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For a general methodology description, look at my lens tests.

Here I'll only talk about the changes made for testing my filters (not the ND filters, those are here).

First, a note: this results are not comparable with any of the previous ones, lots of changes in camera, settings, etc.

I used three lenses: a Leitz Elmarit-R 35mm f/2.8, a Leitz Elmarit-R 135mm f/2.8, and a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm f/4, both using fotodiox adapters (from Leica-R and M42 to EOS). I picked these lenses because one is my main lens, the other are the longest lenses I regularly use.

The filters I have tested are the following:

Fotodiox diffuser filter
Hoya CIR-PL circular polarizer (not the HD version)




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Results with the diffuser


What it does (33% crops)
 
without diffuserwith diffuser




How much sharpness you lose
 
without diffuserwith diffuser



Results with the polarizer


What it does
 
without polarizerwith polarizer




How much sharpness you lose (seven shots with different polarizer directions)
 
without polarizerwith polarizer (brightened)with polarizer (original)




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