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Archive 2013 · Polarizer filter queries
  
 
glojoh
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Polarizer filter queries


I am shortly embarking on the holiday of a life-time which is something we have always dreamed of doing....... a World Cruise.

I am told that the polarized filter is a 'must have' item?

I am a complete an utter novice regarding these things, I know absolutely NOTHING about them and would welcome any and all observations.

If I talk about about what I might plan to do with this then hopefully folks can put me right and offer better ideas?

First the main lens I plan on using are:

500mm prime 52mm filter
70-200mm Nikon zoom 77mm filter
Nikon 24-70 77mm filter

I have breathed a sigh of relieve over the fact that two lens take the same size filter but here is my first question

I am told the circular filter is the one to buy, but on the big prime lens this is not an option?? As far as I am aware, the filter screws into the rear of the lens and is not accessible to rotate?

I accept that if I pay 'pea-nuts' I can only expect 'monkeys' but is it necessary to buy the most expensive filters?

My intentions
I am dreaming about the ship stumbling across a 'tall ship' under full sail on the high seas!! I not only want the maximum definition regarding the ship, I would also love to bring out the detail of not just the sky, but also the sea.

Will this be an ideal subject for this type of filter and how would folks set their exposure to get everything I have listed? If it is relevant I will be using the D800 and the back-up of a D300

We are going to a location where humpback whales are expected to be seen. I cannot see these beautiful creatures getting too close to our ship so this will be a job for my huge and bulky 500mm lens. I am hoping this will get a decent image of the whale but the sea or ocean is going to make up the bulk of this image.

I would dearly love to snap a tall ship, but that wish is comparable to snapping an albatross in flight, in formation with our ship.

I am told the polarized filter will really enhance detail of the sky, but is it necessary for my albatross? I ask this as my priority is to get as much detail as possible of the bird... This will be the be all and end all of that shot, the sky is the sky and if a filter enhances the image of the bird, then fine, but if there is a risk it might take away the slightest of detail from the bird... Then thanks but no thanks.

If folks have any constructive tips, advice or suggestions, then please, please speak now .... or forever hold your peace!! (sorry about that last bit... I just couldn't resist it)

Thanks again for any advice

John



Nov 20, 2013 at 01:52 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Polarizer filter queries


Hi John,

The old-style "linear polarizer" (LP) filter causes problems with modern AF systems, that's why you want the "circular polarizer" (CP) type.

The main purpose for using a CP is to control reflected light. For example, it's great for reducing the amount of sunlight reflected off the sea surface, in a "seascape" photo; perfect for many of the photos you're likely to take. The CP will probably be very useful for whale photos, especially if the scene is somewhat "back lit", with the sun beside or behind the subject, as opposed to behind you.

Another reason for using a CP (which is also associated with reflected light), is to increase the apparent contrast in "skyscapes". I would not use a CP for birds in flight (BIF), but I probably would use it for many senic photos involving lots of sea and/or sky. For BIF with a sky background, I generally use at least +1 EV exposure compensation, to get sufficient detail in the bird.

Also, most CP filters reduce the amount of light getting into the camera by about "2 stops". This can help you to get slower shutter speeds for capturing "motion blur", when that's a technique that you want to use (classic example, foamy waterfalls). For example, if you're shooting on a fairly sunny day (EV = 15), the 'correct' exposure at ISO 100 and f/16 is 1/125 sec. This won't show much motion blur for 'moving water' (but it will for fast movers). If you slap on a 2-stop CP filter, the shutter speed drops to 1/30 sec., where you might want to be.

I'm a Canon user, but I can assure you that any Nikon drop-in CP filter for an AF lens will be a CP, not LP.

I use B+W Kaesemann (KSM) MRC CP filters. There are many threads on CP filters that you can find with the 'search' function. Just, try to stay away from the "should I use filters?" threads...

Jim



Nov 20, 2013 at 03:22 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Polarizer filter queries


Here's a quick example from September 2013 in Battle Harbour, Labrador, taken with a Canon 6D + 24-70/2.8L II + B&H KSM filter. Both images have the CP on the lens. The image on the left shows the maximum sea surface reflection, and the photo on the right shows the minimum sea surface reflection.







Nov 20, 2013 at 03:48 PM
glojoh
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Polarizer filter queries


Two excellent replies that are convincing me of the benefits of buying this type of filter.

From what I am understanding, the CP stands for circular, but on my Nikon 500f4 VR lens I cannot see any method of being able to access that filter once it is placed inside the lens?? I am definitely NOT suggesting it cannot be done, I simply do not see how it can be done

Thanks for the replies and that excellent, self explanatory comparison type picture

John



Nov 20, 2013 at 04:59 PM
dlabrecque
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Polarizer filter queries


Nikon produces a specific holder for its telephotos that mates a geared roller mechanism with a small thumb dial on the outside door plate. This allows you to move the CP while mounted inside the lens. Nikon refers to the part as a CPL-1L. Really it's easier to show you what this looks like rather than explain it here:

http://www.adorama.com/NK52CPL1.html

Nikon doesn't provide this with their telephotos, you'll have to purchase it. Be prepared for the sticker shock too, but after purchasing the 500 you should be over that now.

Edited on Nov 20, 2013 at 05:27 PM · View previous versions



Nov 20, 2013 at 05:20 PM
glojoh
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Polarizer filter queries


dlabrecque wrote:
Nikon produces a specific holder for its telephotos that mates a geared roller mechanism with a small thumb dial on the outside door plate that allows you to move the CP while mounted inside the lens. Nikon refers to the part as a CPL-1L. Really it's easier to show you what this looks like rather than explain it here:

http://www.adorama.com/NK52CPL1.html

Nikon doesn't provide this with their telephotos, you'll have to purchase it. Be prepared for the sticker shock too, but after purchasing the 500 you should be over that now.

Brilliant and thank you,
I have a UV filter in my lens and this lacks the wheel that can be seen in that image you posted.

Thanks again,
John



Nov 20, 2013 at 05:25 PM
glojoh
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Polarizer filter queries


jcolwell wrote:
Hi John,

The old-style "linear polarizer" (LP) filter causes problems with modern AF systems, that's why you want the "circular polarizer" (CP) type.

The main purpose for using a CP is to control reflected light. For example, it's great for reducing the amount of sunlight reflected off the sea surface, in a "seascape" photo; perfect for many of the photos you're likely to take. The CP will probably be very useful for whale photos, especially if the scene is somewhat "back lit", with the sun beside or behind the subject, as opposed to behind you.

Another reason for using a CP (which is
...Show more
Hi Jim,
Just a quick update and I have taken the plunge and ordered the B+W Kaesemann (KSM) MRC CP filter. All I have to do now is keep my eyes open for a filter for my prime lens and it will be 'job done!'

Thanks everyone for all the much appreciated advice.

John



Nov 22, 2013 at 10:50 PM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Polarizer filter queries


I was actually looking for good LP filters (I don't use AF) and had a hard time finding one! Almost everything is CP these days.


Nov 23, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Mike V
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Polarizer filter queries


You just have a look through the pola at your subject to choose the orientation and then mount it to the back of your lens.

A lot of the time you are mounting it the same way anyway.

When shooting water, I normally prefer the reflections anyway.
Perfect example posted above.
I prefer the left image.



Dec 04, 2013 at 12:18 PM
 

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henryp
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Polarizer filter queries


wuxiekeji wrote:
I was actually looking for good LP filters (I don't use AF) and had a hard time finding one! Almost everything is CP these days.

You can use a CP on your older glass but ...
linear pol filter options -- 400+ from which to choose.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Dec 04, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Mark Wieland
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Polarizer filter queries


Use sparingly. I have found two problems with polarizers, and yes I have expensive ones. Number one is that at certain adjustments (rotations), part of the color spectrum is stripped away and can not be brought back in PS. Secondly, many times the filter will darken the sky which seems real cool while looking through the camera, but when processing the images, you will find that you might have a real contrast issue to deal with. Those are my experiences anyway. I always shoot with and without when I can. Last thing, unless you drop some coin on a good one, your long lens shots will be soft.


Dec 05, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Polarizer filter queries


That B+W polarizer should serve you well. It is top quality, and should allow you to cut haze, enhance color saturation, and control reflections. Wtih the available adjustment, you can select how much effect you want, and you can see the point of maximum benifit. When you get a chance, I would suggest you get the drop in circular polarizer for your 500mm lens. Having the little wheel to adjust the polarizer works great, unless you are hand holding the lens, in which case it is difficult to adjust while looking through the lens. I use a drop in polarizer a lot on my Canon super telephoto lenses, and would not be without it. It is pretty easy to change in and out, so you can pull it if you need to work in lower light, or if you are shooting a scene that will not benefit from polarization.

I am very happy with the results I get with polarizers, and always have one available for every lens I am shooting with if I am outdoors. The effect they provide is in my eyes always an improvement in the image. For haze reduction, you get better definition for distant landscape or distant subjects like aircraft. For green foilage or some types of rock that have a lot of reflective content, you get improved color saturation, but never different than what the color should be. For reflection control off of water, you get the choice of how much you want to eliminate, and often I shoot more than one polarizer setting for a given scene. If the light is low, or it is a true night scene, it is easy to remove the polarizer to get back the 1.5 to 2 stops of light it uses up.



Dec 05, 2013 at 08:57 PM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Polarizer filter queries


henryp wrote:
You can use a CP on your older glass but ...
linear pol filter options -- 400+ from which to choose.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Yeah, but 2 good LP's = variable ND + polarizer in one neat package.and great for long exposure landscapes



Dec 07, 2013 at 11:08 PM
williamkazak
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Polarizer filter queries


I have used older style polarizer filters on a beach with no apparent difficulty with my AF lenses. You can always set a lens to MF if you think you might have a problem.


Dec 08, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Polarizer filter queries


Linear polarizers have the potential to confuse both the metering and the autofocus of SLR cameras, but there are a lot of factors involved. The lighting on the scene, the setting of the polarizer, and the orientation of the camera of portrait versus landscape, all play in to how large of issues you might see. But the bottom line is that circular polarizers will always work correctly, while linear polarizers may cause issues.

The only negative of circular polarizers is that they cost more, but because they are the main product in the market, they do not cost much more than a linear one. If you all ready have a linear polarizer, you might consider using it, but I would recommend that no one ever buy one, unless you are only shooting a view camera, or meter every scene with a separate exposure meter.



Dec 08, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Polarizer filter queries


Mike V wrote:
When shooting water, I normally prefer the reflections anyway.
Perfect example posted above.
I prefer the left image.


Ditto, and a polarizer is not a necessity. When used on WA lenses they can produce some pretty fake-looking skies.



Dec 10, 2013 at 07:22 AM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Polarizer filter queries


Mike V wrote:
When shooting water, I normally prefer the reflections anyway.
Perfect example posted above.
I prefer the left image.


Polarizers can also be used to enhance water reflections, but of course nothing is a necessity.



Dec 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM





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