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02-23-2011, 04:16 AM   #1
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Filter quality

I am in need of new filters, both UV and Polarising. There is obviously huge price differences between brands. You can drive a tank between the prices I have seen quoted for (for example) B+W, Hoya, Tiffen and Sunpack
Would someone please give me a run down on the relative quality of various brands? I am in the process of upgrading some lenses and it would be counter-productive to put anything approaching frosted window glass in front of the newly aquired lenses.

02-23-2011, 04:52 AM   #2
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You are likely to get a bunch of replies regarding the pros and cons of using a UV filter in the first place. Most people do use one I think.

In any case, here is a link. It is a little old but still useful:
UV filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com
02-23-2011, 06:31 AM   #3
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from a rank amateur... the best brands, heliopan and b+w... are made with brass... so they don't bind on lenses (not uncommon for other mfgs' products)...
also, they have the ability to transmit the most amount of light..... which will then allow for a better pic.... also their coatings (multiple) are superbly applied, and cleaning of these filters are SO much easier than say the hoya hmc filters (which i've owned previously)
scour the forum for filters for sale, as well as ebay et al......... quality used filters can be found and had for a substantial discount....
fyi.. Choosing a Camera Lens Filter

CAMERA FILTERS

hope this helps... dave m
02-23-2011, 09:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcmsox2004 Quote
from a rank amateur... the best brands, heliopan and b+w... are made with brass... so they don't bind on lenses (not uncommon for other mfgs' products)...
also, they have the ability to transmit the most amount of light..... which will then allow for a better pic.... also their coatings (multiple) are superbly applied, and cleaning of these filters are SO much easier than say the hoya hmc filters (which i've owned previously)
scour the forum for filters for sale, as well as ebay et al......... quality used filters can be found and had for a substantial discount....
fyi.. Choosing a Camera Lens Filter

CAMERA FILTERS

hope this helps... dave m
Dave, have you read the article that psychdoc posted above? Actually b+w and heliopan aren't the best for transmitting light... It was an enlightening read when I first read it a few months back.

02-23-2011, 10:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
Dave, have you read the article that psychdoc posted above? Actually b+w and heliopan aren't the best for transmitting light... It was an enlightening read when I first read it a few months back.
just took a look at it.... holy moly..... seems to contradict everything i'd ever seen/read before.... gotta read it more closely, but i believe (gotta find it), that there is another test/analysis which indicates that heliopan and b+w have superior light transmission qualities..... of course, i don't remember what i had for lunch, so gotta shake the cobwebs off and look..
thanks for the info... dave m
02-23-2011, 10:31 AM   #6
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I did a test a while back, using a henry's (canadian store brand) nikon, canon and hoya all using my 85F1.9 and shooting at a bright pot light in the kitchen.

hoya was #1 canon and nikon were not as good but equal and henry's was worst.

With other experience, SMC Pentax filters that I have picked up along the way, with smc tak's and old K mounts are better than hoya.

I really should try to do the whole gambit of filters I have around, as I have most makes in at least 1 or 2 different sizes
02-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
Dave, have you read the article that psychdoc posted above? Actually b+w and heliopan aren't the best for transmitting light... It was an enlightening read when I first read it a few months back.
just took a look at it.... holy moly..... seems to contradict everything i'd ever seen/read before.... gotta read it more closely, but i believe (gotta find it), that there is another test/analysis which indicates that heliopan and b+w have superior light transmission qualities..... of course, i don't remember what i had for lunch, so gotta shake the cobwebs off and look..
thanks for the info... dave m

found this.... the build quality of the german filters imho are superb....
https://www.schneideroptics.com/pdfs/filters/FilterTransmissionCurves.pdf

and..

NEW HELIOPAN HIGH TRANSMISSION CIRCULAR POLARIZER FILTERS
Heliopan is now shipping their new HT SH-PMC circular polarizing filters which have a filter factor of just 2.0 (1 stop light loss) while maintaining the same polarizing effect as the regular Heliopan polarizing filters which have a filter factor of 2.5!
The new filters are available in screw-in sizes from 46 to 82mm in both standard and slim Heliopan brass mounts. The slim circular polarizer will work without vignetting even with extreme wide angle lenses. This ring does not have front threads. The standard He- liopan polarizing filter mount does have front threads. Both versions are supplied in calibrated filter mounts for use with non-SLR cameras.
The new Heliopan HT circular polarizing filters are available from camera stores in the USA.
Specifications:
• High quality solid brass rings. • Black anodized rings. • Loses just 1 stop, filter factor of 2.0. • Color neutral regardless of setting. • Calibrated, repeatable settings. • Same polarizing effect as regular polarizing filters that lose more light. • SH-PMC coatings pass 99.8% of the light on to the image plane. • Least flare of any filter coatings. • Top layer on each side repels dust and moisture. Very easy to keep clean.

Last edited by dcmsox2004; 02-23-2011 at 11:11 AM. Reason: info
02-23-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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As you can see from the Lenstip article, there's a huge difference between UV filters.

Choose carefully, if you decide you need a filter at all, since they can often cause more problems than they solve (lens flare, interfere with AF etc). Hoya filters come out best in price/performance ratio.



02-23-2011, 12:28 PM   #9
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hoya hd series is supposed to be easy to clean plus very strong (high density glass)
02-23-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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First of all: Do a search for UV filter and/or polarizer here in the forum. There have been lots, very informative threads about this topic, which should already provide insights for you.

My personal experience is: you get what you pay for. Cheap filters, like the Tiffens, are often uncoated or single coated, and you'll get added reflections in your images. A multi-coating is a must in my opinion, espcially given, that most lens hoods are too short.

Cheap polarizers often introduce an ugly colour shift, which is hard to compensate for in post-processing. Also, with two glass plates, the use of inferior quality glass can lead to visible loss of sharpness.

A filter, if you really need to use one, is an extension of your lens and should at least meet the quality of thew lens.

Ben
02-23-2011, 01:22 PM   #11
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First of all, never buy ANYTHING made by Sunpak

I personally never use a filter, unless I need it. Skip the UV filter unless you are going into an environment where you need protection (beach, high dust, risk of scratching the lens).

I've found that Marumi makes highly regarded and relatively inexpensive filters, if you're looking for a good quality CPL.
02-23-2011, 03:02 PM   #12
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Skip the UV filter.

I bought a 49mm B+W MRC polarising filter as I am putting it on the front of limited lenses so wanted quality.
02-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #13
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Lenstip has also done a CPL test:

Polarizing filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com
02-23-2011, 06:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Skip the UV filter.

I bought a 49mm B+W MRC polarising filter as I am putting it on the front of limited lenses so wanted quality.
Yup. Best thing I did on my brand transition is re-evaluate my filters. Just went with 77mm CPL and ND filters. Got a step-up for any sized lenses I need to use on.
02-23-2011, 06:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rory Quote
Yup. Best thing I did on my brand transition is re-evaluate my filters. Just went with 77mm CPL and ND filters. Got a step-up for any sized lenses I need to use on.
A 77 would look pretty funny on a little limited pancake lens though
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