AmazonBasics polarizing filter | First impression review

Polarizing filters are a useful addition to your photographer’s kit. They reduce glare and reflections but they can also boost the colours of your photos. This makes them a useful tool for a variety of photography styles such as landscape, travel and product photography. I recently bought the AmazonBasics Circular Polarizing filter and these are my first impressions of this budget filter.

Why the AmazonBasics polarizing filter?

Photography is not a cheap hobby and unfortunately, there are only a few things where you can really budget on without compromising on quality.

I would not have thought that polarizing filter is something to skimp on. Especially since it’s main components are glass. And good quality glass is not cheap. Considering my current budget, I was not particularly keen on spending 50 to 80 euros on a filter.

But then I saw that AmazonBasics had their own filters for less than 10 euros. The reviews were quite good, though I’ve learned not to trust Amazon reviews. But after looking at some reviews outside of Amazon’s website, I decided it was worth a try. I ended up paying only 8,12 euros for a 58mm filter.

First impressions

First off, I would like to say that polarizing filters are not magical tools. They reduce glare and reflection, but they won’t completely remove it (unless in perfect circumstances). I’ve been warned by other photographers that the effect is usually less awes-trucking than expected and do take some skill to perfect.

So with my expectations set at a more realistic, lower bar, I took my camera+filter for a walk. I tried to find some situations where I would expect to use filter and did my best to take the same photo with and without the filter. As you can see, the effect is there but not always as well as I’d like. I do feel that it’s partly due to external factors, like me still getting the hang of how much I need to twist the filter for the most optimal effect.

Conclusion

I honestly have no idea how Amazon manages to sell these filters at such a low price. I was expecting them to maybe have plastic components to cut costs, but that’s not even the case as the non-glass components are all metal. My guess is that the coating on the lens is maybe of a lesser quality and will scratch quicker than with premium brands.

I’ll have to wait until I’ve actually used this filter for an extensive period before I can fully review it. I’ll bring the filter with me on our next holiday to give it a full test run and see how it performs then. For now, I’d say that if you’re on a budget or are a beginning photographer with a small kit, the AmazonBasics filter is worth a try. It’s a great option to test out polarizers without breaking the bank.

I’ll have to wait until I’ve actually used this filter for an extensive period before I can fully review it. I’ll bring the filter with me on our next holiday to give it a full test run and see how it performs then. For now, I’d say that if you’re on a budget or are a beginning photographer with a small kit, the AmazonBasics filter is worth a try. It’s a great option to test out polarizers without breaking the bank.

Why do you need a polarizing filter?

Without getting into the physics of polarized light, think of a polarized filter as the sunglasses for your camera. The filter will reduce glare, distracting reflections and darken overly bright areas. There are various photography genres where this type of filter comes in handy but the most obvious is landscape photography.

Think of removing distracting reflections on a lake or river, bringing back the deep blue colour of skies without underexposing the  rest of the landscape. But it’s also useful for other types of photography such as architecture or travel photography ( distracting reflections on the windows of buildings), product photography ( glare on shiny objects) and even portrait photography (people wearing glasses).

Basically, a polarizer is beneficial any time you work with shiny objects or reflective surfaces. And those are around more often than you’d think.

Disclaimer: I bought the AmazonBasics polarizing filter with my own money. I am in no way affiliated with Amazon and have not been sponsored to create this post.