View Full Version : Buying Filters - need some help!

22-03-10, 10:34 PM
I am looking to buy some filters

I use a canon 450D with 3 lenses - canon 18-55mm, tamron 70-300mm and a tamron 90mm f2.8

The first filter I would like to get is a polarising filter and then i would like to get some ND filters

Now I am not sure whether to get a screw on polariser or to use a square filter system

From the point of view of the neutral density filters I think (from my understanding) a square filter system would work best as it would give me more flexibility as you can slide the filter up or down depending on where you want your horizon and how much you want the filter to affect the image - please correct me if my understanding is wrong

However do I get a polariser to go with the square filter system or go for a screw on - I did read somewhere that a screw on would be better

If I was to go for the screw on my plan would be to buy for my biggest diameter lens (62mm) and get step-down rings so it will fit my other lenses (a 55mm and a 58mm)

Also this all brings me to my next problem - what make to get

There are plenty of very cheap polarisers on ebay but I dont want to get a cheap one that will do the job poorly (I am trying to improve my photography), I have seen a few places on the web that suggest Hoya is a good make, could anyone give me some help with this? What about Kood, Jessops...

With regards to a square filter system - is Cokin all that bad? I have heard some people say not to use them but their prices are good - but does this reflect the quality?

Any advice is really appreciated


03-04-10, 11:18 PM
Go for the square system I now use Hitech/Formatt. Not the same feel as Lee (I have both) but a lot cheaper as I can be forgetfull t times.

As for filters - some would say thet the only filters you need are a polariser to control reflections etc., and a 3 stop ND for those creamy water shots as other effects can be simulated in PS using exposure bracketting and filter effects etc.

I personally use Hitech 150mm x 100mm soft ND grads - as the coloured area is 100m x 100mm approx and moving the filter down means it can be used in place of a square filter - if I have explained that correctly.

As for polariser I have a 105mm Sigma brand - an excellent piece of kit and still affordable at WHE. The only other filters I use are a 10 stop ND again from Hitech and a Lee IR filter.

The main criticism levied to some degree against most brands is the question of colour cast from the filters. Lee are noted for being neutral but colour casts can quite often be dealt with in PS.

Nikonians had a side by side comparison of this on their site, but they are now a subscription site but you could register for their free trial (or google it and look at the cached version), Or perhaps WDC could do their own version if its not already done so?

Hope this helps, but with digital, most filters are now redundant when compared to what was needed for film and when you look at the multitude of plug-ins available for PS.