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01-27-2016, 06:04 PM   #1
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I'm buying cheap filters. Who is going to stop me?

I have a cheap polarizing filter that when I used it, I was really happy with the results. I know the expensive filters have coatings, etc, but I simply can't afford them. I would like to get a ND filter or two and also some different thread sizes... so I'm hoping to have a similar experience with my cheap polarizing.

This video was interesting on the topic (only regarding UV filters though): (you might want to skip the first part... its a bit weird)

Anyway, the title of this thread was meant to be sarcastic. I'm just thinking that there are situations where nice filters make a difference, and situations where a cheapy will do just fine. Any suggestions of a cheap brand that is better than most? My budget is pretty low, 10-30 dollars at most for some filters.

01-27-2016, 06:35 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
I have a cheap polarizing filter that when I used it, I was really happy with the results. I know the expensive filters have coatings, etc, but I simply can't afford them. I would like to get a ND filter or two and also some different thread sizes... so I'm hoping to have a similar experience with my cheap polarizing.

This video was interesting on the topic (only regarding UV filters though): (you might want to skip the first part... its a bit weird) cheap lens filters versus expensive ones - - YouTube

Anyway, the title of this thread was meant to be sarcastic. I'm just thinking that there are situations where nice filters make a difference, and situations where a cheapy will do just fine. Any suggestions of a cheap brand that is better than most? My budget is pretty low, 10-30 dollars at most for some filters.
If you have an Ebay account, there are some very good quality Hoya HMC ND Filters within your budget. You will just have to shop around on ebay and find the right listing. Please be sure that the filter does say, "HMC". Hoya Multi-Coated Filter. Hope this helps.

Tony

Last edited by Tonytee; 01-27-2016 at 06:36 PM. Reason: Grammar error.
01-27-2016, 08:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
I have a cheap polarizing filter that when I used it, I was really happy with the results. I know the expensive filters have coatings, etc, but I simply can't afford them. I would like to get a ND filter or two and also some different thread sizes... so I'm hoping to have a similar experience with my cheap polarizing.

This video was interesting on the topic (only regarding UV filters though): (you might want to skip the first part... its a bit weird) cheap lens filters versus expensive ones - - YouTube

Anyway, the title of this thread was meant to be sarcastic. I'm just thinking that there are situations where nice filters make a difference, and situations where a cheapy will do just fine. Any suggestions of a cheap brand that is better than most? My budget is pretty low, 10-30 dollars at most for some filters.
From time to time, one can buy Hoya HD filters (UV and circular) at amazon new below $20. So cheap does not mean low quality.
01-27-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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You can make cheaptacular ND filters out of welding shades: Use Welding Glass As 10 Stops ND Filter - DIY Photography. The results are pretty decent for a few bucks if you're ok with B&W, colour correcting is a little trickier. I've only picked up a welding shade recently, but it was a cheap way to play around with long daytime exposures, if I fall in love with this sort of thing I'll consider saving up.

See the section under "Filter Flare" in this link: Flare. This ghosting flare is why I stopped using UV filters (I only have cheapies and they definitely flare as shown in the link). I just go without now unless I really expect the front of the lens will get hit (seaspray, etc.). Presumably higher quality filters will control these reflections better, and of course you can always take the cheapies off when they're most likely to cause problems like this.

01-27-2016, 08:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zephos Quote
Anyway, the title of this thread was meant to be sarcastic. I'm just thinking that there are situations where nice filters make a difference, and situations where a cheapy will do just fine. Any suggestions of a cheap brand that is better than most? My budget is pretty low, 10-30 dollars at most for some filters.
You can get good quality used filters at a decent price, so that is an option. Check out KEH as they have a large inventory of used filters. Also if a camera swap meet is ever held in your area, they are great places for new old stock & used filters. I have bought numerous NOS Pentax SMC filters for $10.00 each at a local swap.

Phil.
01-27-2016, 10:45 PM   #6
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My only issue with a cheap, no-name, CPL I had was that I had to fight to unscrew the darned thing. Eventually I just tossed it out. Good Riddance.
01-28-2016, 12:33 AM   #7
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Two different situations I experienced.

1. ferry boat in rough sea. Spray was the main factor affecting IQ, lens hood offered no protection, I had to wipe clean the cheap UV filter every 30".
Good to have one mounted because salt water is, well, full of salt, and I would have hated to scratch my lenses.

2. Fireworks video. I had the cheap UV filter on, and it spoiled quite a bit of footage because it produced a (weaker) mirror image of the fireworks that ran top to bottom. Not good. I removed it and all was back to normal.

01-28-2016, 04:09 AM   #8
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Well, get what you can afford.

I have shot with cheap filters in the past and many times there weren't any issues with them, but flare definitely could be a problem at times and weird color shifts as well.
01-28-2016, 06:28 AM   #9
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I use zeikos brand CPL's from ebay and have no complaints. CPL is the only filter I use, when and if, I do use a filter.
01-28-2016, 06:45 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Cheap filters?! You should be ashamed. It's people like you who give people like you a bad name.
01-28-2016, 06:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Cheap filters?! You should be ashamed. It's people like you who give people like you a bad name.
01-28-2016, 10:23 AM   #12
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I usually get the cheapest filters I can find, but then aside from a UV or 1A, I don't use them nearly as often as I imagine I will. What fancy name brand ones I have, I've found used, usually in camera store used junk boxes. I got a scratched Skylight on a used lens I bought, so I covered it in black tape, and now it's a great screw-in lens cap.

As for ND filters, aren't they still available in sheet stock that can be trimmed to fit in a Cokin or Wratten filter holder? If so, that's another option.
01-29-2016, 02:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
My only issue with a cheap, no-name, CPL I had was that I had to fight to unscrew the darned thing. Eventually I just tossed it out. Good Riddance.
I had an affordable Marumi CPL which was good enough built-quality wise and gave very good results optically, but it was impossible to clean. No matter how clean the Lenspen or microfibre cloth or how long and thoroughly I rubbed around on it, there would always be weird smears left. Replaced it with a Hoya HD recently, let's see how it holds up.
01-29-2016, 06:17 AM   #14
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I think that the place where you'll see the biggest difference in cheap filters vs expensive ones is in flare reduction when shooting into light sources. I use relatively inexpensive filters (Tiffen). They work well as long as I use a lens hood and am careful about flare-inducing situations.

---------- Post added 01-29-2016 at 09:18 AM ----------

Oh wait...we were supposed to stop you from using cheap filters, right? Okay...here goes:

"Don't...stop! You'll be sorry!"

Did that work?
01-29-2016, 03:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
My only issue with a cheap, no-name, CPL I had was that I had to fight to unscrew the darned thing. Eventually I just tossed it out. Good Riddance.
That very well may be, however I have had the same problem. We determined that it was due to metal expansion. My wife must have the heat on high in the house, even when summer is here. I have heard others in my group claim the same issue with their expensive filters. It is a thought.

Tony
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