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Old Jul 28, 2008, 11:46 PM   #1
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I mentioned last week that a Tiffen "Digital Enhancing Filter Kit" set came with my K200D outfit. The 77mm(!) Tiffen set is matched to my 50-135mm f/2.8 lens and includes the expected UV filter, a circular polarizer, an 812 warming filter and an enhancing filter.

Now, I used Tiffen filters for a long time in my film SLR days. My very first SLR - a mid-1970s Minolta SRT-200 with a 50mm Rokkor-X lens - still has its original Tiffen filter screwed on tight. But I'm interested in their reputation in the digital world. Internet forums seem to have mixed reviews - but this could be simple elitism at work.

I see this filter set retails (both on the Internet and in brick-and-mortar stores) for anywhere from $163 to $200. Even at $163, that averages $40.75 per filter. So we're not talking about $10-$15 filters here. On the other hand, it could simply be an overpriced set. Nonetheless, my 16-50mm and 50-135mm lenses were not cheap and I don't want to be reducing their effectiveness with lousy filters.

My gut and past experience tells me the Tiffens will be just fine. But this is also my first foray into serious digital photography. I'll definitely be running my own experiments but I'm just wondering if there is some collective knowledge and experience here that can save me time and trouble.
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 12:40 AM   #2
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Are you using step-up rings for the 50-135? Mine has 67 threads and I got rings for using my 77mm circular polarizer with it.

I ended up buying a Tiffen UVfor my 50-135, as a mid-price compromise. Its a new thing for me (purchased after I put it away a couple of times without the front lens cap (forgot it was in my pocket) and getting a tiny scratch on the front glass. It doesn't affect pictures but disappointing anyway). I've only thought it degraded my picture once or twice - for the vast majority of the pictures I've taken I can't see a difference.

What's the enhancing filter do?
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 7:19 AM   #3
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I've use $20 UV and Polarizing filters (including Tiffen)on my kit lenses and honestly cannot detect any degradation of the images inevery day usage. The higher end filters claim to reduce more reflections via better coatings higher quality glass and therefore pass through up to 99.9% of light. The economy filters are rated at about 95%-97%.

Similar to what you want to do, I purchased hgher end filters (Hoya Super HMC, and Heliopan) for my DA*16-50mm and DA*50-135 simply to ensure that I was getting the maximum quality from the lenses and the K20D.Perhaps I'm part of the elitism you refer to...on the other hand, may be I'm a sucker for slick marketing:lol:

Jay

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Old Jul 29, 2008, 8:34 AM   #4
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I use a Tiffen ND grad and it seems fine. The only filter I ever regretted buying was a Sunpack bargain basement UV I bought in a hurry one day. It flared something terrible. It was unusable!

Dennis
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 8:58 AM   #5
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Tiffen is American made and have a ten year warranty on their filters. I find them to be excellent but I don't stack screw in filters. I am thinking about going with Cokin (slide filters) but the expense is a bit much at this time for me.

Step rings are great and save on cost of getting another filter for that particular size. I use Kalt step up (down) rings. I know most don't care for Ken Rockwell and his style or his personal information he shares but he makes a good point in getting 77mm size filters and getting step rings to fit the other lenses. Makes sense (cents).

Mahalo,

Tom
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 9:46 AM   #6
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Got some tiffen and hoya filters and imho they are good.

I tried some (no brand filters) and some worked, some didn't.
(ex. got myself a 82mm cpl and the camera can't even focus anymore, but it makes an impressive thing to put my coffee cup on.)

So now I stick with the two brands mentioned above.


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Old Jul 29, 2008, 9:51 AM   #7
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vIZnquest wrote:
Quote:
Tiffen is American made and have a ten year warranty on their filters. I find them to be excellent but I don't stack screw in filters. I am thinking about going with Cokin (slide filters) but the expense is a bit much at this time for me.


Mahalo,

Tom
Re. Cokin filters, I wonder about thequality of light transmission? B+W, Heliopan, Hoyaand others claim superior quality of glass that ensures minimum flare and excellent light transmission. However, with Cokin I understand the filters are made of a resin (i.e. plastic). I cannot imagine that the optical quality of a plastic sheet is superior to that of ground glass...?

Jay
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 10:48 AM   #8
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I fell into the "filter trap" in the 80's-bought an icredible number of filters-almost all of them Tiffen. Tiffen imho is superior quality in materials and wormanship. However, most of them didn't do what was advertised-a lot of that was probably my fault. I purchased the "enhancing filter'-was supposed to increase the saturation of reds & yellows (for autumn foliage shots)-at that time they didn't mention you had to use slide film-not much improvement in print film-which is what I used. Spot filters, diffusion, color grad, star,etc-I still have a drawer full of them-always looking for the silver bullet-which doesn't exist in my world. I don't think I was the only one-if you go to KEH they must have(80) pagesof used filters for sale. With todays post processing the only one I will use is the UV or clear for protection, everything elseI need is in Photoshop.
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 10:50 AM   #9
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jelpee wrote:
Quote:
vIZnquest wrote:
Quote:
Tiffen is American made and have a ten year warranty on their filters. I find them to be excellent but I don't stack screw in filters. I am thinking about going with Cokin (slide filters) but the expense is a bit much at this time for me.


Mahalo,

Tom
Re. Cokin filters, I wonder about thequality of light transmission? B+W, Heliopan, Hoyaand others claim superior quality of glass that ensures minimum flare and excellent light transmission. However, with Cokin I understand the filters are made of a resin (i.e. plastic). I cannot imagine that the optical quality of a plastic sheet is superior to that of ground glass...?

Jay
I agree Jay,

Thus, why I have not pulled the trigger. I can't say for sure one way or another about it. I know it is used and have seen some good results. The ease of use for one. You don't necessarily need to use the holder though it does double as a hood and the fact you can use multiple filters if you so desire and not worry about vignetting as you would stacking screw-in filters.
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 12:18 PM   #10
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Well, at least it seems that no one feels today's Tiffen filters are junk. So that makes me feel better.

Harriet, the filters are 77mm. I just started looking at the set last night (just before I posted the first message above) and, upon closer examination, it is readily apparent that the set I have is actually matched to the 16-50mm f/2.8 lens (that is one heavy-duty lens...). As you said, the 50-135mm lens takes 67mm filters. The guy at Adorama made an honest mistake and I wasn't paying close enough attention. Oh well, I'm sure I can swap it out. Or I could purchase an adaptor and use the same filter set on both lenses.

And, as DMJJR said, the "enhancing filter" is intended to make red, rust browns and oranges "pop" with minimal effect on other colors. I imagine fall foliage, earthtone rock formations and rustic buildings would be the perfect applications. This is apparently some kind of Tiffen "exclusive." Tiffen suggests trying it stacked with a polarizer for "dramatic" outdoor effects. It'll be interesting to see if the filter has a marked effect with digital sensors.
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