Polarizer Filters


Polarizer

The effects of a polarizer on the sky in a color photograph. The picture on the right has the filter.

A polarizing filter, used both in color and black and white photography, can be used to darken overly light skies. Because the clouds are relatively unchanged, the contrast between the clouds and the sky is increased. Atmospheric haze and reflected sunlight are also reduced, and in color photographs overall color saturation is increased. Polarizers are often used to deal with situations involving reflections, such as those involving water or glass, including pictures taken through glass windows (this uses the phenomenon of Brewster's angle).

The benefits of polarizing filters are largely unaffected by the move to digital photography: though software post-processing can simulate many other types of filter, most of the optical effects of controlling polarization at the time of capture (particularly where reflections are involved) simply cannot be replicated in software.

The effects of a polarizer on the sky in a color photograph. The picture on the right has the filter. In the first picture, the polarizer is rotated to minimize the effect, and in the second it is rotated 90 to maximize the effect - almost all reflected sunlight is eliminated. On the bottom you can see how the window is reflecting the outside environment, while on the top the filter is turned 90 making it possible to see through the window. Polarizers are often used to improve the appearance of vegetation. In this picture the polarizing filter is used on the left. There are two types of polarizing filters generally available, linear polarizers and circular polarizers (or CPL filters). With the exception of how they interact with some autofocus and metering mechanisms, they have exactly the same effect. Both transmit one of two states of linearly polarized light. The difference is that a circular polarizer alters the light leaving the filter and entering the camera by using a quarter-wave plate to circularly polarize that light. This has the same effect photographically as a linear polarizer, reducing glare in the scene. The metering and auto-focus sensors in certain cameras, including virtually all auto-focus SLRs, will not work properly with linear polarizers because the beam-splitters used to split off the light for focusing and metering are polarization-dependent. Circular polarizers work with all types of cameras, because mirrors and beam-splitters reflect both circular polarizations equally. Click a link below for availability & latest prices

Filter Sizes
Filters come in 25mm 30mm 34mm 37mm 39mm 40.5mm 43mm 46mm 49mm 52mm 55mm 58mm 60mm 62mm 67mm 72mm 77mm 82mm 86mm 95mm 105mm 107mm 125mm and 127mm

The most common sizes being: 49mm 52mm 55mm 58mm 62mm 67mm 72mm and 77mm.

Bayonet sizes, Hasselblad "names" for their bayonet sizes are 50, 60 and 70. Zeiss has a different designation: "bay 57" for HB's "bay 50", and "bay 77"

Series sizes 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 sizes,

Drop-in sizes 2x2" 3x3" 3x4" 4x4" 4x5" 4x5.650 5x5" 5x6" 6x6" and 6.6x6.6".

Square & rectangle sizes are 75x75mm 100x100mm with the graduated. filters being oblong

Look at the front of your lens to find the size. If you have lenses of several sizes, its a good idea get a 77mm or 72mm filter and get a step-up ring (lens to filter size) for each of your lenses. That way, one filter will fit all your lenses.

 

Polarizer Filters by Brand
B+W Polarizer Filters
Heliopan Circular Polarizer. SH-PMC is Heliopan's 16 layer multi-coating for their filters. Heliopan Slim Circular Polarizers have no front threads Note! Circular polarizers are specifically designed for use with auto-focus SLR cameras (They will also work on manual systems without problems) Fully calibrated to indicate the axis of polarization and the convenient markings make the filters very easy to use on non reflex and non ground glass focusing cameras With the calibrations all that is necessary is to hold the filter up to the eye and rotate it until the desired effect is seen; note the position of any number on the rim, mount the filter on the lens and rotate the mount until the selected number is in the same position as when the filter was held to the eye The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun Made of black anodized brass stock and have so little rim in front of the lens (5.4 mm) that they will not vignette with lenses as short as 21 mm Heliopan filters are "dyed in the mass" and ground, polished and coated to the highest standards of the German optical industry All Heliopan screw-in type and series size filters are mounted in precision black anodized brass rings to eliminate binding or cross threading and to ensure optimal alignment
B+W Circular Polarizer Filter. The reputation of B+W's Schott glass is world renowned. The high production standards combined with a sturdy brass filter ring make B+W filters hard to beat. These filters have a "heft" to them that is impressive. They may feel heavier but the benefit is in the construction and results. Not only is the glass exceptional but so is the seal between the ring and glass. Multicoated to minimize reflection at the filter surfaces which reduces flare and ghosting. Note! Circular polarizers are specifically designed for use with auto-focus SLR cameras (They will also work on manual systems without problems).
B+W Kaeseman Circular Polarizing Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC) Glass Filter. Constructed from select polarizer foils and especially prepared optical glass. Kaeseman ("encased") filters are completely edge-sealed for maximum durability under extreme climatic conditions.
B+W Kaeseman Circular Polarizing Multi-Resistant Coating (MRC) Glass Filter (Slim). Constructed from select polarizer foils and especially prepared optical glass. Kaeseman ("encased") filters are completely edge-sealed for maximum durability under extreme climatic conditions. .
B+W Linear Polarizer Glass Filter. Note! Linear polarizers are used with most video and manual focus photo cameras. They are not recommended for auto-focus SLR cameras This filter eliminates ultraviolet rays to remove haze from outdoor shots as well as polarizing the light to remove reflections, and increase color saturation, without affecting the overall color balance High light transmission characteristics Produces good shadow detail
B+W Warm Circular Polarizer 81A Glass Filter. Light rays which are reflected become polarized. Polarizing filters are used to select which light rays enter your camera lens. They can remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water or glass and also saturate colors providing better contrast. The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter. The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun. Filter factor is between 2.3 and 2.8 (approx. +1.3 stops). This unique filter combines the advantages of a polarizer with the warming effect of an 81A filter. Circular polarizers are specifically designed for use with auto-focus SLR cameras (They will also work on manual systems without problems).
Heliopan Warm Linear Polarizer. This filter is useful when you need to add more warmth to the image. When shooting in open shade or on cloudy days, it can bring the color tone back to a more "normal" appearance. Or, if shooting open a clear day, can make your image even warmer. Multicoated to minimize reflection at the filter surfaces which reduces flare and ghosting. Note! Linear polarizers are used with most video and manual focus photo cameras. They are not recommended for auto-focus SLR cameras
Hoya Ultra Thin UV, Circular Polarizer. Hoya's High Transmission Super-Multi-Coating minimizes reflection at the filter surfaces which reduces flare and ghosting. Hoya SMC Slim Polarizers are for wide-angle lenses, are 5mm thick, and do not have a front thread. Note! Circular polarizers are specifically designed for use with auto-focus SLR cameras (They will also work on manual systems without problems) This filter eliminates ultraviolet rays to remove haze from outdoor shots as well as polarizing the light to remove reflections, and increase color saturation, without affecting the overall color balance Removes unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water or glass The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun.
Hoya Ultra Thin Super HMC, Circular Polarizer. Hoya's High Transmission Super-Multi-Coating minimizes reflection at the filter surfaces which reduces flare and ghosting. Hoya SMC Slim Polarizers are for wide-angle lenses, are 5mm thick, and do not have a front thread. Note! Circular polarizers are specifically designed for use with auto-focus SLR cameras (They will also work on manual systems without problems) This filter eliminates ultraviolet rays to remove haze from outdoor shots as well as polarizing the light to remove reflections, and increase color saturation, without affecting the overall color balance Removes unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water or glass The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun.  
The Hoya 72mm HRT Circular Polarizing Filter. Unique in its design since it incorporates a High Rate Transmission film that permits more visible light to be passed through the filter while still producing the same degree of polarized light. This filter now permits the equivalent of 1/3 stop more light to be taken in yet it still filters the same amount of polarized light. This can be a huge benefit to users of both digital and HD technology cameras and lenses. This filter also contains UV properties which aid in eliminating the bluish cast on cloudy days or in open shade. Polarizers should be a part of every photographer's gear. They are useful when you wish to increase the saturation of a blue sky or want to make the clouds stand out more. Moreover, they are handy when reflections are a problem - such as when shooting into glass or on the water. Can be combined with certain other filters to produce special effects - For example, when used with a red filter, it will simulate a threatening storm
Hoya Moose Warm Circular Polarizer. Light rays which are reflected become polarized. Polarizing filters are used to select which light rays enter your camera lens. They can remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water or glass and also saturate colors providing better contrast. The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter. The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun. Filter factor is between 2.3 and 2.8 (approx. +1.3 stops). This unique filter is the result of a collaboration between Hoya and respected wildlife photographer, B. Moose Peterson. It combines the advantages of a polarizer with the warming effect of an 81A filter. Circular polarizers are specifically designed for use with auto-focus SLR cameras (They will also work on manual systems without problems).
Leica Linear Polarizer. Other than in an SLR, where the user sees his subject looking through the lens, the effect of a polarizing filter cannot be judged in the viewfinder of a rangefinder camera. Nevertheless, many users of rangefinder cameras would like to benefit from the photographic advantages of a polarizing filter, such as higher color saturation and reduction of reflections at non-metallic surfaces. A very easy-to-handle universal polarizing filter solves this problem for LEICA M-photographers. A hinge allows it to be swung exactly 180 over the viewfinder for composition and setting, and back again over the lens for metering and shooting. The two special adapters (threaded rings) for the filter sizes E 39 and E 46 delivered with the filter enable the use of the majority of the present interchangeable lenses for the LEICA M6-models; others for earlier lenses are also available. The new universal polarizing filter replaces the former polarizing filter A42.
Color Polarizer Filters
Polacolor Red 161 Cokin Polacolor Red 161 Filter. Available in Series : A - P.
Polacolor Blue 162 Cokin Polacolor Blue 162 Filter. Available in Series : A - P.
Polacolor Yellow 163 Cokin Polacolor Yellow 163 Filter. Available in Series : A - P.
Varicolor Red/Green 170 Cokin Varicolor Red/Green 170 Filter. In one orientation it is a heavy red filter, turn it 90 degrees and it is a heavy green filter. What I had expected was a more subtle slide between colors or even a left-right dichotomy. But, no, just two heavy color filters. Maybe it would be handy for black-and-white, who knows?  Available in Series : A - P.
Varicolor Red/Blue 171 Cokin Varicolor Red/Blue 171 Filter. Crazy filter. you can create very wild images and with the ease of the cokin system it is very easy to dial in the right amount of polarization. Varicolor Red/Blue Filter for applying red and blue coloring based on polarized light - for example coloring the sky one color and the clouds another. Beware, the combination of the filter and the required circular polarizer loses 4-6 stops of light; the color effects generated by this combination are worth it! Available in Series : A - P - X.
Varicolor Pink/Orange 172 Cokin Varicolor Pink/Orange 172 Filter. Available in Series : A - P.
Varicolor Blue/Yellow 173 Cokin Varicolor Blue/Yellow 173 Filter. This is a great polarizer that allows you to emphasize blues and yellows/browns simultaneously, for example, a brick building against blue sky or beach scene. It can also distort colors, your choice. This filter allows one to create anything from dramatic to subtle changes in the sky and background. It helps to create the "feel" of a scene that might be difficult to really nail down otherwise. Available in Series : A - P -X-PRO-Z-PRO.
Varicolor Blue/Lime 174 Cokin Varicolor Blue/Lime 174 Filter. Available in Series : A - P -X-PRO-Z-PRO.
Hoya Polarizer Color  - (Blue, Orange, Red, Yellow). This filter is a combination of one gray polarizing filter and two colored polarizing filters. The color can be varied by rotating the filter frames. Available in five combinations: Y/B(yellow/blue), Y/G(yellow/green),Y/R(yellow/red), R/B(red/blue) and R/G(red/green) and in all popular sizes. Infinite color possibilties. Circular type polarizer compatible with all camera meters.
Hoya Polarizer - Vari-Color Varicolor Blue/Yellow filter. By turning the filter-holder, the reflections are toned with one of the two colors. If you insert a neutral polarizer, a large display of colors appears. Great for landscapes. - (R/B, R/G, Y/G, Y/R.
   
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Polarizer Filters by Brand