I received a question about circular polarizers from Photofocus reader David Katzbeck (as well as several other people in our audience,) so I decided to answer it here on the website.
Here’s the question: “What polarizer do you use? If it’s B+W, what are all the different designations all about?”
The answer? I use the good stuff.
I’ll never understand why people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a great-quality lens, but then want to put the cheapest plastic polarizer filter on top of that lens they can find.
I use B+W circular polarizing filters. I buy only the Ksemann-type filters because they are neutral in color. I also buy the MRC, slimline models They are expensive, but they are also of very high quality.
The B+W filters use the world’s best Schneider optical glass. They limit light leaks by using all brass rings.
The MRC models are designed for use on DSLRs meaning that they won’t produce ghosted images. They have an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the filter.
The slimline models are valuable because they are less likely to cause vignetting on very wide lenses. One thing to note about the slimline models is that you can’t put a traditional lens cap on them due to the lack of threads on the front side.
While you may not need the very best polarizing filter money can buy, if you can afford it, you won’t go wrong with anything from B+W. I’ve been using them for years with zero defects or problems.