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03-18-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Circular Polarizing filter coated or not?

Some say I should get the multicoated circular polarizing filter, but alas, I am on a budget. At the moment, the uncoated circular polarizing filter is less than half the price of the multicoated filter. By multicoated, I mean anti lens flare and ghosting coating.

Is it really necessary that the circular polarizing filter be coated? Worst case scenario, I may be photographing a skyscraper with the sun reflecting off of it. But doesn't the polarizer take care of the glare in this case? I certainly would not be shooting at the sun using a polarizer either.

I am currently looking at Hoya's filters. Any other less expensive and acceptable quality filter suggestions are greatly appreciated!

I know there are other filter question threads out there but I don't think anyone asked this specific question yet. My apologies if this question has already been asked and answered.

03-18-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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Plus, the typical multi-coated filters transmit more light (by reflecting less) than un-coated if you want to worry about 95% versus 99%.

Consider how often it will be used and how important is the final IQ.

Get the best you can afford if you are proud of your gear.
You will never look at the good one and wish for a crappier one that has virtually no resale value.

If you can wait 10 days or so to actually receive the item you can stretch your budget a lot by buying your Hoya from MaxSaver.Net Photo Digital Video Wholesale | B+W, Hoya, Kenko, Nissin. Give them a look.
03-18-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Just as Lee says - consider the lens you will be using it with, and how much IQ you really need in your photos. That said, this is like your tripod - something you will keep for a long time regardless of lens / camera changes (assuming the same filter size )
03-18-2010, 03:10 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
If you can wait 10 days or so to actually receive the item you can stretch your budget a lot by buying your Hoya from MaxSaver.Net Photo Digital Video Wholesale | B+W, Hoya, Kenko, Nissin. Give them a look.
That's where I bought mine from. Couldn't be happier. Even got a super-high end Hoya HD filter thanks to the savings.

03-18-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
You will never look at the good one and wish for a crappier one that has virtually no resale value.

Wise words indeed!
I guess I will be saving up for a coated filter.
But is it really necessary to have the polarizer coated?

Btw, does anyone have any tips on how to clean Hoya HMC filters (other than polishing them for an hour)? Now I know I am borderline OCD...
03-18-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Augustus58 Quote
But is it really necessary to have the polarizer coated?
I'd say it's more beneficial for a polarizer, since polarizers tend to cut off some light by their very nature. The coating will help ensure that as much of that light gets through as possible, rather than being reflected uselessly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Augustus58 Quote
Btw, does anyone have any tips on how to clean Hoya HMC filters (other than polishing them for an hour)? Now I know I am borderline OCD...
Lenspen
03-18-2010, 06:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Augustus58 Quote

Is it really necessary that the circular polarizing filter be coated?
A better question would be:
Is a circular polarizer necessary?

The answer is no.
You can probably get a top notch coated linear polarizer for close to the same as an uncoated POS circular polarizer.
03-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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I don't think so...

I don't think the polarizer is used nearly enough to warrent the price difference. I spent $115 for a non-coated polarizer (77mm) and have perhaps used it twice in a year. And both times I could have made do without.

I don't think that spending twice that is necessary.

03-18-2010, 09:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by omega leader Quote
I don't think the polarizer is used nearly enough to warrent the price difference. I spent $115 for a non-coated polarizer (77mm) and have perhaps used it twice in a year. And both times I could have made do without.

I don't think that spending twice that is necessary.
But when you need your filter, you need it. I paid premium price for mine, use it at least half a dozen times a year, and have zero complaints. Compared to the cost of the rest of my kit, the cost was really rather low.

The real problem with uncoated or single coated filters (not just polarizers) is the flare you get if a light source actually touches the filter. Your image comes out much softer than it should, and with lower contrast. The flare moves the base black way up the histogram. It's not the light transmission as much as the flare that is the problem.

As to the circular/linear debate, it runs with me the same way as the lenses I choose to use. If Mr. Pentax says use a circular, I use a circular. It cannot do any harm, and might do good in the rare circumstance.

A long, long time ago, I read a comment from a pro photographer. He suggested that the only time you should buy a lens that is not the same brand as your camera is if the lens does something none of your camera maker's lenses will do, and you have a real need for it. Each time I have used a non-Asahi lens, I have been disappointed, and lost money when I sold it off to buy Asahi Optical's glass for my camera. Your Mileage May Vary, as they say.
03-18-2010, 10:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by omega leader Quote
I don't think the polarizer is used nearly enough to warrent the price difference. I spent $115 for a non-coated polarizer (77mm) and have perhaps used it twice in a year. And both times I could have made do without.

I don't think that spending twice that is necessary.
There are way better deals out there for Hoya and B+W midgrade and up filters than $115. No, I would not pay out $115 for a 77mm simply because I know I can get a quality one for slightly more than half that and have done so for my da*300/4. Anyone who shoots outdoors and has never compared the same composition shot both with and without a CPL will never realize the difference it CAN make on sky, clouds, water and greenery. I say CAN since the angles of the sun and your shot determine most of the benefit.

For starters, try pricing only the Hoya HMC or better at Maxsaver.net as I suggest even if you decide to buy local instead. This feature chart helped me understand what the difference is among grades of a brand.



Here is a chart for Hoya UV/protection filters that gives the light transmission spec for each grade and the number of coatings.

Last edited by imtheguy; 03-18-2010 at 11:04 PM.
03-18-2010, 10:54 PM   #11
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I bought a set of 67mm Hoya HD (top of the line) UV and CP filters for my DA* 50-135mm from MaxSaver. Total cost: $128.99 (included shipping from Hong Kong). Although my experience is limited, I'm not aware of any higher grade of filter than that. Same products here were close to $280 (together).
03-19-2010, 06:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote

Here is a chart for Hoya UV/protection filters that gives the light transmission spec for each grade and the number of coatings.
How old is this chart? I recently bought a couple Hoya HMC UV filters and they were made in the Philippines. I did buy them from reputable dealers in Amazon, so they should be okay right? (Why am I so paranoid!) Now it's really hard to get flares in my pictures.
03-19-2010, 08:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Augustus58 Quote
How old is this chart? I recently bought a couple Hoya HMC UV filters and they were made in the Philippines. I did buy them from reputable dealers in Amazon, so they should be okay right? (Why am I so paranoid!) Now it's really hard to get flares in my pictures.
I didn't keep the link to the original page I snipped it from last year and a quick search does not uncover it but believed it to be an official Hoya site at the time. As long as the color-coded labels still reflect the features then I can use it but like you would prefer 100% accuracy.

Paranoid? ....and rightfully so.
03-19-2010, 05:06 PM   #14
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I'm not an expert, but my 67 and 77mm circular polarizers cost about $10-$15. I tested them by taking pictures and comparing with and without the filter, and using my camera and lenses I can't see the difference at even 1:1 with raw files. However, the only times I've wanted to use a polarizer has been in flat lighting with no backlighting. I can see visibly worse flare if looking into the sun, for example - I've just never wanted to use the filter under those circumstances.

I also have "window glass" UV filters, because for some reason I often use my cameras in rain or snow or salt spray. So there is often some dirt or moisture on the filters that probably degrades the image more then the glass itself. However I try to take them off on the few occasions when I take pictures including a light source.

Paul
03-19-2010, 05:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
A better question would be:
Is a circular polarizer necessary?

The answer is no.
You can probably get a top notch coated linear polarizer for close to the same as an uncoated POS circular polarizer.
Hi, Wheatfield, I guess this is a much debated topic already. However, I do have one question. I have recently acquired a nice Chinon multi-coated lens which I find the coating to be quite remarkable as if a polarized filter is already built into the lens. Should I be getting a NDx2 filter instead of a CPL? The ND filter has a different purpose which is to reduce the contrast (often used to slow down the shutter to create silky effect of running water). This is the lens I have:
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