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Old Feb 25, 2016, 11:19 AM   #1
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Default Square Filters - experiences with budget brands?

I'm looking to get some square filters of the type used by the Lee system for an ultrawide lens I have that doesn't support screw in style filters.

Primarily I'm interested in a big stopper type ND3.0 / 10 stop darkening filter and possibly a polarizer, although I may get a soft gradient as well at some point.

Looking at Lee I see I am going to have to save so I started checking some of the budget brands

ICE on amazon goes for $60 and has good reviews although a couple seem to be reviewers who received the product in exchange for writing a review

Zomei on ebay for $53.50 direct from China also seems to have okay reviews

Camdiox on ebay for $53 seems to have some decent reviews out there of their circular ND filters

Haida also on ebay for $81 which has good reviews on some forums

Wondering if anyone else has tried these?

I'd consider buying a used one but honestly don't see them on the market often.

I understand that a bad filter can make the best lens look bad, but I also understand we pay a lot of money for brand names sometimes and it's not like these are ultra cheap.
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Old Feb 25, 2016, 1:26 PM   #2
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Budget filters are a bad idea under any set of circumstances. Add to that the inconvenience of handing the bid square filters plus the filter holder, and you've got a major inconvenience with no plus side.
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Old Feb 25, 2016, 2:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Budget filters are a bad idea under any set of circumstances.
Valid point although I find it's not always true, often times we pay for a name and history, I had a Tamron CPL that was just as good as my two Hoyas and significantly less cost.

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Add to that the inconvenience of handing the bid square filters plus the filter holder, and you've got a major inconvenience with no plus side.
I don't have a choice for the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8, it does not support screw in filters. Luckily some ingenious folks have 3-d printed an adapter for Lee filters that slips on to the non-removable hood.
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Old Feb 25, 2016, 6:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Budget filters are a bad idea under any set of circumstances.
Valid point although I find it's not always true, often times we pay for a name and history, I had a Tamron CPL that was just as good as my two Hoyas and significantly less cost.
I would hesitate to hold a Hoya up as an example of the pinnacle of quality. The two indicators of quality are the glass and the number and quality of the coatings. Multicoated filters are better and cost more than single coated filters which are better and cost more than uncoated filters. And while Hoya does make good glass, I'd rate it lower than Leica, Zeiss, B+W and Heliopan. And competition among the top brands keeps their prices reasonable.

In fact, photographic filters are one of the few products where price is a good indicator of quality.

And there's no easier way to screw up a good shot than with a bad filter.
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Old Jun 26, 2017, 2:54 AM   #5
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I also had this filter dilemma before a friend suggested me to try 84.5mm camera filters.Optical quality is very good and Ive never had any issues with color cast..plus the price!! a lot cheaper than Lee.. I own few ND grads together with X-Stopper ND1000 and Im super satisfied.
weird brand name but check them out http://www.84dot5mm.com/
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