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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default Circular polarizer question on Pentax Kx

I am buying the Pentax Kx kit (18-55/55-300) and would like to buy the polarizer and lens hoods. I have the size needed for the lense hoods; what size filter should I get?

And is there a better brand over others?

Thanks for the help.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:34 PM   #2
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the 18-55 is a 52mm cpl
the 55-300 is a 58mm cpl

I use tiffen's, it a decent cpl. Easy to clean in the field. Multicoated ones are more difficult to clean in the field because of the coating. But the Hoya HMC are not bad for about 50 dollars. I you want multi coated with easy cleaning you will have to move up to a 100 cpl from tiffen, the HT series uses ti in the coating, so it is easy to clean like a simple glass cpl.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:35 PM   #3
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Also, you will not want to leave the c-lp on all the time, just on sunny days when you are shooting perpendicular to the sun to get the sky's color even more blue.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:40 PM   #4
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My opinion is any additional piece of glass will downgrade IQ. So, when you need to use additional glass - like a CP - it's best to get high quality. Hoya and B+W are good brands. I use a hoya pro CP. Here's a place I've bought filters from that has good prices:
http://www.2filter.com/hoya/hoyapolarizers02.html

The 18-55 has a 52mm thread. the 55-300 has a 58mm thread for filters.
You could buy 58mm and use a step-up ring (or step down I forget which way it is) to allow the larger filter to attach to the smaller threads. But it depends on your needs and whether you want to use the filter on both lenses. If you're predominantly going to use it on the wide angle then a 52mm CP will be cheaper.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:54 PM   #5
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I would buy the converter at most -- I don't think I would use the filter on the zoom.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Stepp View Post
I would buy the converter at most -- I don't think I would use the filter on the zoom.
Luke - the converter works the other way. If you're going to use one you need to buy the LARGER filter (i.e. the one that fits the 55-300 zoom). You don't want to buy the smaller filter and use a converter to attach it to the 55-300 because it would have vignetting all around. So you need to decide if you're going to use this approach BEFORE you buy. In other words - if you buy the smaller CP then don't plan on using it on the 55-300 at all.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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I have used the cp-l for shooting at the long end of the zoom, it depends really what you want to do. Weather you will need a cpl for the long zoom
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 2:44 PM   #8
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Buy the largest sized filter you think you might need and can afford. Then buy step-up rings (that's the right term) to go from your lens size to the filter size. JohnG's point about not stepping down is really major. Also, my personal experience with Tiffen filters is that some are OK, but I far prefer Hoya and B+W. My own circular polarizer is a B+W 77mm and I have step-up rings for 52-77 and 67-77, so I can use it on most lenses I own. I do need to buy one that's 58-77 since I now own the 55-300 lens. Step-up rings are inexpensive, compared to filters.

A circular polarizer is useful for far more than just darkening skies on a sunny day. Landscape photographers use them pretty much all the time, regardless of the weather.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 4:30 PM   #9
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If you want to use a circular polarizing filter and a lens hood at the same time, you can't use a step-up rings. Also, Pentax' own lens hoods for the lenses you're talking about contain a window that lets you rotate the filter while the hood is attached (See page 28 of the Pentax DA Lenses Manual.) But only certain CPL filters are compatible with that hood, so make sure you get the right kind. (See page 34 of the Pentax DA Lenses Manual.)
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 4:33 PM   #10
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The tiffen will work with the hood.
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