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Thread: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

  1. #1
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    Default Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Hi All,

    I will like to know what's the big diff between those exp and cheap C-PL. Some can cost as much as 100 bucks while others ard 20 bucks.
    Canon 500D | Tamron 17-50 2.8, EF 28-135 IS USM, EF 50 1.8, Sigma 70-300 APO DG | 430EX | Flickr

  2. #2

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Hi,

    I'm new to photography too and was recommended to get a circular polarizer. The main diff. in using the polarizer is to improve the contrast of color, like between the blue sky & your subject? Perhaps a more expensive one will see a better contrast of color?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    I wonder does the price justify for a better picture
    Canon 500D | Tamron 17-50 2.8, EF 28-135 IS USM, EF 50 1.8, Sigma 70-300 APO DG | 430EX | Flickr

  4. #4

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by jamelaw
    I wonder does the price justify for a better picture
    lol... a pro will be in a better position to answer that...

    I've just got a 30D at Comex but seems that the auto setting work best for all shots.
    Tried playing around with the creative zones setting but the pictures seem worse off. Haha...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    I'm not a pro but a regular photo-taking hobbist. My views on cir-pol are as follows :
    Differences between expensive cir-pol or cheap cir-pol.

    Expensive cir-pol >> heliopan , B+W etc usually has brass rings which are more robust and they claimed to have better coatings. Technically, i can't see any image difference in terms of quality / clarity between a hoya or B+W. However, the user needs to understand how does a polariser works in order to achieve the intended results which technically deliver better pictures !!

    FAQ :
    Slim Cir-Pol or Normal Cir-pol : Slim cir-pol are usually more expensive and the main difference is the "thinner" and slimmer rings. For some lens, a slim cir-pol will not cause vignette whereas a normal cir-pol due to the thickness of the ring does cause a little bit of vignetter (dark corners X 4) at your pictures. Please note that not all lens will have vignette issue with cir-pol. i would say 85% of the lens will not have much problem. Its usually on wider lens. 24mm and below etc.

    Circular polariser or Linear polariser : Remember to buy a polariser that marks "Cir-pol" which is suitable for AF cameras as it works well with beam-spitting metering which ensure accurate AF light metering. Linear polarisers are meant and design towards manual focus lens and it works better there.

    Understanding a polariser Polariser doesnt makes your colours more vibrant as most people perceives it to be when they see a photo with polariser seems "bluer". it merely darkens the sky, cut down glares and reflection (water etc). It does improve saturation slightly but dont expect it to be magical - eg bright colours on a dull gloomy day ..

    Then why people still buy expensive filters ? - When you're a pro, you become nitty-picky about every single little thing about your camera, including filters. Thus polarisers that cost few hundred of dollar still sells, not because of its optical differences but more towards its robust construction and most photographers will buy few "good" polarisers of different sizes for their entire photography lifetime. So if you have some extra cash, you can invest in one "good" one.

    i have never heard anyone saying " wow your photos are great ! you must have use a good camera or good polariser".. haha

    Go read on how to work your polarisers to the maximum. more useful than thinking which brand of polarisers are the best for you .. differences maybe 1% only.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Wow, thats a comprehensive coverage. Thks a lot mate! BTW, which reliable shop should I get a polarizer from? The 'slim' circular one.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    This link may help you:
    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthrea...=193352&page=4

    Regards,
    Arto.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    interestingly, i do think that there is a difference in quality.

    I'm using cokin filters now, and i find cokin's filters a bit... ermm .. sad. I was previously using tiffen's polariser, and so far, I can't replicate the shots done using my tiffens, compared to the cokins. Of course, most pro's that i read about would be using singh-ray polarisers instead of the cheap cokin one.

    Another issue that would affect the price would be the colour cast. Most people (like me) would just ignore this, but I'm told that certain brands colour casts, although I have no idea which.... its one of those i heard from a friend who heard from his friend thing. (added: ok. if you google, you'll find its a fact. for people who shoot slides, this colour cast destroys a lot of shots. Most polarisers do have a bluish colour cast. Thats why there's such a thing called a warming polariser. (singh-ray!) Some have greenish casts as well ! . arrgghh)

    [later added ... cos i just remembered]
    I think another point would be how much light loss you get from the polarisers as well. The better ones generally lose about 1 1/3 stops while others lose about 2-2 1/2 stops.
    Last edited by darrelchia; 5th September 2006 at 09:52 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Thks for the reply! but which one should I really choose for my lens?
    I've 2 noobie lens, 1 of them that comes with the standard kit for 30D 18-55mm, another is the optional purchase, 70-300 4.5/5.6.

    I know these r budget lens and I'm not so bothered about protecting the lens but to shoot pictures with better results or colors.

    Pls. advise. Thks!

  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Xevox
    Thks for the reply! but which one should I really choose for my lens?
    I've 2 noobie lens, 1 of them that comes with the standard kit for 30D 18-55mm, another is the optional purchase, 70-300 4.5/5.6.

    I know these r budget lens and I'm not so bothered about protecting the lens but to shoot pictures with better results or colors.

    Pls. advise. Thks!
    Well, keep this in mind.. the lowest quality piece of glass in the line of the picture will cause the picture quality to deteriorate. Often it's a piece of low end filter. So that's why a lot of users will reccomend only the best filters for their lenses, after all.. they have spend loads on the lenses, cameras and why should a piece of filter be the factor for the poor shot? It's all up to the user in the end. You want a good shot or not, choose...
    Michael Lim
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  11. #11
    Senior Member +evenstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    but don't forget that most people are not pros who probably don't print our pictures regularly..even if we print, we seldom print larger than S8R...so the difference is quality is not VERY noticable..
    eat. drink. shoot

  12. #12

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by +evenstar
    but don't forget that most people are not pros who probably don't print our pictures regularly..even if we print, we seldom print larger than S8R...so the difference is quality is not VERY noticable..
    I agree ... hee hee ... i think the issue is only if u shoot slides + landscapes. I just wanted to point out the finer points about polariser that most people ignore.. other than the filter ring made of brass, there's also other reasons for the price gap.

    ok .. finish OTing .. if it was me buying, I'll prob get Hoya's .. its inexpensive, and quite colour neutral. So far no one has been able to point to a photo and say .. "that one shot using B&W polariser !" ... only people point to their own photos and claim "that one shot using B&W polariser" ...

  13. #13
    Moderator chngpe01's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    I had a Hoya polarizer before. While on a holiday in New Zealand, halfway thru waiting for the geyser to erupt, my hands was abit wet and oily. It was then that I realised that the brass ring that holds the 2 pieces of glass gave way the the whole damn thing was leaking.

    I had a hard time cleaning the lens and missed the shots of the geyser erupting. From then on, no more "penny wise pound foolish" decision. Either B&W or Nikon filter, period.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    regardless of make, addition of glasses/filters will reduce the light intensity reaching the sensor. normally, unmarked filters suffers from diffraction and may introduce unwanted highlights into your image. for marked filters, though more reliable, is but another addition to the lens system.

    u may wish to experiment with multi exposure and combine in PS. this can save u tens of bucks whilst heightening ur photography experience/pleasure.

    i do notice on a personal note that some famous professional photographers like to brand off certain filters and mark them to achieve certain effects. to me, this is pure PR n nothing else.

    lenses work best w/o filters.

    my 2 cts

  15. #15

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by chngpe01
    I had a Hoya polarizer before. While on a holiday in New Zealand, halfway thru waiting for the geyser to erupt, my hands was abit wet and oily. It was then that I realised that the brass ring that holds the 2 pieces of glass gave way the the whole damn thing was leaking.

    I had a hard time cleaning the lens and missed the shots of the geyser erupting. From then on, no more "penny wise pound foolish" decision. Either B&W or Nikon filter, period.
    Interesting story. I had a Hoya polarizer that started to delaminate at the edges but I had it for more than 10 years. Now I use B+W but I think Hoya should have improved their quality by now. Difference in quality is hopefully less today.

    Filters and polarizers also reflect light, so poorer quality uncoated filters might degrade images and you lose some light. There is also some minute effect on bokeh for some lenses. All in all, I think the difference is not that great for non-pros, provided you use a lens hood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff

    lenses work best w/o filters.
    No filter is also good as you don't have the problem of uncoated filters reflecting light, increasing internal reflections, etc.

    But seeing how expensive B+W polarizers are, you might want to try your luck with Hoya.
    Last edited by An drew; 8th September 2006 at 04:02 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    I used to use Circular Polarizer for ocean shots.

    There is now a new type of CP that is ULTRA THIN.

    The advantage is that on a say 80-400 F5.6,
    using a regular thick glass CP , your shutter speed is
    very slow. With the thin one, your shutter speed
    can go up.

    Also in lower light, you can see the composition.

    Allan

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    I've got one of them cheapo, no-brand C-PLs.

    Here's what I noticed:

    - Distinctive light brown cast to the pics. It's supposed to be neutral density (i.e. not producting any colour casts).

    - The glass itself is of low quality, with very tiny artifacts in them. There's like a very light permanent "smudge" on the glass.

    - Screw thread not evenly cut.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    The most substantial advantage with more expensive polarisers is its efficiency. With my Nikon polarisers, I typically loose about 1/3 stop of light. That gives me a whole lot flexibility compared to my Hoyas, which cut about 2 stops.

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    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    i would say 2stop of light loss is also quite alright, since most people only put on polariser during the day, and the light should be able to give you fast enough shutter speed even with 2 stop of light loss. but might be a problem when you are using tele lens where 2stop of light is very important.
    the more important factor for me is that it shouldn't induce a color tint to the image (so far i tried tokina/hoya, both are pretty alright)

  20. #20

    Default Re: Diff between expensive and cheap polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ
    i would say 2stop of light loss is also quite alright, since most people only put on polariser during the day, and the light should be able to give you fast enough shutter speed even with 2 stop of light loss. but might be a problem when you are using tele lens where 2stop of light is very important.
    the more important factor for me is that it shouldn't induce a color tint to the image (so far i tried tokina/hoya, both are pretty alright)
    I've tried Tokina's... doesn't seem to add any POP into my pictures... They just reduce my stops of light...

    So far, I only trust B+W... although Nikon's NC filters are great too.

    Not sure about Hoya. FYI, Hoya's UV filters are made by Tokina... perhaps they have the same quality as Tokina's.

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