What should I pay for a polarizing filter?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Robert Coe, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    Because of aquisitions over the past couple of years, three of my most-used
    lenses are now 77mm diameter. So imagine my irritation last weekend when I
    reached for a 77mm circular polarizer and realized that I don't have one! My
    largest polarizer is 67mm. :^|

    So, off to the B&H Web site to find what I need. But it seems that the prices
    of polarizers can now vary by a factor of five or six ($45 to $275, more or
    less). So can you guys help me sort this out? How much does a serious
    photographer have to spend? In the "old days" I'd have bought the $45
    polarizer without a second thought. Should I reconsider that attitude now? Are
    there actually important differences, or is it all marketing hype?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Aug 31, 2012
    #1
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  2. Robert Coe

    Alan Browne Guest

    The better pol filters are multicoated, thin and expensive.

    Trust: Hoya B+W/Schneider Nikon

    There are probably other very good brands, but the above are the ones I
    would buy. (Mine is a Minolta 72mm from long back - I too need a 77mm
    for my 135mm.)
     
    Alan Browne, Aug 31, 2012
    #2
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  3. I've looked at some tests and read anecdotal evidence and there is a
    difference.

    The Hoya (HMC) multicoated filters are good enough but performance is
    significantly better with the (HD & Pro) higher ranges. I thought I'd go for
    one of those if I bought another circular polariser. The B+W ones are a
    notch above at the higher ranges but not worth the money for my milk bottle
    camera or anything I might take. Can't comment on any other brands as I lost
    interest in them after an initial look.

    I lost the links ages ago but there's a Polish (?) blog out there with
    sample images which convinced me that Hoya HMC filters were good enough and
    the better filters cut down another chunk of flare to make it worthwhile if
    you were shooting under difficult conditions like streetlights at night.

    Beyond a certain point I wonder if it's worth the bother as flare can have
    an artistic quality and add a certain charm to photographs.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Aug 31, 2012
    #3
  4. Robert Coe

    Bruce Guest


    I bought my 77mm CPL a few years ago. It cost me a lot of money but
    has proved to be a wise investment. The brand is B+W, it is made in
    Germany from Schott glass (Carl Zeiss Group), it is multi-coated and
    is sealed at the edges. It is therefore completely waterproof. That
    matters because you can use wet cleaning methods and the water never
    penetrates the polariser matrix between the two sheets of glass. Also,
    no problem using it in adverse weather or high humidity.

    The ones with sealed edges are called Kaesemann.
    <http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...45620_77mm_Kaeseman_Circular_Polarizing.html>
    or
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/9e4l72x

    $144.95 from B&H with free shipping. Fine value IMHO.

    You may be able to find a slightly cheaper version made by Heliopan.
     
    Bruce, Sep 1, 2012
    #4
  5. Robert Coe

    PeterN Guest

    Both Bruce and Alan gave you good advice.
     
    PeterN, Sep 1, 2012
    #5
  6. Robert Coe

    otter Guest

    Consider it cheap compared to Lee filters.
     
    otter, Sep 1, 2012
    #6
  7. Robert Coe

    PeterN Guest

    When I win the lottery I will get some Singh-Ray filters.
     
    PeterN, Sep 1, 2012
    #7
  8. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    : I lost the links ages ago but there's a Polish (?) blog out there with
    : sample images which convinced me that Hoya HMC filters were good enough
    : and the better filters cut down another chunk of flare to make it
    : worthwhile if you were shooting under difficult conditions like
    : streetlights at night.
    :
    : Beyond a certain point I wonder if it's worth the bother as flare can have
    : an artistic quality and add a certain charm to photographs.

    Or not. The times I've gotten flare on my photographs, "charm" wasn't one of
    the words I used to describe it. ;^)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 1, 2012
    #8
  9. True.

    I found the filter comparisons. You can look at the them yourself and
    someone else's general impression of the Hoya HD filters.

    http://www.lenstip.com/115.1-article-Polarizing_filters_test_Introduction.html
    http://dpnow.com/6797.html
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Sep 1, 2012
    #9
  10. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    : >Because of aquisitions over the past couple of years, three of my most-used
    : >lenses are now 77mm diameter. So imagine my irritation last weekend when I
    : >reached for a 77mm circular polarizer and realized that I don't have one! My
    : >largest polarizer is 67mm. :^|
    : >
    : >So, off to the B&H Web site to find what I need. But it seems that the prices
    : >of polarizers can now vary by a factor of five or six ($45 to $275, more or
    : >less). So can you guys help me sort this out? How much does a serious
    : >photographer have to spend? In the "old days" I'd have bought the $45
    : >polarizer without a second thought. Should I reconsider that attitude now? Are
    : >there actually important differences, or is it all marketing hype?
    :
    :
    : I bought my 77mm CPL a few years ago. It cost me a lot of money but
    : has proved to be a wise investment. The brand is B+W, it is made in
    : Germany from Schott glass (Carl Zeiss Group), it is multi-coated and
    : is sealed at the edges. It is therefore completely waterproof. That
    : matters because you can use wet cleaning methods and the water never
    : penetrates the polariser matrix between the two sheets of glass. Also,
    : no problem using it in adverse weather or high humidity.
    :
    : The ones with sealed edges are called Kaesemann.
    : <http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...45620_77mm_Kaeseman_Circular_Polarizing.html>
    : or
    : http://preview.tinyurl.com/9e4l72x
    :
    : $144.95 from B&H with free shipping. Fine value IMHO.

    Yeah, that one caught my eye on the B&H site yesterday. I had about resigned
    myself to buying a couple of them when I noticed that some ostensibly similar
    filters were dramatically cheaper and others dramatically more expensive.
    Which left me nothing but confused. But so far, everyone seems to be giving me
    the same advice, so the B&W Kaesemann is probably what I'll end up with.

    One point: Does that model let you put a lens cap on over it? The reviews I've
    read complain that some of the thinner ones don't.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 1, 2012
    #10
  11. Robert Coe

    PeterN Guest

    Would it be fair to say that your word wold have qualified for the
    upcoming SI? ;-)
     
    PeterN, Sep 1, 2012
    #11
  12. Robert Coe

    PeterN Guest

    There really is simple test for a filter. Take a shot or two directly at
    a point source light, then at some angles to the light source. If no
    flare, you're in.

    Let me add one more comment. Even a smidgeon of foreign matter, or a
    small scratch can cause a flare.
     
    PeterN, Sep 1, 2012
    #12
  13. Robert Coe

    PeterN Guest

    Bob,
    I have a thin Hoya which accepts a lens cap easily. Your real
    alternatives, are to call B&H tomorrow, they are closed Saturdays, or
    try Hunts, which is near you. I have found Hunts extremely reliable.
    Gary Farber is the owner and very responsive.
     
    PeterN, Sep 1, 2012
    #13
  14. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    : : > On Fri, 31 Aug 2012 23:37:05 +0100, "Charles E. Hardwidge"
    : > :
    : > : I lost the links ages ago but there's a Polish (?) blog out there with
    : > : sample images which convinced me that Hoya HMC filters were good enough
    : > : and the better filters cut down another chunk of flare to make it
    : > : worthwhile if you were shooting under difficult conditions like
    : > : streetlights at night.
    : > :
    : > : Beyond a certain point I wonder if it's worth the bother as flare can
    : > : have an artistic quality and add a certain charm to photographs.
    : >
    : > Or not. The times I've gotten flare on my photographs, "charm" wasn't one
    : > of the words I used to describe it. ;^)
    :
    : True.
    :
    : I found the filter comparisons. You can look at the them yourself and
    : someone else's general impression of the Hoya HD filters.
    :
    : http://www.lenstip.com/115.1-article-Polarizing_filters_test_Introduction.html

    Eep! The first thing I did with this article, after trying to slog my way
    through the physics of polarization, was read the review of the B&W filter
    that Bruce recommended. And the reviewer credits it with an inexcusable
    manufacturing error! I hope this was just a fluke?

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 1, 2012
    #14
  15. Robert Coe

    Bruce Guest


    B+W do a thin version of many of their filters. It's a long time
    since I bought one but I think I got a plastic push-on cap with it.

    For the avoidance of doubt, the item linked to above is NOT a thin
    filter, so it will have a 77mm female thread at the front that will
    take a conventional 77mm lens cap.
     
    Bruce, Sep 1, 2012
    #15
  16. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On 9/1/2012 8:25 AM, Robert Coe wrote:
    : > On Fri, 31 Aug 2012 23:37:05 +0100, "Charles E. Hardwidge"
    : > :
    : > : I lost the links ages ago but there's a Polish (?) blog out there with
    : > : sample images which convinced me that Hoya HMC filters were good enough
    : > : and the better filters cut down another chunk of flare to make it
    : > : worthwhile if you were shooting under difficult conditions like
    : > : streetlights at night.
    : > :
    : > : Beyond a certain point I wonder if it's worth the bother as flare can have
    : > : an artistic quality and add a certain charm to photographs.
    : >
    : > Or not. The times I've gotten flare on my photographs, "charm" wasn't one of
    : > the words I used to describe it. ;^)
    : >
    :
    : Would it be fair to say that your word wold have qualified for the
    : upcoming SI? ;-)

    Very likely. I can think of three major instances, and I wasn't pleased on any
    of those occasions. I don't use that lens much anymore.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 1, 2012
    #16
  17. Robert Coe

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On 9/1/2012 8:49 AM, Robert Coe wrote:
    : > : I bought my 77mm CPL a few years ago. It cost me a lot of money but
    : > : has proved to be a wise investment. The brand is B+W, it is made in
    : > : Germany from Schott glass (Carl Zeiss Group), it is multi-coated and
    : > : is sealed at the edges. It is therefore completely waterproof. That
    : > : matters because you can use wet cleaning methods and the water never
    : > : penetrates the polariser matrix between the two sheets of glass. Also,
    : > : no problem using it in adverse weather or high humidity.
    : > :
    : > : The ones with sealed edges are called Kaesemann.
    : > : <http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...45620_77mm_Kaeseman_Circular_Polarizing.html>
    : > : or
    : > : http://preview.tinyurl.com/9e4l72x
    : > :
    : > : $144.95 from B&H with free shipping. Fine value IMHO.
    : >
    : > Yeah, that one caught my eye on the B&H site yesterday. I had about resigned
    : > myself to buying a couple of them when I noticed that some ostensibly similar
    : > filters were dramatically cheaper and others dramatically more expensive.
    : > Which left me nothing but confused. But so far, everyone seems to be giving me
    : > the same advice, so the B&W Kaesemann is probably what I'll end up with.
    : >
    : > One point: Does that model let you put a lens cap on over it? The reviews I've
    : > read complain that some of the thinner ones don't.
    :
    : Bob,
    : I have a thin Hoya which accepts a lens cap easily. Your real
    : alternatives, are to call B&H tomorrow, they are closed Saturdays, or
    : try Hunts, which is near you. I have found Hunts extremely reliable.
    : Gary Farber is the owner and very responsive.

    I'm not in a big hurry. Note that I didn't even realize I didn't have such a
    filter until I was doing landscapes on a hazy day in Maine last week.

    Hunt's came up with a Tokina 11-16 after I'd spent several months on the
    waiting list at B&H and Adorama. The big problem with Hunt's is that their
    store in Harvard Square is tiny. Even their larger store out in Melrose is
    tiny by NY standards.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 1, 2012
    #17
  18. Robert Coe

    dadiOH Guest

    Would a step down adapter cause vignetting? MIght work, I'd certainly
    check.
    I would still buy it (the $45). I can think of nothing anyone could do to
    one to justify $275. Hell, I spent a lot of time sticking stuff in front of
    lenses to *get* flare and/or decrease sharpness.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    Winters getting colder? Tired of the rat race?
    Maybe just ready for a change? Check it out...
    http://www.floridaloghouse.net
     
    dadiOH, Sep 1, 2012
    #18
  19. Robert Coe

    Alan Browne Guest

    Mounting a 67 on a 77 will definitely cause vignetting at wide to
    moderate FL's.

    It's fine to own, say a 77mm and use a step down ring (they are very
    "lean") to smaller ring sizes. The opposite rarely works - esp. for
    such a large step (10mm) - that would probably require two rings in any
    case.

    But when you don't want flare, it can be ugly. I'd stay away from cheap
    polarizers and go with Nikon, Hoya and B+W - multicoated.
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 1, 2012
    #19
  20. That was pretty much my reaction as well! Given B&W's reputation the
    manufacturing error did seem out of character. I know it happens but...

    Personally, I'd go for the Hoya HD but that's just me, and the B&W filter
    has its advantages which you may find worth paying for. My milk bottle
    camera isn't worth the expense of the B&W and the fact the Hoya only kills
    one stop is pretty useful as I need all the light I can get with a small
    sensor. The B&W sounds like it may be worth it for you and your usage habits
    and as a filter is an investment item it's worth the extra expense.
     
    Charles E. Hardwidge, Sep 1, 2012
    #20
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