Filter brands, which is best, or is there much difference?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by SC, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. SC

    SC TPF Noob!

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    Is there any significant difference in quality between brands of filters. I have noticed a considerable range in prices from one brand to the other. Hoya even has several different quality and price filter lines. Is this you get what you pay for, or are you paying for the name.

    Also I will soon take a trip to the mountains, hoping to get some shots of the leaves changing, and some wildlife. I understand that haze filters are needed for higher altitudes, and have seen some warming filters used for landscape photography. Any advice for filters in this situation?

    Thanks,
    SC
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I would definately get a polarizer filter. If you have an autofocus lens, you would need a circular polarizer, if you have a manual focus lens, you would get linear.
     
  3. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    haze filters are uv filters. 'haze' meaning 'haze reducing'. practically speaking, you should have a uv (haze) filter on your lens at all times to protect the glass of the lens.

    it is somewhat of a 'get what u pay for' scenario; some glass is simply better than others. i paid the money for uv, polarizing, and red filters (used for b&w ir photog), for the rest i use cokin gels.

    describe the 'warming' effect that u want.
     
  4. crystalview

    crystalview TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I the UV is a must to have on all the time, I agree. Anyone know what type of reputation promaster or M&K filters have?

    BTW, if you have photoshop or an editing program, a filter for color enhancement is not even needed. Thats just my opinion.
     
  5. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Unless you're shooting film and want real prints from the negatives, of course... 8)
     
  6. crystalview

    crystalview TPF Noob!

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    Yes, this is true. Should have thought that one through more before running my mouth. :roll:
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    There is a difference between top of the line and run of the mill filters; mostly regarding surface flare(coatings) and color accuracy. Is the difference enough to warrant the big price difference? Only you can decide that. I've used B+W and I've used Promaster; most of the time I can't tell a difference. I usually buy Tiffen or Hoya; theyare economical and I have good results with them.
     
  8. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Currently, I have only UV and red filters for my lenses, but am looking at more so I have read this with great interest. There does seem to be a huge price difference from brand to brand, even while the basic item description remains the same. (I am speaking mainly of circular polarizers and warming filters.)

    On the absolute highest cost end, I do find some mention of filter coatings while others do not boast these layers of coatings. That much difference I can get; but the point is, do these coatings enhance the performance of the filter, or are they generally applied to protect the filter?

    Also - I've been told to purchase the filter size that accommodates my largest lens, and buy adapters to get it to fit the smaller sizes. Sage advice, or does anyone have differing theories??
     
  9. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    My largest lens is an 80-200 with a 55mm thread. I bought all my filters for that size and bought step up rings. lot cheaper than buying for each size.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Coatings affect flare, desaturation, and color accuracy. It can seem silly to have a high-falootin' lens with the latest in space age coating technology, and then go and cover it with plain, uncoated glass. You can't go wrong with either Tiffen or Hoya, and they are fairly reasonable. When you start hauling in the big bucks you can get a full set of B+Ws for your entire lens selection.

    Coatings are not protection, in fact they are easily marked with rough handling.

    I understand the logic of ecomony in the get the biggest size filters and use step-up rings strategy, but I still buy the correct size for the lens. I just can't imagine my 77mm lin pol (for a P67 175mm LS) screwed onto my Pentax 50mm f/1.7 with a 49mm diameter. Well, I can imagine it, and that's why I don't do it. Anyway, if you use a filter a lot, then it's worth getting a few; if it's a rarely used filter, go with the big size and use step-ups.
     
  11. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay..... that's good to know. hmmm..... my wide angle (20 mm) and my 85 mm share the same filter size of 67, so any adapter or stepup ring or whatever you call it would only be for 1 other filter size (also shared between 2 other lenses).

    I'll only know if I use it a lot once I have one. :) All my lenses wear their own UV filters, at all times. I only remove them to screw on the red and that's only for IR.....they're generally inexpensive. It's the polarizer that seems to vary between $39 and $150 (for 67 mm filter size), and I like to understand how things are made to illustrate (read: justify) the cost variance.

    I'm never against spending what I have to to obtain the best result. It's those words "what I have to" that lend themselves to various interpretations. So there's the rub. :wink:
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    B+W pretty much guarantees absolute neutral color transmission in a standard polarizer (not a warming pol, etc...). Tiffen and Hoya probably do not. But the question is, can you tell the difference? Can your viewers tell the difference? And, shouldn't you be spending that extra money on a new lens or darkroom equipment?
     

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