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View Full Version : Cleaning a circular polarizer



wutske
10-22-2009, 03:01 AM
Okay, I just kinda totaly ruined a 2 months old Hama circular polarizer by cleaning it...
This morning I decided to clean the circ pol because I noticed it looked like it had a layer of fine dust on it (almost like a haze).

Cleaning the front was no problem, but once I started to clean the back I noticed that after a few wipes it had a lot of scratches. To make things worse, I decided to just run some water over it and I noticed some silver-like particles in the water.

If I now look through the polarizer it only causes some discolorization (it looks a bit like a 6500k to 9300k conversion). My camera doesn't seem to have a problem with this (probably fixed by auto WB), but it kinda sucks that I totaly ruined €34.

So, now my question is: how on earth do you clean a circular polarizer (and especialy the side that is facing the camera).

tim11
10-22-2009, 03:32 AM
What material did you use to wipe off the water?
I blow the dust off, breathe on it then wipe off with good quality microfiber cloth. The same for the lens.

wutske
10-22-2009, 03:58 AM
I usualy also only use the moisture from my breath, but the haze on the front of the filter came of without any moisture so I didn't use any water at first.

I used a soft hankerchief to clean the filter, I always use these and I've never had any problems with them before. I think the problem is that on the back of the filter there is a loosely binded coating which can be easily wiped of because there's no protective layer...

tim11
10-22-2009, 06:02 AM
Soft hanky can be made of material of harsh fiber. A few loose dirt on the lens will cause damage. You should try microfibre cloth or if that's not available use pure cotton cloth.

wutske
10-22-2009, 02:22 PM
It's possible, but so far I've never had any problems with the soft hankerchiefs I use.

I just decided to give these cleaning tissues for glasses a go (since the filter was useless anyway) and it turned out that the filter wasn't useless at all :p . Since it was damaged anyway, I just removed the whole coating (which was scratched) on the back of the filter and now I can use it again :) .

It was probably some anti-reflective coating, gonna have to test that one out on a sunny day ^^

TheWengler
10-22-2009, 06:33 PM
If your cleaning cloth isn't clean then you can scratch your filter

wutske
10-23-2009, 02:49 AM
If your cleaning cloth isn't clean then you can scratch your filter

It was definitly not caused by any dirt on the cleaning cloth. I'm now 100% sure that the coating wasn't made to be touched or cleaned (afterall it was the cheapest circular polarizer).

jekostas
10-23-2009, 12:59 PM
It was definitly not caused by any dirt on the cleaning cloth. I'm now 100% sure that the coating wasn't made to be touched or cleaned (afterall it was the cheapest circular polarizer).

Lens paper or a lens pen

Or, get a decent filter to start out with. There are a few (like Marumi) that are very good quality at a reasonable price.

fdexclpl
10-24-2009, 07:52 AM
Lens paper or a lens pen

Or, get a decent filter to start out with. There are a few (like Marumi) that are very good quality at a reasonable price.I second the Marumi recommendation. Good quality at a fair price.

fotogmarc
10-25-2009, 05:14 AM
I second the Marumi recommendation. Good quality at a fair price.

Are the Marumi's really that good? I've seen little price difference from the B&W's. I have their ND filter and it is good, but I have nothing else to compare it to.

jekostas
10-25-2009, 10:53 AM
Are the Marumi's really that good? I've seen little price difference from the B&W's. I have their ND filter and it is good, but I have nothing else to compare it to.

I would probably put the Marumi DHG polarizers on par with the Hoya Pro-1D polarizers and the B+W Kaesemann polarizers, both of which are probably 25% more expensive on average. Not as good as say B+W F-Pro Gold or Singh-Ray's REALLY good stuff, but those cost about three times as much.

The mid-grade Marumi stuff is also very good - when I had 58mm filter lenses I used a Marumi MRC Polarizer and it was excellent.

wutske
10-27-2009, 09:21 AM
I bought the Hama's because they were basicaly the cheapest ones I could fine nearby and also because I didn't want to spend €60 on a B+W filter because that'd be overkill for a non-dSLR camera :) .

I did a quick search and I didn't find any Marumi's in Belgium, but apparently I can have them for €25 at Amazon.de :eek: .

fdexclpl
10-27-2009, 05:59 PM
Are the Marumi's really that good? I've seen little price difference from the B&W's. I have their ND filter and it is good, but I have nothing else to compare it to.I compared several different CPLs before buying mine. I was able to mount them on my 50D and take a few shots to get a feel for them. I think for overall value the Marumi filters are excellent. I got mine at 2filter.com.