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Prospero
01-31-2007, 10:11 AM
Hello everyone,

I want to buy a polarizer filter for my Sigma 10-20 to enhance the sky in my landscape shots. However, I am not sure about which one would be the best for this lens.

Basically, here in the Netherlands there are 3 brands of polarizers available. There's Hoya, Tiffen and B+W.
- Hoya has three types for sale here, regular, super and pro.
- B+W has four types: regular, slim, mrc, slim mrc.
- Tiffen has two, a regular and one especially made for wide angle.

Which of these filters will give the best results?

The most expensive of these filters is the B+W slim mrc at around 250 euros. I'm quite reluctant to spend that much on a filter, so I was wondering if the performance of that filter really is that much better than the others I listed.

Furthermore, on some websites I have heard people say that using polarizers on a wide angle will cause uneven skies and that you shouldn't use them. Does this only occur when it's used incorrectly or always, and how bothersome is this issue, really?

Any advice will be much appreciated.

shoeytennis
01-31-2007, 12:37 PM
ive used a cheap 20 dollar hoya polarizer and i loved it.
go for hoya and the highes quality you can afford.

jcon
01-31-2007, 01:40 PM
ive used a cheap 20 dollar hoya polarizer and i loved it.
go for hoya and the highes quality you can afford.

Yes, but it wasnt on a wide angle lens.

Prospero, that is the first timeI heard about the polarizer/wide angle problem, its very intersting! My own personal preferance would be Hoya Pro since I used that on my Panasonic but I dont know how their high end DSLR glass works. Also, if Tiffen makes one esecially made for wide angle, that may be the best one to check out first?

I am not too well versed in this topic but I know there are 2 different types of polarizers, linear and circular. I wont even act like I know which one is better but I have heard that one is better for DSLR than the other. I hope someone can share more information with you.

T06
01-31-2007, 02:10 PM
,,, can't answer the wide angle question, but what jcon said about the polarizer, for a digital it is recommended to use circular, I've used Hoya in the past & Marumi, Hoya wins for me.

Prospero
01-31-2007, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the replies, Brian, Jason and Kev.

The problem I am talking about when using polarizers on wide angle lenses I read in an article by Rockwell: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filters.htm.

However, after I posted this thread I have done some more research and found many great pictures taken with a polarizer at 10mm that looked great. It appears that Rockwell has been abusing his circular polarizer. At wide angle you shouldn't set the polarizer at full effect when the camera is not pointed at an angle of 90 degrees to the sun. If pointed in another direction and the polarizer is set for less effect results are still great. Furthermore, I also read that it can be a great effect as well. Yet another reason why I don't trust Rockwell :rolleyes: ...

All the filters I mentioned are circular, these are indeed required for dSLRs to use autofocus.

I think the Tiffen wide filter is a slim one (like some of the B+W's), meaning that the lens will have smaller chances of vignetting (which is great when using wide angle). However, here and there I heard bad stories about the quality of Tiffen filters. Does anyone know if the Hoyas I mentioned are also slim filters?

jnpalma
01-31-2007, 02:37 PM
Prospero,

I use circular polarizers on my sigma 17-70 @ 17mm and there is no such problem.

Look at this blue sky in Vegas.

Prospero
01-31-2007, 03:05 PM
Prospero,

I use circular polarizers on my sigma 17-70 @ 17mm and there is no such problem.

Look at this blue sky in Vegas.

Nice shot, jnpalma. You're right, the problem does not occur there. 10mm is almost twice as wide, but looking at your picture I don't think it would occur in that situation at 10mm either.

Which polarizer do you use, by the way?

jnpalma
02-01-2007, 09:20 AM
Prospero, I used Hoya CPL 72mm for my Sigma 17-70 in this shot.

I've tried other cheaper brands however the Hoya seems to have one of the best cost/benefit today. Go for the purple box (Made in Japan) and you'll not regret.

Have fun !!

Prospero
02-01-2007, 10:51 AM
Prospero, I used Hoya CPL 72mm for my Sigma 17-70 in this shot.

I've tried other cheaper brands however the Hoya seems to have one of the best cost/benefit today. Go for the purple box (Made in Japan) and you'll not regret.

Have fun !!

Thanks jnpalma. I will be ordering it this friday. If the weather is good I'll post some shots next week with results. There are no camerastores around here anymore (only electronics stores, but they don't sell polarizers), so I won't know if it's the one made in Japan until I get it. Are you using a regular circular polarizer filter?

By the way, now that I'm ordering stuff anyway, it's also getting about time to clean my sensor, but the "Copper Hill"-method everybody is always talking about is not available in the uncivilized country I live in :D . We do have other systems like "sensor swab" and "green clean". Does anyone know more about these methods and which is best?

jcon
02-01-2007, 11:17 AM
I use Sensor Swabs and Eclipse Optic Cleaning Solution. The cleaning solution might prove difficult for you to get because since its methanol, it cant be airmailed. When getting Sensor Swabs, make sure to get the correct size, I believe its size 2.

Prospero
02-01-2007, 11:38 AM
I use Sensor Swabs and Eclipse Optic Cleaning Solution. The cleaning solution might prove difficult for you to get because since its methanol, it cant be airmailed. When getting Sensor Swabs, make sure to get the correct size, I believe its size 2.

Thanks Jason. The Eclipse Optic sollution is also available in the stores here, so there's no problem getting that. It is indeed size to for 1.5-1.6 APS-C dSLRs.

JREMKE
02-01-2007, 12:39 PM
I've used B+W on my Leica's and still use them today.

Rooz
02-03-2007, 03:47 AM
i have a friends 10-20 that i borrowed. here is a shot using the polariser. it is a hoya pro. notice vignetting in the corners here though. is this common for you prospero ? i also notices some colour dropoff in other photos, (overexpsoures in the sky), and there is definately a softness to the lens for landscape shots.

Prospero
02-03-2007, 06:11 AM
Rooz, what you see in the sky is not vignetting, I think. At f/7.1 the 10-20 does not vignet (at least my copy doesn't) and even with standard non-thin polarizers it shouldn't. My guess is that you took the picture away from the sun, which means that you will get uneven polarisation. The sky is lightest in the middle, because the polarisation at that point is zero, but towards the edges of the frame (both upward and sideways it is getting darker). I hardly ever get vignetting in real life pictures, only if I shoot white ceilings ;), this is the vignetting at f/4.

http://prospero.cabspace.com/pictures/vignetting10mm.jpg

About the sharpness, your picture does indeed seem a tad soft (though it's hard to tell at this size). The images I get out of the camera are almost always sharper. I sometimes get soft images, but mostly that's with pictures I took in a hurry. At 10mm, the focal length I use most of the time my pictures are almost always sharp:

http://prospero.cabspace.com/pictures/10mm.jpg

Here's a 100% crop of the right side (that's usually the softest side of the lens):

http://prospero.cabspace.com/pictures/10mm-crop.jpg

As you see, the image is very sharp at 10mm. I took these at f/7.1 since your picture was also taken at that apperture, just for the sake of comparison. At 20mm I, at some focussing distance, get a soft right side in my image, here's a picture with that issue (also at f/7.1):

http://prospero.cabspace.com/pictures/20mm.jpg

You cannot really see it here, but on the 100% crop its visible:

http://prospero.cabspace.com/pictures/20mm-crop.jpg

I am still debating as to whether I should take the trouble to send in my lens to get it alligned. On the one hand it doesn't bother me too much, it never shows up in my prints anyway (I don't print that large), it does not occur at 10mm (which I use most) and an unsharp mask can almost always fix it. On the other hand, I paid quite a lot for this lens and should get sharp images at all focal lengths...

About the colour drop-off, what exactly do you mean by that. I never have any issues with the colour in my pictures. If your refering to overexposed skies, it's just a matter of underexposing a little, no lens issue.