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Thread: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

  1. #1

    Default Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Hi, I'm planning to do some landscape photography but not sure if I should get a couple of cheap CPL and ND filters off Mass Sales. Or should I invest in a B+W filter?

    Is there a difference in IQ of photos?

    Btw, can CPL be used on landscape photography?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    well, the topic of cheap and expensive filter are discussed widely on clubsnap and other many forums. many different viewpoints from different people

    for me, I have bought many filters (both cheap and expensive). i personally feel that both have their advantages. I have bought and sold many lenses in the past, and I now still own a big range of lenses (varying in different filter sizes). So its getting expensive for me to get the "best" filters. and who knows when I will sell away a certain lens

    so now I just get cheaper filters and they are good enough for me

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    Hi, I'm planning to do some landscape photography but not sure if I should get a couple of cheap CPL and ND filters off Mass Sales. Or should I invest in a B+W filter?

    Is there a difference in IQ of photos?

    Btw, can CPL be used on landscape photography?
    Welcome to ClubSNAP,

    Please read the sticky thread of Newbie Guide to Filters
    Mod DD123 spending so much efforts on this topic, you should spend some time reading it.

    thank you
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Yes, I read the filter guide just now but I can't decide if the cheap filters are really that bad. Because I saw a thread on Mass Sales that sells quite cheap filters. Is it worth for me to use for a beginner landscape photography?

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    Moderator keithwee's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    Yes, I read the filter guide just now but I can't decide if the cheap filters are really that bad. Because I saw a thread on Mass Sales that sells quite cheap filters. Is it worth for me to use for a beginner landscape photography?
    There is a reason why B+W filters are much more expensive than the cheap brands. The difference in glass quality alone makes a difference.

    This is something u probably gotta appreciate yourself when u have used a cheap filter vs a better quality filter.

    A common thought is if u r going to spend so much for a high end lens, the worst thing u can do to it is to smack a cheap filter on top of it.

    Maybe as u r starting out and unsure of whether u wana invest so much, a good starting point will be to get the Multicoated ones from Hoya (HMC) and slowly move up when u see the need to.

    Don't bother with the brands like Vitacon or Emolux unless that lens is a $20 CCTV lens which I wouldn't even bother putting a filter on it ok the first place.

    All e best.
    Last edited by keithwee; 1st December 2013 at 07:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    Yes, I read the filter guide just now but I can't decide if the cheap filters are really that bad. Because I saw a thread on Mass Sales that sells quite cheap filters. Is it worth for me to use for a beginner landscape photography?
    You can buy those cheap filters and try it out for yourself. Thou many have already tried and commented in form of words but as usual, YMMV against theirs which explains the spawning of this kind of thread.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    I'm thinking of getting those cheap ones to see which one do I need. The CPL or ND filter for landscape. Then I will invest in a good filter. But my question is, will a cheap filter really affect the IQ of a photo until it's too different?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    I'm thinking of getting those cheap ones to see which one do I need. The CPL or ND filter for landscape. Then I will invest in a good filter. But my question is, will a cheap filter really affect the IQ of a photo until it's too different?
    I can't say for cpl, but nd, the color casts will be different, confirm one glance if the quality Damn bad can see it's different, but correctable? Yes, but not 100%

    But how does the above statement I made helped you? You have to see it for yourself to make that call, the tolerance of individual differs.

    If you are looking for affordable nd filters at a decent iq, look at haida nd filters. So far I'm only using the 3and 6stop. Read the reviews if this filter in the review section. It's pretty well written/reviewed.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    Btw, can CPL be used on landscape photography?
    Why not? It is commonly and widely used in landscape photography. Finally, there is no rule saying a certain filter cannot be used for a certain genre. Use whatever helps you to achieve your intended images.
    Do take not of the topic "uneven polarization" when using CPL on wide angle lenses or even ultra wide angle lenses.
    EOS

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Some cheap filters are good. Some expensive filters are bad. Best way to learn which is which is to read the reviews and the sticky.
    Alpha

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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    i faced the same situation

    my solution > bought several different types of cheap filters ... they do affect (degrade) the final picture somewhat but i was okay, coz just merely learning about what each of the filters can do and what situations to use each filter (and stacking them)

    then if really become more serious in this hobby, then upgrade to more serious filters. my guess is by that time, i would already know what i need exactly and go out to source the best deal for the exact item i'm looking for

    hope that helps =)

    p/s, i'm guessing you might be able to find friends / family members who already own some filters ... that you can borrow and try


    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    Hi, I'm planning to do some landscape photography but not sure if I should get a couple of cheap CPL and ND filters off Mass Sales. Or should I invest in a B+W filter?

    Is there a difference in IQ of photos?

    Btw, can CPL be used on landscape photography?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by photoart View Post
    BEGINNERS' FILTER SET


    ND8 filter (3 Stops)
    appears gray and reduce the amount of light reaching the film. ND filters also do not have an effect on color balance.
    1) Enables slow shutter speeds to be used, especially with high-speed films, allowing film to record movement in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, or cars.
    2) Decrease depth of field by allowing wider apertures to be used, in turn helping to separate subjects from their background.
    3) Decrease the effective ISO of high-speed film and allow it to be used outdoors in bright situations.
    4) To allow picture and video cameras (which have fixed shutter speeds) to film subjects such as snow, sand or other bright scenes that can cause overexposure.
    Material Construction: Plexiglas
    46mm- $15.90
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    58mm- $15.90
    62mm- $17.90
    67mm- $19.90
    72mm- $21.90
    77mm- $23.90
    82mm- $25.90



    Circular Polarizing (CPL) Filter
    The filter could limit the reflection from non-metal surface such as water and glass windows. Using the filter. the colors shall become brighter and clearer and the contrast shall be strengthened.
    46mm- $15.90
    49mm- $15.90
    52mm- $15.90
    55mm- $15.90
    58mm- $15.90
    62mm- $17.90
    67mm- $19.90
    72mm- $21.90
    77mm- $23.90
    82mm- $25.90



    Set of 2 filters (with free 2pocket filter holder worth $8.90)
    46mm- $29.90 (U.P $40.70)
    49mm- $29.90 (U.P $40.70)
    52mm- $29.90 (U.P $40.70)
    55mm- $29.90 (U.P $40.70)
    58mm- $29.90 (U.P $40.70)
    62mm- $33.90 (U.P $44.70)
    67mm- $36.90 (U.P $48.70)
    72mm- $39.90 (U.P $52.70)
    77mm- $44.90 (U.P $56.70)

    FREE:



    These filters are brandless OEM products priced moderately for photographers on a budget.



    Self pick-up from the Cathay Building near Dhoby Ghaut MRT between 12noon to 9pm daily (this is not a camera shop)
    Payable by Cash or Credit Card
    Please PM or SMS 9694 6444 to confirm stock availability
    Price is Fixed


    CPL Filter Sample Photos:



    ND Filter Sample Photos:

    I'm actually looking at this ND filter. I'm not sure if this is good as there are no reviews. But i'm thinking of getting something cheap to test out if i really need ND filters. Is this a good choice?

    Link is from Mass Sales

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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    for ND filters, in terms of landscape, i find the squarish type to be more useful coz can "stack" and add on a graduated ND as well (grad ND is very useful for landscape - so that the sky and ground can be at nearer exposure to each other)

  14. #14
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by thenakedshades View Post
    I'm actually looking at this ND filter. I'm not sure if this is good as there are no reviews. But i'm thinking of getting something cheap to test out if i really need ND filters. Is this a good choice?
    Link is from Mass Sales
    What is the worst case? All filters turn our to be crap. Can you afford this without hurting yourself? If yes then just go ahead and see how it turns out. Whatever goes wrong is the learning lesson for you. If the filters are ok then you got a good deal.
    Once you find the limitations of these filters you will know what to look out for when replacing them. Just start walking, no point talking endlessly about the way if you don't make the first steps
    EOS

  15. #15
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    it seems to me u want people to tell u what to buy.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    it seems to me u want people to tell u what to buy.
    That itself is fine, but everyone's recommendation can vary from the cheapest to the most expensive ones that ultimately ts have to make the call and once again back to square one.

    But from past history of threads like this, thread starters usually are very new to photography too. And thus unwilling to spend large amount of money on filters and thinking that brand x and y is also nd/gnd filter, why not just the cheap one.

    Getting cheap ones means one will have to compromise image quality(due to cost reason) to a certain extend which the tolerance of each individual differs. There isn't such a "grade" of filters that is just good enough simply because of this reason.

    But to really know how those cheap ones perform, it's really best to either but and see for oneself or make the judgement based on reviews. That said, most reviews are based on different brands (with the exception of those higher tier ones like LEE, b+w, singh Ray etc) but for those China made ones, it's nearly impossible to get reviews because there are too many of those marketed under different brand.
    Last edited by SkyStrike; 2nd December 2013 at 10:36 PM.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Getting cheap filters to try is ok...

    But what hurts most is when there is a moment that is godsend, and your filters cause artifacts that destroy the shot. You will really hate yourself why you did not pay a little more for that better filter.

    Spend so much money on camera equipment already, why not spend $20-50 more for a proper filter? Might as well buy a lousy camera to try out if photography works out for you first before buying a better camera...

    My advice is, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

    Read this... http://petapixel.com/2012/07/25/this...for-your-lens/
    Last edited by daredevil123; 4th December 2013 at 09:14 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    I got my self a set of Haida from photosphere (http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1259209) as a newbie i am pretty pleased with the results produced using their NDs and CPL.

  19. #19
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Btjan View Post
    I got my self a set of Haida from photosphere (http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1259209) as a newbie i am pretty pleased with the results produced using their NDs and CPL.
    ACtually Haida filters are very highly rated. You should be happy with them for a long time.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dennisc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cheap or Expensive Filters. Does it matter?

    Better to buy expensive filters like BW etc. I bought couple of cheapie filter like Nisi, which the cam shop at AMK Hub quoted at $96 then gave me a discount to $59 but I found out later it's only $20+. Unscrupulous sellers.. and it'll get stucked on your lenses.

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