Warming Polarizer Tests

I recently decided to move to larger filters for my Canon FD lenses.  This is partially to avoid vignetting and partially to accommodate a couple of lenses that use 72mm filter rings.

As always, I'm looking for good value on my equipment so I can spend more money on beer and traveling to find beer.  Thankfully the used market for Canon FD gear is pretty good.



I know from previous experience that many polarizers tend to pass cooler light so this time around I added some warming filters to the mix.

I picked up the following:
  • Cokin P160 linear polarizer
  • Cokin P026 81A warming filter
  • B&W screw-on polarizer
  • Tiffen screw-on 81a warming filter
  • Tiffen screw-on warming polarizer
I tested them recently to check for color casts and to see the warming effect.  My test methodology is pretty simple as I was just looking for relative differences between the filters.

I used a Sony NEX-5 with an FD mount adapter, a Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens and a tripod.  I took the in-camera JPG files and resized them with ImageMagick.  No changes were made to levels.

No filters

Cokin linear polarizer

B&W polarizer
The image taken with the Cokin polarizer appears considerably cooler than the original image.  The B&W polarizer is less so.

Next, the warming filters.

Tiffen warming polarizer

B&W polarizer with Tiffen 81a warming filter
Cokin linear polarizer and Cokin 81a warming filter

The Tiffen warming polarizer and the stacked glass filters both look similar, although the stacked filters seemed to yield more blue in the sky.  The warming effect is very pronounced on the brown river.

The Cokin filter set was cooler than the other combinations but on first examination, I think this will yield the most pleasant skies.

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