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Can someone tell me what effects a cheap(er) filter will have???
Ive been doing a few searches (it works for a change ) this morning on ND and CPL filters. And just about every thread has a warning not to buy or waste $$$ on cheap filters. Excuse my ignorance, although Im not too much of a beginner I dont quite understand the effects of a cheaper filter. What exactly have you experienced photogs seen, preferably not heard but actually experienced themselves. Is it distorted images, muted colors, what?.

TIA!Frank.

Canon 1DCanon i9900http://www.pbase.com/fortisi876..

Comments (7)

The biggest difference is the quality and number of anti-reflection coatings. Poor or no AR layers cause reflections of the sensor and lens surfaces to reflect back to the sensor. It produces "flare"..

There are other differences though. Thin filters are less likely to vignette. Brass is a better material than Aluminum..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #1

Flo67 wrote:.

Ive been doing a few searches (it works for a change ) this morningon ND and CPL filters. And just about every thread has a warning notto buy or waste $$$ on cheap filters. Excuse my ignorance, althoughIm not too much of a beginner I dont quite understand the effects ofa cheaper filter. What exactly have you experienced photogs seen,preferably not heard but actually experienced themselves. Is itdistorted images, muted colors, what?.

Hopefully not distorted images, that would be a horrendous filter. However, you get almost every other problem possible, flare, glare, ghosting, contrast reduction, etc..

For the sake of it, take a photo through a window pane. That's a cheap filter. Open the window, take the same picture. Compare..

TIA!Frank.

Canon 1DCanon i9900http://www.pbase.com/fortisi876..

Comment #2

1) The mounting ring. Cheap filters often have plastic or "potmetal" mounting ring that strip and can cause problems un-mounting. Often they are also very thick and in polarizers (at least) that can induce unwanted vignetting..

2) Colored filters: sky, UV, Color temperature conversion, etc. Manufacturing processes vary. Many companies use a "dyed in the mass" technique that means that the color is throughout the glass. Filters are ground until flat. If the thickness of the filers in a batch vary, the color varies. Quality control can minimize this, but most commonly available filters are made this way and vary a lot (one except: Tiffen who maintains plus or minus 1% of Wratten color standards)..

3) Polarizers. The polarizing material quality and capabilities vary..

4) Glass surfaces. Wavy (improperly finished surfaces) produce flare, and image corruption. Flat glass does not..

5) Contrast reduction. Depending on the glass itself, cheap filters can either reduce or exaggerate contrast and also shift color..

Must be more,,,but you get the idea, I think...Good question..

John.

Flo67 wrote:.

Ive been doing a few searches (it works for a change ) this morningon ND and CPL filters. And just about every thread has a warning notto buy or waste $$$ on cheap filters. Excuse my ignorance, althoughIm not too much of a beginner I dont quite understand the effects ofa cheaper filter. What exactly have you experienced photogs seen,preferably not heard but actually experienced themselves. Is itdistorted images, muted colors, what?.

TIA!Frank.

Canon 1DCanon i9900http://www.pbase.com/fortisi876.

Van..

Comment #3

Flo67 wrote:.

Ive been doing a few searches (it works for a change ) this morningon ND and CPL filters. And just about every thread has a warning notto buy or waste $$$ on cheap filters. Excuse my ignorance, althoughIm not too much of a beginner I dont quite understand the effects ofa cheaper filter. What exactly have you experienced photogs seen,preferably not heard but actually experienced themselves. Is itdistorted images, muted colors, what?.

TIA!Frank.

Canon 1DCanon i9900http://www.pbase.com/fortisi876.

Note, this is not an endorsement for Hoya filters. I think others such as B+W and Heliopan are better. When I use filters at all I like the B+W's. Look at the other two manufacturer's websites also..

B+Whttp://www.schneideroptics.com/...merce/CatalogSubCategoryDisplay.aspx?CID=57.

Heliopanhttp://www.hpmarketingcorp.com/heliopan.html.

The Hoya webpages do a nice job of explaining filters..

The illustrated technology of filtershttp://www.hoyafilter.com/products/hoya/hoya-02.html.

A small comparison photo of various filter quality. Look at the shot of the coins, each behind a different filter material. This will give you some idea of the effect cheaper filters have. The one with the black background is the best filter, the other cheaper filters are reducing contrast. Also note Hoya is trying to sell you their top of the line filter.http://www.hoyafilter.com/products/hoya/pro1d-01.html.

The better filters have some general properties.1) Build quality so a filter doesn't get stuck on your lens.

2) They transmit more light to your lens and sensor rather than reflecting it. This means a higher contrast image..

3) Coatings on the filter to make them resistant to scratches and easier to clean...

Comment #4

The primary difference is the absence of anti-reflective coatings. Light can reflect off of the back side of the filter and back into the lens..

The most noticeable effect is when taking pictures which have "bright spots" in them, such as lights at night (or the sun itself in the day, or windows in an indoors shot). Some of the light from the bright spots will reflect off of the front of the sensor and back out through the lens. If the light then re-reflects off of a flat surface, it will go right back into the lens and produce a "ghost" reflection at a point 180 from the original. Since the back of a filter is a flat surface, you don't want it to be reflective..

Here's an article showing what ghosting does to your picture:http://www.vanwalree.com/optics/filterflare.html.

Less obvious is overall contrast reduction. Most surfaces within the lens itself are curved and will scatter any light that happens to get reflected back out the front. If the filter then re-reflects that scattered light back into the lens, it's like a "veil" of light over the entire photo that turns your blacks into grays..

Here's a test that one forum member did a while back, showing contrast reduction:http://www.kenandchristine.com/gallery/1054387..

Comment #5

If you put a cheaper and poorer optically filter on a good lens the resulting image that is going through the combination is reduced to the worst of the optical quality of the parts that make up the system. in this cse the resulting quality is reduced to the level of the inferior filter, and you have wasted your money on a good lens, because you will not see the good len's quality...

Comment #6

TY for all the replies folks!.

I guess those Visico filters off of eBay is out. LOL!.

Canon 1DCanon i9900http://www.pbase.com/fortisi876..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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