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Old Aug 15, 2005, 8:45 PM   #1
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Having just started out in this DSLR world with a Nikon D50, I'm told I should buy a circular polarizer filter. I see that Hoya is a good manufacturer, and they have several filters with a wide price difference. What makes the price vary seems to be whether or not the filter is coated, or multi-coated. I need help; is it worth it to buy a multicoated filter? Will the results be much different from a simple coated filter? Please help this noob make the right call! Thanks!
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:12 PM   #2
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To me, it's a question of your standards.

Multi-coated filters should be better. But they might not be "better enough" for you to care to spend the extra money on them.

Here is a description of what multi-coatings help with:

Note this was written by a filter company, so there is a bit of a bias there. While factually correct it hypes them a bit.

As a side note, why do you feel you need a circular polarizer? They serve a purpose, heck I own one, but you shouldn't go buy one just because people say you should have one. They reduce glare off things... do you plan on photographing cars with lots of metal trim? Or what about water shots with the sun reflecting off it? Or sweeping landscapes and you want a darker blue sky? (there are better ways to get that last thing.)

Then a polarizer might be useful. But there is no blanket rule that says you must have one.

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Old Aug 20, 2005, 1:46 PM   #3
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A circular polarizer is kind of a cool thing, but I wouldn't necessarily use it on every shot.

They are very helpful for landscape photography.

You can "dial in" the amount of polarization you want. It can make a hazy shot look really good.

There are a number of other filters that are very cool for different effects. You might want to research a set of filters, if you decide you really get into it.

-- Terry

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Old Sep 7, 2005, 6:42 AM   #4
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Buy what you need - not what others talk about. Camera bags (mine included) have items in them that get used once or twice - then you wonder why you bought it in the first place !

With digital - filters are not as important as they were with film - unless you are into getting a certain effect in camera. All filters (except UV or ND) have a performance price - i.e. shutter speed/aperture/etc.
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Old Sep 7, 2005, 10:46 AM   #5
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And, with digital, half the "filter fun" is editing in a program like PhotoShop CS2 ... I can replicate much of what Ihad/chose to do with my almost-retiredfilm camera lenses and filters ... and do not need to carry a bagfull of attachments.

Nonetheless, as I have for over 40 years,the one thing I still keep handy is a (circular for the "newfangled" digital cameras)polarizing filter!
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Old Sep 7, 2005, 1:09 PM   #6
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Just a couple of points, already mentioned in other posts.

Most filters cost you in light, a polarizer can ding you for about 3stops at its worst.
All filters incure a cost in image quality, every air/glass interface can potentially introduce reflections/ghosting and contrast loss, how much depends on the quality of the filter and the coatings used to supress the unwanted effects.

So only use them if you have a reason for doing so.

As the previous post said, many filter effects can now be done in software. The polarizers ability to cut out reflections is not one of them, as software cannote recreate what was not captured in the first place.

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Old Sep 8, 2005, 7:05 AM   #7
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One other point about a filter. I always have a neutral one on every lens to act as a protector - if you clobber the camera against something sharp a new filter is considerably cheaper than a new lens, also cleaning lenses is always a dicey business as it takes just a tiny invisible bit of grit to scratch the surface.

There is a marginal loss of quality, as someone else points out, but I think it worth it.
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