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Olympus 12-40mm & 40-150mm 2.8 Pro What PL/UV Filters do you use?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Milko, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Milko

    Milko Mu-43 Regular

    Hi everyone,

    I'm wondering what would be the most cost effective solution to UV and CPL filters for these
    two Olympus 12-40mm & 40-150mm 2.8 Pro?

    I saw a few filter threads, but they were slightly more general,
    now that you know the lenses, perhaps more specific recommendations could be made?

    Are Hoya any good?
    These seem to be heavily discounted at the moment -

    Then there's everyone's favourite

    I'm not sure if I want to spend 400 pounds on four 'high quality' filters...actually, I'm quite sure I don't want to do that, that's half a lens!
    On the other hand, I saw a few reviews of not-so-great filters and they do ruin the IQ quite noticeably.

    Any thoughts are welcome,
  2. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Before I got a cut rate filter I would just forgo the filter. The CPL will give many more options for your photography.

    I would not get a UV filter. If you feel the need for a clear filter, get a clear filter:
    B+W XS-Pro Clear MRC-Nano 007 Filter

    As far as the CPL you cannot go wrong with the:

    B+W Kaesemann XS-Pro Circular Polarizer MRC Nano Filter
  3. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Milko

    Milko Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the informative replies!

    rklepper, I'll be using the lens high up in the mountains, would you still recommend a clear filter instead of a UV one?
    My concern is obviously the haze in this case, protection is added bonus.
    That B+W KSM is a beast, it is slightly above the budged unfortunately.

    Wojo, thanks for the offer, I'll do some more research and get back to you if I decide to go for the Promaster.

    Timmy, that was a brilliant read, thanks! Pages 2 and 3 took me a good hour and a half,
    I thought I understood the basic concepts, but this blew my mind.

    Marumi does seem like a good option and it's half the cost of a B+W,
    I'll look for some other reviews, but so far it's on top of my list, thanks!
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I don't use UV filters for most things, but there are a couple situations in which the front element is subject to more abuse than I'd like. In those cases I've been using the Hoya HD filters. They are not cheap, but they are hardened to actually provide physical protection.
  6. RMills

    RMills Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 7, 2014
    I really like the Promaster filters, the Repellamax coating is excellent.
  7. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    I have been "collecting" filters for almost as many years as I have been shooting. Even with the advent of digital processing, certain filters are still the best option. Filters are like tripods, if you buy the cheaper ones, you eventually end up spending more overall when you upgrade. Better to get the a high quality set up front.

    Two filters I cannot do without are ND and CPL. And I buy the best quality, (not meaning the most expensive) which usually means B&W or more recently the Marumi for CPL as Hoya filters, especially the CPL, are very hard to clean. UV or clear protector filters are not something I normally invest in, as that is what lens caps are for... these are usually recommended by camera supply stores as a way to make more money. Although my Nikkor 55mm micro f/2.8 has such a deep set front lens I do have a clear Nikon filter on it that was made for that purpose. Plus the lack of a UV filter in a mountain scene is a very easy fix in post.

    ND filters are the most important ones for me and I have a 3 or more different grads of B&W multi coat in 6 different lens sizes. (yeah, close to $2,000 USD worth) I use ND for almost every outdoors portrait shoot to help lower the ambient so I can shoot at faster apertures like f/1.8, f/2, f2.8. On a sunny day this usually means 5 or 6 stops. Here I pretty much exclusively trust B&W, as sometimes the filters are stacked and their brass rings are the best. Another use for ND is taking landscapes of moving water, making it soft, or removing people from crowded venues and there I use the ND 1000 (10 stops), but always with a tripod because of the very slow shutter speeds needed. For the 12-40mm I would suggest a Marumi CPL as a start, but realize that at 12 to 15mm or so a CPL will not produce even blue skies across the shot, especially in the landscape orientation. Add a 2 stop ND rather than a UV, as it will be more useful. And if you have the 75mm f/1.8 Oly buy an 58 to 62 adapter ring so the 62mm size filter the 12-40 needs will screw onto it or as I do, put the filter on the front end of metal lens hood, it happens to be 62mm size. ( I almost always shoot with the hood on). I recently tried the new Tiffen 4 stop Multi coated HT digital ND filter for for use with my Oly 75mm and 12-40, it is very good and about 2/3 the price of the B&W. For storage I buy filter cap sets to screw my filter sets together, these can be had for cheap at places like B&H or Adorama.

    Re variable ND filters, since I started collecting a long time ago I bought single grad, as no variable ND filters of any quality were made other the the 77mm size. The Singh Ray varaible is still the king and it while it now comes in 5 or 6 sizes, given the cost of those, I still prefer to have multi single grads for the same price. The Lee (or Hitech) filter drop in system is another alternate that can work with various size lenses via an adapter ring, but I still use circular screw on glass types mainly because a lot of my older lenses have built in lens hoods and the Lee system does not work with a sliding lens hood (like the new 40-150mm Oly). Plus a lot of their filters are plastic resin and pretty darn expensive.
    • Like Like x 4
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    +1 for B+W
  9. RMills

    RMills Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 7, 2014
    Just ordered the 6 stop mc & mc kass cpl (b&w) for the 12-40.
  10. Milko

    Milko Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the replies!

    SpecFoto, that was very informative, thank you for taking the time to write it!
    2k worth of filters, that is insane! :) 

    Okay, so far I have two Marumi CPLs lined up, 62mm and 72mm accordingly, thanks again for the recommendations!

    For NDs, I'm thinking Hitech/Cokin, do you think 85mm would be enough?
    I don't imagine using the 40-150 with them a lot, mainly 12-40 and the 7-14 some day in the future perhaps.

    (still haven't laid hands on the 40-150, pre-order delays etc...)
  11. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
  12. Lionroar

    Lionroar Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 10, 2014
    After reading about the benefits of Hoya HD CPL filters on their website, I became convinced that it's the best CPL filter! Of course, maybe their website is biased a bit :smile: But still it was a compelling story about how their CPL transmits more light, and also blocks a lot more UV light than competitors. The HD coating is supposed to be a lot easier to clean than Hoya's previous coating.

    I also have a B+W MRC Nano filter, and that has probably the best coating of any filter I own. I also have a Tiffen Digital HT filter (their new coated line), and Tiffen coating is definitely more susceptible to ghosting than Hoya or B+W coating; I was disappointed.

    For normal outdoor daytime photos, in 95% of photos I took with an uncoated Tiffen filter I didn't notice any problems caused by the filter, so it's not necessarily a horrible thing if you have a filter without the best possible coating.
  13. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    After trying a number of other brands, I settled years ago on B&W filters. The fact that they use brass for all of the bodies means that they never bind and are much more durable in harsh conditions, and the MRC coating has been the best that I've ever experienced. I've also only ever used linear polarisers with all of my 4/3 and m4/3 cameras, as they are cheaper and provide better saturation.
  14. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
  15. atnbirdie

    atnbirdie Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2013
    If you are going to use a filter, buy quality, don't cheap out. I'm a fan of B+W and rklepper's answer is exactly what I use plus some NDs. I used to own Hoya but my side by side comparisons with B+Ws indicated the latter's coatings were superior.
  16. Milko

    Milko Mu-43 Regular

    Gotcha, B+W, Marumi CPL and don't cheap out on filters, thanks again!

    Now, stay alert for my upcoming off-camera Flash thread.
  17. PhillyBill

    PhillyBill Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2012
    William Jordan
    I have to agree with most of the posters and the article - Marumi polarizers are matched only by the most expensive brands like B+W, and are far cheaper. Quality and construction are top notch. When I am shooting macros, I not only like the way they control obvious reflection, but also the manner in which they control subtle reflection, creating a wonderful gradation of tones and details. All my CPLs are B+W or Marumi, and I am very satisfied. Don't do the classic tripod pyramid, convincing yourself the cheap one is okay, then replacing it with a name brand, then replacing that with a quality product. Don't buy all three - buy the right one to begin with.

    Also. spend your money on good polarizers, not UV filters. For one thing, they are largely useless, as UV does not affect digital sensors adversely. They offer little impact protection; a hood is much better, and having a filter locked onto your lens because of a bump to the ring is a major PITA. The only reason to put a clear filter on the front of your lens is for protection if you are shooting in dusty or wet conditions. Corrosive fluids or blown grit can damage the front coating of a lens, but most scratches are harmless. (See this article for the skinny on "hurting" a front element. http://kurtmunger.com/dirty_lens_articleid35.html )

    I love my local camera store, and I know that software has taken away all their colored filter sales, but the way they push UVA and clear filters as "protection" is disingenuous. It would be pretty hard to hurt the front element of a properly hooded or capped lens. I love when they show shattered filters and say they "saved lenses." A blow that could reach the lens would push shards into the front element, and a blow from the side? Well, that is probably why they have the shattered glass (provided they didn't fake it) - they had to wrench it off.

    For the record, I do own clear filters, but only for extreme circumstances, not as everyday protection.
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