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by Lars Kotthoff

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I am looking for a polarization filter for a couple of my lenses. I have heard great things about Nikon CP filters and I am using Nikon NC filters myself on some of my most precious lenses.

However, I recently heard about Hoya HD CP filters. I don't really care about how sturdy these are since I take great care of my equipment. Nonetheless, these Hoya filters are cheaper (about 1/3th cheaper) and allow more light to pass (I never use a polarization filter as a substitute for a grad filter). The downside is that I've heard that the Nikon CP are easier to handle and that the Hoya have a tendency to get stuck.

Sadly enough, searching DPReview, Sack Exchange and searching Google did not provide me with a satisfactory comparison (the Nikon CP is rarely discussed and the Hoya HD CP is quite new). Does anyone have any experience with either CP filter and can anyone recommend which brand I should choose (and why)?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Note that Lenstip did a test of the HD version later, and it confirms the higher transmittance.

http://www.lenstip.com/119.5-article-Polarizing_filters_test_-_supplement_Hoya_HD_CIR-PL_72_mm.html

So if you are in a situation where your lens gets too slow with pol filter, then this is more important than the other things that drags its score down. It is the best Hoya and beats one of the B+Ws :)

I have this filter myself and it is amazing.

Camera branded polarizers are not recommended as that's not their business and that's probably why people don't discuss them. If you want to spend that much on a filter, go for the brass series B+W, Heliopan, and maybe Rodenstock HR (still investigating that one). But those are going to have more ND effect than the Hoya HD. I do believe the Hoya HD is the best you can get without paying a fortune.

Those unknown brands in the test are hard to find in all regions and I don't agree with their decision to make the Marumi 2nd, with more pronounced glare in the glare test (serious factor for me) and the purple tint you see on the transmittance curve and the test image. The test also doesn't show that it is the easiest filter to keep clean.

That was noted in this review:

http://dpnow.com/6797.html

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+1 A little EV difference wouldn't sway me, but the difference between 1.7 (Marumi) and 1.1 (this Hoya) is substantial. –  whuber Oct 1 '12 at 17:27

At 1/3 of the price, for what for you is better performance, what is the concern?

If it really gets stuck (and with care it won't), you can buy a suitable wrench to free it.

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Read the polarizing filter review at http://www.lenstip.com/115.1-article-Polarizing_filters_test.html and then consider the top-rated Marumi DHG super circular polarizer for the same price as the Hoya. (I share the 77 mm version of the Marumi among several lenses via a step-down ring.)

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2  
Although, that article apparently predates the Hoya HD line. –  mattdm Apr 13 '11 at 15:45
    
@matt Good point. Unless some more recent review emerges, the choice comes down to whether one thinks Hoya (which was earlier producing middle-of-the-pack results, at least according to this testing) has leapfrogged all other manufacturers in the meantime. I don't know. I do know Hoya has been around a long time and has a good reputation--I have some of their filters. I am also happy with the Marumi. –  whuber Apr 13 '11 at 15:49
1  
Well, they claim to have leapfrogged something hoyafilter.com/products/hoya/HD-01.html :) –  mattdm Apr 13 '11 at 15:56
    
@matt Of course they have to claim that! The "test movies" on the Hoya site are a bit of a joke, though: they are two-second clips of someone dropping what looks like a clear glass disk. The Hoya Web page also shows an undefined curve. It appears to correspond to the T1 transmission curve in the lenstip test article. The comparison is to the previous (underperforming) Hoya filters, not to the competition. On that basis there is an improvement: the transmission now seems slightly greater than the B&W and Marumis in the review. Intriguing, but remember this is not an unbiased test. –  whuber Apr 13 '11 at 16:05
    
Never seen a Marumi filter and I don't have the technology to scientifically measure one but I can vouch for the Hoya HD filter. I was already happy the their Super-Multi-Coated but the new HD one is even better. Both show no color-shift (unlike B+W which I got rid of) but the HD is crisper. –  Itai Apr 13 '11 at 16:06

I can't tell you about Nikon CPLs but been using Hoya HD CPL for quite sometime now. They are fantastic as they allow more light transmission. It cuts down just 1stop of light meaning more hand held shots rather than lugging your tripod around. They don't cost you the earth & are more readly avIlable unlike B&W s which is also considered one of the best in business.

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