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Are Resin or Polyester 4x4 Color Conversion Filters as Good as Glass?


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#1 Karl Lee

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:42 PM

I'm going to be buying 4x4 85 and 80A filters sometime in the near future to use with my S16 camera.  In terms of pricing, it looks like I can get a Lee polyester filter for around $20, a Lee resin filter for around $70, or a Tiffen glass filter for around $200.  The polyester or resin filter definitely look the most appealing in terms of price, but I'm curious if there's ultimately a compromise in image quality by using a polyester or resin filter instead of a glass filter.  As this will be my first purchase of 4x4 filters, I thought I'd see if anyone has any information or suggestions.

 

Thanks!


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 08:59 PM

There is a compromise in quality, but it's not so terrible that you shouldn't consider those filters. The major disadvantage is that they get damaged very easily, and are unlikely to last long in normal usage. I'd buy (or rent) glass for your general use, and then perhaps buy resin for one-off needs.


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#3 Karl Lee

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:19 PM

Thanks for the info, Stuart.  When comparing resin and polyester filters, does one tend to be preferable over the other?  I'm guessing there's a reason that resin filters cost a fair amount more than polyester filters.

 

Also, when it comes to resin filters, is there a particular brand that's generally regarded as being better than others, or are resin filters from all manufacturers pretty much equal?


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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:32 PM

If we're talking about the same thing, then polyester filters are very thin, and generally sent out by filter manufacturers purely for you to try out certain effects. They are not meant for critical evaluation or long term usage. Resin filters are a little more hard-wearing and can be used for longer, but are very prone to scratches.


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#5 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 09:52 PM

Hey Karl,

 

As someone who has worked with composites (glass or carbon fibre with epoxy and polyester) the resin vs polyester distinction puzzles me.  Polyester is normaly worked with as a resin.  I guess I'll learn what they are up to there eventually.

 

If you are good with eBay there are lots of used 4x4 glass Tiffen filters for sale.  Some sell at a really good price,  good quality.  How to tell?  That's a trick.  You have to stay alert.  I spotted an add here on the forum,  Lee Vickory selling a full set of 4x4 glass Tiffen 85NDs and set of plain NDs for $175 total.  In NZ,  being on a different timezone,  I somehow saw it first.  Two of the filters had delamination that doesn't quite get to the picture area,  otherwise very clean.  A bargain.

 

On eBay,  if someone starts their auction at a low price and doesn't realize that it may take a while for the right buyer to notice the item,  then it will sell below its value. 

 

4-1/2 rounds are cheap if you can find a way to use them.


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 03 May 2014 - 09:56 PM.

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