CPL Filter differences.

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Folks.
I have a question regarding the quality of the cheap CPL filters from China via eBay. I understand that they are aluminium rather than brass construction, but then the dearer filters that I might buy (Hoya Pro) are aluminium too!
I'm looking at getting a 67mm to go on my EF-s 17-85mm lens on my 40D and with a step ring on my EF 70-300mm which is basically my work (second) kit, I use it for documentation of work to classic cars and those unexpected opportunities on the way to or from work.
I have a set for my L glass in my main kit and don't want to get too heavily invested in the second set.
I know the "you get what you pay for" argument, but I'm wondering if for something that may never be used or only rarely whether the CPL filters can be that bad. I have looked at Andoer and Fotga at about a quarter of the cost of the Hoya.
Will they work, what don't they do that they should, what is different that should convince me to buy a Hoya (or similar in that price bracket). I will spend more to get more, just don't like spending more to get the same or very similar!

Thanks in advance for any input on this.

Cheers, Graham.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,604
2,060
Some also make effective soft-focus filters, but not all. Why not buy from somewhere you can return it, and test it out?
 

LesC

EOS RP
Jun 27, 2013
246
51
Essex, UK
500px.com
You can get the Hoya Pro1 polariser for £33.89 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hoya-Digital-Circular-Polarizing-Filter/dp/B000KL5T9G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478978078&sr=8-3&keywords=67mm+polarising+filter

At that sort of price, hardly worth risking a cheapie from ebay?
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,563
146
Valvebounce said:
I have a set for my L glass in my main kit and don't want to get too heavily invested in the second set.
Even among brands like Hoya you can find filters at different price levels. For example Hoya has the standard filter line, the PRO-1, The Fusion and the HD/HD nano ones. Maybe you can find something adequate without the very cheap Chinese sellers.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Neuro.
Thanks for that, I really don't want a soft focus filter, never really liked that effect.
The only place locally for test and return is a reputable camera shop that sell the Hoya and Tiffen filter ranges and wouldn't stock these.
I should be able to return to a "UK" stockist through Ebay relatively easily.

Cheers, Graham.


neuroanatomist said:
Some also make effective soft-focus filters, but not all. Why not buy from somewhere you can return it, and test it out?
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Les.
Thank you for your thoughts, I already have these for my "going out to take photos gear," I have a second "workshop" kit which I may occasionally, as in perhaps 3 or 4 times a year need to have a polarising filter on. I have bought Tiffen UV filters for these lenses, just figured a "case bound" CPL probably didn't need to tie up Tiffen / Hoya money!

Cheers, Graham.

LesC said:
You can get the Hoya Pro1 polariser for £33.89 from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hoya-Digital-Circular-Polarizing-Filter/dp/B000KL5T9G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478978078&sr=8-3&keywords=67mm+polarising+filter

At that sort of price, hardly worth risking a cheapie from ebay?
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi LDS.
I'm reluctant to buy Hoya from HK due to the small risk it might be a counterfeit and by the time you get to uk sellers the price variation between the cheaper Hoya and the Pro1 range is negligible.
As I pointed out in my previous reply, this may come out of the bag 3-4 times a year! ;D

Cheers, Graham.

LDS said:
Valvebounce said:
I have a set for my L glass in my main kit and don't want to get too heavily invested in the second set.
Even among brands like Hoya you can find filters at different price levels. For example Hoya has the standard filter line, the PRO-1, The Fusion and the HD/HD nano ones. Maybe you can find something adequate without the very cheap Chinese sellers.
 
Aug 22, 2010
1,617
311
48
Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
If it's the only CPL you have used and between not having one and having a cheap knock off...a CPL really does wonders if used sparingly and in the right context. It's a tool like any other filter. BUT....don't be fooled into thinking that a cheap knock off is in any way equal to a quality product. It isn't. The power of the polarisation effect is dependent on the quality of the manufacturing. The $$$ also goes into the quality of the surface coating...and trust me, even top filters do not have any where near the same quality of surface coats that your Canon lens has.
I have a number of CPL filters. My best is a Heliopan 82mm slim RHC, it is superior to any other CPL I've used and yes it uses schott glass and has very good coatings. In the 82mm guise...it was eye wateringly expensive for a filter.
I also have a 77mm Hoya Pro 1D CPL and it's ok but not in the same league as the Heliopan. It's also a pain in the ass to clean and seems to have a turquise finish to the SMC and it's nearly impossible to get all the swirls or marks off it. I also have a Kenro Pro 1D 77mm CPL and that seems to be very similar, but easier to clean. Neither the Hoya or the Kenro come close to the depth of the polarisation effect, flare resistance or the clarity that the Heliopan has.
 

Alex_M

EOS RP
Oct 16, 2015
345
2
Please consider the following publication :
http://www.lenstip.com/139.25-article-Polarizing_filters_test_2015_Results_and_summary.html
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi GMC.
So I'll probably be disappointed by any lesser CPL. I will not be going for the Heliopan, but I will not be buying a cheap Chinese one either.

Hi Alex.
Thank you for that, most educational, I'm now reading the whole article having started with the results page you linked. I will be making a decision based on the help provided by you wise men.

Cheers, Graham.

GMCPhotographics said:
If it's the only CPL you have used and between not having one and having a cheap knock off...a CPL really does wonders if used sparingly and in the right context. It's a tool like any other filter. BUT....don't be fooled into thinking that a cheap knock off is in any way equal to a quality product. It isn't. The power of the polarisation effect is dependent on the quality of the manufacturing. The $$$ also goes into the quality of the surface coating...and trust me, even top filters do not have any where near the same quality of surface coats that your Canon lens has.
I have a number of CPL filters. My best is a Heliopan 82mm slim RHC, it is superior to any other CPL I've used and yes it uses schott glass and has very good coatings. In the 82mm guise...it was eye wateringly expensive for a filter.
I also have a 77mm Hoya Pro 1D CPL and it's ok but not in the same league as the Heliopan. It's also a pain in the ass to clean and seems to have a turquise finish to the SMC and it's nearly impossible to get all the swirls or marks off it. I also have a Kenro Pro 1D 77mm CPL and that seems to be very similar, but easier to clean. Neither the Hoya or the Kenro come close to the depth of the polarisation effect, flare resistance or the clarity that the Heliopan has.
 

Luds34

EOS 6D MK II
May 15, 2014
919
0
For what it's worth, I don't use "cheap" filters. Even if it's just a "protect" filter, why put a $7 Tiffen on there that causes tons of flare when you've already invested as much as a $1,000 or possibly more on the lens. So I've played around with various Hoya, B&W, Marumi, etc.

However, my CPL experiences has been pretty limited. I did some homework, research and so far the couple of CPLs I've purchased (67mm and 77mm) have been from Marumi. I've been very satisfied/happy with the results.

Either way, I agree with others, I would avoid the cheap ones from China and make sure you're getting something good. A good CPL can do wonders for shots on a sunny day, especially if water is involved.
 

pwp

EOS 5D MK IV
Oct 25, 2010
2,525
18
Cheap filters can almost certainly be relied on to disappoint. Diminished optics, flare and so on. Brass vs aluminium? That won't have any effect on optical performance. Also be aware of clones. I bought pleasingly priced B+W filters on eBay. Waste of money. Just buy reputable brands from a trusted store, somewhere who will accept returns if required.

-pw
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,213
398
If you buy online from a UK supplier you have 7 days to return it - you may need to pay return postage if the filter is not damaged/faulty but at least you have the option.
Most large towns nowadays have an Amazon dropoff point (ours is a local newsagent) and if you take it there you don't pay any return.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Luds.
Ok now I'm really pi££ed, I went to the local trusted photography shop and asked for a 58mm Hoya Pro1 digital UV filter, he said they only had a couple of Hoya left, and not in that size as they were changing over to Tiffen, American and just as good.
Following your comment I just went here
http://www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html
and lo and behold, they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for the same price, ** (local to me) colour me annoyed!

Hi pwp.
I only mention the brass versus aluminium thing as it is supposed to make jamming less likely, re trusted store see above. I doubt they will take it back, and if they do it will probably have to be for store credit! I'm going to print the test results and take that with me to refute their claim of just as good, when he said they were American I willingly accepted that they would be good quality. **

Hi Mike.
Thanks for that info, I think I'm going to go Hoya from an approved supplier. I have mostly Hoya screw on filters including a 77mm for my 70-200 2.8 L II and I am happy with them.

**Edit, I just read the test page for the Tiffen, apparently they tested the basic filter and I think the one I bought was a multi coated or something, I will check tomorrow before making an ass of myself! ;D

Cheers, Graham.
 

geekpower

EOS 80D
Feb 22, 2015
187
0
i would consider hoya filters to be middle of the road, but good enough for my purposes. i'm using the HDs. i've only had one get stuck to the point of not coming off with bare hands once, but it easily came off with the help of a cheap plastic filter wrench.
 

Alex_M

EOS RP
Oct 16, 2015
345
2
+1 for the cheap plastic filter wrench is great for removal of stucked filter. It is cheap, small, light and always in my photo backpack.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,239
183
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Alex.
Plus another one on that, I have 2 sizes in my kit, so far I have not had a stuck filter that needed tools. It did come close the other day, I got a cheap star 6 filter that wouldn't come off, just took that and the UV filter off and put them in the holder in my pocket, ten minutes later it just came off, couldn't tell it had been tight.
I was walking round our local Diwali displaying in the cold of evening and had taken the star filter out of my pocket so it was probably differential expansion that caused the problem, putting both in a warm pocket to equalise temperature was all that was needed.

Cheers, Graham.

Alex_M said:
+1 for the cheap plastic filter wrench is great for removal of stucked filter. It is cheap, small, light and always in my photo backpack.