Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizer Review

Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizer attached in Sony R1’s built-in lens.

I lost my filters a few days ago so I believed it would be a nice moment to post my thoughts about them. This first day I’ll start with a circular polarizer. To make a long story short two questions you could have about polarizers:

  • What is a polarizer? Is a filter to control reflections, it can reduce them or accentuate them using a rotating element you have to graduated at taste. It’s quite useful to erase reflections in leaves and water that in cameras look different to what your eyes see. Also it reduce the atmospheric haze.
  • Do I need a polarizer? if you use a compact camera the answer is no; if you have a camera whose lens accept filters then you could play and have fun with one.

Said that Marumi is a company with high quality filters; the best of them are DHG, Super DHG and EXUS, the first is the one with less characteristics and the latter the filter with highest specifications. I purchased a Super DHG and a day after that Marumi announced the EXUS line, lol. With filters is better to buy the best to avoid degradation of the image quality of your lens. My camera has a fixe Carl Zeiss lens so I thought the Super DHG was the better option.

THE MARUMI POLARIZER WAS FANTASTIC FOR ME TO:

 Cut reflections

Cutting reflections in landscapes

In the photograph above see how the leaves have not reflections and the colors are truer to what my eyes saw. One side effect is that the sky gets a dark and tenebrous blue that I’ve to correct in my laptop.

Cutting reflections in water

In the maritime landscape I used two filters, one to create a long exposure and the Marumi polarizer to make the water more transparent. Not so exaggerated that the ships could look like they were floating.

Cutting reflections in gardens

In gardens a polarizer can be the difference between a nice picture or a mess of bright leaves. If you see the leaves in the rose you can notice that they have pure colors and little reflections (a polarizer reduce reflections, it doesn’t erase them)

Cutting reflections from windows

This mountains and clouds were taken from a bus in movement. One defect of a polarizer is that it blocks a bit the light, so the cheaper can get really dark and the best have a better light transmittance. The Marumi DHG Super allowed me to take photographs in movement without rising the iso and losing quality. Except in sunsets and dusk, there is better to take off the filter. I’m not sure how better is the Exus version.

Reducing atmospheric haze

Mountains rendered without bluish cast

In paint there is a technic called Atmospheric Perspective, it’s used to transmit a sense of distance giving the objects in the distance a bluish appearance, this is natural because our atmosphere. But when we photograph distant objects without closer ones, for example when using tele lenses or a zoom lens fully extended the bluish cast can be felt wrong. So the polarizer helps a lot. Bellow is another example.

Improving reflections

Polarizer in minimum effect to highlight reflection of sky in water

Although the emphasis of polarizers is used in reduce reflections they can help them too, the reflection in the little stream above and the lake next to this paragraph can show you, besides you can see the vegetation has better contrast, moderate reflections and there is no much atmospheric haze.

Minimum effect, despite that the image has improved colors and contrast closer to what naked eyes saw

Minimum effect to highlight the reflection on a red floor

Accentuating rainbows

Maximum effect on polarizer to get the best definition of rainbow

Rainbows can be hard to photograph, a polarizer is your best bet, period.

I LEARNED TO DON’T USE THE MARUMI POLARIZER (OR ANY OTHER) TO:

Using it in wide angles landscapes

Polarizers and wide landscapes doesn’t match.

If you see this effect, an uneven polarization of the sky (unnatural darker and brighter parts), don’t trash your filter! XD, is common to every polarizer because they work accord to the sun position so in wide angles is natural that parts far of the sun position in panoramas are weaker to the polarizer effect.

The next photograph is without the polarizer:

Same scene without polarizer

Now without the polarizer the sky is much more natural, but the mountains now have atmospheric haze and the foreground has less definition. But usually I give more importance to the sky.

Darken the skies

Sky darkened to a dismal aspect.

I know that photographers like that effect of dark blues in skies. To me is unnatural and disgusting, but that’s a personal opinion. I guess that it’s from the film days when a polarizer could help to avoid cyan skies in bright days, but perhaps I’m guessing so much. But now I can  reduce that effect modifying the blue color o even better using to the minimum the polarizer effect.

The next photograph originally had that dark blue but I modified to a more realist effect in relation with what I saw:

Blue color modified to dark to a softer, beautier and realistic sky in software

CONCLUSIONS

Pros

  • There is no impact on image quality.
  • Has a high light transmission.
  • Easy to rotate with its textured ring.
  • It’s slim so you can stack more filters.
  • Zero color casts.
  • Resistance to flare.
  • Hard to get dirty, I cleaned it lightly no more than ten times in almost one and half year.

Cons

  • The storage box is quite simple, it got broken after some months of normal use.

VERDICT

This filter was perfect to me. So I’m considering to replace the lost one with another Marumi, an EXUS this time. If you have doubts about this filter you can see that next photograph, it’s one of my favorites and I could make it with the Marumi filter.

High fidelity to the eyes

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8 thoughts on “Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarizer Review

  1. OMG, I’m looking at your awesome pix and I think again of mine: you’re muy profesional and I’m such a dilettante…:-))) buenas noches y gracias!

    1. You are a beautiful person and photography for you and me is just a way we have to share the beautiful places we discover :-) I guess I’m like any man, a guy with heart of child that loves to play with machines and gear :D Buenas noches Mélanie, gracias por tu visita y bonito gesto :-)

  2. I use a clear filter to protect my lenses. That said I should have taken my polarizer out with me to shoot snow. It never occurred to me. Great post and I hope you find your filters.

    1. I want a clear filter too, my zeiss lens have some flares so a clear filter with multi-coating could help. Thanks for the compliments Kim :-) sadly my filters are lost (due to my irresponsibility) but I guess it’s a chance to try another brands. I have to try sometime snow with a polarizer too.

  3. Hi Francis, very nice filter review. Very informative. I am using ND filters for long exposure during day time and a polarizer. I have used the polarizer for the puppet shot in my WPC: Orange post, eliminating the reflections in the window. Never used the filter for flowers and plants. I have to try that in one of these days. Thx for the inspiration. Reinhold

    1. You’re welcome Reinhold. I lost too my long exposure filter, a Haida ND1000 purchased from an online store in Germany, so the review of it is coming next week in my series of the items I lost :D.
      In your orange post the polarizer is excellent because It doesn’t reveal its presence with color casts or degradation, even more if you hadn’t mentioned I wouldn’t thought in the use of filters :-)

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