Best Polarizing Lens Reviews plus Buying Guide

Below is a detailed article about polarizing lens filters. If you don’t want to read everything, here is a quick overview of my recommendations:

AmazonBasics Circular Polarizer Lens

Beginner

Cheap

Usable quality


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Gobe Circular Polarizing

Advanced

Good quality

Value for money


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B + W Circular Polarizer

Professional

Maximum quality

Robust + durable


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What is a polarizing filter?

A polarizing filter is a filter that is used in photography to polarize light. It is used to remove reflections from non-metallic surfaces. Pol filter is an abbreviation for polarization filters.

How does a polarizing filter work?

Light is a wave and it vibrates three-dimensionally in all directions.  

Image source

A polarizing filter ensures that light does not vibrate on several levels. It transforms it so that it only vibrates on one level. Polarizing filter lens only allows light in on direction to pass. 

In short, the main purpose of the polarizing lens in cameras is to minimize shiny reflections. 

What is the difference with and without a filter?

The following example pictures show the effect with and without a filter.

Example 1

Example 2

Best Polarizing Lens Reviews

Best Polarizing filter Reviews 

The overall best polarizing filter

B + W Circular Polarizer Kaesemann – Xtra Slim Mount (XS-PRO)


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B + W is the german brand which is making lenses for more than 100 years. Most professionals talk highly about the quality and performance of their products. This circular polarizing filter lens has a 49mm -77 mm thread diameter range. 

To prevent reflection and glare, it has special multi-resistant nano-coating. In this specific model, the manufacturer gave an ultra-thin profile with a thickness of 4.5mm. In comparison to the standard edition by B + W, the manufacturer claims that this model has better dirt and water-resistant and anti-reflective lens.

Apart from excellent optical quality, it comes in different sizes and has a minimal light loss (1-1.5 EV). The optical quality is spot-on with no color cast. Although thickness is thin but not very thin which makes it is easier to hold the rear frame when attaching filter on lens. For attaching multiple filters it has a secondary thread. 

The ring of this polarizing lens is robust and made up of brass material. This lens is in the high-price range and considering the quality and performance, it is perfect for professionals. 

Best polarizing filter for taking pictures in nature

Hoya HD Digital Circular Polarizing Screw-in Filter


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HD in ”Hoya HD digital circular polarizing screw-in filter” stands for high density. It has four times more tensile strength in comparison to standard filters. According to manufacturers, it has a special coating on the lens to minimize internal reflections. The result of the special coating is sharper brighter and clearer photographs. 

Hoya HD polarizing lens is best for taking pictures in nature as it effectively eliminates UV rays. This minimizes the reflections, removes haze, and improve color saturation. It is a perfect balance of affordability, quality, and performance. 

The special coating on the lens makes it resistant against water, oil, and scratches. In low-lighting shooting conditions, it performs well as light transmission is fairly enough. 

Even though it has a high tensile strength lens, the aluminum frames make it somewhat less durable. 

The polarizing filter with a good price-performance ratio

AmazonBasics Circular Polarizer Lens


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If you have new to photography or just want to get an idea of polarizer lens then go for AmazonBasic circular polarizer lens. With this lens, don’t expect to get amazing polarizing effects on your images. AmazonBasic CPL is just to play around and have an idea of possibilities of this technology. 

This lens is an available lens thread range of 52mm to 82mm. It has multiple coats to minimize glare and reflections but, to be honest, don’t expect some amazing performance. 

Considering the price, I included this on our list as you can have it under 20 dollars. Apart from below-average performance, the construction material of this lens also seems to be of inferior quality. 

Best polarization filter for amateur photographers

Tiffen Circular Polarizer


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Tiffen Circular polarizer lenses are available in a wide range of thread sizes (28mm to 86mm). It is in the mid-price range but in comparison to other brands in the same price range gives amazing performance.  

Tiffen CPL is particularly suitable for amateur photographers who want to try this technology in outdoor shoots. With this lens, you can almost eliminate reflections or glares. It has a special coating of nylon materiel which is dust and water-resistant. 

As it is common in the low and mid-price range, the frame of this lens is made of aluminum. In comparison to brass, aluminum polarizing lenses are less durable. The lens of the filter of Tiffen CPL is also thin which may or may not be a problem depending on your fingers. Some people prefer thick glass as it is easier to grip while attaching or removing them. 

The best polarization filter for ambitious photographers

Gobe Circular Polarizing (CPL) Lens


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Gobe is a fairly new brand but because of impressive quality becoming one of the leading brands for camera lens filters. Their products are in low to the mid-price range, quality is good, and construction is robust. 

Gobe gives you a wide range of size options from 37mm to 95mm. According to the manufacturer, its Japanese optical glass is capable of removing 99.9% of reflected light. To be honest, it gives an impressive performance in removing reflection or glares but I would rate it too high. With this lens, you also have the option to adjust the polarization level by rotating rims. 

To protect it from water, scratches, and dust, it has 16 layer nano-coating. It has a thin double-threaded profile to avoid vignetting and for stacking. Unlike other brands that use either aluminum or brass, Gabo Magnalium. This makes this CPL robust but still not as much as the models with brass. 

Why do you need a polarizing filter?

A polarizing filter lens is used in photography whenever you want to remove reflections. The following scenarios are common:

Remove reflections from glasses

If your model wears glasses during a portrait shoot, you usually still want to be able to hold your eyes well in the picture. 

With a polarizing filter, you can remove the reflections from the surroundings on the glasses.

Photograph through the water surface

If you want to photograph the fish in a pond or lake, the sky is often reflected on the water surface. You can hardly see the fishes in the photograph. 

With a polarizing filter, you can almost completely eliminate the reflections of the sky on the water surface, so that you get a much better view of inside water. With pol filters, you can take clear photographs of fish, rocks, or aquatic plants.

Enhance colors in landscape photography

A typical problem in landscape photography: especially on cloudy days, is the different shades of green in nature often look very similar. With a polarizing filter, you can create bright colors here. 

What is the reason for that? The sky is often reflected on the leaves. The surface does not reflect as much as water, for example, but the white of the sky is also reflected. As a result, the shades of green are not as strong as on a sunny day. With a polarizing filter, you can remove the reflections and create very color-intensive images. This effect can be used in almost all areas of nature photography. Depending on the lighting situation, haze can also be reduced with a polarization filter.

Enhance the blue of the sky

If your subject is at an angle of 90 ° to the sun, you can use a polarizing filter to significantly increase the blue of the sky. In combination with the last point, great colors can only be achieved with the help of this filter.

When is it worth using a polarizing filter?

I often use this filter when I take photos in river valleys in the forest on a cloudy day. There are three effects here:

The colors in the forest become much richer because the reflection of the sky on the leaves disappears.

The reflections on the water surface disappear and the water appears darker.

Because the filter swallows the light, the exposure time increases. So I can often expose the stream longer without an ND filter, which simplifies the structures in the water and creates a surreal effect through a longer exposure.

What is the difference between linear and circular?

I will explain more details in the below section, but you really only need to know: You can use both variants for analog photography, for digital photography you have to use a circular polarizing filter.

Polarizing Filters Buying Guide

The basic distinction is made between circular and linear polarizing filters. Depending on the purpose and type of camera, a polarizing filter is best for you.

Before you decide on a filter, you should consider some purchase criteria such as diameter, scratch resistance, water repellency, wide-angle suitability, and glare output stages.

Polarizing filters are mainly used for reflections. Water surfaces and reflective glass panes can thus be easily filtered to achieve certain effects that are difficult to achieve with digital image processing.

How much a polarizing filter cost?

Polarizing filters are available in a wide price range. The classification into a price class is determined by factors such as polarizing filter type, i.e. whether linear or circular and quality. In addition, the diameter also plays a major role in the price calculation.

You can find the cheap polarizing filters from Amazon for just under 20 dollars. These would be suitable for those who have not worked with a polarizing filter before and are therefore just want to check them out.

The high-end polarizing filters are available from 80 dollars. Depending on the size, the price can get higher. Filters from brands such as Zeiss and B + W are usually in this price range.

In the middle price range, there are brands like Hoya and other less well-known brands. In addition, premium filters can also be found in this price range. 

What do you have to consider if you want to buy a polarizing filter?

First, you need to know which of your lenses you want to use the polarizing filter with. Often you can use your standard zoom, for example, the 18-55mm. You can check the filter diameter of your lens on the lens or in the lens description

Common sizes are 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, and 82mm. Then you need a polarizing filter of exactly this size.

Screw and plug-in filters

Like many other filters in photography, polarizing filters are available as screw-in or plug-in filters. Plug-in filter systems are particularly common with gray gradient filters, as they must be adjustable in height. 

For such systems, there are polarization filters that are placed in the filter holder and can then be rotated.

When it comes to polarizing filters, I prefer screw filtersI rarely use plug-in filters in my photography. In the case of a poorly sealed plug-in filter system, light can fall on the filters from the outside, which is then shown in the pictures in flat contrasts or light leaks during long exposures. This cannot happen with screw filters.

Canon or Nikon camera – do I have to consider something specific?

You can buy a polarizing filter regardless of the manufacturer of your camera. So it doesn’t matter whether you use Canon, Nikon, or Olympus camera.

Tip: How to Use filters with different lenses

If you have several lenses for which you want to use your filters, then your lenses often have different filter diameters. You can buy a separate filter for each lens. Alternatively, you can work with a step-up ring. You can buy the filter for the lens with the largest filter diameter. 

With the step-up ring, you have an adapter between the different filter thread diameters. A step-up ring often only costs a fraction of a new filter.

This tip applies in principle to all filters in photography, such as ND filters or gray gradient filters. If that had been clear to me at the beginning of my photography, I would have saved for 77mm filters and only bought that one. 

I would have worked with step-up rings for my lenses with smaller filter diameters. So I had a polarizing filter for 58mm, one for 52mm, one for 49mm, and one for 67mm. That meant extra costs that I could have saved with step-up rings.

Factors to compare and evaluate polarizing filters

In the following, we would like to show you the aspects under which polarizing filters differ. By these criteria, you can select a polarizing filter that is suitable for you and your camera.

In summary, these are:

  • Diameter
  • Scratch resistance
  • Water repellency
  • Wide-angle suitability
  • Possibility of using a lens hood
  • Possibility of using additional filters
  • Filter box
  • Aperture levels

In the following paragraphs, you can read what the purchase criteria are all about and how you can classify them.

Diameter

The diameter of the polarizing filter should correspond to the diameter of the lens. The purchase of step-up adapters eliminates the relevance of the accuracy of fit. Before you buy, you should find out how wide the lens mount is on the front edge.

With conventional SLR lenses, you get this information when you look at the plastic edge of the front lens. With conventional DSLM lenses, there is also the possibility that the diameter is on the side. As soon as you know the information, you should of course only search for polarizing filters with the appropriate size.

However, if you have several lenses and do not want to buy a polarizing filter for each lens, step-up adapters could help you. It should be noted here that you are looking for polarizing filters for the lens with the largest diameter. 

With compact cameras, the diameter of the lens is rather unusual. However, it is not too tragic because the filter thread is missing and therefore a high accuracy of fit is not required. It would, therefore, be sufficient to measure the width of the lens on the compact camera itself. Since the selection of different filter sizes is correspondingly small, the decision is not too difficult.

Scratch resistance

Polarizing filters can quickly scratch, especially when photographing outdoors or when not carrying them properly. These can reduce the quality of the subsequent image. No matter how much you protect glass, for inexplicable reasons you will find fine to rough scratches on the surface after a certain time.

This is particularly bad with polarizing filters because the image quality suffers. This is comparable to scratched or dusty glasses that the wearer may find annoying in everyday life. Therefore, it is an advantage to look for scratch-resistant filters, because you can use them much longer.

In addition to the scratch resistance, it is also important to pay attention to the cleanliness of the filter. Impurities affect image quality.

Water repellency

The quality of all polarizing filters is not the same. A special type of coating causes water drops to roll off so that after a brief cleaning, the water drops can be completely removed.

Water is difficult to remove from conventional glass surfaces. It literally “sticks” to the surface. If you wipe it with a cloth, you smear it rather than actually clean it. In addition, smaller quantities or traces remain from time to time.

You can avoid this problem by buying a polarized filter lens with coated surfaces. The individual drops of water roll off and can be removed very easily with the simplest of wipes. This also simplifies and speeds up regular cleaning.

Wide-angle suitability

Polarizing filters can be of different heights. If the housing is too high, dark edges or strong vignetting can occur in extreme wide-angle areas. In addition to the width, i.e. the diameter, polarizing filters also differ in height. When selecting, it is relevant which focal lengths would be used for photography.

If the decision is wide-angle, you should go for the slim models. These have an extremely slim design and should not interfere with the final image due to the high edge with unwanted shading. Up to which focal length the use of the respective products is considered to be uncompromising must be researched for the individual polarizing filters.

When working with 24mm (full format) and 18mm (APS-C) all slim polarizing filters should not pose any problems. For the range above these focal lengths, slim and standard models are considered to be safe.

Use a lens hood

Lens hoods are used to prevent direct sunlight from entering the lens and to prevent unsightly lens flairs. In this way, flat image results can be prevented.

Lens hoods are available in two versions. In one, cooperation with a polarizing filter is guaranteed. The other technique has the possibility of complications.

One type of Lens hoods has a filter thread so that it can be screwed onto the already attached polarizing filter like an additional filter, provided that it has a suitable thread. The filter housing is exposed here and can be operated by the photographer without restrictions.

The other type can be attached via a special “snap-in” mechanism over the lens edge. Here, the polarizing filter is enclosed by the lens hood. For this reason, the operation is restricted by the sun visor. 

Sometimes filters are even too high that the lens hoods cannot be installed with the special “snap-in” mechanism. Then polarizing filters are considered unsuitable for lens hoods. If you still want to work with a sun visor, you would have to buy a sun visor with a filter thread.

Use of additional filters

Sometimes the photographer cannot be satisfied with a filter. For example, it would be possible to work with an ND filter if you want to photograph plant leaves with the aperture as open as possible in the bright sun. 

On the one hand, it is necessary to darken the entire image with the ND filter and, on the other hand, to use the polarizing filter to eliminate the reflections from the surface.

If you expect to work with several filters, you should make sure that the polarizing filter has an additional thread on the front. It should be noted that the additional filter has the same width as the polarizing filter on which you want to attach it.

Filter box

Since filters only consist of a thin metal or plastic housing and fine glass, they are very sensitive, which requires careful storage. For this reason, most of them come with a filter box when purchasing.

Just as a quiver belongs to a lens and the camera bag belongs to a camera, the polarizing filter is definitely assigned a filter box. This is used for transport, protection, and general storage.

Due to its high relevance, it is included in the scope of delivery by almost every manufacturer. Most of the time it is made of plastic, it is square and its size is precisely matched to the diameter of the polarizing filter.

Aperture levels

In order to achieve the required effect, polarizing filters are forcibly tinted. Therefore, the camera must be overexposed by a few aperture stops.

The polarization of light is due to the fine structures in the glass. Overall, these structures darken the glass somewhat.

Since every manufacturer works with a modified system, this tint can vary with each polarizing filter provider. Therefore, the strength of the tint is given for almost every CPL filter. This is done with the “aperture steps” unit.

If, for example, two f-stops are darkened, the camera must be set two steps brighter in manual mode. Here you have the option of opening the aperture twice, increasing the shutter speed by two levels, or increasing the ISO as you feel.

If you prefer to take pictures in the automatic timer, the photographer does not have to make any changes to the camera, since the camera adjusts to it. You should only make sure that the camera does not choose the shutter speed too long, as this can result in camera shake.

If you want to take guaranteed blurred pictures and save time and effort, then taking pictures in the automatic aperture control is the cheapest. Settings such as the shutter speed can be selected here manually, which has the advantage of preventing blurring.

In the fully automatic mode, the photographer leaves the settings entirely to the camera. When using a polarizing filter, the photographer does not have to pay attention to anything.

Types of polarizing filters 

A polarizing filter, also known as a pol filter or CPL filter, is an accessory used for the camera in order to achieve a certain image result. The polarizing filter has many areas of application. 

They help landscape photographers, for example, to make pictures of horizons more dynamic. Waters are also depicted more clearly as a result. Product photographers avoid reflections in their motifs, which can be caused by the large softboxes in the studio.

Street photographers can take pictures of what is behind shop windows and car windows, which would normally not be possible due to the reflections.

Of course, these are not the only possible uses. A polarizing filter can also be used in nature photography and portrait photography. In every area of ​​photography, one can discover new possibilities of photography with the help of such a filter.

Basically, there are two types of polarizing filters:

  • circular polarizing filter
  • linear polarizing filter

If you enter “polarizing filters” on the Internet, you will mostly be offered circular polarizing filters that are easier to use and more ergonomic. The range of linear filters is declining rapidly because they do not work universally on all possible cameras.

The use of SLR cameras is problematic from a technical point of view. Therefore, circular polarizing filters are more common in the DSLR age.

Advantages and disadvantages

Without wanting to put it too scientifically: light waves are like endless sine curves that run in a certain direction and can be rotated in their own axis.

However, the human eye cannot recognize the different types of light. For us, every type of light appears to be the same.

Advantages

  • Higher contrast values
  • Higher saturation levels
  • Haze removal
  • Elimination of reflections

Disadvantage

  • Unsuitable for ultra-wide angles
  • Loss of light
  • Possible color distortions
  • Possible loss of sharpness

Certain light waves cause unsightly reflections or faint colors in a photo. These flaws are prevented by using a polarizing filter by suppressing the impingement of these specific light waves on the camera sensor.

How do linear polarizing filters work?

If an unpolarized light beam hits a linear polarizing filter, linearly polarized light is created by filtering. Linear polarization filters are only used on system cameras and compact cameras.

Natural light emits unpolarized light waves. This means that the light waves can consist of arbitrary types and directions. Roughly speaking, a polarizing filter does not allow and absorb the light waves that do not correspond to a certain guideline value. In the end, a light beam remains, which consists of linearly polarized light waves.

The guideline, according to which the filtering takes place, is set by turning the polarizing filter. After attaching the polarizing filter to the lens, you notice that part of the filter can be rotated further.

Advantages

  • Natural picture result instead of oversaturation
  • Less vignetting

Disadvantage

  • For compact and system cameras only
  • The decline in the market

Of course, especially as a layperson, you do not know in which direction you have to turn how much to get the best result. From the beginning, this is done by trying it out. Above all, because the setting of the polarizing filter must be changed in every lighting situation. The live view of the camera offers great help for better adjustment.

How do circular polarizing filters works?

The following also applies here: If an unpolarized light beam hits a circular polarizing filter, linearly polarized light is produced by filtering. However, this bundle of light strikes the second layer of glass, which circulates the light waves to the camera sensor. This is the only way that DSLRs can record and process the light information.

A circular polarizing filter consists of two glass layers, each of which has a different molecular structure. The outer glass has the same result as a linear polarizing filter. However, some types of cameras cannot work with linearly polarized light. Therefore, the light is circulated with the help of the second glass, making it receptive to the camera sensor.

There is also the possibility to set a guideline by turning the ring on the polarizing filter. This guide value depends on the position of the structures of the two glasses relative to one another.

On the one hand, the incidence of light can be almost completely reduced or any kind of light waves can be allowed. Of course, there are also gradations in between, which can be set by trying them out. Here, too, the live view of the camera offers great help.

Advantages

  • Compatible with all camera systems
  • More choice on the market
  • High light filtering

Disadvantage

  • Exposure sensors on the camera sensor necessary
  • Tint can be too strong

Circular polarizing filters are particularly useful for SLR cameras because their exposure sensors are not on the camera sensor. For this reason, they cannot process linearly polarized light.

FAQs

How to use the polarizing filter optimally?

Depending on the light level, a polarization filter always has an area in which it is particularly strong. If you are looking for a dark blue sky, your subject should be at an angle of 90 degrees to the sun.

For example, at sunset, this means that the sun should be on your left or right side. Then you have sidelight on your motif and can optimally darken the sky behind with a polarizing filter.

Of course, the 90-degree rule also applies when the sun is directly above you. Then you have the strongest polarization on the horizon.

Polarizing filters naturally also work at other angles, but not nearly as strongly. If you take pictures against the sun or with the sun behind your back, you will achieve almost no effect with this filter.

Each polarizing filter can be turned. You can adjust the intensity by turning it. I recommend you, fix the intensity on your picture. Think about what picture mood you want to create. If you always turn the filter to the maximum effect, then you will have crisp, intense colors. 

But does that also fit your picture? Or do you prefer to create softer pastel colors because that corresponds more to the visual mood that you want to capture?

How to optimally clean your polarizing filter

To avoid damaging the surface of your filter, do not use chemicals when cleaning. I recommend a soft microfiber cloth. Below is the cleaning kit which is easy and efficient to use. For really heavy soiling, a wet cloth without soap should be a good choice.

Can I create a polarizing filter in post-processing?

The polarizing filter is one of the few filters that can not be created in post-processing. As explained above, this is based on a physical principle that cannot be replaced by Photoshop. That is why this filter is one of the filters that I will always use alongside the ND filter and infrared filter.

How much light does this filter swallow?

Due to its function, a polarizing filter lets less light through to the sensor. As a rule of thumb, it swallows about two stops of light. This can be a disadvantage because, depending on the lighting situation, you may have to work with the tripod or increase your ISO. 

On the other hand, it can also be an advantage if the subject is perhaps better shown with longer exposure.

Can I use a polarizing filter on all lenses?

In principle, there is no restriction here. So you can use polarizing filters on all lenses that have a filter thread.

Can I always leave a polarizing filter on the lens?

Yes, you can, but I would not recommend it. As described above, the polarizing filter swallows light. Your image is darkened, which leads to longer exposure times. The effect of this filter is also not desirable in all situations. I, therefore, recommend that you only use this filter when you really need it.

Can I combine two polarizing filters like an ND filter?

In principle, it is possible to combine two polarizing filters with one another in order to make a variable ND filter yourself. You only have to make sure that the front filter is a linear polarizing filter, while the rear filter is a circular polarizing filter. 

Only then can the autofocus of an SLR camera continue to work.

Why you shouldn’t use polarizing filters with wide-angle lenses?

As already mentioned, the filter darkens the blue sky even further. This behavior works best at an angle of 90 degrees to the sun. With a wide-angle lens, you have a wide-angle of view in your photos. So it can happen that part of the sky is darkened by the polarizing filter, while the rest appears normal. It looks very unnatural.

That’s why I never use the polarizing filter for wide-angle viewing to darken the sky. I use gray gradient filters for this or take several exposures, which I then put together in post-processing. 

Why I advise against cheap filters?

Some photographers spend 800 dollars on a good lens and then save on the polarizing filter by buying one for 10 dollars. The problem is: the light has to pass through this filter when it is on its way to the sensor. 

If you buy a bad filter, it can negatively affect your image quality. Then the money for the sharp lens was not worth it. So there is little point in saving at the wrong end.

How do you have to change the camera settings when using a polarizing filter?

Due to the special glass structure, a tint is not inevitable. Using a total of two to three aperture stops darkens the image. It is comparable to the effect of sunglasses with black lenses.

If you work on the camera with automatic settings, nothing will change for you, since the camera will adjust to it automatically. However, if you work in manual mode, you would have to open up two to three aperture stops, turn up the ISO or increase the shutter speed.

How do you attach a CPL filter to a DSLR?

If you attach your desired lens to your SLR or system camera, the polarizing filter is screwed into the filter thread on the front part of the lens like a bottle cap. Since the filter thread is very fine, you should be particularly careful.

If you take the lens in your hand, you can see a thread on the front edge of the lens, which is only a few millimeters wide. This thread is intended for all types of filters. Filters have a precisely fitting filter thread that protrudes slightly from the filter frame. If the CPL filter is the right size, the filter only has to be screwed on to the end.

How do you attach a polarizing filter to a compact camera?

Compact cameras have no filter thread to which a filter can be attached. There are smaller polarizing filters that can be magnetically attached to the metal housing of the lens.

Even if you take a closer look, you will not see a filter thread on a compact camera. Therefore, conventional filters would not be suitable for such lenses. However, in order to be able to take pictures with the polarizing filter, there are magnetic polarizing filters that you can to the front quickly and easily with a metal housing. Of course, they can also be removed as simply as they are attached.

There are also compact cameras on the market that are made of plastics. For such cameras, some manufacturers offer additional magnetic strips that can be glued to the lens. In this way, polarizing filters can also be used for this type of camera.

Can I combine polarizing filters with other filters?

Of course, it can also happen that several filters have to be used at the same time. In such cases, there is the option of screwing several filters together.

All filters consist of two threads. The filter can be screwed onto the lens via one thread. Other filters can be attached using the thread on the other side of the filter.

To protect the lens from scratches, UV filters can be used, which hardly change the image.

Under what conditions are polarizing filters used?

Polarizing filters are used when light hits non-metallic objects, as reflections can inevitably occur in such a lighting situation. These faults can be eliminated using the polarizing filter.

Non-metallic objects include water, glasses, plants, and plastics such as foils or hard plastics. For the surfaces, the probability of reflection from unpolarized light waves is very high.

Best selfie stick for your perfect selfie photos

When the selfie stick came on the market for the first time, it was perceived by the public as a senseless accessory. Most of us were so sure that this accessory is just another hype that is doomed to fade. However, with the popularity of selfies and the rise of Instagram, selfie sticks are still popular even after several years. 

The selfie stick is a telescopic rod that is equipped with a holder for your smartphone at one end. With them, you have the freedom to take selfies and get the background on the picture.

Best selfie sticks Review

ATUMTEK Bluetooth Selfie Stick Tripod

The ATUMTEK Bluetooth Selfie Stick is not just a selfie stick – it transforms into a tripod in just a few simple steps. So you can use it in many ways. The stick is equipped with a removable remote control that communicates with the smartphone via Bluetooth


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You can trigger the camera without holding the stick in your hand. This is useful when you use the tripod function.

The remote control is equipped with a 50mAh battery. This is enough to take up to 15000 photos on a full charge. You can release the trigger from the handle so that you can take it with you without any problems.

Customize the stick by adjusting the telescopic rod between 7.7 and 31.3 inches to the desired length. The stick weighs 172g and is largely made of aluminum. The handle is equipped with a non-slip surface, so it lies very well in the hand and cannot slip. 

The holder is suitable for all smartphones with a width of up to 3.42 inches. 

Bluetooth is a technique that you can use to connect a smartphone to another compatible device.

In the beginning, this was mainly used for data exchange between two mobile phones, but also hands-free devices. There are now a lot of accessories that can be connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth: speakers, keyboards, audio adapters, and remote controls for selfie sticks.

FAQ

Q. Can normal cameras be used with the tripod?

Ans. No, the stick only supports smartphones.

Q. Is the charging cable for the battery included?

Ans. A micro USB cable is included.

Q. Does the trigger work with both cameras?

Ans. Both the front and rear cameras can be used with the trigger.

Q. When the trigger is pressed, only the volume on the smartphone changes. What to do?

Ans. The problem occurs with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Changes in-camera settings are necessary.

JETech Battery Free Selfie Stick

If you are just looking for a selfie stick but do not need a tripod, the JETech model is the right choice. The trigger on the handle is operated without Bluetooth. For this to work, you only need to connect the cable attached to the stick to the audio output of your smartphone. The advantage: there is no battery that you would have to charge. So the stick is ready for use at any time.


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The JETech selfie stick is the ideal companion when traveling because you can push it together over a length of 7.4 inches. When fully extended, it has a length of 28.7 inches, which gives you a long-range. The selfie stick weighs only 4.9 ounces, making it a real lightweight. The slim handle is covered with silicone so that the stick does not slip out of your hand. You always have the stick with you on the wrist strap, even when you are not using it.

However, there are also a few disadvantages: The trigger system is not compatible with Windows Mobile devices and with some Android smartphones you must first download the “Camera 360” app. The smartphone holder can be tilted, but not swiveled and rotated. However, the holder is also compatible with large mobile phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7. Since the generations 7 and 8 Apple iPhones do not have a 3.5-millimeter audio output, these devices are not compatible with the stick.

FAQ

Q. How do I connect the latest generation iPhones?

Ans. Since these do not have an AUX socket, an adapter is required. This is available separately.

Q. Can an action camera be used with the stick?

Ans. No, since neither the bracket nor the trigger is compatible with it.

Q. Is the selfie stick waterproof?

Ans. No, the stick should never be used in water

Yoozon Selfie Stick Tripod Bluetooth

The selfie stick from the Yoozon brand is a model that can be connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth. This means that particularly simple and flexible control options, which is an important advantage compared to normal versions.


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This model can of course be combined with the most common smartphones from the manufacturer’s Apple, Samsung, and Google and Co. You also benefit from a compact design. The Yoozon Bluetooth Selfie-Stick weighs only 4 ounces and can be used with a length of 7.9 inches up to 26.6 inches.

What does the angle of inclination and rotation mean for a selfie stick? 

The angle of inclination and rotation of a selfie stick is a key product feature. Because with it you can adjust the perspective so that you can take a selfie in almost all positions. It doesn’t matter whether you take a bird’s-eye view from above or while sitting or lying down.

As an alternative to a classic operation, use the supplied Bluetooth module and can be combined with the Yoozon Bluetooth selfie stick. There is an integrated button, which makes it easy to take pictures with just one push of a button. The wireless Bluetooth module works with the radio technology in version 3.0, has a sufficiently strong battery, which in turn can be conveniently charged via USB.

FAQ

Q.Is a replacement battery included?

Ans. No. This is also not necessary since the included Bluetooth remote control has an integrated battery. This has a total capacity of 65 milliamp hours.

Q. Which smartphones is the Yoozon Bluetooth selfie stick suitable for?

Ans. The most common models are supported by the Yoozon Bluetooth selfie stick, such as the iPhone from Apple or the Galaxy smartphones from Samsung. The same applies to the Google Pixel devices.

Q. Is the USB cable included?

Ans. In addition to the Yoozon Bluetooth Selfie-Stick, you will also find the right USB cable to charge the Bluetooth module

BlitzWolf Selfie Stick Tripod

The BlitzWolf 4 in 1 combines several devices in one. You can use it as a normal selfie stick, but also as a tripod for your smartphone. Since the holder is removable, you can screw a normal or digital camera onto the tripod.


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A tripod is always a useful thing if you want to take beautiful photos. With the remote release, you can also see the picture yourself. 

Thanks to the tripod, the smartphone stands nicely still and shaking is impossible even with longer exposure times.

With separately available accessories, you can also attach GoPro Action Cams to the tripod.

With the Bluetooth remote release, you can trigger the camera or smartphone remotely, the range is 32 feet. The built-in 65 mAh battery promises a working time of up to 24 hours and is fully charged in 30 minutes. According to the manufacturer, the stick has a lifespan of 50,000 hours.

The maximum length is 26. 7”. If you fold the stick, it is only 7.8” long and fits in every handbag. It weighs 5.6 oz and is therefore not a heavyweight. The smartphone holder, which is included in the scope of delivery, is suitable for devices with a screen width between 2.2” and 3.42” so it is compatible with most smartphones. iPhone 8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S9, or Huawei p9 plus are no problem.

The holder can be easily rotated 360 degrees so that you can also shoot pictures in portrait format. The maximum angle of inclination is 203 degrees. All in all, this selfie stick by Blitz Wolf is a true all-rounder with which you have many options.

FAQ

Q. Can a GoPro camera be operated with the remote control?

Ans. No, the remote release of the camera itself must be used for this.

Q. What material is the selfie stick made of?

Ans. The rod itself is made of aluminum, the handle and the bracket are made of plastic.

Q. Can the handle be retrofitted with a loop?

Ans. No, unfortunately, there is no way to do this.

Mpow Selfie-Stick

If you are looking for a selfie stick that works with Bluetooth but does not have a tripod function, the Mpow is the right choice for you. Although you have to live with a few restrictions compared to other models from our comparison, the stick is relatively cheap.


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Another advantage is a small size: when folded, it is only 7.1 inches long, making it the smallest stick in our comparison.

The trigger on the handle is connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth. The micro USB charging socket is located on the underside of the handle. The trigger is not removable, which would make no sense anyway due to the missing tripod function. The rubberized handle and an integrated wrist strap ensure a secure grip in the hand.

Cheap doesn’t always have to be bad. If you can do without certain features such as a tripod, Bluetooth, and battery, you can still get a high-quality product for little money.

The smartphone holder holds devices with a screen width of 3.3 inches. This means that almost all common smartphones can be used with the stick. However, there is a limitation with the Bluetooth connection: For iPhones that work with the iOS 10 or higher operating system, the automatic reconnection does not work with the next application

The coupling process must, therefore, be initiated again each time.

Despite its compactness when folded, this selfie stick can be extended up to 31.9 inches, which is another great advantage. But you have to cut back on the smartphone holder because it cannot be rotated. Only the angle can be adjusted by a maximum of 270 degrees.

FAQ

Q. Can a GoPro action camera be used with the stick?

Ans. Unfortunately no, since the smartphone holder cannot be removed.

Q. How does the remote control turn off?

Ans. Simply hold the button down for several seconds.

Q. Is the stick waterproof?

Ans. No, this selfie stick does not meet the required specifications

Selfie stick Buyer’s Guide and FAQ

Where can I buy a selfie stick?

You can buy selfie sticks both in the electronics market and in some supermarkets. Many other stores also offer inexpensive versions of the selfie stick. The selfie sticks have different purposes. Some can only be connected to smartphones, others also to underwater cameras. Numerous different selfie sticks are offered on the Internet. 

Due to the large selection, you can compare selfie sticks on the Internet much better than in shops. However, some prefer to buy in retail, because staff can recommend you one which is suitable for you.

On the Internet you can currently buy selfie sticks from the following online shops:

amazon.com

Walmart

BestBuy

How much selfie stick cost?

Selfie sticks for underwater cameras are slightly more expensive than selfie sticks for smartphones. Depending on which camera the stick has to be compatible with and how it is connected to the device, there are price differences.

The selfie sticks, which are only compatible with a smartphone, are available for relatively little money. The prices currently range from around nine to 30 dollars.

Before you buy a selfie stick, make sure it’s compatible with your camera.

How can I charge a selfie stick?

A selfie stick has a micro USB port on the bottom, through which it can be charged. There are also a few models that do not need to be charged because they draw power from the camera.

The connection cable can either be connected to the laptop and charged via this, or charged with a 5 volt USB power adapter in the socket. Most selfie sticks have a small LED light built-in that indicates when the battery is fully charged.

When choosing the right stick, quality and workmanship play a crucial role. The user must get the impression that the valuable smartphone is well attached and does not fall out of the holder. The trigger must also work properly.

How can I connect a stick to the underwater camera or smartphone?

Selfie sticks for an underwater camera are connected via Bluetooth. To be able to take photos with the selfie stick, the camera must have a Bluetooth function. To connect a selfie stick to a smartphone, you can either use a Bluetooth function or the AUX connection.

The selfie stick extends your arm, allowing better shots of you. However, many selfie sticks for underwater cameras are only suitable for recording videos, since they cannot be connected directly to the camera trigger. To be able to use an unrestricted photo recording function, the underwater camera must, therefore, be equipped with a Bluetooth function.

However, the connection with the smartphone is somewhat easier. You can connect some selfie sticks directly to your smartphone via the aux connection.

What types of selfie sticks are there and which one is right for you?

There are four types of selfie sticks:

  • Stick without a trigger
  • Stick with Bluetooth
  • Stick with remote control
  • Stick with cable connection

The Selfie stick is a simple gadget that will help you click great photos. It’s like an extension of your arm. You can use it with a smartphone, a compact camera, or an action cam: the manufacturers offer you different versions and options.

In the following section, we go into more detail on the types of selfie sticks mentioned above. With a list of advantages and disadvantages, we try to help you make decisions.

Stick without a trigger

The selfie stick without a trigger is the simplest and cheapest option. You do not need any additional equipment and do not have to pay attention to battery life. Here your smartphone (or another photo device) is simply clamped into the holder on the stick.

To take a photo you have to open the photo app of your device. There you will immediately see the photo section. For photos with several people or a specific background, the telescopic pole, which is characteristic of all selfie sticks, can help you to take the perfect photo.

When you’re ready to take the photo, you can use the timer or self-timer. By using the selfie stick, you no longer have to hope for the help of others and give your smartphone to someone else. The quality of your photos will also improve noticeably.

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Space-saving
  • No additional equipment necessary

Disadvantage

  • Constant triggering of the timer function

The stick ensures that the pictures shake less. So that you can use your stick for as long as possible, you should take care not to use the cheapest product when buying.

With Bluetooth

The selfie stick with Bluetooth has the same task as the simple selfie stick. It should help you to take the perfect photo. In contrast to the simple variant, this stick is equipped with Bluetooth. There is a button on the front of the stick with which you can directly operate the image trigger.

Before you can get started, you should check the battery level of your stick. Then activate Bluetooth on your smartphone. Make sure that the stick and smartphone connect and open the photo app.

When buying, make sure that the release button is easily accessible with your fingers. Again, it is not advisable to buy the cheapest product. Bluetooth connections are prone to interference, which means that a cheap product does not have a positive effect on the connection strength.

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • No self-timer necessary

Disadvantage

  • charge the battery
  • Interference-prone Bluetooth
  • Not always compatible with other photo devices

Another reason to choose a higher quality product is the battery. With most of the sticks, you cannot replace the battery.

Stick with remote control

The selfie stick with remote control also works with Bluetooth. However, Bluetooth is not integrated into the stick but is located in the small remote control. The stick itself is nothing more than a simple selfie stick. Again, you need to pay attention to the battery before you start. Then connect the remote control to your smartphone and open the photo app.

The use of remote control has several key advantages. Often these have a relatively long range. You can, therefore, place your stick away from you and press the trigger with your remote control.

Also, it doesn’t matter who presses the shutter button. This will make your pictures less shaky. Since the Bluetooth is not directly integrated into the stick in the case of the remote control, it can also be more easily connected to other photo devices.

Advantages

  • Space-saving
  • Easy to use
  • Long-range of the remote control
  • Also suitable for other photo devices
  • No self-timer necessary

Disadvantage

  • Interference-prone Bluetooth
  • charge the battery
  • Remote control size

However, you have to watch out for the remote control itself. Since it is very small, it can easily be lost. Despite the numerous advantages, a connection problem can also occur here.

With cable connection

The last variant works completely without Bluetooth but still has an integrated image trigger. Here the connection between smartphone and stick is established via a cable. 

The cable attached to the stick is connected to the headphone output of your smartphone.

Advantages

  • Space-saving
  • Easy to use
  • No battery
  • No self-timer necessary
  • No Bluetooth connection required

Disadvantage

  • Not suitable for smartphones

This type of stick is particularly popular because it is the least prone to failure. It is not necessary to charge a rechargeable battery since the stick draws power from the connecting cable. 

The process for taking the photo is the same as for the Bluetooth variants. All you have to do is connect the stick to your smartphone, open the photo app, and press the trigger.

Things to compare in Selfie stick

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate selfie sticks. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are the following purchase criteria:

  • Length
  • Weight
  • Trigger button
  • Connection
  • Power supply

In the following paragraphs, you can read what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Length

A selfie stick is supposed to “extend” your arm to be able to take better pictures and videos of you and your friends. The length of the stick is therefore crucial. 

Most selfie sticks have so-called telescopic poles. They can be pushed together after use so that they are easier to store. Most sticks in the market have an extendable maximum length of between 50 and 95 centimeters.

Weight

The weight of the selfie stick also plays a role, albeit a minor one. If you use it for a long time, the selfie stick can be quite difficult. The selfie sticks are usually made of aluminum, but the weight varies from model to model. Most of the sticks in the market can weigh anywhere between 130 to 360 grams.

Make sure that the selfie stick is not too heavy, otherwise, it would strain your arm if you use it for a long time.

Trigger button

Some selfie sticks are equipped with a release button that serves as a remote control. The shutter button can be used to trigger photo shoots with the camera or smartphone clamped in.

Did you know that there are over 360,000,000 photos on Instagram that have the hashtag selfie?

If the selfie stick is not equipped with a release button, it is primarily used for video recordings. However, it is also possible to take photos by using the camera’s delayed self-timer.

Another way to control the camera without a shutter button is to use remote control for the camera. Some models offer bracelets as remote controls.

Connection

The selfie stick is connected to the underwater camera via Bluetooth. It is therefore imperative that the camera has a Bluetooth function; a selfie stick without Bluetooth cannot be controlled using the trigger button. 

If you want to clamp your smartphone in the stick, a connection via the aux connection is also possible on some models.

However, as already mentioned, there are a few ways you can take great photos and videos with your selfie stick even without a Bluetooth and aux connection. 

Power supply

The selfie sticks we tested are primarily intended for cameras and therefore cannot be supplied with power via the connection to the camera. The power supply, therefore, runs via a built-in battery. The battery cannot be replaced, so you should fully charge it before use.

Charging the battery works with the included USB cable. You can either charge the stick via USB directly on your laptop or with a 5 volt USB power adapter directly in the socket. The mains adapter is usually not included in the scope of delivery but can be bought cheaply on the Internet.

With a selfie stick that has an auxiliary connection, charging is not necessary. Through the cable connection with the smartphone, the selfie stick is powered by the smartphone.

The selfie stick history

The first selfie stick was launched in 1983: a telescope extension for compact cameras was patented in the USA. However, it was not a great success. In Japan, too, the first efforts were made to bring them onto the market. 

In 1995 selfie stick appeared in the book “101 Useless Japanese Inventions”. But with the triumph of smartphones with an integrated front camera, the selfie stick became a hit over time.

The Canadian Wayne Fromm patented his invention in 2001 of an extended holder for smartphones including a remote release. This is the forerunner of the selfie sticks that are common today and available everywhere. These sticks are now an integral part of our daily life: In 2014, the selfie stick was listed in Time Magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of the year.

In the meantime, many a selfie fan can hardly imagine a trip or vacation without a stick. Be it in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Capitol in Rome or the fascinating city center of Granada: the selfie stick is always with you.

Street vendors often offer selfie sticks around tourist places. However, this is usually inferior quality or non-working sticks. Therefore, before you go on vacation, think about buying a suitable selfie stick in a good time!

Security aspects

If you are thinking about buying a selfie stick, you should also note that these sticks are not always welcome everywhere. This has to do with security issues. Especially where there are many people, you should rethink the use. Due to the length of the sticks, it can happen that you accidentally injure another person.

Various museums around the world, in particular, have now banned the use of selfie sticks on their premises because they fear for the integrity of their exhibits. These include, for example:

  • The Albertina in Vienna
  • Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • The Vatican Museum
  • Louvre

For safety reasons, the use of selfie sticks is also no longer permitted in the Walt Disney Parks and Europa-Park.

The two London football clubs FC Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have banned selfie sticks in the stadiums because the poles could be used as a weapon or disturb other spectators while watching football.

Selfie sticks are also not allowed at the tennis tournament in Wimbledon. Many music festivals around the world have added the sticks to the list of prohibited items.

Conclusion

Thanks to the increasing popularity of smartphones and the ever-increasing social networks, it is now possible for everyone to send photos around the world in seconds. When the front camera is activated, the smartphone is held up by the outstretched arm. The “photographer” can see the image as a preview in the large front display, just like a mirror. But such a selfie has its pitfalls.

Because as the devices get bigger and bigger, it becomes more difficult to hold the smartphone in one hand, choose the right angle and then press the trigger with your thumb. 

So a selfie stick is a practical thing: The smartphone is clamped in a holder, which ideally can be freely rotated and swiveled. The stick can be extended to a length of 60 to 80 centimeters using a telescopic rod. The camera is operated with the trigger on the handle.

This means that taking a selfie is no longer a problem, regardless of the size of the smartphone. The manufacturers with Bluetooth remote controls go a little further. These can be used to trigger the camera remotely, which is particularly helpful.

Advantages and disadvantages of selfie sticks

A selfie stick can be used as an artificial arm extension.

This results in much better and more interesting viewing angles for selfies.

With a tripod function, you have two devices in one.

The use of selfie sticks is not permitted everywhere.

The batteries are often not interchangeable  making the stick a disposable product in the long term