Best camera polarizer lens- Buyer’s Guide

What is a camera polarizer lens (CPL) and why do you need one? 

The camera polarizer lens (CPL) is one of the essential filters for nature photographers. A camera polarizer lens allows you to cut off excess light (polarized light), increasing the color saturation of the scene and suppressing unwanted reflections. The filter effect cannot be reproduced with digital processing of the photo.

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What is the camera polarizer lens used for?

Light is polarized by reflecting from non-metallic surfaces. Examples of reflected light are glare and reflections on the surface of water and glass. The camera polarizer lens allows you to filter out direct reflections of sunlight at specific angles. The filtration angle can be controlled by rotating the front filter element. The back of the filter is screwed onto the filter thread on the lens. The strength of the effect depends on the position of the camera relative to the sun or any other source of reflections. In this way, the camera polarizer lens suppresses flare and reflections, allowing you to naturally increase the saturation of colors in your photoshoot. This effect is most pronounced in the sky – it becomes more saturated and clouds are much better visible on it.

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Comparison table

Camera polarizer lens Resistant Adjustable filtering Camera lenses size
Tiffen 58CP Dust, water Yes 28mm-86mm
B+W Circular Polarizer Filter Line, scratch, dust, water Yes 30.5mm-112mm
Hoya NXT Plus Slim Frame Glass Filter Water Yes 37mm-82mm
Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens Filter Line Yes 52mm-82mm
Polaroid Optics Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter Line, scratch, dust, water Yes 37mm-105mm
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Tiffen 58CP – Best All-Arounder and Most Natural Color Reflection

Tiffen 58CP

The Tiffen 58CP is the absolute bestseller on most popular online stores  among camera polarizer lenses. This is due to its ability to reproduce the colors and shades of objects with maximum accuracy. Color distortion is a major problem with all camera polarizer lenses. Therefore, it is important for any photographer that the final picture has a minimum amount of distortion. Tiffen 58CP reproduces colors and shades perfectly. The level of polarization is customizable, making the Tiffen 58CP a reliable and minimalistic camera polarizer lens. There is a little dial on the front. It is a miniature focus ring and it allows you to turn the glass on both sides on the front of the camera to adjust the polarizer till you get the desired effect. The Tiffen 58CP’s natural color rendition is especially noticeable when shooting clouds. The degree of polarization can be controlled using the viewfinder. The filtering ratio ranges from a minimum value of 2.3 to a maximum value of 2.8. Tiffen 58CP is recommended for owners of SLR cameras. Suitable for owners of camera lenses ranging from 28mm to 86mm.

Positive
  • Customizable level of polarization;
  • Excellent color rendering;
  • Wide range of camera lens sizes;
Negatives
  • The surface is easily scratched ;
  • When shooting complex reflective subjects, the effect is minimal
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B+W Circular Polarizer Filter – Germany high quality

B+W Circular Polarizer Filter

B + W circular polarizer filters are constantly featured in the best circular polarizer filters reviews. Depending on the camera lens, the price of B + W can be as high as $500, but the high quality makes up for the high price. B + W Circular Polarizer Filter is made in Germany. High quality is evident in everything. Holding these circular polarizer filters in your hands feels like expensive, quality equipment. But the most important thing is a natural photoshoot. The high-quality MRC glass creates even less distortion than the competition. Looking at the resulting shoot gives the impression that the B + W circular polarizer filter adds depth to the exposure. The clear advantage is the lens’s water and dirt repellent properties. It is easy to clean and wash, making the B + W Circular Polarizer Filter suitable for harsh environments usage. The B + W circular polarizer filter can be used with almost any lens size from 30.5mm to 112mm. German manufacturers do their job well and therefore, thanks to the internal thread, the lens is firmly attached to the camera lens. There are also three types of mounts available for selection. “T-Pro” is perfect for all types of lenses. It is the most versatile filter. At the same time, “T-Pro” is more expensive than others. “XS-Pro” is the narrowest mount. “T-Pro” and “XS-Pro” are suitable for lenses starting at 17mm. “F-Pro” is the most standard mount. It is suitable for lenses with lens sizes starting at 24 millimeters. It is less versatile, but the cheapest. In addition to mount, there are also three cover options available for selection. You will have to choose from options with two layers, 16 layers and 16 layers with nano particles. “E” coating is the standard solution with 96% throughput. This is sufficient for most common photoshoots. “MRC” and “MRC nano” coating have 99.5% throughput. They are made for professional photography. 

Positive
  • Customizable level of polarization;
  • The best color rendition;
  • Ability to choose different options;
  • The surface is water-repellent;
  • Easy to clean;
Negatives
  • Relatively high price ;
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Hoya NXT Plus Slim Frame Glass Filter  – Powerful Upgrade

Hoya NXT Plus Slim Frame Glass Filter

Hoya NXT Plus is the powerful upgrade to the NXT line of high quality filters. Let’s take a first look at the specifications and discuss why Hoya NXT Plus is a balanced choice for professional photographers and content creators. The updated series includes must-haves for  every photographer. The upgrade itself included two options: UV and polarizer filter. Both of them feature several options:

  • 10 layers  of HMC multi coating – a process that reduces light reflection and allows greater transmission of light;
  • low-profile aluminum frame; 
  • waterproof topcoat. The waterproof  topcoat makes for easier cleaning than its predecessor allowing water to bead off when shooting in wet environments  preventing water spots and residue. 

In  addition to protecting camera lenses from dirt scratches and impact damage, the UV or ultraviolet filter partially blocks UV light from entering the lens. It reduces atmospheric haze creating greater contrast, sharper images and better color because of the safety and  photographic advantages of a UV filter. Many photographers opt to leave this filter on at all times like the UV filter. The NXT Plus circular polarizer adds a layer of protection but with the added benefit of cutting reflected light by removing haze and reflections. Circular polarizers increase contrast creating images that pop with greater color and intensity. With the help of Hoya NXT Plus skies become bluer detailed is sharper and surfaces with reflective properties become translucent. The Hoya NXT Plus is suitable for cameras with lens diameters ranging from 37mm to 82mm.  

Positive
  • Customizable level of polarization;
  • Ability to choose different options;
  • Easy to clean;
Negatives
  • Average color rendering;
  • There is no choice of configuration
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Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens Filter – Best Bang for Your Buck

Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens Filter

What happens if you take an expensive camera polarizer lens and remove the expensive packaging, additional options, the ability to choose a configuration and put it all in a cheap box. Get Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens Filter. Its maximum price is less than $20. For this price, the customer receives a camera polarizer lens in a thin metal case with seven layers of anti-reflective coating. In addition, the kit includes a protective and waterproof layer. The lens itself is housed inside a sturdy metal housing. The level of polarization can be controlled with a ring at the front of the lens. Due to the low price, manufacturers have saved not only on versatility, but also on quality of polarization. Color rendering has suffered. Objects look dull. The yellow color stands out the most. With strong polarization, the picture looks like a movie from the nineties. At the same time, the clarity of objects is improved and the shape of objects becomes clearer. Overall, the Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens Filter does an excellent job. This lens is probably not suitable for professional photography, but for amateur photographers or aspiring photographers, it will be the perfect solution. The Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens Filter can be used with lenses ranging from 55mm to 82mm.

Positive
  • Customizable level of polarization;
  • Cheap price;
  • Strong housing;
Negatives
  • With strong polarization, there is a lot of yellow;
  • There is no choice of configuration;
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Polaroid Optics Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter – Versatility is Power

The Polaroid company is a long-lived company in the camera and photo equipment market. In the nineties and early 2000s, the company produced and actively promoted cameras with the ability to get instant photos. With the development of technology, such cameras have lost popularity and the company found itself in crisis. Today Polaroid is actively fighting for market share in photography technology. The Polaroid Optics Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter is one of the results of such struggle. Polaroid engineers wanted to stand out from the rest of the manufacturers. But this is difficult to do when it comes to such a simple device as a camera polarizer lens. More layers or higher quality lenses would lead the company into the high-end segment, where sales are significantly lower than in the mid-range segment. Therefore, the company decided to improve the design. A distinctive feature of the Polaroid Optics Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter is the ability to connect multiple filters due to the presence of threads on both sides of the lens. This makes it possible to obtain unique photographs without processing. In addition, the engineers have worked on the hull. An additional aluminum layer increases the strength of the camera polarizer lens. The upper layer of the lens is scratch-resistant. Naturally, “Polaroid Optics Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter” will not withstand direct strike, but scratches are not terrible for it. Slim rim will help photographers to eliminate vignetting. Suitable for owners of lenses ranging from 37mm to 105mm. 

Positive
  • Customizable level of polarization;
  • Multi Resistant;
  • Ability to connect multiple filters;
Negatives
  • Few lens layers;
  • There is no choice of configuration;
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Buyer’s Guide

Using a camera polarizer lens has a number of advantages and disadvantages that every photographer should be aware of when choosing the right lens for themselves. Below we will describe all the advantages and disadvantages of using a camera polarizer lens.

Increase color saturation

By using a camera polarizer lens, the amount of direct light reflections is significantly reduced. This effect increases the color saturation of the object on the picture. This effect is most noticeable. Saturation, however, does not always increase evenly throughout the image. The magnitude of the effect depends on the position of the object in relation to the sun, as well as its reflectivity. The higher the reflectivity, the more the color saturation increases. The effect of the camera polarizer lens is more noticeable in clear sunny conditions than cloudy ones. There may also be problems with uniformity of effect when used with wide-angle lenses with focal lengths less than 28 mm and when taking panoramic photos. 

Outline effect 

Camera polarizer lens is an indispensable tool for suppressing reflections. It allows you to delineate wet objects or objects that are under water much more clearly. This option makes the camera polarizer lens useful for photographing objects that are behind glass – in shop windows, behind windows, etc.

Alignment effect

A camera polarizer lens makes it easy to capture high dynamic range scenes by balancing bright skies and dark foliage, for example.

Better contrast 

When used in conjunction with telephoto lenses, the camera polarizer lens is a good option to combat haze and increase the contrast of the image. But if the subject is highly reflective, its contrast is likely to decrease.

Less light

The camera polarizer lens cuts out unwanted reflections. This means the image will be dimmer. This effect makes polarizing filters useless when shooting in low light conditions and when working at sports events. At the same time, a polarizing filter is a good substitute for a low density ND filter. Plus, they can be used in combination with ND filters if needed.

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Conclusion

The camera polarizer lens is a must if you want to improve the quality of your landscape photos. At the same time, it is one of the most expensive types of filters on the market. There are reasons for this. The camera polarizer lens obeys the rule of an “informed choice” – it is better to invest in a good product from the very beginning and enjoy using it for years, than suffer and get low quality photos. The good news is that one camera polarizer lens is enough to be used on multiple lenses. There is no need to spend money and a filter for each lens separately. The main condition is the same size of the camera lens. There is now a wide range of camera polarizer lenses on the market in various qualities, available in a very wide price range – prices vary depending on the lens thread diameter and manufacturer. Keep this in mind when choosing. We hope that our article will help you make the right choice.

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FAQ:

Is there any benefit from using a UV filter and camera polarizer filter at the same time? Can camera polarizer filter replace UV filter?

Camera polarizer filter cannot replace UV filter. UV filters are designed to protect camera lenses from direct sunlight. The camera polarizer filter removes glare. UV filter only used with the expensive lenses.

If you constantly use the camera polarizer filter, is it possible to put a standard cover from my photo camera on it?

Yes. This option is available in any camera polarizer filter.

Speaking about Tiffen 58CP, what country produces this lens?

Originally Tiffen 58CP is an USA-made product. But be careful with fakes.

What other filters are there besides the camera polarizer filter and what are the differences between them?

The most popular filters are ND, CPL and ND / PL filters. ND filters act like sunglasses, limiting the amount of light entering the lens. The camera polarizer filter removes glare from reflected surfaces, such as metal or water. A neutral-polarizing ND / PL filter has the advantages of two filters at once. With its help, you can remove unwanted glare, and the frames will be juicy and sharp. Plus, you can increase the shutter speed, thereby giving all the photoshoots a natural look.

Using B + W Circular Polarizer can I control the level of polarization?

As with all camera polarizer filters from our review, with the B + W Circular Polarizer you can control the level of polarization using a special ring at the front of the filter. The B + W Circular Polarizer has more layers, which makes it possible to more accurately set the desired level of polarization.

Which B + W Circular Polarizer filters is the most balanced choice?

The choice depends on the conditions of the photo shoot. If you need a camera polarizer filter, then you are shooting nature. If you are shooting objects in an indoor plan, then it makes sense to overpay. It is enough to buy “F-Pro”. If you have to shoot a lot of landscape photos, then it is worth paying for the “XS-Pro”. As for the number of layers, the options “MRC” and “MRC nano” are only suitable for professional photography.

Does the camera polarizer filter protect your eyes from UV rays?

No. Camera polarizer filters don’t protect eyes from UV rays. Only UV filters could make it.

Is it possible to repeat the effect of the camera polarizer filter using a photo editor?

Without loss of quality or color distortion, it is impossible to repeat the effect of the camera polarizer filter using the photo editor.

How do I find the right camera polarizer filter for my lens?

For this, it is enough to know the diameter of the camera lens. Typically, the diameter is indicated on the lens itself next to the crossed-out circle. Further, it is enough to choose the same size when purchasing a camera polarizer filter. The filter is screwed into the front of the camera lens.

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