250 EUR filter -- is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Vautrin, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I went to the local photo store looking for a filter for my Mamiya RZ67.

    I wanted a polarizer, and was shocked when the storekeeper told me the only filter he sold was 250 EUR. He told me that if I had a 77mm lens, it must be a high quality lens, and I shouldn't buy anything but the best filters for such a lens, because otherwise sharpness and contrast will suffer.

    Is there any truth to that? I bought my mamiya second hand and literally the filter would cost more then I paid for the mamiya.

    And I do love the mamiya and the pictures she takes, but 250 EUR seems realllly expensive. How much sharpness would I really use if I went with, say, a cheap square filter system?
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My opinion on filters it that like everything else, generally, there is the law of diminishing returns. There is a direct correlation between price and quality up to a point, but beyond that the difference is negligible. I doubt that you are really going to be able to take side x side images, one w/ a $150 polarizer for example and one w/ a $250 polarizer and say "wow what a difference that $100 made". On the other hand, you probably will see some difference between a $25 and $125 filter.

    Just my .02
     
  3. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Since most of us here will have no idea what 250 EUR buys in your country, it might be better to tell us exactly which filter that is.
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Or search the many CPL filter threads to see which ones are usually recommended.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I'd tend to agree with Johnboy2978; I have owned low-cost polarizing filters before,years ago, and they performed poorly with my high-quality wide-angle primes. A poorly-constructed polarizing filter can ruin images. I always liked the oversize diameter Nikon brand polarizers for the older 52mm sized wideangle lenses of the 1970's-1990's era. The better quality polarizers these days are pretty expensive. The B+W brand for example is quite expensive, but very good. Keep in mind this truth: filters have just about the highest markup from wholesale to retail as does anything in the photographic market. Filters are affordable at wholesale,and are routinely marked up **staggering** percentages, especially in the USA and Europe. There are a number of Hong Kong dealers that sell filters with much lower markups than do USA and European dealers.
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Prices in EUR are about the same as prices in dollars.

    Something that costs 50 USD in the states costs about 50 EUR here.

    Unfortunately 1 EUR == 1.5 USD...Damn taxes....
     
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Ok, that should help the answers which unfortunately you are not going to get from me because it has been way too long since I bought my last Polarizer :er:

    But a quick question: was the filter you were shown a CPL? Because you don't need a CPL with your camera and linear polarizers are cheaper. CPL are needed with digital cameras and if that was the only one they had in the store, there's a good chance it would be CPL.
     
  8. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It was a circular polarizer.... I think it was a Hoya....
     
  9. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well the current exchange rate for Euro to USD is 1.342 so 250 € = $331 USD. The most expensive Hoya filter listed on B/H is $187 which would be 139€. Sounds like your camera shop is marking it up about 2 x what was already over priced.
    hoya 77mm polarizer
     
  10. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Look at a Linear Polarizer then.

    I tried a quick google to find you a comparison chart of different brands but... nothing. It may be harder to find than for CPL since fewer and fewer people shoot film but I would think that if you take longer than I did looking, you should find something to help you.
     
  11. Steve Reddin

    Steve Reddin TPF Noob!

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    I think the reason the filter you were looking at is so expensive is that it is a screw on variety, although without seeing it I'm open to correction on that. So Hoya make one for each lens size, hence the reason the seller said if it were bigger it would cost more, and because they are made per lens, like everything that is bespoke...and big...they are expensive.

    It's a much more affordable option to go for a pro square filter system such as Cokin, Cromatek, Jessops et al. My filter holder offers the ability to put a round polarising filter in place just in front of the lens. This way it doesn't matter what diameter lens you are using, you use the same filter for each, and that's a lot cheaper. In addition, you then open yourself up to the host of filters that are out there, all of which fit into the same filter holder.

    Steve
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely! You shouldn't need a CPL on your film camera.
     

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