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#1 Kasey

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 04:03 AM

I'm looking to order UV and polarizing filters for my 80-200mm. Obiously Nikon's choices are the most expensive, but are they any better than Hoya or Tiffen. I would think that edge sharpness is a non-issue with digital. I just think it would be silly to put a bad filter on a great lens, but i don't know how much it matters.

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#2 craig

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 05:12 AM

From what I've gathered, the main concerns are the type of construction and the quality of the glass. Sandwich construction is to be avoided, but polarizers are are not made any other way.

Tiffen filters use a sandwich construction and the lowest quality glass, so if there's a filter to avoid these would be the ones. Hoya has many different lines of filters using different types of coatings and glass, so it's hard to generalize with them. B+W and Heliopan are considered to be fine quality. In my slightly-educated view, I avoid Tiffen and consider the others. For the filters you are looking for, I'd probably look at B+W or Heliopan.

Because all polarizers use a film sandwich, it would be prudent to use them only when you need them. Sandwich filters introduce six boundries that the light must pass through before entering the lens. Dyed glass and resin filters only add two. Each boundry introduces the possiblity of added distortion and flare. An extreme view would be to never use a filter, but polarizers provide a very useful function. The function of a UV filter is questionable but they are popular.
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#3 scorpio_fish

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Posted 06 May 2003 - 05:25 AM

There are different schools of thought on various filters.

1) UV or skylight filters. Unnecessary. It's just another piece of glass that adds refraction. Protection? That's what the lens cap is for.

2) Polarizers. Hoya, Nikon and Heliopan make high quality polarizers. I own one Hoya and one Heliopan. The ultra thin Helio is really nice. Tiffens and B&W have thicker mounts, which can cause vignetting with very wide lenses and Tiffens are uncoated.

3) Neutral densities and Grads - Here's where opinions vary greatly. I picked up a Hoya 2 stop ND. This is to get the exposure within the flash sync limitations of the D100.

I have and use the plastic, overly expensive Sing-Ray grads (3 stop hard and 2 stop soft). Although the same thing can be done in Photoshop, I still prefer to use them. The fit on the Cokin P system, which I've abandoned altogether. I just hand hold the damn things.

Avoid the cheapy plastic Cokin filters.

B&W makes expensive plastic grads. Tiffen makes nice expensive glass grads.

Some suspect that Hoya makes filters for Nikon. Could be. They are virtually identical. No matter what, it is unnecessary to buy Nikon filters. Hoya, B&W and Heliopan offerings are the way to go. Avoid filters that say, "Jim Bob's Camera Store".
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