Question about filters

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by wharvey86, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. wharvey86

    wharvey86 TPF Noob!

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    I am relatively new to this whole Dslr thing and i just purchased a sony a300. Well in my search for new accessories for my camera i have run into a question. How much difference is there between a cheap filter and a really expensive one? For instance i saw a circular polarizer and nuetral density filter at circuit city for only $15 each and then i have seen some online that cost a few hundred dollars. I am wondering what is the difference between these filters? I am by no means a pro photographer i just do it as a hobby on the weekends. So would it be better for me to go with the cheapies so i can have a bigger variety of filters or should i spend the extra $40-50 for the better know named filters?
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The main difference are structural, glass quality and coatings.

    Structural. The cheapest have plastic mounting. Worthless. Better have metal, usually aluminum. The best have brass. I have yet to ever have a brass filter get stuck on a lens.

    Glass. The cheapest use plastic or glass. Better have optical plastic or glass. The best have either best have seriously high quality optical glass or Resin filters.

    Coatings. The cheapest have minimal coating. Better have some some coating. Often on one side. The best are high quality complete multi coated filters.

    Filters are a very subjective thing. I own a high quality 4X4 UV/Haze filter when shooting in the mountains or high altitudes. (I do not use filters for lens protection. That is a much debated topic whether filters are good protection or not and at what cost and you should research those threads and decide for yourself.)
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/251636-REG/Schneider_68124144_4x4_UV_410_Glass_Filter.html

    I own a couple of very high quality Polarizing filters and step down rings so they can cover my entire lens range. My preference is for Kaeseman polarizers. They are expensive, but they do the job.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/95042-REG/B_W_65016520_77_mm_Kaeseman_Circular.html

    I own a set of 3, 4X4 Neutral Density filters a set of 3 4X6 soft graduated Neutral Density filters and a set of 3 4X6 hard Neutral Density filters. None were cheap but the fit every lens I own.

    The thing with buying a filter to remember is that you are putting another piece of glass in front of your lens. You have to balance quality of the filter with cost.
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The size of the lens that you are putting the filter on, will also affect the price as in there is a lot more glass in a 78mm filter than in a 50mm filter.

    skieur
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=100830

    Take a gander at that thread. I compared some cheap and some less cheap but not expensive filters in it. Going all out in my personal opinion is a complete waste of money, but putting a really cheap filter on your camera is quite detrimental.
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do you mind if I start quoting you on this description? It's a beauty.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Be my guest. :D
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In general I would agree. That may seem strange considering the filters I linked to, but keep in mind that my UV haze and ND filters all fit 9 different lenses. When you start breaking the cost down for all the lenses they fit its not so bad. The as for the polarizer, it is expensive, however it fits 9 lenses as well. I have a 52mm for my 400 f2.8 that fits in the holder. It is my only single use filters. As for the Kaeseman filter, I have compared it to a good quality CP and the richness of color from the Kaeseman suprised me. That is why I ended up with it.
     

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