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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    First city of light, New Zealand.

    Default Linear or Circular Polarizer For PEN

    I am in the throes of adding a polarizing filter to my small arsenal. I have seen suggestions of linear rather than circular. This most appeals to the purist in me. My question however is this: can one actually see degrees of polarizing through the digital viewfinder? I would really hate to have to guess and then end up with half pale and half dark blue skies.

    With thanks for your thoughts.
    Last edited by Holymoly; January 25th, 2012 at 08:32 AM.

  2. #2


    In DSLRs, linear polarizers interfere with metering and AF. Not sure if that's still the case with EVF-less, CDAF pens.

    I have CPLs anyway, because I have used both types of cameras. I don't think quality or effect from either is different -- it's just that linear polarizers are cheaper.
    Last edited by WT21; January 25th, 2012 at 08:41 AM.
    GX7, P20 (on loan), PL25, P45-150, P100-300
    NEX6 w/MF lenses and RX100

  3. The following member thanks WT21 for this post:

  4. #3


    Buy linear. You won't have any problems with it and they are cheaper than circular polarizers. I have linear on my G1 and it is WYSIWYG, you can see the degree of the polarizing effect.

    For the price difference, buy high quality linear polarizer.
    "Reading the manual is a good way to unlock features. I recommend it. Often." kirk tuck

  5. The following member thanks F1L1P for this post:

  6. #4


    Definitely buy linear polarizers, they are much cheaper and give identical or superior performance. DSLRs need a circular polarizer because of the mirror, but we don't have that hindrance. A circular polarizer is just a linear polarizer with the addition of a quarter wave plate, so keep it simple.
    Panasonic G2 - The "mini-SLR" for me. Panasonic 14-42mm, Olympus 40-150mm. Many Nikon lenses, but most often 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 55mm macro, Tamron Adaptall 90mm and 180mm lenses.

  7. The following 2 members thank shnitz for this post:

  8. #5


    The only purpose of a Circular Polarizer that I know of is to avoid confusing the camera's PDAF system. If you're not using PDAF then I don't see the point in using a CPL. In fact, even with PDAF I prefer a linear polarizer as it has a stronger effect and I don't rely on AF. Unfortunately though, manufacturers believe that consumers rely on every Auto camera function, and as such would not even sell linear polarizers here for as long as DSLRs dominated the industry. Thank you to Micro Four-Thirds for opening the path back to linear for us. ;)
    Olympus E-P3 PEN | Olympus E-PM2 PEN Mini | Zuiko ED 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD | Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 | Vivitar 100mm f/2.8 Macro | Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2.8 | Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.4 | Konica Hexanon 85mm f/1.8 | G.Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 | Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 Macro | Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 | KMZ Jupiter-3 50mm f/1.5 | E.Zuiko 200mm f/4 | Zuiko 75-150mm f/4 | Olympus EC-14 teleconverter | VF-2 and VF-3 Viewfinders | EMA-1 Mic Adapter | Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R speedlights

  9. The following 3 members thank Ned for this post:

  10. #6


    I got a cheap CPL for my Cokin P holder. I can notice the effect on reflections and such, but looking at the sky it doesn't seem to be doing much. Plus it's a hassle to use.

    What brand do you guys recommend for a reasonably priced linear polarizer?
    Other: Blog - Wiki

  11. The following member thanks punkman for this post:

  12. #7

    Default Linear?

    I don't see any high-quality and cheap linear polarizers, at least 46mm. Marumi CPL Super is available for ~ $50 and it's a good one (and slim!), was going to get it for my 20mm f/1.7 but then found this thread. The thing is that the only linear option I see is B+W MRC which is $58 at b&h and not even in stock. Can anyone recommend a high-quality 46mm linear polarizer that is better and cheaper (or at least about the same price) than Marumi CPL Super DHG?

  13. #8


    Since I shoot with Nikon's and m43's, I use 62mm circular pol's. The 62mm size fits my Nikon lenses, and with step-up rings, they also work well on my m43 lenses. Besides that, who's to say m43 will not need a CPL in the near future!

  14. #9


    I have a Hoya LPL and a Tiffen CPL and they both work equivalently on my E-PL1/2 cameras.

  15. The following member thanks MajorMagee for this post:

  16. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Ned View Post
    I prefer a linear polarizer as it has a stronger effect...
    Photographically, a linear and a circular polarizer have the exact same effect, neither is stronger or weaker - polarized light is polarized light.

    OP: The recommendations are correct though, if you don't plan on ever using a PDAF system, then there's no reason to spend extra money on a circular. I don't generally like Tiffen's filters, but I use their linear polarizers with satisfaction.

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