51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant addition to your kit bag,
This review is from: Hoya 67mm Circular Polarising Filter (Camera)
After seeing what a polarising filter can do I decided I wanted one and hoya always seem to make good quality kit. Hoya's range of polarisers includes a number of different filters from this standard and relatively cheap one to the expensive pro1, s-HMC, DMC ...ect. I haven't tested the more expensive versions but as far as I can tell, the "polarising-ness" (technical term) is fairly similar for all of them. Where they differ is in the amount of light they let through, the thickness of the filter itself, and the number of special coatings on the glass. These special coatings are supposed to make the filters easier to clean and improve the colour of the photo.
I considered the more expensive options but decided that I couldn't justify spending £40+ on what is essentially 2 pieces of glass. In the end I am happy with my decision but there are a few down sides. The thickness of the filter (not including the screw section) is about 8mm which means that when I try to stack this filter on top of my hoya UV filter, I get some vignetting below a focal length of about 30mm. (this is using my Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens). However, it's not too much trouble to unscrew my uv filter each time I use the polariser. With just the polariser on the lens there is no vignetting even at 18mm (on a 550D so the 35mm equivalent is 29mm).
Polarisers, by their nature block out light, and this one blocks out a lot! I've found that to get the same brightness (when keeping aperture & ISO constant)I need to leave the shutter open for 3.2 times as long as I do without the filter. This pretty much rules out using this filter for fast moving subjects but that's not really an issue for me as I will only want to use this for shooting landscapes. On the plus side, this filter acts like an ND filter and polariser all in one which is good for shooting scenes with water. I think the more expensive options allow more light through so if you need to shoot something fast without a tripod then I suggest you get something a bit more expensive.
This polariser does everything I need it to do without noticeably affecting image quality. As you can see from the before and after photos I uploaded above, this filter eliminates reflections from non metallic surfaces which has the added bonus of making plants appear greener because of reduced reflections. The main thing that polarisers do is to solve the problem you get when shooting something against a bright sky. Without it, you have to choose between having a detailed subject but a washed out sky, or a deep blue sky but with a dark subject. The polariser enables you to get a deep blue sky whilst keeping the detail of the subject.
All polarisers have their limits though. I found I got the most effect when shooting with the sun behind me and slightly to one side. When shooting anywhere towards the sun there was hardly any effect at all. Also, as you can see in the photo of the tree, when shooting at wide angles, the polarising effect on the sky is uneven.
In summary, if you want a polarising filter, there's little reason not to try this one. It's a reasonable price and you've got nothing to lose. If you try it and don't like it then you can just use it as an ND filter and purchase one of the more expensive polarising filters.