Polarizing filters are used to eliminate glare on non-metallic surfaces like glass or water. They can also be used to increase the contrast and color saturation of your images. I use my polarizer not only to eliminate glare, but also to make skies a nice shade of blue or to get "pop" out of clouds.
There are many options to consider when purchasing the Polarizing filter for your needs. For instance, linear vs. circular, film or digital versions, or quality vs. price,
Circular polarizers are designed to work with TTL or auto-focusing systems. Linear polarizers have their uses, but they are manufactured differently and may not work with your camera. Unless you are certain, a Circular Polarizing filter is most likely the best choice.
There are some digital circular polarizers on the market. I am not sure what makes a cir-pl lens better for digital as opposed to film. I use a Canon 20D Digital SLR and I have not seen any problems occur from using this filter.
Most of the time, when it comes to filters; you get what you pay for. Does that mean you need an expensive version? Of course not, Hoya has several quality lines to choose from. The main differences between the lines are the filter coatings. The Pro1 has seven (as stated on the package) layers of multi-coating applied to the rear surface to eliminate internal reflections and ghosting. Advanced thin selective film is used to guarantee perfectly polarized light with neutral color balance.
Another benefit of the Pro-1 series is the super slim filter design that is more than 40% lighter than standard filters. The weight difference doesn't mean a whole lot to me, but a thinner filter means one can use this filter on wide angle lenses with less chance of vignetting (unwanted darkening of the image's corners). This filter has a narrow front female thread. It will accept a push on lens caps without any difficulty, but I'm not sure I would trust consistently screwing another filter to the front. If stacking filters, I would probably add the polarizer last anyway.
I have multiple lenses that I use this filter on. I carry most of my equipment around in a backpack style bag, so it is important to me that I carry only what I need and no more. I find the fact that I can use this filter on my wide angle lens as well as my other lenses a huge benefit. I could fix vignetting issues in post, but it takes more time and effort than using the right tool in the first place. I also use step up rings so I can use on my smaller ring sized lenses. This saves me from buying multiple versions of my filters most of the time.
Before I spent the money on my Pro1 filter (I paid much less than the Amazon price) I used Canon Polarizing filters, which are without question bulkier and heavier. When it came down to the images, at times I would see a brownish tint to my photos. The Tint is easy to clean up in Photoshop, but I don't see that problem with the Hoya Pro1.
Overall, this is the best polarizing filter I have used so far and it is worth it to me to pay the higher price.
PROS: Can be used for film or digital cameras Super slim 5mm ring Quality seven layer multi-coated filter Eliminates internal reflections and ghosting Neutral color balanced
CONS: Steep investment for a filter
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Light rays, which are reflected by any surface, become polarized and polarizing filters are used to select which light rays enter your camera lens. They allow you to remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water, glass etc. They also enable colors to become more saturated and appear clearer, with better contrast. This effect is often used to increase the contrast and saturation in blue skies and white clouds. HOYA's polarizing filters do not affect the overall color balance of a shot.