Ebay polarizing filters - are they really awful?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Peabody, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    For around $6, including shipping, it looks like I can routinely
    get a 58mm glass circular poliarizing filter. Of course at that
    price it's not a high-risk purchase, but I don't want to waste my
    time if these filters are so bad that they can't be used. Has
    anyone here tried one of these things? How did it work?

    This would be for my Canon kit lens, whioh is not exactly L glass
    to start with, and I would only use it occasionally.

    Anyway, any *low-cost* suggestions would be appreciated.
    Peabody, Jun 27, 2011
    #1
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  2. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Peabody
    <> wrote:

    > For around $6, including shipping, it looks like I can routinely
    > get a 58mm glass circular poliarizing filter. Of course at that
    > price it's not a high-risk purchase, but I don't want to waste my
    > time if these filters are so bad that they can't be used. Has
    > anyone here tried one of these things? How did it work?


    you get what you pay for.

    it's not going to be coated let alone multicoated. it may impart a
    colour cast depending on the angle. the threads might not be exact and
    it may get stuck on the lens. it's probably not a circular polarizer so
    you'll have focus and exposure errors on an slr.

    > This would be for my Canon kit lens, whioh is not exactly L glass
    > to start with, and I would only use it occasionally.


    you're going to put a $6 filter on a $1000 camera/lens?

    > Anyway, any *low-cost* suggestions would be appreciated.


    you'll need to spend a lot more than $6 for something decent. be sure
    it's coated (ideally multi-coated).
    nospam, Jun 27, 2011
    #2
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  3. "nospam" <> wrote in message
    news:270620111031359903%...
    []
    > you're going to put a $6 filter on a $1000 camera/lens?


    Why not if, for just $6, you can learn something about what polarising
    filters can and cannot do? If one can afford to lose $6 if it's rubbish,
    very little lost.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 27, 2011
    #3
  4. Peabody

    J. Clarke Guest

    In article <iuah9i$dt6$>, david-
    d says...
    >
    > "nospam" <> wrote in message
    > news:270620111031359903%...
    > []
    > > you're going to put a $6 filter on a $1000 camera/lens?

    >
    > Why not if, for just $6, you can learn something about what polarising
    > filters can and cannot do? If one can afford to lose $6 if it's rubbish,
    > very little lost.


    And it may be fine. The 5 buck glasses I get from China are optically
    every bit as good as the 300 buck glasses I get from Lenscrafters.
    Chinese work cheap--that doesn't mean that they're incompetent.
    J. Clarke, Jun 27, 2011
    #4
  5. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <iuah9i$dt6$>, David J Taylor
    <> wrote:

    > Why not if, for just $6, you can learn something about what polarising
    > filters can and cannot do? If one can afford to lose $6 if it's rubbish,
    > very little lost.


    you can do that for free online. or even visit a camera store to see
    what they do.

    sure, $6 isn't much but if it doesn't work properly, it's wasted money.
    nospam, Jun 27, 2011
    #5
  6. Peabody

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Peabody <> wrote:
    >For around $6, including shipping, it looks like I can routinely
    >get a 58mm glass circular poliarizing filter.


    Are you sure it's glass?

    > Of course at that
    >price it's not a high-risk purchase, but I don't want to waste my
    >time if these filters are so bad that they can't be used. Has
    >anyone here tried one of these things?


    Nope.

    You might do as well to get a used UV filter and glue onto it a
    piece of polarizing plastic that you saved from the last time you
    saw a 3D movie. :)

    --
    Ray Fischer | Mendocracy (n.) government by lying
    | The new GOP ideal
    Ray Fischer, Jun 28, 2011
    #6
  7. Peabody

    MG Guest

    "Peabody" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > For around $6, including shipping, it looks like I can routinely
    > get a 58mm glass circular poliarizing filter. Of course at that
    > price it's not a high-risk purchase, but I don't want to waste my
    > time if these filters are so bad that they can't be used. Has
    > anyone here tried one of these things? How did it work?
    >
    > This would be for my Canon kit lens, whioh is not exactly L glass
    > to start with, and I would only use it occasionally.
    >
    > Anyway, any *low-cost* suggestions would be appreciated.


    Have a look at this:
    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/06/good-times-with-bad-filters

    Especially the bumper sticker shot through 5 good UV filters and 5 cheap
    filters.

    MG
    MG, Jun 28, 2011
    #7
  8. On 2011-06-29, Neil Harrington <> wrote:
    > In my experience even the cheapest polarizers from eBay sources polarize
    > just fine, which is all I expect them to do. Like you, I use polarizers only
    > occasionally and the expensive brands would just be wasted money for me. I
    > would be very surprised if anyone could really tell the difference between a
    > shot made with a $6 polarizer and one costing 10 or 20 times that much.


    OTOH, I got a cheap ND filter, and it was aweful. Uneven density,
    blurred details, and a green cast. Not very useful. As some have said,
    it can be quite hit and miss on the quality.

    --
    Bruce Guenter <> http://untroubled.org/
    Bruce Guenter, Jul 1, 2011
    #8
  9. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    Bruce Guenter says...

    >> In my experience even the cheapest polarizers from eBay
    >> sources polarize just fine, which is all I expect them
    >> to do. Like you, I use polarizers only occasionally and
    >> the expensive brands would just be wasted money for me.
    >> I would be very surprised if anyone could really tell
    >> the difference between a shot made with a $6 polarizer
    >> and one costing 10 or 20 times that much.


    > OTOH, I got a cheap ND filter, and it was aweful.
    > Uneven density, blurred details, and a green cast. Not
    > very useful. As some have said, it can be quite hit and
    > miss on the quality.


    Well I ended up ordering a Zeikos CPL filter from Amazon for
    $5.76 and free shipping. It's a glass filter and claims to
    be multi-coated. I don't have high hopes for it, but I
    could get lucky. The reviews on Amazon are bipolar - one
    group rates it very high, another very low, with nobody in
    the middle. So it appears to just be luck of the draw as to
    what you get. Anyway, I'll post a report when it comes in.
    Peabody, Jul 2, 2011
    #9
  10. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    Well I received the cheap CPL filter from Amazon, and it
    appears to work just fine. It definitely works on
    reflections and the sky, at least at certain angles, and
    after taking just a few pictures with it, I don't see any
    degradation of the picture - sharpness or whatever. So I
    guess I got a good one. Certainly worth $5.76.

    The only downside so far is that I can't use the lens hood
    I've been using.
    Peabody, Jul 6, 2011
    #10
  11. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    I forgot to say that this CPL costs about 1.333 stops on average.
    I assume that's pretty much normal. So it can act like a modest ND
    filter, which can be useful outside even if polarizing isn't
    needed.

    And one cool polarizing demo is to look at your LCD display through
    the CPL. If you turn it to the right position, the display goes
    completely dark.

    I can't tell about the coating or multicoating. Don't know how you
    would tell.

    Anyway, for my limited needs for a CPL, this one is plenty good.
    Peabody, Jul 6, 2011
    #11
  12. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    Neil Harrington says...

    > Look at the reflections, for example with the polarizer
    > angled so that the reflection of a window (from inside
    > the house) or lamp appears in it. If the reflection
    > seems to be about what you'd see from ordinary plate
    > glass, it's not coated.


    But Neil, it says on the box that it's "digital
    multi-coated." Seriously.

    Well, the reflections look pretty much the same as plate
    glass, except they are a bit darker, and actually sharper.

    Maybe if the multi-coating were analog....

    Well, for $5.76, I think it's not a bad buy.
    Peabody, Jul 7, 2011
    #12
  13. Peabody

    J. Clarke Guest

    In article <>, waybackNO784SPAM44
    @yahoo.com says...
    >
    > Neil Harrington says...
    >
    > > Look at the reflections, for example with the polarizer
    > > angled so that the reflection of a window (from inside
    > > the house) or lamp appears in it. If the reflection
    > > seems to be about what you'd see from ordinary plate
    > > glass, it's not coated.

    >
    > But Neil, it says on the box that it's "digital
    > multi-coated." Seriously.
    >
    > Well, the reflections look pretty much the same as plate
    > glass, except they are a bit darker, and actually sharper.
    >
    > Maybe if the multi-coating were analog....
    >
    > Well, for $5.76, I think it's not a bad buy.


    I wouldn't worry overly much about coatings on a polarizer. Their main
    purpose is to avoid light loss by reflection (matters when you have as
    many air to glass surfaces as are encountered in most modern zooms)--if
    you care about that you probably wouldn't be using a polarizer to begin
    with.
    J. Clarke, Jul 7, 2011
    #13
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