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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gadget Bag: The Fall Color Filter


For cutting glare and getting natural saturated reds, yellows and oranges, the polarizer is your autumn companion

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Heliopan SH-PMC Circular Polarizer
Heliopan has been producing high-quality filters in Germany, using Schott glass from Zeiss, since 1949. Several polarizers are available, including circular ones in slim or standard mounts, with or without SH-PMC coating. The slim-mount version can be used with lenses as wide as 21mm. The Heliopan High-Transmission Circular Polarizing Multi-Coated Filter features SH-PMC multilayer coating, which transmits 98.8% of light and absorbs only one ƒ-stop, enabling exposure flexibility. The filters feature matte-black brass mounting rings. www.hpmarketingcorp.com

One of the world's largest manufacturers of optical glass, including glass used for camera lenses, eyeglasses and photographic filters, Hoya offers a full lineup of extra-thin Super Multi Coated polarizers. The EVO Circular Polarizer (exclusive to the U.S. market), available in sizes from 49mm to 82mm, features a very low-profile aluminum frame that works well with wide-angle lenses, plus IS-HMC overlain with an easy-to-clean, clear water- and stain-resistant coating. The Pro1 D filters, including the Pro1 D Circular Polarizer, are designed exclusively for digital cameras and offer advanced features like enhanced multicoating, black-rimmed glass and low-profile frames that don't cause vignetting on wide-angle lenses. They're available in sizes up to 82mm. www.kenkotokinausa.com


Kenko Zeta EX Circular Polarizer
Kenko's top polarizer is the Zeta EX Circular Polarizer. Superthin and superlight at 0.8mm and 10 grams, the Zeta EX can be used with wide-angle lenses. It's also brighter than most polarizers, transmitting up to 25% more light. ZR (Zero Reflection) Super Multi-Coating minimizes reflections at any angle, while Nano Glass Technology produces an ultrasmooth stain- and scratch-resistant surface. It's available in screw-in sizes from 49mm to 82mm. www.kenkotokinausa.com

Pro-Optic filters come in a wide range of sizes at budget-minded prices. Pro-Optic Pro Digital circular polarizers are available in sizes from 52mm to 77mm; Pro Digital Multi Coated/Water Repellent versions are available in 72mm and 77mm sizes (for the same $38.95 price as their "regular" counterparts). Adorama also offers a full line of circular polarizers under their own name in popular sizes ranging from 40.5mm through 86mm. The filters are thin and well made, and produce excellent results. Adorama also offers an interesting line of filter accessories, including Slinger filter wallets, stack caps (that simplify storage) and pincer-style filter wrenches for loosening filters that have been attached too tightly. www.adorama.com


Singh-Ray Gold and Blue Polarizer
Singh-Ray LB (for "Lighter, Brighter") polarizers transmit more light than average, permitting use of faster shutter speeds or smaller apertures, with less adverse effect on AF performance. They come in neutral and warm versions. Especially appropriate for fall colors is the LB ColorCombo Warm Circular Polarizer/LB Color Intensifying Filter, which provides full polarizer benefits plus color enhancement for outdoor scenes, particularly reds, browns and greens. The thinner-mount version of this filter can be used on lenses as wide as 12-24mm without corner vignetting. www.singh-ray.com

Tiffen filters have long been used by the movie industry (the company was founded in 1938, and has been awarded a pair of Oscars® and an Emmy® for technical achievement). Tiffen offers a wide range of filters, including polarizers in all popular sizes. The Digital HT Circular Polarizer comes in sizes from 52mm through 82mm, and features Tiffen's High-Transmission Double-Sided Titanium Multi-Coating, which exceeds military specs for hardness and durability, as well as a low-profile titanium finish ring and an anti-reflective black locking ring. www.tiffen.com

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