Polarizers - Slim vs Regular

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ManhattanPrjct, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    I'm going to get a polarizing filter as my first filter and am not sure if I "need" a slim filter. I have a 77mm normal lens but also have a 72mm UWA. I understand slim filters can cut down on vignetting at wider angles, but that if I'm shooting with a 11-16 lens (vs my 17-50), the effect of the filter won't be uniform at such a wide focal length.

    I will probably get a B+W Kaeseman MRC, and the price difference at B&H isn't extraordinary ($3).

    I guess the only other thing I can think of is that I wouldn't be able to stack filters onto a slim filter, but I am not sure if I would see myself needing to do that anyway.

    Any thoughts?
  2. agtoau macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2006
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Get the B+W UV filters in the F-Pro thin mount. These are the best because they also have front threads so that your clip-on lens cap will snap on (otherwise you will be dealing with push-on lens caps which keep falling out). You will find these filters at 2filter.com.
  3. ManhattanPrjct thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    Not interested in a UV filter, but thanks.
  4. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Don't get the B+W slim ones, at least the ones with push-on caps. I have known 2 people both who bought the slim B+W polarizer, and both had trouble with the push on cap constantly falling off. If they make a slightly thicker version with a little front thread for lens caps, I'd get that.

    Whether or not a slim one is actually necessary really depends on the lens. Look for info online from users of the lens you have, and see if they have vignetting problems with a normal thickness filter. My Nikkor 12-24, for example, uses 77mm filters but it does not have vignetting problems at 12mm even with a normal filter. However, I think some of the alternatives like the Tokina 12-24, you needed to use a slim polarizer in order to avoid vignetting at 12mm. So you see it's not really a focal length + lens diameter issue, more of a case-by-case basis.

    Otherwise maybe you can try some alternative brands, for example you can buy high end Hoyas or Tiffens that are good quality, and may be better with regards to slim profile + lens caps.
  5. ManhattanPrjct thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    That's the chief complaint about slim filters, but for an 11-16, they are apparently a "must."

    I have been researching the effects of using a 72->77mm step-up ring for when I mount my Tamron 17-50, but I can't imagine it could have a great negative impact.
  6. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    I tried a step up ring briefly, but they prevent you from making good use of your lens hoods.
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The slim will vignette less- if you need it 2% of the time, it'll be worth it. If you need to cap it, use one of the sock-like caps and don't sweat it.

  8. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    Don't bother with the slim version you can't use a ultra wide lens with a polariser. Just get a normal one so you can clip your cap on easily.

    Well technically you can use a polariser on an ultra wide as the filter will fit the lens, but the sky ends up 1/2 polarised and 1/2 not, so it looks crap.
  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    If you're filling the frame at 12mm with a cloudless sky, then I totally agree. However, there are many other situations where a polarizer is both useful and usable on an UWA lens. If you shoot in portrait format, for example, the viewing coverage is not as great. You don't need to always turn the polarizer for maximum darkening of the sky, there can be clouds/trees in the sky which break up the sky and makes the polarization effect less obvious, etc.

    Don't forget that a polarizer can be used to go beyond darkening skies as well. It is very useful to cut out glare on foliage or water, compositions that may not necessarily include the sky and are often taken with UWA lenses.

  10. ManhattanPrjct thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    Thanks for the responses - B+W Slim MRC and step-up ring are in the mail.

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