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Archive 2011 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare
  
 
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


I currently own a number of filters from a big Lee kit with Singh Ray 4x6 filters to over two dozen smaller screw on filters.

I relied on the Lenstip filter tests for both UV and Circular polarizers to help me make my purchasing decisions. I've personally found that B+W UV filters do not flare as much as say Sony Zeiss branded ones when shooting lamps or into a similar bright light source.

Now flare is a funny thing in that sometimes it can add to a composition and sometimes it can ruin it. This will of course also depend on the photographer's vision.

Anyways, to get to the heart of it, I always thought Marumi Super DHG filters were top notch and they probably are as I own a couple and I've never had a big problem with them. They were tied for first with the B+W KSM Slim filters on the lenstip test.

However, from the Lenstip Circ Polarizer test, one has to better evaluate the flare. It's a pretty huge difference between the two and considering they are tied for first, it really speaks to the fact that you have to be very careful about rankings from review sites.

Look at the two:

B+W KSM


Marumi Super DHG



Beyond the transmission and effectiveness of a polarizer, the marumi flare is horrendous. Yet they are tied for the same rank. Just a reminder for any review, take whatever is written with a big grain of salt and rely on your own visual inspection to help you decide on your tools.



Dec 12, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Fly -- Are these your photos? Did any get taken with no filter, for comparison?

The Marumi does seem to do poorly.

It seems interesting, but unneeded, as I don't know anyone photographing night shots with PL or ND unless there was some motion blurred. I usually remove all filters for night/twilight shots, unless there was a potential problem with rain or salt spray.



Dec 12, 2011 at 03:19 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Nope those are from Lenstip, they have samples of without filter. The KSM filter looks almost the same as no filter, very close.

With a shot like this with bright point light sources, flare matters:


_DSC2524_3_2.jpg by jaetography, on Flickr


_DSC2533_2_1.jpg by jaetography, on Flickr








Dec 12, 2011 at 03:33 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


I have said it before, but lenstip reviews are just looking to be sensational. There is no way the Marumi would equal or better B+W. Unfortunately, lenstip fooled many members on this forum.


Dec 12, 2011 at 03:36 PM
millsart
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Marumi still represents some pretty good bang for the buck though, and for most users, ie; the type of person who doesn't do "test" images or spend every day on an internet photo forum talking about gear, is a good choice.

Marumi SHG filters are very easy to clean off which can't be overlooked, and also have a good build quality for the money, yet cost only slightly more than the likes of Tiffen and other lower end filters.

I would think most of us here would know that one gets what they pay for, even though returns can be diminishing of course. Wanting a low to mid priced Maruimi filter to be "the best" even though its less than half the price of other well known brands is just wishful thinking.

Still though, for a rather modest price, Marumi makes some pretty decent products. I'd still recommend them to the average hobbyist photographer who simply wants a decent filter for occasional use and is on a budget.

Again as well, the ease of cleaning them over the typical filter alone made me glad I bought one.

Bigger question though is why would someone be using a polarizer to shoot INTO the sun ?? Of course thats going to be prone to flare and isn't going to result in any real polarization effect in that direction. Seems akin to taking a low sports car down a bumpy dirt road just to complain how poorly it rides lol



Dec 12, 2011 at 04:45 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Thats a very poor analogy. There are lots of reasons you would use a polarizer with bright point light sources. Its like taking a sports car on a track and complaining it doesn't handle well relative to its competitors.

Pretty much any of the multi-coated filters are very easy to clean.

I would say Marumi is above Tiffen but perhaps not some of Hoya's higher end stuff.

Flare can add to the picture but filter flare is usually pretty ugly compared to lens flare.



Dec 12, 2011 at 04:57 PM
artd
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


FlyPenFly wrote:
Beyond the transmission and effectiveness of a polarizer, the marumi flare is horrendous. Yet they are tied for the same rank. Just a reminder for any review, take whatever is written with a big grain of salt and rely on your own visual inspection to help you decide on your tools.

Well in fairness to Lenstip, their scoring for flare on the Marumi was quite a bit lower than the B+W. Marumi scored was 5.25/7.5 for flare while the B+W got 7.5/7.5. The rankings were based on a composite of scoring criteria, not just that one factor.


Edited on Dec 12, 2011 at 05:05 PM · View previous versions



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:03 PM
artd
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


deleted double post


Dec 12, 2011 at 05:04 PM
quicksilver33
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


I use both the B+W and the Marumi and the Marumi has been noticeably better to me. The polarizing effect seems greater and it has a better level (lack) of resistance so it's quicker to set it where you need it. I've never had a problem with flare when using the Marumi.

Not that I have anything bad to say about the B+W but it was twice as much and in my opinion not as good.



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:16 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


There is a cost factor but you're talking about a $50 difference on a $2500 lens on a $2000 camera.

If you're using a $200 system, that's a different story I guess.



Dec 12, 2011 at 05:31 PM
 

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dakel
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


I think artd makes a very fair point.


Dec 12, 2011 at 05:49 PM
mirkoc
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


I have recently started thread about filters and you are welcome to discuss similar topics over there too.


Dec 12, 2011 at 05:58 PM
quicksilver33
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


FlyPenFly wrote:
There is a cost factor but you're talking about a $50 difference on a $2500 lens on a $2000 camera.

If you're using a $200 system, that's a different story I guess.


The B+W is $165 whereas the Marumi is $79 so it's a lot closer to a $100 difference (and a bit more than double). I often use a 35L/135L combo so that means I can either get one B+W and share between the two or I can get a dedicated Marumi for each. Would make a lot more sense to pay more if the Marumi were inferior but that doesn't seem to be the case.



Dec 12, 2011 at 06:34 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


In terms of reflections from point light sources it seems to be.

But hey, use whatever you like and you're fine with the way it handles flare reflections.

For me, even though its double, you're talking about a small percentage of the total cost.



Dec 12, 2011 at 06:51 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Well, I am no flare fiend, my work is very different.

'Marumi Super DHG filters were top notch and they probably are..'

In my experience, safe to say. For what pol filters are generally used for, the
Marumi is every scintilla as good as my B+Ws, and probably better, for colour rendition and glare control. Very impressive indeed, and I would now consider them at the same money as B+W (for which I get very decent discounts.The B+Ws - despite their copious self-congratulatory promotional material - do not stand up over time commensurate with either their reputation, price or build quality.

But there is a caveat: I am an average hobbyist, so do take that into account



Dec 12, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Good discussion.

I appreciate Art's comments further clarifying the Lentips' Marumi results.

As I said, I tend to remove all filters for dusk/night shots with specular highlights and light sources.

And when I use CPLs, I now tend to buy coated ones with good reputation like B+W and Hoya Super HMC. That said, I still use a few uncoated Hoya CPLs and get great daytime results.

Based on what I've seen so far, I consider the Marumi slightly over-priced for my interest. Although the B+W is roughly double the price, the Marumi seems to have more than double the optical defects on flare and ghosting, just enough to make its price seem a false economy in certain difficult high contrast situations. Admittedly, these situations may be rare and then the Marumi will be an asset to the owners. It's good to have choices!



Dec 12, 2011 at 09:06 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


FlyPenFly wrote:
Beyond the transmission and effectiveness of a polarizer, the marumi flare is horrendous. Yet they are tied for the same rank. Just a reminder for any review, take whatever is written with a big grain of salt and rely on your own visual inspection to help you decide on your tools.


That goes for any kind of review where they try to wrap everything into a rank/test grade. Same with Photodo or dxo scores, for example. Basically you're saying you bought the Marumi filters because they got a top ranking but didn't bother to look a the details of the test report, until you found out firsthand that they flare?



Dec 12, 2011 at 09:49 PM
millsart
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


In what "typical" usage of a polarizer, would the average hobbyist for whom Marumi represents a pretty good value, be shooting into either a point light source or the sun ??

Are there times when someone may do that ? Sure, but how common are they ?

How often does anyone really shoot into the sun ? I honestly don't find myself doing that even with a naked lens because darn near anything is going to flare. Sometimes to stylistic effect, but its still going to flare 9 times out of 10.

Polarizer really isn't going to have any effect either shooting into the sun, so even if it does increase flare, which would be expected for any additional element added to the optical path, so why would someone really be doing that ?

In the typical manner of using a polarizer, at a right angle to the sun, to darken skies, or cut glare on water/foliage, flare isn't an issue, even with a low end single coated filter.

Just don't really understand the point of the argument.

A filter that cost twice as much is marginally better, though still flaring as well, when used in a manner that the typical buyer of a polarizer wouldn't even encounter ??

So as such, giving the best overall rating, to the Marumi, in part due to its lower price, and good performance in typical shooting conditions is somehow flawed




Dec 13, 2011 at 01:33 AM
millsart
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


Regarding the typical multicoat vs the DHG Super though I still find it pretty night and day. I haven't bought any filter in a while so many B+W and others have come out with some new coating to match Marumi's but to date I've never found anything that I can easily clean in the field with no streaking or smearing.

You can clean a DHG Super with just your breath and a tshirt honestly, and given its only $38 (for the 49mm size at least) you really don't have to feel bad cleaning it like that.

Get a couple of spots of water, wipes right off. My MRC's and Hoya Pro 1's get smeary trying to do the same.

Again, maybe other brands now have similar hard coatings, so I don't want to say Marumi is the only brand that offers it, but for the price and what you get I'd think it still hard to beat



Dec 13, 2011 at 01:38 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Watch out for Test Rankings - Filter Flare


millsart wrote:
...How often does anyone really shoot into the sun ?














Dec 13, 2011 at 01:43 AM
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