Polarizing Filter, Linear or circular for m4/3 cameras?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Paul80, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 6, 2014
    Hi all

    Quick question, I hope ;)

    With m4/3 SLR Cameras like the Lumix G5 7 G6 etc do we have to use Circular polarizing filters or will the old linear ones work just as well.

    I know SLR and I suspect DSLR cameras needed circular because it affected the exposure and autofocus systems but what about m4/3 cameras with their EVF, is the same true or will the older Linear type work fine.

    Just me being tight and good make linear filters being so much cheaper than circulars. :)


  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    No difference in m43 cameras. I. Am however seeing that linear are harder to get and circular are way cheaper than once was the case.

    To be honest I have never experienced the exposure effects supposedly caused in linear polarisers and the half mirror sections of SLR cameras. Perhaps Canon did it differently?
  3. G3user

    G3user Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2013
    Linear should be fine, but I found that circular were the same price anyway.
  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    My understanding is that linears have a stronger effect than circulars. Problem is, its hard to find FMC linears any more.
  5. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    I have both Circular and Linear and I don't see any diference
  6. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 6, 2014

    I was thinking of going down the Cokin Route so one filter would fit all my lenses and their linear polarizers are a fraction of the price of their circular ones. on eVilBay that is ;)

  7. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I found a very decent linear polarizer on eBay in unused condition for about $6. But new/modernized they're hard to find.

  8. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I think the reason circular polarizers are needed for cameras is the FF and APS-C bounce the light from a small mirror behind the reflex mirror that sends the light to the bottom of the mirror box where the auto focus mechanism did its job. I think they also reflect light in the pentamirror or pentaprism area for exposure too. With mirrorless there is no mirror and auto focus and exposure is on the sensor itself so either linear or circular polarizers work fine on mirrorless.
  9. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    The goal behind circular polarizers was to ensure that the autofocus system continued to work well, as well as proper metering with SLRs. But I'm finding that there's not a huge difference in terms of impact on the AF or Metering now days especially on micro-4/3rd which doesn't use a mirror and has no obstructions between the lens and sensor since what the sensor sees is what you get (as opposed to the mirror if the light gets split incorrectly such as the polarized light, it can screw with the AF and metering).

    In short, circular makes the polarized light fall towards the mirror/etc in a manner that's not discriminate based on how the polarizer is rotated.
  10. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM Subscribing Member

    Linear polarisers affect phase-detect AF, that's why circular is the norm for DSLRs, I think it's not only about the mirror. As far as :43: goes, I think a CPL could only be an issue for Olympus E-M1 (and I guess someone should test it to give a definitive answer) - the E-M1 is supposed to use a CDAF + PDAF combination for C-AF + tracking, so theoretically a LPL filter may affect it. Linear polarisers tend to be cheaper because they're easier to make (no need for the extra layer - quarter wave plate after the linear part) - but paradoxically there are becoming rare(ish) because they're not as popular. Furthermore, a linear polarising filter has a (sometimes much) stronger effect than a CPL.

    Finally I'd say go for a circular one because you never know what you may use it on - those tend to be the most expensive filters in people's collection (bar high quality Vari-ND maybe), so you might as well get something universal.

    But if you find a good deal somewhere on a linear one and you're sure you'll stick to the CDAF-only bodies, you should also be fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Linear poloarizers dont affect mirrorless, as the Phase detect areas are on the sensor, not on a reflected mirror.
  12. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I've got a Hoya Linear Polarizing filter and I did have a cheap chinese one too, the Hoya one was a lot better. I use to get good results with mine, but have not used it for a while. They were hard to find a few years ago, can you still get them?
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 6, 2014
    Thanks for all replies guys, most helpful.

    One more question

    Cokin list their A series Linear Polarizer under number A160 but looking for them on the bay of evil I see a number of filters under the number B160, they don't list the B160 on their website, anyone know what the difference might be. All I can come up with is that possibly the B version might have some sort of ND filter built in as it looks to have a higher exposure compensation figure quoted, is that correct, anyone remember from the days when these filter were more popular than today.


  14. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    B means that it fits into the rotating holder (originally). I have Cokin A and B polarizers and they both fit into the A holder (first slot).
  15. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 6, 2014
    Hi all

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I picked up a Cokin Linear A and can confirm that it works well on my Lumix m4/3 cameras.

    Under a fiver and fits all my lenses.

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