Looking for some good ND and Polarizing Filter sets

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by DigitalD, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    So looking to expand my filter collection as most of the filters I have were geared towards my back in my b&w film days, so mostly Reds, Oranges, blues, etc. After looking around a but I noticed there are a lot of low budget filters that have come to market but come to find out they are usually acrylic (hence the cheap price).

    So I thought to pose this to my forum friends here and see if anyone has a brand of choice they could kindly recommend or link me too. Im looking for some good real glass filter sets or if you have had good experience with the acrylic sets, link that too. Im mostly looking for ND and Polarizers for daytime shooting.

    Oh also variable filters are of interest as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Portugal
    Jaime

    My favorite ND filters are the HOYA ones, but because they sometimes are a bit on the expensive side (nos as much as the B&W tough), I've tried MARUMI and I'm very pleased with those.
    The MARUMI ones I've got are 3 stop ND filters and I don't see any color cast or loss of IQ.
     
  3. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Yep exactly what I was looking for. I've seen the Marumi's but couldn't find any user reviews. Thanks!
     
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  4. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I've had Marumi polarizers and currently have a Marumi clear multicoated protection filter on my X100S. I've been very happy with them for the price. I also have two Heliopan polarizers (one circular and one linear) that I have also been impressed with - although they are pre-digital era filters which I picked up for a very low price in the clearance bin at my local shop.

    I don't think you can go wrong with:

    Marumi
    Hoya
    B + W
    Heliopan
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If you're photographing in places where there's lots of rain, mist, dust and the like, then the B&W MRC filters are the better option. They almost repel water and are very easy to keep clean, which is why I use B&W filters. As far as I'm aware, B&W are the only ones that use this type of coating which, apart from the optical quality (including brass bodies), contributes to the price.
     
  6. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    956
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    I've been using the Lee Seven5 filter system and like it a lot. It's small size fits a m4/3 kit very well, and the quality is top-notch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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  7. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Thanks. Leaning toward the hoya pro for cpl. One of the only multi-coated I've seen for a good price.
     
  8. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jan 10, 2014
    Miami
    David
    Thanks Oz, I guess I'm looking for the next best option for price and quality. I prob should have mentioned that.

    I also really like the sigma DG filters. I replaced several of my tiffen UV filters with them because they are made really surprisingly well. I looked at their cpl and it is tempting but still around the $90 range. Find they hoya for under $50
     
  9. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes, the B&W filters aren't cheap and when I got my 90-250mm it came with an Olympus filter and I thought 'you beauty!', I don't have to buy a filter. After my first foray in winter to a football game, I ordered a B&W filter to suit (105mm), as wind blew rain into the deep hood and I had the devil's own time trying to clean it. I don't even want to remember how much that filter cost.
     
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  10. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Portugal
    Jaime

    I really like the Hoya ND filters (I have a ND400 and a ND8), but be careful with the Hoya Pro circular polarizers.
    I have one of those and I had a really bad time trying to clean it...
    It never looks clean and I ended up scratching the coating surface because of so many times I've tried to clean it.
    Looks like it have some greasy coating or something. I have even tried alchool and special cleaning lens fluid. After some time stored in is case when I pick it up it look's like have that greasy coat again.

    There's a more expensive one: Hoya HD CIR-PL that I've never tried.
    Maybe it's better, don't know.
     
  11. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman Subscribing Member

    285
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I have the Lee Sevan5 delux filter set which included 3 grads, the big stopper and polariser. I love it. It's a great set, small and high quality.
     
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  12. NicholasHerum

    NicholasHerum Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Jan 13, 2017
    Researching/shopping for filters is almost more difficult than trying to pick out a camera bodies and the lenses. Going down to the Caribbean in a few weeks. I've got two lenses using 37mm filters, two using 46mm filters, one 58mm and I'm probably going to take my Helios 44-2 with me as well which takes a 52mm filter. I'd like to upgrade and try to not break the bank since my wife's "patience" is beginning to thin slightly. The filters I have, AFGA and Altura branded, feel cheap and I've noticed that the picture quality is not as good when they're on versus off.

    Since this thread has been dead for a while does anyone have any moderately priced suggestions for the specific filter sizes I've mentioned, mainly looking for circular polarizers and ND? My signature should show my current lens line up if your curious about what lenses the filters are going on. Thanks.
     
  13. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Just shop for the polarizers listed in the LensTips.com 2015 shootout? I have Marumi EXUP in a couple sizes because they were the most affordable deals on highly-rated ones I could find at the time. And they are great. But I'll get the next one from another line just to check it out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  14. NicholasHerum

    NicholasHerum Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Jan 13, 2017
    Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't seen that list before; considering they rank the filters by quality and value for money it's very informative.
     
  15. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ya bad filters can give bad photos. While you don't have to go with the top brands, certainly avoid those brand names you have never heard of.

    You didn't mention your budget. If money is not an issue then most people would probably suggest something like B+W brand which seems to be fairly universally accepted as always being very good quality. But they also tend to price out at twice or more of more "pedestrian" brands. If you are looking for something more along the lines a budget option while still maintaining good quality, long time brands like Hoya and Tiffin are usually safe bets.

    Another question for you is are you looking for filters for each size (so 3 or 4 different polarizers and 3 or 4 different ND filters)? Or are you willing to use step-up/down rings to be able to share a single ND or polarizer across all your lenses?
     
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Not sure why you would want to put anything but the best in front of your lens. After a lot of research recently I have decided to go with B&W personally. I just can't justify putting cheap glass in front of my 150/2, even tho the ND and CP filters for that lens are going to cost me a small fortune.
     
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  17. Julia

    Julia Mu-43 Veteran

    263
    Mar 9, 2013
    Dresden, Germany
    I am currently looking for filters as well. I picked up a screw-in polarizer when I bought my 12-40 lens yesterday so I'd have something to start with, but my goal is a set of ND (grad) filters, the rectangular kind, for landscape photography. I've been reading the Googlez up and down for a few days now and my head is buzzing with information. What I've taken away so far (in a nutshell) is that with more affordable filters, you have to be aware of color cast. Some of the cheaper (and even some of the more expensive filters) will give you a blue-ish or magenta hue which might or might not be correctable in PP.

    Even though my budget is depleted right now, I am also looking at the Lee Seven5 filter system. It is high quality, less to no color cast, and there are sets you can buy which are more affordable than buying the filters separately.

    In addition, the company Formatt Hitech has a line called "Firecrest" which are supposed to be superior to previous lines because they no longer have a color cast issue.

    I decided to go with the rectangular ones because you can stack them more easily if needed, I think they look to be much more easily adjustable, and you can put the polarizer in front of all the ND filters instead of putting the ND filters in front. I've been watching a lot of Thomas Heaton on YouTube and it's a revelation to see what he does with filters.

    For me personally: since I invested a helluva lot of money into a brand new 12-40 PRO lens, I am not going to ruin my photos with a cheap filter. Especially the ones that need filters take time to compose, get to the location, post process, etc. I don't want to be frustrated because of I tried to get cheap glass or plastic to put in front of a great lens.

    Here's a great write-up about filters, in case you haven't seen this yet: "Link to 500px"
     
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  18. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    For my last trip, I ended up using step-up rings an a bunch of my lenses to standardize on 49mm. I then bought a set of B+W F-PRO NDs and CPL. They were small and worked great and struck what I thought was a good price/performance balance. There is a slight color cast so I carry a grey card and custom white balance.

    I could have stepped up to a larger size, i.e., 58mm to use with my Panny 12-35 F2.8 and other lenses but that would mean more cost and bulky step-up rings for small primes like the Panny 20 and Oly 45.
     
  19. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    707
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I as well Use B&W filters.

    All my lenses have a MRC 007M (clear) filter on the front to protect the front element during day to day shooting. Imo $35 is cheap security and piece of mind.

    For each filter thread size, I have a set of 3 MRC ND filters (1, 2, & 3 stop). My philosophy on stuff like this, is by the best you think you will need, because they will last for ever if you take care of them.