Cheap circular polarizing filters - OK or not?


(Gord) #1

I stumbled across this article, and immediately started having arguments with myself…what do you all think?


$100 for a filter is not a cheap filter. For $100 your going to get some quality.

If you have $100 to spend on a polarizer you also have $200 to spend on a polarizer. *

If you have $20 to spend on a polarizer, you don’t have $200 let alone $100 to spend on a polarizer.

I think the $20 filters from Best Buy would qualify as cheap filters.

“It doesn’t matter how much you spend on a car, they all get you from 0-60 in under seven seconds and to prove this I’ve gone ahead and tested a cheap car and an expensive car. Car #1 is a Rolls Royce and car #2 is an Alfa Romeo.”

Gimme a break.

(Gord) #3

LMAO! Where’s the Yugo?


The Yugo is the $20 circular polarizer!

(Mike Bing) #5

My thoughts are that you didn’t get beyond the first paragraph as there is sufficient detail in the article beyond that which differentiates CPL’s by colourcast and light transmission percentages. The fact all CPLs actually polarize light shouldn’t cause anyone’s brain to stumble.


My experience is that Hoya (cheaper) is better than B&W (more expensive)

(Eylul / Azbulutlu) #7

a cheap filter might be good at polarizing, but the lens quality might mean you lose resolution in your image. (that’s the usual issue with cheap filters, not macro not working, or polarization not working)

that being said, as @HIRAM said, $100 filter is not a cheap filter. (I do disagree that if you have $100 you have $200 to give to a filter. I’ll invest and have invested $100 to a filter I will use all the time, $200 is strictly above my budget especially since $100 will give you a very good quality glass) :slight_smile:

(Gord) #8

Actually, I read the entire article, and more importantly the blog post it referenced, multiple times. I posted the article as a conversation starter, and was just teasing the subject. Lesson learned…no more teasing.

(Gord) #9

The author of the original blog post did write a short follow-up post on cheap filters:

+1 to @HIRAM and @eylul … having $100 does not imply having $200. Unfortunately.


It depends on your budget, pride, knowledge and application. My answer is none, none, reasonable, might be useful; hence, I would either go with an inexpensive filter or remain without one.

(Ingo Weyrich) #11

Get one where you can mount a lenshood in front of the polarizer. The super thin ones don’t allow that unfortunately.

(Ingo Weyrich) #12

And don’t even think about using a polarizer on a lens with a rotating front element. That’s pita…


* I mean to highlight the disparity of price ranges.
$100-200 is only a doubling of price, whereas $20-200 is a tenfold increase.

(Mica) #14

I’d think the audience that reads the lens rentals blogs knows that a $20 plastic filter is junk… I still sort of wish they’d tested one though!

(Andreas Schneider) #15

I can only speak for Hoya non-polarizing filter bug their gold series is really good. They are much easier to clean as dirt dust stick to it that well.

(Mike Bing) #16

So much for Dpreview who put a roaring headline " Lens Rentals test shows all circular polarizing filters work great, price doesn’t matter" on the article.

Tha author clearly distances himself from anything anyone else says he said and actually didn’t say where he states his Rule #1: " Rule #1: I am not responsible for what someone else says I said. If I say something wrong, I’ll correct it. If they say I said something I didn’t say to drive some click-bait, THEY said it. Not me.".

The author never said “price doesn’t matter” and that makes Dpreview’s article clickbait of the worst kind. Repeating that clickbait here is what I dislike, not the author’s opinion. Linking directly to the article on Lensrentals would have therefore made more sense.


Yes, I dislike most titles of articles, but everyone does it so it is okay, right? :disappointed: