Choosing A Correct Circular Polarizing Filter?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SolracSelbor, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    Can someone advise me what to look for when buying a circular polarizing filter? Im not sure what size (thread size) to get, most of all. I have a 18-55mm lens, does that mean I should get the 55mm size filter?

    I also dont know what "drop in size" or "Rear and Bayonet Mounts" are. I also dont know the difference between "Circular Polarizers", "Circular Hybrid Polarizers", and "digital circular polarizers". Furthermore, I have no clue on how to put one on...i know how lame that is! Can you use a polarizing filter with a lens hood...or is that overdoing it?

    All this technical stuffis making my head spin! :confused:
    Any help will be greatly appreciated!

    P.S.
    I hear Hoya is a good brand?
     
  2. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #2
    I cant answer most of your questions but I can tell you that

    the size polarizer has to do with the diameter of your lens
    on my d40x for the lenses I have that is 52mm

    the filters just screw on to the end of the lens and are easy to take off
    and
    yes you can use a polarizer with a lens hood
     
  3. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

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    west of Philly
    #3
    55mm is not the right number, for example I have the canon 17-55mm 2.8 IS, it takes a 77mm filter. Check your owners manual, it should have what you need. Look for a value for lens filter size. If you don't have the owners manual, try looking it up on Amazon. They are pretty good about having that value in the technical specs section for the lens and/or camera.

    Good luck.
     
  4. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #4
    oh i see. But i have an 18-55mm lens does that mean i would need an 18mm filter or a 55mm filter
     
  5. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #5
    That's the focal length range of the lens, not the filter size.

    You have to find the tech specs sheet of your lens and look where it says filter size or diameter.
     
  6. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Nikon and Pentax 18-55 zooms use 52 mm filters

    Canon 18-55 uses a 58 mm filter.
     
  7. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #7
    The filter size should be imprinted on the lens body. On my two Nikon zooms it is with the model designation on the underside of the barrel. It has ø77 after the model.

    BTW: if this is a digital camera, do not get a linear polarizer. Get the circular polarizer. And you may want to watch for a thin one for use at wide angles (18mm). You can use it with a lens hood, but it can be a pain to adjust it. I don't really use one that often though.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Circular polarizers screw into the filter threads on the front of your lens, the thread size is printed on the lens barrel with the ø symbol next to it. Pay extra for a "thin" one so it'll work with your lens at a wide angle. You may have some issues with focusing if the front of your lens rotates during focusing, you'll have to focus, then rotate the outer ring on the polarizer to polarize the scene. Hoya makes good filters, as do Lee and B+W.
     
  9. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #9
    Long ago, when I got my first Auto-Focus camera I was told Circular Polarizers are for Auto Focus camera.

    Standard polarizers are for manual focus.

    I guess that rule would be true for digital since it was true for film and had to do with the focus system.

    Canon EOS 650 <--- the Auto Focus camera that won me over - it was the fastest and quietest operating auto-focus camera in it's day ... and Canon's first ... wife bought it for me as a Wedding Gift in 1988 ... still have it today!
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    He sais he has a Nikon 18-55. That lens has a rotating ring (yuk). But it is not to bad what I do hold the filter ring with my left hand to keep it from rotating as the lens autofocuses. It is anying that the focus throws off my filter setting but you can hold it.

    As they say "thin is better if you need it. I doubt you will with the kit lens. But do aalso spend the money on the best quality you can afford. Hoya is a good brand but that make a half dozen lines of filters at various price points.
    By at least Hoya's "HMC". What you are paying for is the better anti-reflective coating. Makesure it says "multi-coated".

    The reason I say this is that because tou need to hold the filter in your left hand with a 18-55 lens you can't use the lens shade and the Pol. filter at the same time.
     
  11. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #11
    What do you mean you cant use both? Why not? BTW i have the PENTAX 18-55mm kit lens
     
  12. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Portland, OR
    #12
    On the Pentax lens (which Carlos has) the front element doesn't rotate, so it's a non issue anyway. But if it did, Pentax has a little trick up their sleeve for using the circ-pol filters anyway. They have a little trap door that slides out from the bottom of all their lens hoods that allows you to rotate the filter while the hood is attached. It could also be used to steady the filter while the fron element rotated during focusing. It's little things like this that make me love Pentax!

    SLC
     
  13. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    OH!!! So thats what that detachable part on the lens hood is for! Gotta love pentax!
     
  14. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #14
    Yup, it's little things like that that make Pentax's "just work", and it's a big part of why I love them (that and all the sweet prime lenses). It's little details like that that also contribute to the company's reputation as a "photographers company", they make products with the photographer in mind first and foremost.

    And those that mentioned that the correct CP filter size (or obviously any other type of filter for that matter) is listed on the front of the lens and is preceded by a Ø symbol. I think the kit lens takes a 52 mm filter, but there are adapters to buy that can make it possible to buy a single large filter and use it on all your lenses. I can find the name of it if you like.

    SLC
     
  15. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #15
    Yes SLC, that would be great if you could. Thanks!

    Also, do you know what "bayonet" and "rear" mounts are and what "drop in size" means
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #16
    Some lenses, like my 400mm lens have huge front elements around 8" (150mm or so) across. they take (special and expensive manufacturer-only) "drop in" 52mm filters that drop into a slot in the rear portion of the lens rather than what would otherwise be a plate-sized filter that'd be hyper-expensive. You want the screw-in kind that goes on the front of your lens, not a bayonet one.

    If your filter size is also 52mm, you want something like this:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/132996-REG/B_W_66026458_52_mm_Circular_Polarizer.html

    or if you want a multi-coated uber-expensive one:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/181672-REG/B_W_66025828_52_mm_Kaeseman_Circular.html

    I like Schneider-Kreuznach glass, so B+W is my preferred brand, but Hoya or Lee are equivalent.

    If you have other lenses, you _may_ want to look at a step-up ring, but I think you're more likely to get vignetting at the wide end with a ring, as the filter sits further out due to the ring.
     
  17. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #17
    Isn't the type that screws into the front of the lens called bayonet mount. If not, I've been mistaken for a long time! I thought they called them that because they screw into the front like a bayonet to a musket!

    And Carlos! The product is called a step up ring (beaten to the punch thanks to compuwar). Adorama has them for about $7 each and you'd probably want to get say a 72 mm filter and some rings to step your lens up to that diameter!

    http://www.adorama.com/Catalog.tpl?page=il_refine_search

    Hope that helps
     
  18. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #18
    Does the coating make much of a difference, as well as the slim glass? I read that slim glass is only good for wide angle shots. Does that mean I need a different filter when zoomed at 55mm?

    @SLC
    Thanks! Is there any compromize or drawback when using a step up ring? Also I cant find one thats 52 step up to 72...unless i need to buy multiple rinds which would then render the lens hood unusable. Also...why a 72mm filter?
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #19
    No, bayonets slide on and twist to one side locking on on lugs. Think push and turn- usually about 90 degrees. If you had to screw on a bayonet, you'd take too long and get stuck yourself in short order.

    I think the Hassy and Leica crowd as well as perhaps some of the filter systems use bayonet mounts.
     
  20. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #20
    For the coatings, "it depends." Schneider thinks it's worth $20 extra though, given the cost, the scratch resistance in the coating looks attractive to me.

    The thin ones work wide as well as zoomed in, the non-slim/thin (normal) ones will vignette at wider angles. On a lens that goes to 18mm, you'll probably want a slim one, even though you'll get somewhat strange effects at that angle of view due to the light paths at the sides.

    additon: I'm not sure I'd risk vignetting with a step-up ring.
     
  21. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #21
    Yeah, I guess that a 72 mm would probably just about do it for useability of the lens hood wouldn't it, I didn't think about that. Yeah you would have to use multiple rings, that's the idea. You spend $7 for each ring instead of $50+ for a decent filter for each different lens. But you would have troubles with the lens hood. I suggested a 72 because it's nice and big, and it would probably cover a large selection of lenses from about 200 mm on down. That way you could get away with one filter and some step up rings.

    Perhaps it's better to just get a separate filter for each lens, or to be more modest with the size of the filter so you could still get use out of your lens hood!


    SLC
     
  22. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

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    May 29, 2007
    #22
    The Nikon thin multi-coated CP is excellent, but pricey. I paid about $125 for one in 77mm. The smaller ones will be cheaper of course. B&H Photo usually has the Nikon CPs, but they tend to be in short supply at local dealers.
     

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