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Buying a good CPL Filter - which one?

24 May 2013 4:49PM
Hello everybody,

I am looking to buy a decent CPL filter (58mm) for my Canon EOS Rebel t3i (600D in Europe).
I of course first made the rookie mistake of buying a cheapy 3-pack (Vivitar ND8, CPL. UV) and on trying the CPL filter didn't really see much difference. Surprise! Blush

I know opinions vary on if you should use filters or not so here is my reason:
I'll be travelling around Europe during the summer. stops include Italy and Sweden.
Looking through photos from my last Italy visit I noticed that a lot of the colours are washed out (bright sunny days). Even though they were taken with a point and shoot, I did have the same issue when travelling with the SLR to Mexico taking pics at mid-day. On my stop to Sweden there will be numerous pics including water.
And of course there will be lots of museum visits and pics through glass.
So I thought a CPL filter would help with these issues.

I have been looking at several reviews and B+W and Heliopan seem to come out top but Hoya got mentions as well.
B+W has a Kaeseman filter as well. What's the difference to B+W only?

Anyway, your input/recommendation is highly appreciated.

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justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
24 May 2013 4:58PM
I've owned the B + W Kaeseman slim polariser for several years and have always been happy with it. I've no idea how it compares to other brands but I don't think you'll be disappointed with either B + W or Heliopan filters.
24 May 2013 5:05PM
what's the difference between slim and not? just size?
monstersnowman 12 1.7k 1 England
24 May 2013 5:11PM
Slim filter on a wide lens is less likely to cause vignetting, especially if stacking filters If you go for slim makes sure it has a front thread that will allow you to put the lens cap on as some don't.
JJGEE 13 7.1k 18 England
24 May 2013 5:57PM
I have Hoya cpl's
AlanTW 15 351
24 May 2013 6:15PM
If you want quality it has to be B+W
24 May 2013 7:58PM
I bought a CPL to fit my Sigma 10-20 when going to Tenerife a couple of years ago. Can't remember the size exactly, 77mm I think. Had a look online, where prices ranged from 5 to 125. I lashed out a fiver and was delighted with the results. (Cheap? Me? You bet!) I eventually bought an adaptor ring at 77mm so I could use my Cokin P system on all my lenses. I've found that if I use the P mount with CPL on my 10-20 lens, I get a small amount of vignetting at the wide end, which is removed by zooming to about 12mm. In practice though, I find I can ignore this amount of vignetting, because I do all my printing in A sizes (A3, A4 and A5 mostly) and when I do the slight cropping required to ready my images for print, the vignette is removed. The reason I bought the 77mm adaptor ring was so that I could use my 10 stopper filter on all my lenses. I haven't tried stacking filters as yet on the 10-20, so I can't say what amount of vignetting would occur.
Hope this helps.
Alex. Wink
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
24 May 2013 8:32PM

on trying the CPL filter didn't really see much difference. Surprise! Blush

Perhaps your first need is to check the Vivitar pol.
To do this on a bright sunny day with the sun over your shoulder, pol aimed toward a landscape, look through the pol.
Rotate the pol 180 degrees while looking through it.
If the colours are saturated at one position and desaturated at 90 degrees you have a pol. Unless you bought a fake your pol should do this.
If the pol works as it should when rotated turn your back to the sun, rotate again and their should be very little colour change in the 180 degree rotation. All pols work like this way.
It is possible if you did not know pols only work well at 90 degrees to the light source and in only some lighting conditions your pol is OK.
Pols should not be used all the time because in anything but suitable conditions they degrade colour saturation and also require about 1-2 shutter speeds slower than using no pol.
carper123 Plus
6 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
25 May 2013 4:54PM
Hi, imo you cant go wrong with Marumi filters, especially the DHG super range, really good value for money.
Darryl. Smile
28 May 2013 9:35PM
Thank you all for your input.

I have been looking around and have come up with another question.
How vital do you think the MRC is?
From what I have been reading it doesn;t add anything to your photos, correct? Just protects?
There are several B+W models with this but it makes it roughly double the prize to one without - at least it is the only difference I could make out.
I am looking at 'B+W 58mm Slim-Line Circular Polarizer' (around $40), 'B+W 58mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Coating' (around $90).
The contra to the 'slim' seems to be the issues with the lens cap falling off. I am not so fuzzed about getting slim but at least on Amazon in the US there seems to be either Slim or MRC on offer.
Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
28 May 2013 11:07PM
I`ve used B & W, Hoya and Tiffen, there all pretty good.

Often the super thin filters are stamp with the words pro or something similar and for most of us the only real difference is the price.

Today I picked up a used 37mm hoya CPL for less than 4 quid, you don`t need to spend a fortune.
justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
29 May 2013 9:37AM

Quote:The contra to the 'slim' seems to be the issues with the lens cap falling off.

As mentioned above, the slim filter means you can't use your regular lens cap. The B + W filter comes with a cap which appears to be fairly secure and tight fitting. I've never actually used it other than to keep the filter covered whilst in storage. I tend to just use a polariser when needed and usually end up fitting it, taking the shot and then removing it and refitting the regular uv/protect filter I tend to keep attached to the lens.
Having just had a look at the cap, it doesn't 'snap' into place like a regular cap but it doesn't appear to fall off too easily either.

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