very very expensive 82 mm B+W (circular) polarizer.

    Its expensive because the glass is very flat; it does not blur
    even very long fast teles.

    But ... its not great as a polarizer. Its extinction coefficient
    (measured using a first rate Glan-Thompson prism as source of
    pure polarized light) is worse than 0.01 (1%) in the blue (by quite a
    bit) and still not really excellent at any wavelength. The transmission
    coefficient for the transmitted polarization is on the other hand very
    good indeed.

    Doug McDonald
    Doug McDonald, Apr 17, 2012
  5. Dallas

    Savageduck Guest

    All very informative Doug, but by snipping and responding to my
    response to the OP you screwed up the thread attribution.
    It seems you intended to respond to the OP, but piggy-backed on my
    response thereby confusing the issue.

    Just be careful, and go back to the OP if that is who you really intend
    responding to.
    Savageduck, Apr 17, 2012
  6. Dallas

    Alex Monro Guest

    There's a detailed comparative review of several polarising filters at
    Lenstip.com here:


    with more tests in a supplement here:


    Note that Hoya make several quality ranges of filters, from the high end
    Pro 1 D to the less expensive and lower performance single coated "green

    Personally, I have a variety of circular polarisers, including Hoya
    green box (occasional signs of flare with the sun in front of me),
    Kenko (generally ok) and Marumi (pretty good all round).
    Alex Monro, Apr 17, 2012
  7. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Geez... it's a mine field out there.. all kinds of prices and not
    necessarily any relation to quality.

    There seemed to be general agreement that B+H is good/great.. so I
    bought one.

    I figure if it sucks... I'll send it back.
    Dallas, Apr 18, 2012
  8. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Ah... make that B+W. :-|
    Dallas, Apr 18, 2012
  9. From B&H? :)
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 18, 2012
  10. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Dallas, Apr 19, 2012
  11. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Follow up -

    The question was, is a lower priced prosumer polarizer any different
    from a more expensive pro?

    I ran some tests with the Quantaray versus the new B+W and I couldn't
    see any difference through the viewfinder. I thought, great.. lots of
    trouble for nothing.

    The actual photos were a different story. The B+W did a much better
    job. If no polarizer's effect was 1, the Quantaray was a 2, the B+W
    was a 3... so thats a 100% improvement.

    (That's good 'cause while I was out there I dropped the Quantaray on
    the concrete and chipped a little scallop out of the edge. DOH. )
    Dallas, Apr 25, 2012
  12. Dallas

    Tim Conway Guest

    LOL some accidents have a way of portelling the truth. You're probably
    better off now.
    Tim Conway, Apr 25, 2012
  13. Dallas

    Alan Browne Guest

    The scallop probably won't make much difference unless direct light hits
    it. Fill the scallop with black ink to prevent flare from the scallop.
    Alan Browne, Apr 25, 2012
  14. Dallas

    Dallas Guest


    Yeah, the tests didn't show any effect of the chip... but it's going
    in my box of used photo junk from days gone by anyway.

    If I had chipped the new B+W filter I would have been apoplectic...
    the good thing... I'll never unscrew a filter over a hard floor again.
    Dallas, Apr 26, 2012
  15. I frequently end up putting on or removing a polarizing filter in the
    field -- which often means over rocks or cement. I suppose I could pack
    up all my equipment and move somewhere with leaves on the ground
    instead. But so far I haven't dropped anything (40 years and
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 26, 2012
  16. Dallas

    Dallas Guest

    Maybe I drink too much coffee.

    Dallas, Apr 27, 2012
  17. That could be it, I never touch the stuff (can't stand the taste).

    Although I drink tea, and Coke, so perhaps our caffeination levels
    aren't so different.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 27, 2012
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.