Wrong filter - what to do?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by StefanKruse, May 1, 2015.

  1. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    So for a moment I got confused. I visited B&H in NY and wanted to stock up an some accessories as they are so much cheaper in the US compared to Denmark. So when the friendly sales man asked me if I needed anything else (after having order the Samy FE), I said yes a circular polarizing filter - what size he asked and I said 46mm, I should have said 52mm for my Oly 9-18mm. Didn't realize my mistake before being back in Denmark.

    So now I have a circular polarizing filter that fits my Pany 20mm and Oly 60mm. The thing is I haven't used it yet, even though I use the Pany 20mm quite a lot. I simply forget to put it on instead of my UV filter.

    Question: should I just leave the cir pol filter on the Pany 20mm i.e. will I benefit more from having it on constantly or are the times when a circular polarizing filter is a really bad idea? I use the Pany for various things outdoor/indoor, it is my default lens.

    Is there any use for the cir pol filter for my macro lens?

    Should I sell it and buy a 52mm for the 9-18mm instead. (I will probably buy a filter for the Oly 9-18mm anyway).

    So is there any use for circular polarizing filter 46mm?
  2. Leaving on 20mm:
    +Lose some light, more easily shoot wide open during the day.
    +Cut reflection, make skies and foliage pop, the usual. Still decent on the 20mm, it's plenty wide for landscapes, etc.
    -Lose some light, not good for night shooting wide open.
    -Causes funky rainbow effects with some materials, e.g. perspex.
    -20mm front moves when it focuses - not so good to have something hanging off it if it doesn't need to be there.

    On macro - cut reflection, makes foliage pop - could be useful, but limited. Often some reflection and sheen is what you want for close up subjects, as it creates more contrast. Major downside is losing light - it's already bad enough as you have to stop down for DoF close up.

    I actually recommend you sell the 46mm one and get a 58mm filter, with a step up ring for the 9-18mm. With an oversized filter you're less likely to get vignetting issues with a UWA, plus it's actually really useful on your 40-150mm lens (with 58mm thread) for cutting through long distance atmospheric haze, pollution, etc.
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  3. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    It's not typical to use a polariser on a UWA lens, if you are going to use the lens outside (and lets face it, at F4 at the fastest, you'll want some decent light).

    The scattered sunlight from different parts of the blue in the sky is polarised differently, so with a polariser on, you'd get some of the sky darker than other parts.

    This thread has a great example https://www.mu-43.com/threads/23668/
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    You don't want to leave it on all the time as they cut about 1.5 stops of light. When you set your lens at f1.7, you'd only be getting f2.8 light. Great for outdoors, which is where I use mine, but it will be crippling indoor or low light

    That would only be a problem from about 9-12mm, though. A polarizer would be nice for moderate wide angle shots at 14-18mm.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    I have gotten uneven skies using a polarizer on the 20mm, and it only gets worse on wider lenses. If you want to reduce reflections or make foilage more vibrant, its a reasonable trade-off. I would't leave it permanently mounted though...

    My advice is to get the largest filters needed for your lenses, and use step-down adapters for any lens that uses smaller filters. Adapters are vastly less expensive than additional filters!
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  6. I wouldn't leave a cpl on a lens at all. Unless I'd forgotten it was there. That's happened a few times.

    I've found a 52mm cpl on the 9-18 to be quite useful IF turned back a tad after you've seen the effect - at the 9mm end. Much less of a harsh light blue v dark blue contrast.

    As with any lens / filter combo - experiment, experiment, experiment. Like what you like and ignore dissent.
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  7. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Don't leave it on all the time. Put it on when you need it.

    I wouldn't recommend a PL filter on a very wide angle lens. It often causes more problems than it solves, giving uneven results in skies and such.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    If you plan to switch often between 9-18 and 20, then it's better to have dedicated CPL for each of them.
    UWA lens and CPL can cause issues with skies, so you'll have to exercise some caution.
  9. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    Thanks for all the input . seems like there is no simple clear cut answer as there hardly ever is I guess.
    Great Idea - I guess I can use this approach for any lens I should happen to acquire in the future - but what are the downsides Wijang?

    Thats the way I am leaning - before I ship off the 46mm I might as well experiment a bit and for outdoors. It may, in addition to the polarizing effect, be an advantage to reduce light a bit every now and then, when we get a really sunny day.
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  10. Main downside is the logistics and fiddling required to go between lenses and lens caps, which should not be underestimated if convenience is important. I for instance have a 46-58mm step up ring and 58mm lens cap on my 45-175mm (I had a 58mm polariser from an older camera), but it means I can't use the hood in this configuration. I also don't like to swap filters between my main daytime zoom lenses, so I have a separate 52mm polariser (shared with the 12-50) and 37-52mm step up ring with 52mm lens cap for my 12-32...

    Not ideal I know :-( can't seem to find good affordable filters like the Marumi Super DHGs in small sizes like 46mm which is what is what I'd rather have, might just have to bite the bullet and go for the B+Ws.
  11. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    Tried out the filter a bit this weekend but I don't think this will be useful for me. As the Pany 20mm is my default lens I constantly find I have to remove or put back on the filter. Also with the screen on the E-pl5 being difficult to see in sharp sunlight it is difficult to assess how much to turn the filter.

    So I think it will go up for sale.

    Thanks for all the input everyone
  12. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    A polariser only helps when aligned properly to cut or boost reflections as required.
    If you forget about it & just leave it on most of the time it won't be aligned properly with random alignment it makes things worse 50% of the time (often only slightly I know).
    So don't leave it on & forget it.

    I rarely use a polariser, but most of the times I try one they make a huge difference. I must try them in less extreme situations.
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