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Old March 7th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #1
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filter quality

Hi, been doing some research on filters, does it matter what brand of filter that we opt to buy? i see that tiffen is a name widely used, but is it ok to just go out and buy a filter kit based on their purpose (ie nd, polarizer, etc) or should I look at brand names..? thanks
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Old March 10th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #2
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I shoot still, not video, mostly 35mm and 120/220 but my experience is that there's little substantial difference from brand to brand. You'll see more difference comparing standard to multi-coated filters.
Henry Posner
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Old March 10th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #3
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if you have the opportunity to compare different type of made filters you will definately see the great difference. i notice that tiffen nd filter have a slight green cast compare to schneider filter. more expensive polarizer filter tend to give better result. my advice would be to buy one or two at a time. in this way, you will have a better collection of filters in the long run.

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Old March 10th, 2005, 11:56 PM   #4
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B + W and Schneider and great, Schneider bought B+ W in 1985. Tiffen, Harrison, Pancro are excellent, Formatt, Canon and Nikon are also good. Canon and Nikon are the only ones who do not make larger sized square and rectangular filters.

I have a modest selection of Tiffen 4x4 glass filters for my video and smaller format film needs. When I start making gobs of money I'll start buying the B+W's. I also have my 72mm polarizer handy if I have to do ENG style shooting, without a matte box.

Stick with glass. Resin is nice, but you have to be careful they don't get scratched. I think I still have a few Cokin grads that I used with my stills gear. But I'm super careful with them.

Kodak Wratten Gelatin filters are great except they are so fragile. They are made from gelatin and dyed, so you can't leave them laying about and don't get them wet. Kodak's Neutral Density (ND), Color Correction (CC) and Light Balancing (LB) filters are the most accurate. I have a sizeable 3x3 filter set that I use with my 35mm and 120 gear. Not shooting much 4x5 anymore.

As Ed pointed out some of the Polarizers have a green tint. Tiffen now has a Water White Glass UltraPol. B + W and Schneider use Water White Schott Glass for their filters and lenses. They're beautiful, but expensive.

I tend to keep the front of my lens "clean", as in no filter. If I am going out in a situation where I might have to contend with rain and water spray. I'll use a clear filter or a UV Haze 1 which has a slight yellow cast and cuts through the haze. Good for humid areas like the sea and high elevations.

A polarizer and a clear/UV lens might be a good start, maybe some diffusion like a Pro Mist, depends on what you want to do. I tend to shoot clean and then "fix it in post" so that I have nice clean, color correct image and can then degrade, color it, whatever it needs, after.

Sorry that was a bit long.
Mark Sasahara
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Old March 11th, 2005, 02:03 AM   #5
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no need for apologies, a very informative post, thanks!
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