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View Full Version : Hoya vs. Sunpak, round 1!



downtrodden
11-06-2006, 09:19 PM
Alright folks, here in Cincinnati we've been having completely dismal weather AND my lamp broke, so this has been getting put off for a while. Well finally we had some alright weather so I hopped outside to snap some hoya and sunpak shots.

Now first let me explain, Exif data will be posted and this will be a "blind" comparison. I originally tried to do these shots in P mode, but when i took the control shot and then put the first filter on, the camera tried to expose the same picture no matter which filter i used.

This didn't allow for easily comparable shots, so i set it to Manual and decided to go with a slightly over exposed run of the mill control shot. And then left all settings alone and merely added the filter.

We'll get to the first round here in a moment, but first i'd like to introduce the gear.

For this I am using a Hoya Pro 1 digital Circular Polarizer and a Sunpak, 20 dollar-at-best-buy- Circular Polarizer. The object of this is to see whether there is a great difference between the two filters and if it really is a waste of money to even bother buying a Sunpak. I was told when i started in photography "you may as well use no filter vs. wasting your money on the sunpak"

http://static.flickr.com/121/291206709_3c4a8f3412.jpg
Here are the two filters side by side to show their profiles. As you can see, the Sunpak is noticeably thicker than the hoya.

Here's the inside rim of the Hoya filter
http://static.flickr.com/108/291208952_ee23538593.jpg

And now the Sunpak filter.
http://static.flickr.com/121/291211890_3dbacbb8b3.jpg

Alright, now lets get down to business, I'm going to post in a larger format, so detail can be more easily observed in these shots. I also took 3 shots with each filter, one at what appeared in my eye to be the darkest and the lightest the filter could go- and then at what I thought looked to be the best exposure.

Control Shot, No Filter.
http://static.flickr.com/107/287406005_a622c8aece_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter A- adjusted to minimal effect.
http://static.flickr.com/105/287409691_154f77dc15_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter B- adjusted to minimal effect.
http://static.flickr.com/104/287413779_ba74c5e068_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Alright- now, the maximum effects:

Filter A:
http://static.flickr.com/115/287408061_d6af226a34_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter B:
http://static.flickr.com/112/287412779_8c7a9cd299_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Alright, and now for my preferred exposures. These two, I took them at what I thought looked best given the early morning light and leaf color and whatnot. This is purely speculative, as others may prefer a different looking exposure.

Filter A:
http://static.flickr.com/100/287411426_1a68d2fc2f_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter B:
http://static.flickr.com/105/287420888_95db87b346_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Alrighty, that's all i have for now. This is all in nature testing and by no means a "Controlled" test. only controlled to the maximum extent I could control it. I am working on a test that's completely controlled, indorrs, under lamps, but again, my lamp is busted so that will have to wait.

Can YOU see a 60 dollar difference between filters?

~Cory

truflip
11-06-2006, 09:31 PM
thats tough to review.. its probably easier if u make the pictures side by side... kinda hard to scroll up a whole screen, then down another whole screen...
i can kinda tell which shot used which filter.. n which shots i like better :)

good test though and thnx for sharing :) i was just looking at these on ur flickr :p

Bob_Benner
11-06-2006, 09:35 PM
Glad to see this thread as I am looking for a polarizer for my A620. The 2 you compared sem to be very similar, and for a 60 dollar difference there should be a higher degree of an effect in the more exspensive filter.

BowerR64
11-06-2006, 09:36 PM
What if you split the shots and then paste them back together side by side? that way they are right next to each other.

I agree it is hard to scroll up and down a remember how they each look. or use to look.

I have this problem with sound also. There is sound reviews of guitar pickups and i cant tell one from another.

In the shots you took of the filters, you can see the hoya filter is darker.... so this will sway the "votes"

i think the test is already void.

truflip
11-06-2006, 09:38 PM
What if you split the shots and then paste them back together side by side?
sorry.. are you asking me? lol i wouldnt mind if cory doesnt mind me playin with his pics :p id have to do it tmrw tho.. goin to sleep now.. gnite~

downtrodden
11-06-2006, 09:42 PM
I'm sorry guys! I did it this way to try to keep side scrolling to a minimum and i figured that most people would copy and paste the desired photos they wanted to compare anyway, that way you could crop a section.. i'll telly you what, later on, like on wednesday, I will do a crop of each photo and just display a very small portion of each at a side by side view. until then you're stuck with this! bwa haha!

Any guesses yet on which is which filter and which photos you guys like better?

~Cory

downtrodden
11-06-2006, 09:44 PM
Karl, I do not mind at all if you'd like to do that and repost em in here! And if anyone else would like to do anything involving this test, to make it easier for people to view, please feel free to, just keep the pictures un-altered- except cropping. Don't CHANGE the pix please! thank ya!

~Cory

JPRATT
11-07-2006, 10:56 AM
thats tough to review.. its probably easier if u make the pictures side by side... kinda hard to scroll up a whole screen, then down another whole screen...
i can kinda tell which shot used which filter.. n which shots i like better :)

good test though and thnx for sharing :) i was just looking at these on ur flickr :p

I agree with truflip, hard to scroll up and down to compare the pics.

But you get props for doing the test. I love when people actullay test stuff before they say if it's good or not just from hear say. Nice to have results to back it up a claim. :D

Downtrodden, don't keep a newbie like me guessing. Just tell use which filter is which. I'm hoping the cheaper filter is the better one. hahaha, I'm a cheap ass sometimes.

BowerR64
11-07-2006, 11:08 AM
My last hobby use to be hi-fi and for a while i was collecting high end headphones. I think i spent about 2K on headphones before i found a set i liked and then sold all the rest.

There was this one website called "The headroom" they would test all the headphones they sold with this foam head and microphones and would show a graph on wich set of cans sounded like what with prices and all kinds of detailed info. Even though they didnt manufacture any of the headphones they sold they still gave more info then even the manufacture of the headphones gave.

To bad there isnt a place for camera stuff, not just the cameras need reviews but stuff that go with them. Tripods, filters, bags, adapters, lenses all that stuff.

JPRATT
11-07-2006, 11:11 AM
To bad there isnt a place for camera stuff, not just the cameras need reviews but stuff that go with them. Tripods, filters, bags, adapters, lenses all that stuff.

I second that. That would be great. And probably less questions on the forums.. hahaha :D

BowerR64
11-07-2006, 11:13 AM
I second that. That would be great. And probably less questions on the forums.. hahaha :D


True, then we wouldnt have anything to argue and fight about. lol :rolleyes: :D

downtrodden
11-07-2006, 11:22 AM
Oh, we'd find SOMETHING to argue about.

downtrodden
11-07-2006, 11:37 AM
Aww c'mon people... no one wants to take a stab at which filter is which? I'll give you a hint, it's not a trick. Filter A is the same filter across the board and filter b is the same across the board.. and the control shot really didn't use a filter. Trickery isn't my style.

No one wants to even say which filter they liked the best? That's the only way noobs are gonna get a feel for if shelling out the extra money is worth it!

~Cory

BowerR64
11-07-2006, 11:59 AM
I already posted the answer, all the darker images is the hoya. All the lighter ones is the sunpak.

One question, is one a CPL and one just a PL?

The one thing i read or some one posted was that better lenses didnt block as much light or somthing to that effect.

The darker one looks better :rolleyes:

One thing i think is weird is the lighter one is blurry on the edges of the image, they both are good in the center but on the edges the darker one is just as clear and crisp as it is in the center. But i wonder if its because one is linear and one is cicular?

downtrodden
11-07-2006, 12:11 PM
For this I am using a Hoya Pro 1 digital Circular Polarizer and a Sunpak, 20 dollar-at-best-buy- Circular Polarizer. The object of this is to see whether there is a great difference between the two filters and if it really is a waste of money to even bother buying a Sunpak. I was told when i started in photography "you may as well use no filter vs. wasting your money on the sunpak"

http://static.flickr.com/121/291206709_3c4a8f3412.jpg
Here are the two filters side by side to show their profiles. As you can see, the Sunpak is noticeably thicker than the hoya.



Both are Circular Polarizers.

XaiLo
11-07-2006, 12:55 PM
OK Filter "B" is the Hoya Edit sorry "B"

GaryS
11-07-2006, 12:55 PM
I find this hard to do, specifically because you did not change the camera settings between shots.

In actual use, you would vary camera settings to get proper exposure with or without the filter on. When I look at your samples, all I can see is the darkness of one filter over the other, not the specific effect of removing just the polarized light.

To do this comparison right, you should shoot all the pictures with different settings and proper exposure for each, and give us the exif. Then we can decide which picture is the best, based on just the polarizing effect....

I'll still guess that A is Hoya...

XaiLo
11-07-2006, 01:04 PM
I agree with dustyporch here but I still say "B" the thing is what's going to give you the best polarization and clarity. All polarization is not necessarily good.

BowerR64
11-07-2006, 01:06 PM
Both are Circular Polarizers.

I cant really see what is on the hoya, its kinda turned to hide what it says. All i see is hoya pro1

Wesan
11-07-2006, 02:55 PM
Wait for me! I'm going to write my guss now! :D Don't post the right answer yet! :eek:

Wesan
11-07-2006, 03:35 PM
(---)

Control Shot, No Filter.
http://static.flickr.com/107/287406005_a622c8aece_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter A- adjusted to minimal effect.
http://static.flickr.com/105/287409691_154f77dc15_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter B- adjusted to minimal effect.
http://static.flickr.com/104/287413779_ba74c5e068_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Alright- now, the maximum effects:

Filter A:
http://static.flickr.com/115/287408061_d6af226a34_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter B:
http://static.flickr.com/112/287412779_8c7a9cd299_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Alright, and now for my preferred exposures. These two, I took them at what I thought looked best given the early morning light and leaf color and whatnot. This is purely speculative, as others may prefer a different looking exposure.

Filter A:
http://static.flickr.com/100/287411426_1a68d2fc2f_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Filter B:
http://static.flickr.com/105/287420888_95db87b346_b.jpg
Camera: Canon PowerShot S3 IS
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 72 mm

Alrighty, that's all i have for now. This is all in nature testing and by no means a "Controlled" test. only controlled to the maximum extent I could control it. I am working on a test that's completely controlled, indorrs, under lamps, but again, my lamp is busted so that will have to wait.

Can YOU see a 60 dollar difference between filters?

~Cory

Not that easy to know which filter is which, but I have some thoughts...

I don't know that much about filters really - I'm only using a UV-filter myself, mostly just to protect the lens and hopefully get some better image quality in bright sunlight. :o So I'll just write my thoughts based on my comparison of the test pictures and other thoughts and experiences I have.

Filter A seems to give a lighter effect at its minimum setting, than filter B. I like that, because I think filter B looks too dark at minimum.

Then, I noticed (maybe someone wrote it in a reply already and that's why I looked for it) that filter A seems to lose sharpness at the edges while filter B does not. This is most noticable at full effect.

I want sharpness even at the edges, so I'd choose filter B. That is also why I think filter B is the expensive one, because usually "you get what you pay for". Higher price usually means better quality. Better quality to me here, is sharpness over the whole image.

Downtrodden: Maybe you should not post the correct answers, until you have posted all the test pictures? Post the test pictures you take under "controlled circumstances" also, before you post the correct answer. Otherwise we might get influenced from the answer to these first test pictures. :)

Well...this was my "layman guess" - filter B is the expensive one. :D

downtrodden
11-07-2006, 08:29 PM
Alright guys, Again, the preferred exposures were the ones that i thought were "best" and showed the "best" results but again this is not good for Testing effects because exposure is objectionable. Many people may not think the way I exposed the pictures is the BEST way to do it. So i decided to do it minimal and maximum so everyone can see how big of an effect the filter had and how much each filter impacted the image, and then my preferred exposure at a different camera setting. And both test shots already show a dramatic difference in how much polarization the filter causes and dramatic difference in image quality. Changing the settings to lighten up the pictures will not show how much reflection the camera takes off as newer people may not be able to extract that 1/160 vs. 1/400 is a huge difference, but if the exposure is 1/400 across the board, the effect can be SEEN not have to be guessed.

Take for example, my control shot and the filter A preferred shot. the control is at 1/400 and the filter A preffered is 1/160 but the filter is set to it's maximum effect. The two images are very similar and this makes it not very easy to see a big difference. It's easy for us to INFER the difference based on shutter speed but for someone just looking, it's hard to SEE the difference. That's why i stuck with a consistent, controlled exposure for the first four and then did the final two at the exposure i preferred.

~Cory

XaiLo
11-07-2006, 09:28 PM
I got that downtrodden the first two sets kind of confused the issue because they were not at optimum. Now which was which?

downtrodden
11-07-2006, 09:59 PM
Most guessers got it right. Hoya is the B filter and had the greatest effect at both ends of the spectrum. The ONLY thing i liked about the Sunpak was that merely putting on the filter didn't darken the image dramatically, but this also translated to the filter not have as much of an impact of glare and reflections. Also as you can see, filter A, sunpak, produced blur around the edges.

The Sunpak also has a shiny reflective inside rim, whereas the hoya reflects little light off it's surface. I'm sure that if i had bright light, the Sunpak would be prone to negative light effects such as flaring and ghosting. Also, the ring to adjust the sunpak was wobbly. It held in place well enough, but under any pressure it would twist, whereas the hoya feels sturdier and just barely brushing it doesn't change your setting.

Also while i was enjoying a bowl of cereal and playing around with the hoya (holding it to my eye and adjusting it) i noticed that the reflection on my stainless steel spoon was taken away. So it's not true that the filter Does not work at all on metallic surfaces. However, it doesn't have nearly the same effect. but there IS an effect.

There ua go.. filter A- Sunpak. B- hoya.

JPRATT
11-08-2006, 08:31 AM
How are the cheaper hoya polarizer filters? I'm assuming they're better than the sunpak? And out of the cheaper hoya filters, which ones would you guys choose besides the pro1?