Confused on which filters I should be buying...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by anubis404, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Since I upgraded my lens, I need a new 72mm CPL. I can get a low lend hoya for about $35. I can get a low end CPL for about $15. What does the $35 one give you that the $15 doesn't?
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A lighter wallet.
    No, actually it is just a little bit quality, warranty, threading.
     
  3. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Does the quality on <$40 filters vary noticeably? Name brand or other?
     
  4. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    No, you might want to look for a good multi-coated CPL. Might be more around 50, but you will stop flare.
     
  5. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Is that necessary even with a hood?
     
  6. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Don't think flare as in reflections created by the sun bouncing around inside your lens. Think of flare as in the coatings on the filter, rather lack of coatings, changing light patterns.

    Basically, ask yourself why are more expensive lenses equipped with more glass and special elements that deal with chromatic aberrations? The answer is quite simple. All colors in the visible spectrum have different wavelengths. So, they each diffract at different places in the lens. These elements correct this problem. Better filters do not change the diffraction of the light.

    Now, you have a great lens ready to deal with it, but you use a cheap filter. You diffract the light and mess with the physics of the optics. You can use a $2,000 lens with a $25 filter, but why? You are adding an additional glass element to your lens when adding a filter. This is regardless of the lens used.

    So, Hoya is a great example. They have come out with a new HD line (High-Durability). This filters are multicoated and designed to give you the best possible element in front of your lens. Also, more expensive filters tend to be thinner. This prevents a possible vignette on your photograph.

    The best filters on the market are Heliopan and B + W, bar none. These are by which all others are compared. Does this mean you need to spend $250 per filter (which is what these cost)? No!

    Hoya has recently, as stated above, come out with their HD line of filters. Fantastic filters around $125. Still high, but half the price of the best without half the performance. And even though Hoya's own Website lists their new line of High Definition filters, the HD does really stand for High-Durability.

    Most important functions of a filter. They let the most light through and reflect too much light. So, get multi-coated regardless of manufacturer. Their build quality. Brass is best. Lastly, they are thin.

    If you can get all of these, or just the ones you care about for $50, great! There is some name-brand mark-up in filters. This is everywhere you look. You are paying for a name. But ask yourself, "How are they able to command extra money just for their name?"; they have built superior products over many years.

    Hope this helps.

    -Nick
     
  7. anubis404

    anubis404 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I settled on an inexpensive Sunpack as a CPL. I am currently saving all I have for either a good wide angle or a good telephoto, and I don't think I can afford to spend over $50 on a filter. I will only be using this filter for landscape or outdoor shooting. When shooting portraits or other, I shoot filter free.

    I can always upgrade the filter later, and if I get a wide angle, most of my money will be put into a good CPL for that. All I really need is something to darken the skies on outdoor shots. I assume the quality loss with a cheap filter is fairly unnoticeable?
     
  8. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This won't darken the skies, it increases saturation, for what you want it to do, you would need a Grad ND.
     
  9. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    Don't assume. This is all dependant on how important the photograph is to you. If it a photograph at a friends BBQ, it doesn't really matter. When I shoot my fiancée, I use the best camera, the best glass, and the best filter. Why? Because it is of these photographs I am most particular and critical.



    Not to jump on Alex's bandwagon, but he is right on the money. A CPL can stop down a shot, but this is an interesting side effect. Its main purpose is to only allow light to enter at a certain angle. This is why you can see through water by removing reflections. The light reflected is at a different angle and the CPL removes it. Leaving behind the water and what is beneath.

    You need a ND filter. More specifically I would suggest a graduated ND filter. This allows for the bright sky's tonality to be reduce without compromising the subjects tonality.

    -Nick
     
  10. Michael P. Harker

    Michael P. Harker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The only filter you really need on any of your lenses is a UV filter, which absorbs the ultraviolet wavelength and greatly improves overall color saturation, but is mainly used to protect your lens. Cracking a $15 filter is a lot easier to replace than a front element. Tiffen makes excellent filters at a fair price.

    If you want great color saturation in the sky of your outdoor images, there is a simple law of physics to use that doesn't require a filter at all. Let me try to explain this.

    First, walk out into a field or a large parking lot with the sun to your left. Look at how much blue saturation is in the sky and begin to turn slowly in a 360 degree circle, all the while observing the changes in the blue hue. Keep your view just above the horizon for this first cirrcle. What you will discover is that when you point your camera 90 degrees from the direction of the sunlight you get your deepest color saturation in the sky.

    This is because the atmosphere itsself acts like a lens - as the sun's light passes through the atmosphere it penetrates most directly straight through - if it is noon, the light comes from the south and travels north. When you stand with your back to the sun you will observe the sky in front of you is the lightest, while directly to your left OR right it is at a much deeper blue. This is that 90 degree differential.

    Now try the same test only this time raise your vision so you are looking 90 degree up from the horizon. You should notice that the upper most dome of the atmosphere is always a dark blue.

    By controlling your angle of view with the sun and how much upper tilt you have in the lens axis, then you have complete control of color saturation in the sky "without the use of a filter". This principal applies at any time of the year - the flexibility in achieving your results is afffected by the seasons. In summer, the sun travels across the northern hemisphere at a much higher inclination and in the winter it is much lower to the southern horizon. Actually, you can achieve your deepest blue saturation in winter, as more of the atmosphere is less affected by the scattering of the light.

    The same principal also works when you shoot in black and white (except, of course, the sky changes to a darker or lighter gray)

    I hope this helps you!

    Michael P. Harker
     
  11. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit


    Michael,

    While I did not post this thread, first I would like to thank you for replying. However, this is a bold statement and not really accurate. Remember, we don't always have the luxury of choosing which direction in which we are going to shoot.

    Also, ND, CPL, and many other filters are here for a reason. Yes, every lens should have a filter on it at all times, even if that filter is a UV filter. But, there are great photographic reasons for filters.

    -Nick
     
  12. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,601
    Likes Received:
    1,929
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Sorry, but I disagree. The only time I will ever use a UV filter for "protection" is if I were at an event that is likely to be throwing mud, dirt or debris in my direction. Protection's best friend is the lens hood..... along with common sense.

    If you want to increase saturation and contrast, use a CPL. If you want to keep from blowing out the sky and still retain shadow detail, use a Grad ND, if you want to use slower shutter speeds to attain the silky look of moving water, use an ND filter. IMO, those are the only three filters a digital photographer "needs". The UV for protection theory is a myth, in general.

    I've got $K's worth of lenses. That money wasn't spent to have an inadequate piece of optic material to be placed in front of it. If perchance debris were to strike my front element full on, the UV filter is likely to create more damage than prevent. Glass on glass is nasty.

    And another note to those considering filters............ the money you spend for a top-shelf filter is worth it, in the end.
     

Share This Page