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Thread started 30 Sep 2012 (Sunday) 23:42
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polarizing filter recomendations

 
Wilt
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Oct 01, 2012 22:40 |  #16

From best to worst...
99%+ light transmission super multicoated

  • B+W Kaesemann
  • Hoya SHMC, B+W MRC non-Kaeseman
  • Hoya HD, Kenko Zeta, Marumi

97% light transmission, multicoated
  • Hoya Pro1 Digital, Hoya HMC, Kenko Pro1 Digital

Don't bother, double/single coated:
  • Canon, Tiffen, most store brands, Hoya blue box or green box


A test report on polarizers http://www.lenstip.com …arizing_filters​_test.html (external link)

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Whortleberry
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Oct 02, 2012 04:04 |  #17

Wilt: Totally agree with your listing - especially the last (laugh and run away) category.
However, for the slightly less well versed I think there is a possibility of becoming tied up with almost meaningless minutiae - no way can the average person differentiate between 99% transmission and 97% transmission. I certainly haven't got the necessary instrumentation. If we factor in t/stop readings as opposed to f/stop settings, the former being actual transmission and the latter a mathematical computation, a difference of 2% in transmission of filters is academic. Likewise the variable nature of the true dimensions of an achieved and repeatable f/stop in an auto-diaphragm lens throws another spanner in the works - I can't find the ISO-defined parameters for this but seem to recall that the old BSI standard allowed ±33.3% variation from the marked (notional) setting. Even pre-set and manual apertures never even approached 100% accuracy. So a stated 2% variation in transmission is more marketing than actually useful to us.
But I still agree with your listing, and order, in it's entirity! ;)

Marumi - the DHG Super falls into the top category, the others in the range do not and are not as good. While I certainly would go to the trouble of tracking down a Marumi DHG Super CPL, I wouldn't bother for the others as there as just as good available with less hassle. Still can't discover why they rebranded from 'Aroma' though.
Hoya HD = Kenko Zeta. Same filter, same production line, different box for a different market.
Hoya Pro1 Digital = Kenko Pro1Digital. Likewise.
"Most store brands" I have always regarded as being in the 'down to a price rather than up to a quality standard' category. There must be a reason they are comparitively cheap. If a product is good, folks are generally keen to put their own name on it - market pressures and buying power notwithstanding. Cynically, perhaps this is the way in which the 'B' grade products (and there are always going to be some) are utilised?


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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hollis_f
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Oct 02, 2012 04:36 |  #18

Whortleberry wrote in post #15068602 (external link)
Wilt: Totally agree with your listing - especially the last (laugh and run away) category.
However, for the slightly less well versed I think there is a possibility of becoming tied up with almost meaningless minutiae - no way can the average person differentiate between 99% transmission and 97% transmission. I certainly haven't got the necessary instrumentation. If we factor in t/stop readings as opposed to f/stop settings, the former being actual transmission and the latter a mathematical computation, a difference of 2% in transmission of filters is academic.

It's not the 2% difference in transmission that's important. It's the three-fold difference in reflection that is important. Most of the light not transmitted is reflected. Lenses and filters are coated to minimise internal reflections because internal reflections are responsible for flare - causing loss of contrast and ugly blobs of light. So the super-multicoated filters, with one-third the reflectance of the multicoated filters should offer a lot less flare.

Whortleberry wrote in post #15068602 (external link)
Marumi - the DHG Super falls into the top category

Does it. Marumi's product blurb (external link) refers to 'coating' not 'coatings'. If it were multi-coated I'd have thought they'd have mentioned it as it is pretty important.

Ah, just read the Lenstips test results (external link) where the Marumi tied with the B+W KSM for first place - and trounced it on price.


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
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Wilt
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Oct 02, 2012 10:06 |  #19

Whortleberry wrote in post #15068602 (external link)
Wilt: Totally agree with your listing - especially the last (laugh and run away) category.
However, for the slightly less well versed I think there is a possibility of becoming tied up with almost meaningless minutiae - no way can the average person differentiate between 99% transmission and 97% transmission.

I understand where you're coming from, and with a normal scene and not a chance of flare introduced by external light sources, I would agree. However, when an external source falls upon the glass elements of the lens, adding a filter makes it visibly worse even with a top filter! Any light which is not 'transmitted' will be reflected and materialize as contrast lost and/or flare.

Here is a test demonstrating that, showing no filter vs. Hoya SHMC (some flare) vs. Tiffen (much flare)...yes, there is no 97% transmission filter example, but its result would fall in between the Hoya SHMC and the Tiffen.

http://www.kenandchris​tine.com/gallery/10543​87_ucZqa/1 (external link)


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Whortleberry
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Oct 02, 2012 16:28 |  #20

Wilt & Frank: Apologies, apparently I didn't make myself very clear. Obviously the higher the transmission, the better. Similarly, all other things being equal then no filter is better than even the best purely in terms of transmission amounts. I was trying, apparently unsuccessfully, to point out that with all the other factors which have a bearing on overall transmission, a difference of 2% is inconsequential in reality and may simply add confusion. The moment you start quoting "the science bit", an astounding number of people turn off or simply run away screaming (metaphorically).

Yes, flare has a bearing on image quality - of course it does, schoolboy physics/optics. But we were talking about the amount of light passing through a filter rather than any of the myriad other factors. Again, my apologies for lack of clarity.

Wilt: Strange that you should happen to drop on the Tiffen range as exemplifying less than ideal quality. They may have/have had a deserved reputation in the movie industry but the few I've seen for stills use have been pretty mediocre specimens. Perhaps it's the very tight control of lighting in the movie industry which makes the difference - or our comparitive lack of control! Another (European) brand which I've found to be rather over-hyped is Heliopan - very pricey indeed for what you get. Not actually bad filters, just way over-priced and often bettered at a lower price. I also never found Rodenstock particularly good value for money though it's about 20 years since I last looked, they're nowhere near as commonly found as once they were. (But I do like my Rodenstock Softar II, the one marked "Carl Zeiss Germany" :D.)

Frank: You're quite right about Marumi's phraseology. I hadn't looked at that site at all, now I come to check it's also repeated in form/substance on Kenro's (UK distributor's) site. I too would expect them to conform to the norm of ultra-descriptive terminology yet they seem almost reticent. I wonder if it's mere etymology, refering more to the fact that there is coating and less to the configuration. Whichever, I was assured by Kenro MD when the DHG Super was first introduced that it referred to a multiple layer, vacuum-deposited coating with particular attention to the rear surface which is the one which would produce internal reflections and non-imageforming flare.

Similarly, I can't find any reference to glass homogeneity, surface smoothness or plano-parallelism which are equally important in producing quality optics. Hoya, too, are pulling back on the availability of technical data - is this a trend or is it just industrial secrecy? Once upon a time, I had a legitimate hook on which to hang some investigation of this but no longer - despite the curiosity still being there. I'm just glad I'm not in the market for any more gear these days.


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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hollis_f
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Oct 02, 2012 16:47 |  #21

Whortleberry wrote in post #15071310 (external link)
a difference of 2% is inconsequential in reality

You seemed to have missed my point. A difference between 99% transmission and 97% transmission isn't an inconsequential 2% difference, it's a massive 300% difference in the amount of reflected light.


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Whortleberry
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Oct 02, 2012 17:24 |  #22

hollis_f wrote in post #15071380 (external link)
You seemed to have missed my point. A difference between 99% transmission and 97% transmission isn't an inconsequential 2% difference, it's a massive 300% difference in the amount of reflected light.

To the average reader, this would imply that a filter with a transmission of 97% passes multiple f/stops less light than one of 99% transmission. This obviously isn't the case. We can twiddle numbers until we prove that pink is candy-striped - if we had the time or inclination. It's also way off the initial topic.

I fully understand what you are getting at. In one case 1% of light impinging on the surface is reflected while in the other case 3% is reflected so that would be a three-fold increase (you can't, strictly speaking, have a percentage greater than 100 despite common usage) or your "300%" - but it's a three-fold increase on a tiny proportion of the total light and not a three-fold increase on the total amount of light initially falling on the surface. Yes, there's a three-fold increase in the amount of light reflected from the surface, but only a 2% decrease in the amount transmitted. Or there are some awfully dark CPLs out there :lol:


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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Wilt
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Oct 02, 2012 17:30 |  #23

According to the HP Marketing rep, Bob Solomon, "German branded Rodenstock filters are made by Heliopan. But Rodenstock uses the older PMC multi coating on theirs rather then the more modern SH-PMC coating. The rings are the same as Heliopan's. Japanese branded Rodenstock filters come from a totally different supplier and are not related to the Heliopan ones."

Whortleberry wrote:
Wilt: Strange that you should happen to drop on the Tiffen range as exemplifying less than ideal quality. They may have/have had a deserved reputation in the movie industry but the few I've seen for stills use have been pretty mediocre specimens. Perhaps it's the very tight control of lighting in the movie industry which makes the difference - or our comparitive lack of control!

I one had a Tiffen linear polarizer, and in holding it in my hand and rotating it (I was comparing the linear polarizer to a CPL for the first time, 30 years ago) I noticed that the Tiffen filter acted as a PRISM distorting the view thru the filter. I promptly crushed the filter under my heel on the sidewalk, so as to never have another photographer ever suffer from my resale of that horrendous filter! I never ever considered another Tiffen product.


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Whortleberry
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Oct 02, 2012 17:43 |  #24

Wilt wrote:
I promptly crushed the filter under my heel on the sidewalk, so as to never have another photographer ever suffer from my resale of that horrendous filter! I never ever considered another Tiffen product.

Now that is what I call control! Big round of applause from me.


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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Oct 02, 2012 17:50 |  #25

Wilt wrote in post #15067895 (external link)
From best to worst...
99%+ light transmission super multicoated
  • B+W Kaesemann
  • Hoya SHMC, B+W MRC non-Kaeseman
  • Hoya HD, Kenko Zeta, Marumi

97% light transmission, multicoated
  • Hoya Pro1 Digital, Hoya HMC, Kenko Pro1 Digital

Don't bother, double/single coated:
  • Canon, Tiffen, most store brands, Hoya blue box or green box


A test report on polarizers http://www.lenstip.com …arizing_filters​_test.html (external link)

I would put Singh Ray on top of your list and Heliopan produces really nice polarizers as well, not sure where they would fall.


www.luisargerich.com (external link)
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hollis_f
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Oct 02, 2012 18:27 |  #26

Whortleberry wrote in post #15071538 (external link)
(you can't, strictly speaking, have a percentage greater than 100 despite common usage

Hmmm, we'll save the maths lesson for later.

Whortleberry wrote in post #15071538 (external link)
but it's a three-fold increase on a tiny proportion of the total light

Yes, it is a small proportion of the total light falling on the lens, but that's irrelevant. You don't need a lot of light reflecting around to create flare. Just a small proportion of the total light is enough to ruin an image. And the fact is that single coated filters reflect three times as much light as the multi-coated filters. And it's that reflected light that causes flare. If a filter reflects three times as much light then it should be obvious that it must be more likely to cause flare. Otherwise lens and filter manufacturers wouldn't bother spending millions on developing new coatings. And multi-coated filters wouldn't command such a premium when it comes to cost.


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hollis_f
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Oct 02, 2012 18:42 |  #27

Whortleberry wrote in post #15071538 (external link)
you can't, strictly speaking, have a percentage greater than 100 despite common usage)]


Dagnabit, maths lesson now.

Zimbabwe a few years back had insane levels of inflation. Currently, in the UK inflation runs at around 3%. So something that costs £1.00 now will cost around £1.03 next year. But in Zimbabwe from 2000 to 2001 prices increased so that something that cost Z$1.00 would, one year later, cost Z$2.00 - an increase of 100%. But things didn't stop there, by 2003 that same item would cost Z$12.00, an annual inflation rate of %600. By the end of 2008 their inflation rate had reached 89,700,000,000,000,000​,000,000%. S much for not being able to have a percentage greater than 100%. (See here (external link) for figures.)


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Whortleberry
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Oct 02, 2012 18:51 |  #28

:lol:


Phil ǁ Kershaw Soho Reflex: 4¼" Ross Xpres, 6½" Aldis, Super XX/ABC Pyro in 24 DDS, HP3/Meritol Metol in RFH, Johnson 'Scales' brand flash powder. Kodak Duo Six-20/Verichrome Pan. Other odd bits over the decades, simply to get the job done - not merely to polish and brag about cos I'm too mean to buy the polish!
FlickR (external link) ◄► "The Other Yongnuo User Guide v4.12" by Clive Bolton (external link) ◄► UK Railway Photographs 1906-79 (external link)

  
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dodgyexposure
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Oct 02, 2012 19:07 |  #29

2filter.com is a good palce to source filters. They carry most brands.


Cheers, Damien

  
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thirtyfivefifty
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Oct 26, 2012 03:38 |  #30

B+W Kaesemann


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