The best polarizing filters in 2022: top circular polarizers for photographers

The best filtering filters that polarize are essential for shoots in the landscape – decreasing reflections, and providing the image a dramatic color and contrast boost

The best filters for polarizing are an essential component of the toolkit for outdoor photographers. They serve a multitude of tasks that are not reproduced in post-processing. A filter that polarizes an image gives it the vibrancy and contrast. It regulates skies to fill the scene with color, and it eliminates haze to enhance the clarity of the scene. When you begin using these and you’ll never stop.

The way that a polarizing filter operates is to filter off certain wavelengths of light, and blocks out others to minimize reflection at the time of the capture. This means you won’t need to edit the result in one or the best editing software applications later on; in fact in certain situations it’s not feasible. This is what makes a polarizer an effective tool.

These filters become useful when you’re taking photos of the water of lakes, rivers or even the ocean. They eliminate reflections, increasing quality of water, and making it possible to capture the depth beneath. Then, a world of water is yours to enjoy for taking.

Photograph using the sun at a 90o angle towards your camera to achieve your best results. Once you’ve got the technique perfect and you’ll find yourself awestruck by the blueness of the sky and the uniformity that your dynamic spectrum. Polarizers also affect the color appearance of an image. they can make an image warmer and cool down according to the kind you choose.

Here are our top recommendations for the best filters for polarization that you can buy right now.

1. Marumi DHG Super Circular PL

This is among the best filters to polarize for money.

Marumi has four distinct selection of circular polarizers having different coatings and glass. For instance, the DHG Super range comes with a water – and oil-repellent coating that works great by easily forming beads to remove droplets and repelling fingerprints however, it doesn’t work as effectively like that of the Lee Polariser.

But DHG Super Polarizers do not have high-light transmission glass like Marumi’s EXUS polarizers. This may explain why our test filter blocked light by half-a-stop more then the best filters we tested. The the optical performance is top-notch and there is no loss in sharpness of the image and no indication of vignetting or color casts. This is due to a slim design that’s just 5 millimeters thick. It is slid into the lens’s filter thread and the front element’s rotation is also smooth.

With thread diameters for filtering offered in all standard sizes ranging from 37mm to 95mm (and even a elusive option of 105mm, should you find it) There’s the DHG Super polarizer to fit virtually any lens, and the majority are priced well and are available at least in the UK at the very minimum.

2. Hama Polarizing Filter, circular, AR coated

A budget-friendly polarizer that is better than you imagine.

With polarizers you don’t need to shell out a huge sum to purchase a quality filter. Hama’s entry is available for a small sum and yet provides solid performance, and is available in the wide range of filter diameters from 37-82mm.

There’s no need to worry about the fancy coatings and glass the fingerprints and water adhere to the front of the element, which makes the process difficult for cleaning. At the very least, there is the AR anti-reflective coating designed to improve the transmission of light, and it is effective, as we could take photos at the same settings for exposure as we did with filters that are class-leading, such as Lee Filters Polarizer, which is equivalent to 1 1/3 stop loss in light. A drop of 6 percent in image sharpness is the lowest quality on this list, but it’s still a small amount as the polarizer doesn’t create the appearance of color casting.

Physically, Hama’s polarizer sticks above the rest in a number of ways, not least that it’s the most thick polarizer available at 6mm. This isn’t ideal when you intend to utilize the polarizer with an ultra-wide lens and where vignetting may be apparent. It also has a pin that can be removed to allow you to move the front element. It’s not very useful in the good weather, but can be an excellent feature to have in cold weather and wearing gloves.

3. Lee Filters LEE100 Polariser

It’s the best filter for polarizing the optical quality and versatility

Lee’s Polariser is compatible to it’s LEE100 100mm filters system. It’s based on the LEE100 Holder, which is connected to the lens using an adapter ring that is suitable for the size of your lens. The polarizer is then clipped to on the back of the lens leaving space for square filters to slide behind.Advertisement

This means that the Polarizer is huge with 105mm of diameter and can accommodate a wide range of lens diameters. It’s also extremely easy to move and clip into the holder more quickly than trying to fix a traditional polarizer onto the lens. But, the mechanism that clips into your lens isn’t easy to detach again, and requires more pressure than you’re comfortable with. Another factor to consider is the filter with holder, adapter and filter ring price, which is substantial.

However that, you will get what you get for your money. Lee’s glass does not have a negative effect on the sharpness of your images It only decreases the transmission of light by about 1 stop, so you don’t have to worry about the appearance of casts of color. It’s also the best filter to resist fingerprints and repelling water dropping droplets disappearing perfectly. Lee also includes a premium quality zippered pouch to keep the filter.

4. Tiffen Circular Polarizer Filter

Tiffen’s filter for less than $10 is a huge hit with most users.

The highly reliable filters made by Tiffen are renowned among photographers for being affordable options as well. The same is true with the company’s Circular Polarizer collection. They are less expensive than many, and come with a variety of sizes ranging from 25mm through to 92mm. There’s a little cool cast to them however, it’s not overly noticeable as well as sharpness and light transmission are generally good. The top-quality ColorCore Glass construction is what gives these filters their outstanding overall quality.

They’re not as thick as other items listed, however not so thick as to cause a major issue.

5. Cokin P-series P164

This polarizer can be used with Cokin’s P series range

The Cokin P-series line of filters is well-known for its low cost and an array of innovative effects, such as Polarizers. The majority of the selection is rectangular or square, and fits to the mount using the Filter holder from the P series. The filter holder is attached to the lens using an adaptor ring that is compatible with lenses that have attachment threads that range between 48mm to 82.5mm.

The filter holder comes with three slots to accommodate filters. One slot is for circular filters, like the Cokin P164 Polarizer. There are two slot in central that can be used to fit rectangular or square-shaped filters too. The outer edge of the polarizer P164 is designed to allow for a comfortable rotation.

The Cokin P-series may be priced reasonably, we found that the plastic holder was somewhat flimsy compared against that of the Lee Filters holders. Additionally, there was a slightly warm color that was cast, and some muddiness found in darker regions.

6. B+W XS-Pro Digital HTC Kasemann MRC Nano

It’s a great filter, but against similarly capable competitors that are much less costly

B+W’s premium circular polarizers are available with a wide range of thread diameters, suited to lenses that range from small Micro Four Thirds optics through to massive super-teles with large apertures. The F-Pro range, which is less expensive may also be available however at the moment of writing, there isn’t a price differential that’s that significant.

The thickness of the filter is 4.5mm when it’s fitted. It’s not as thin than Cokin’s Nuances Polarizer However, you’re unlikely to experience any Vignetting. The advantage of the more robust design is that the back filter element’s frame is a little more comfortable to hold when you screw the filter onto the lens. Front elements are easily rotated, as it’s soft and smooth. Additionally, there’s an additional thread in the front that can be used for stacking several filters.

The HTC (High Transmission Circular) glass is said to cause loss of light at 1-1.5 stops. We have confirmed this to be true. The optical quality is top-quality and we didn’t notice any color casts, and the filter does not have an influence on the sharpness of lenses.

The less impressive feature however is less impressive is the MRC Nano coating, however it’s supposed to protect against fingerprints and water however it barely dries water better than a cheaper filter. It will at the very least aid in the cleaning of filters, since water is wiped off very easily.Advertisement

We can overlook the lackluster water and fingerprint resistance in the absence of the price of the top end filters, which are difficult to justify when compared with similar, but less expensive similar glass.

7. Hoya Fusion One Circular Polarising Filter

Looking for great quality? Do not look any further

The filters were designed to be a replacement for the PRO1 series Hoya’s Fusion One filters are premium quality polarisers that are ideal for users looking for quality. best for quality of optics. Made of 18 layers of glass, which offer ultra-high light transmission they also come with an incredibly low-profile filter ring, which will enable them to be useful when shooting in super-wide angles. They also have the front screw as well and you can stack them with the Fusion One UV or protection filter, if you wish to.

The filters are water-resistant and impervious to smudges, which makes it easy to clean them. The only thing against them right now are that they’re between stock and out of stocks and can be difficult to locate. If you find some up to grab, don’t put off the opportunity grab them!


What should you be looking for when choosing the best filters for polarization?

AdvertisementAfter/before: Polarizers cut through reflections of water and glass and enhance contrast and the colours of the skies. (Image credit Future)

Frames with thin edges
If you’re using filters, you’ll need to choose a small mount to give you the most flexibility when shooting. The reason for this is that mounts with thicker walls could cause vignetting and be difficult to manage when shooting using a wide-angle lens.

Color control
When you’re working with a polarizer at the lower end of the spectrum it is possible to observe color casts appearing on your photos. It’s not ideal, however, you can solve this issue by post-processing.

A clearer picture
Certain manufacturers use hydrophobic coatings to repel water. However, we’d still advise being cautious with your polarizer in proximity to water.

Lighten up
Be aware that polarizers are able to limit approximately the two stop limit of light so be sure you pay attention to the shutter speed. But, it’s worth noting that polarizers with premium quality will typically utilize greater transmission glass to counteract this effect.Advertisement

Maximizing value
A very difficult things about owning multiple lens is the fact that, except for when you’ve fallen into an amazing accident it is likely that they’ll have different diameters for filter threads. But that doesn’t mean you have spend the money to invest on a Polarizer many times to accommodate your various glass pieces! Find one that will fit your lens with the biggest diameter of the filter thread, and then utilize step-up rings to attach it on the other lenses. Sorted!

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