View Full Version : Polarizer Filter Question

02-21-2005, 10:29 AM
Hi, I'm thinking about getting either a Canon A510 or Canon SD300 digital camera that I'll primarily be using for hiking: photographing mountains, scenery, lakes etc. The big problem I have with photographing in the mountains is that on the most beautiful, sunny days my shots are all washed out -- either the mountains look blue and featureless or the sky looks white instead of blue.

I've thought about buying a polarizer filter or a UV filter but this part of the camera industry I know nothing about. I'm looking for a cheapo circular filter -- I really only take these shots to be displayed on the computer for my own enjoyment, not for printing or anything else. However, do I need an adapter or do I simply stick the filter directly onto the camera. Also, does a UV filter or a polarizer filter sound better for what I'm trying to do? Can you even get a filter for the SD300? I see on some sites, as an accessory, you can buy some cheap polarizing filters along with the A510 but they make no mention of any adapters you may need. Any suggestions?


Dr. Wu

03-02-2005, 01:51 PM
Hi dr_wu002! I'm not familliar with Canon cameras as I'm using Minolta, so I wouldn't be able to tell you much about abilities of these cameras. The only thing I know is that my friend have A85 and produce beautiful images. As for filter questions it seems that SD300 isn't capable to fetch any filters, so if you would like to work with filters you probably need to look into Canon A510. As for filters itself I had cir. polarizer and UV filter as well. I'm actively using polarizer especially for my landscape shots as it help me to fight with reflections(I think this one would be useful for mountains as well), as UV filter I found it to cause little or no effect at the area I'm living, but it seems that in mountains there are a lot of UV light so maybe it would help you a bit as well(many adapters for leneses are sold with UV filter so maybe you shouldn't buy this one separately). BTW if you're going to shot in the area where snow could get into your lens system I think it's good idea to wear some filter all the time to protect your camera from moisture(hopefully), and I think that UV is perfectly fit your needs.
Hopefully info I posted above would help a bit.

03-02-2005, 04:52 PM
I posted a similar question on another part of this site. I have a Canon A95. the A510 probably requires a lens adapter, as does my camera, in order to use a filter. Your manual will tell you. Adapters are relatively inexpensive; check out the online photo-buying places. I found one for my camera on BuyDig.com.

With regard to the actual filter, my question is: how inexpensive a circular polarizing filter can you get and still get good results? My research has shown that Hoya brand, for example, has "green" filters, "blue" filters, "purple" filters which are all relatively inexpensive, and then a "SMC" filter, which seems like it is much better -- but also much more expensive. What's the difference in performance in these filters? I, too, just want one for my own picture enjoyment, not trying to do anything high-end or professional. And I don't want to spend another $100.

03-03-2005, 05:16 AM
well, first off, digital sensors aren't very sensitive to UV at all so it is mostly used for protection only. since small digi cams have built in lens caps, that protection is usually only needed in situations where there is flying debris or water spray like from the ocean.

you should always buy filters that have coatings to prevent ghosting/flare/internal reflections. your camera lenses should already have coatings on it's surfaces that prevent such problems; buying a filter that has no coatings will cause new refections regardless of the existing coating on the lens.

there are many types of coatings at different quality levels for filters. the HOYA brand alone has at least 2 or 3 different types. there is more info on different filter series within the HOYA brand at 2filter.com
i think they also sell metal adapter tubes for the canon A-series. i personally got the SMC series from HOYA because they have more coatings to reduce flare, etc. and seem to have a minimum of negative effects on the picture (many will say that anything in front of a lens degrades picture quality). they also don't charge rediculous prices like the german brands. you could probably get pretty good results from the less expensive HOYA HMC line and probably not notice any degrade in the quality of pics from an all-in-one digi-cam.

added later: lensmateonline.com also sells adapters and may have one for the canon A-series. they also have reduced size adapters that allow for use of small size filters, which cost less. whatever you buy, be sure that the adapter fits your specific cam. the cams in the A-series don't all use the same mount.