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Best Polarizing Filter [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 07/08/2021

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

When it comes to capturing exterior real estate photographs, a polarizer is a must-have filter. The best polarizing filter on your camera can assist decrease glare. We have included in this article several polarizing filters to enrich your colors and improve contrast.

Our Top Polarizing Filter Reviews

Filters have become a critical contributor to picture correction. Some polarizing filters are so good that you won’t need Photoshop. Real estate photographers can now use wider apertures and longer shutter speeds in all lighting conditions without issue.

Brand
Best Overall
B+W 46mm Kaesemann
Best for the Money
B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer
Best Cheap Pick
AmazonBasics Circular Polarizer
Product
B+W 46mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with...
B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant...
Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens...
Material
Glass
Glass
Plastic
Photo Filter Thread Size
46 Millimeters
52 Millimeters
58 Millimeters
Best Overall
Brand
B+W 46mm Kaesemann
Product
B+W 46mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with...
Material
Glass
Photo Filter Thread Size
46 Millimeters
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer
Product
B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant...
Material
Glass
Photo Filter Thread Size
52 Millimeters
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
AmazonBasics Circular Polarizer
Product
Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens...
Material
Plastic
Photo Filter Thread Size
58 Millimeters
Price

Best Overall Polarizing Filter: B+W 46mm Kaesemann

This B+W 46mm Kaesemann polarizing filter is neutral in color, efficient, and fixed between plano parallel and optical glasses, using a specific cementation procedure that’s great against delamination in humid regions. 

B+W 46mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with...

The resulting sandwich is then refined to obtain exact plano parallel surfaces. This polarizing filter is considered the best polarizer on the market by many real estate photographers.

The retaining ring will not loosen when a filter or lens hood is removed, which is screwed too tightly. The only disadvantage is that vignetting at 12mm can be seen on all four corners.

Pros 

  • Strong construction quality thanks to a superb multi-layer coating that simplifies filter maintenance, unlike the Amazon Basics, which has a poor build quality
  • Unlike the B+W HTC Kaesemann, which has some distortions on the sides, the glass is optically clear and distortion-free

Cons

  • The polarizing effect appears to be relatively weak, and it appears to act only within a very restricted range
  • It is both thick and heavy and also a little challenging to clean
B+W 46mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with...
  • This filter uses our standard B+W F-Pro filter mount, which has a front accessory thread and is made...
  • MRC by B+W is not only an extraordinarily effective multiple layer coating, it is also harder than...
  • Manufactured from Water-White Schott Glass

Best Polarizing Filter for the Money: B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer

This B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer reduces reflections and glare through filtering light that has spread from a non-metallic surface to the polarisation process. This polarizing filter has a multi-resistant coating against reflection. 

B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant...

Thus, it helps increase light transmission by reducing reflections, dispersing light, and ghosting. The filter substrate is also more secure and cleaner than uncoated filters for more extended periods. For better optical clarity and color accuracy, this polarizing filter is made of high-quality Schott glass. 

It also has a brass filter ring for sturdiness and jam-free operation. However, it’s not easy to adjust the polarizer with the pole on the lens and a lens cap.

Pros

  • The brass filter ring keeps the filter from clogging and enhances durability
  • Unlike the Amazon Basics, which has a low build quality due to its plastic buildup, the build quality of this device is impressive

Cons

  • It is not easy to adjust the polarizer 
  • At 11mm wide-angle, there is slight vignetting, unlike the B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer, which has no vignetting
B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant...
  • This filter uses our standard B+W F-Pro filter mount, which has a front accessory thread and is made...
  • Package Dimensions: 2.2 H x 6.0 L x 6.8 W (centimetres)
  • Package Weight: 0.13 pounds

Best Cheap Polarizing Filter: AmazonBasics Circular Polarizer

This AmazonBasics circular polarizer is one of the most used special effect filters yet is mainly used for outdoor photography. This circular polarizer allows outdoor professionals and enthusiasts to capture stunning images because it significantly reduces UV light which helps eliminate bluish cast in images.

Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens...

The only flaw in this filter is that when used with specific cameras, there can be some vignetting. Despite that, it is one of the best polarizing lens filters. Unfortunately, the filter is not durable because the layer is perhaps of a lower grade and scratches faster than with expensive brands. It also lessens reflection and light, but it will not remove them entirely.

Pros

  • It uses several coats on filter glass, which are typical of inexpensive polarizing filters
  • Unlike the B+W 46mm Kaesemann polarizing filter, which is quite expensive, it is very affordable

Cons

  • Specific shooting situations tend to produce some color accuracy issues
  • Because it is composed of plastic, it has a lower build quality than Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer, which has an impressive build quality
Sale
Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer Camera Lens...
  • Circular polarizer--one of the most popular special-effect filters
  • Deepens the intensity of blue skies; reduces or eliminates glare
  • Multi-coating reduces reflection

Best Sturdy Polarizing Filter: Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer

By filtering out light that has become polarized owing to reflection from a non-metallic source, the Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer filter aims to remove reflections and brightness. The light from the sun is usually slightly polarized as it reflects off electrons in air molecules, scattering into what looks to be haze. 

Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer

The sole difference between the Tiffen linear polarizer and the B+W 77mm circular polarizer is that it lacks a quarter wave plane, which is required to improve exposure and autofocus. 

Linear polarizers like this one are often employed with manual cameras that do not rely on interior mechanics to determine focus or metering settings, such as view cameras, which is why they might be a disadvantage.

Pros

  • Non-metallic surfaces, such as windows and water, look glare-free with this filter
  • By reducing white glare that washes out color in a photograph, it creates deep blue skies

Cons

  • For maximum impact, the camera must be oriented at a straight angle to the sun
  • When utilizing the camera's viewfinder, they can be hard to visualize compared to B+W 46mm Kaesemann which is easier
Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer
  • Essential general-use outdoor color filter
  • Reduces glare and reflections from non-metallic objects and glass surfaces
  • Minimizes haze in both color and black-and-white photography

Best Versatile Polarizing Filter: Nikon 2236 58mm 

This Nikon 2236 58mm is a multi-coated filter that minimizes flares and glare, provides an improved saturation and a sharper and contrasted image. On the viewfinder or the LCD screen, the polarization action is evident when the front ring is turned. 

Nikon 2236 58mm Circular Polarizer II Filter...

This compact filter ring design makes it possible to use this filter on wide-angle lenses, with a reduced vignetting possibility of the image corners. This filter is specially intended for autofocus SLR cameras, but it can also work on manual systems without problems. 

In addition, this filter excludes UV radiation from the outdoors and polarizes the light to remove reflections and boost color saturation. The only drawback is that this polarizing filter is only applicable to Nikkor lenses and creates a heavy vignette on the sides.

Pros 

  • The ring revolves effortlessly
  • There are no vignetting concerns with this lens because of its excellent sky-darkening effect, even at the shortest focal length, unlike the Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer, which has significant vignettes on the sides
  • In contrast to the AmazonBasics, a low-quality filter due to its usage of plastic components, the frame is made of high-quality yet durable metal

Cons

  • Not compatible with all camera lenses
  • When it rotates via a whole filter to no filter modes, there are no markers or indicators
Nikon 2236 58mm Circular Polarizer II Filter...
  • Country of Origin :Japan
  • Package weight: 0.13 pounds
  • Model number: 2236

Best High-Quality Polarizing Filter: B+W HTC Kaesemann

The B+W HTC Kaesemann is a circular polarizer that provides high-quality, decent-priced glass. Light transmission is good, which reduces brightness by approximately 1 to 1.5 EV. The glass itself is of great quality and contains a scratch-proof layer. It repels dirt and water as well. 

B + W Circular Polarizer Kaesemann - Standard...

Each glass surface comprises several layers of anti-reflection coating to avoid internal sparkle and reflections. This multi-resistant coating also protects the filter substratum and helps it remain clean longer than uncoated filters. Moreover, the polarizer works wonderfully, reducing reflections and enabling you to get gorgeous water vistas, leaflets, and more.

For improved optical clarity and color accuracy, this polarizing filter is built of Schott glass. In addition, this filter has an F-Pro brass filter ring to avoid clogging and enhance durability. Unfortunately, the rotating section of the filter is so tight that manual focus can not be adjusted.

Pros

  • It has a multi-resistant coating to protect against dust and moisture
  • The build quality is durable because it builds glass and brass, unlike the AmazonBasics, which is a low-quality filter due to its usage of plastic components

Cons

  • There are some distortions on the sides
  • This polarizing filter does not rotate smoothly compared to the B+W 46mm Kaesemann, which has a smooth metal ring that screws on smoothly
B + W Circular Polarizer Kaesemann - Standard...
  • A MUST-HAVE – Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the right polarizing filter is a must for...
  • EASY TO USE CAMERA FILTER - The Käsemann polarization filter can easily be screwed onto the filter...
  • BEST WORKMANSHIP - The High Transmission (HTC) polarization film is set between two precise ground...

Best Compact Polarizing Filter: B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer

This B+W 77mm circular polarizer is a top-quality circular polarizing filter for all cameras with beam splitters on exposure meters and autofocus lenses. This polarizing filter both enhances and reduces color saturation and distortions.

B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant...

The neutral gray tint and quality of the plane parallel polarizer offer the optimum image quality. The high-quality optical glass also guarantees great image qualities – and depending on how the filter is oriented towards the sun, the filter factor changes. There are about two f-stops to compensate for exposure.

To fight flare and ghosting, this polarizing filter uses a unique scratch-resistant water and dirt Resistant Coating. The image contrast and sharpness degrades with dirt, gray fingerprints, watermarks, and squat, leading to the influx of light sources and a soft-focused effect.

For that reason, a clean forward lens item and a clean filter surface are a prerequisite for demanding shooters. The rotating circular polarizing filter is rigid and needs greater effort.

Pros 

  • For a higher-quality image, use a brass ring
  • Has the best polishing technology available
  • This polarizing filter has no vignetting on the sides, unlike the Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer, which has substantial vignetting on the sides

Cons

  • Some distortion is visible
  • When compared to the B+W 46mm Kaesemann, which has a smooth metal ring that screws on effortlessly, this polarizing filter is difficult to twist and screw in
B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant...
  • Brass Ring for higher Quality Image
  • Highest possible polishiing technique
  • World's best optical glass

Features to Consider in Polarizing Filters 

Let us take a brief look at these polarizing filters in the table below. Keep the following factors into account when selecting the best polarizing filter in real estate photography.

ProductMaterialTypeDiameter
B+W KaesemannWater-White Schott GlassCircular46mm
B+W PolarizerGlassCircular52mm
Amazon Basics PlasticCircular58mm
Tiffen PolarizerGlassLinear52mm
Nikon 2236GlassCircular58mm
B+W HTC KaesemannGlassCircular77mm
B+W PolarizerOptical GlassCircular77mm

Thickness

This is also one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a polarizing filter. Normal and slim / ultra-slim are the two types available. Wide-angle lenses nearly always require thin models like Tiffen 52mm Linear Polarizer filters.

Hand holding a polarizing filter outdoors

You will observe more or less vignetting on the edges of your shots depending on the focal length utilized, the type of camera used, and the aperture of the diaphragm used while taking your photographs. The regular filter is a thicker version of the Slim filter. 

Polarizing Filter Material

Glass is commonly used to make filters. High-quality glass ensures sharp images. There are also filters with plastic materials like AmazonBasics polarizing filter.

Types 

Two types of polarizing filters are now on the market: linear and circular. These classifications are based on how light waves are changed as the polarizing filter passes through rather than the filter shape.

On the other hand, circular polarizers incorporate a second quarter-wave layer, which depolarizes the light to suit all classical and modern digital camera applications. A circular polarizer's only disadvantage is that it does not emit as much light as a linear polarizer.

Examples of circular polarizing filters include B+W 46mm Kaesemann, B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer, and Amazon Basics.

Polarizing Filter Shape

A polarizing filter's most common shape is round, and it may be screwed onto a lens' filter thread. Circulatory filters can be used with both filter holders and lenses with drop-in filter holders. The operation of a round polarizer is relatively straightforward. B+W 46mm Kaesemann, B+W 52mm Circular Polarizer, and AmazonBasics are examples of round polarizing filters.

Three polarizing filters placed on the ground

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Avoid Vignetting?

Because the lens can see the filter's edge when using an extremely wide-angle lens, vignetting is a possibility. Vignetting occurs when the four corners of a photograph are darker than the remainder of the photograph. There is just one good answer: if you do not need the filter, do not use it. If you truly need the filter, make sure it is either very thin or so much bigger than the lens installed that the edges are not visible.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Glare You Will Block With A Polarizing Filter?

Glare spotting in your shot may lead to problems with water, glass and other reflective surfaces. The final image distracts these bright white specks. In certain parts of the shot, they also cause detail loss. However, the filter polarization lowers these effects.

Conclusion

A polarizing filter is one of the most important tools in a photographer's arsenal. It is typically the first filter that real estate photographers purchase to improve their images by rapidly improving color and contrast. We hope that this article helped you determine the best polarizing filter for your camera lens.

PFRE Team
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