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Polarizing Filter


mbird

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Okay, I've got a lovely set of Lee ND grads now, and useful they are too.

The question is now, do I invest in a polarizing filter. We are off to Greece later in the year for 2 weeks, and it strikes me this would be the perfect environment for one, or at least it would if I knew what one did and how to use it.

Can anyone shed some light on these beasties please? I know nothing about them and would appreciate any help.

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Mark, the article that Perry has linked from Phil Malpas is excellent. The polariser is pretty much the only filter whose effect can't be replicated in software in post production - either you use one at the shooting stage or you lose the chance. I wouldn't be without my Lee polariser, and especially in somewhere like Greece with blue seas and skies you'd frankly be shooting yourself in the foot not to have one in your bag. The Lee ones are expensive, but since you already have the Lee system you'll be able to fit it to any lens and use it with grads if needed. Get the circular one rather than the cheaper (but still v. expensive) linear one. It's nothing to do with the shape -it's the way it polarises light, and you need circular to work with autofocus and auto metering. Learn how to use it though - if you're not careful you can get skies that are heavily darkened to one side, or even black!

Bruce

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This is an example of a shot that just wouldn't have worked without a polariser. Not only has it deepened the blues and emphasised the clouds, but most importantly it has killed all glare and unwanted reflections in the water - it's pretty much the same as wearing polarising sunglasses. You just can't do the same with software. Note that you lose between 1.5 and 2 stops of light though.

I actually slightly over-polarised this, because you can see some darkening in the top right corner caused by using a wide angle lens with the sun at 90 degrees to the camera - I should have turned the polariser slightly away from the maximum setting. It was 5x4" film, so I only got one chance and no opportunity to experiment, as we can with digital. I normally remove the problem in Photoshop, but left in in here to show the need for discretion :oops:

PS - this wasn't in Norfolk :lol:

post-175-13671352306_thumb.jpg

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Guest chriscraft
post-1-136713523082_thumb.jpg similar set of circumstances you,ll find in greece this is Turkey,shot taken in glaring sun on top of a boat,the filter has cut most but not all of the glare /reflections..see back of boat,but has brought out the sky,ignore the camara shake there was a steady swell!!
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Eilean Donan castle if I'm not mistaken?

Spot on Jon. For those who don't know, it's in the north west Highlands on the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Bruce

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Guest chriscraft

coarse you can go over the top with them ,for effect.....post-1-136713523095_thumb.jpg

This was in bright sunlight with the filter turned to very dark,and a colour added.

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Spot on Jon. For those who don't know, it's in the north west Highlands on the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Wonderful scenery. Years ago Susan and I were staying at the Dunain Park Hotel in Inverness and one day we headed out along to the Kyle Of Lochalsh but I am sorry to say the whether was not quite as it is in your pic, nor did we make it anywhere near to the actual Kyle before we had to turn back, though we did manage to stop for a coffee at an incredibly cut off pub, and kick a few stones around besides this bleak looking loch which years later managed to get featured in an AA commercial.

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Seems I need to raid the piggy bank again

me to, want one

problem is, i looked on ebay and have no idea whats good for the price :cry

i cant afford a lot so is it worth buying a relatively cheep one for my canon 1000d 58mm

jill

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Jill,

The one I used on my 'Fishing SLR' was not a Lee but a Hoya which served its purpose well although not in the Lee class. For cutting glare and enriching colours it worked perfectly well. If I were taking much in the way of Landscapes I would now purchase a Lee as the Hoya would not fit now anyway; I'm sure the Hoya may serve your purpose.

You can pick them up relatively competitively e.g.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hoya-58mm-Circu ... C23K60MM7B

If I still have it you are welcome to it if it is a 58mm - I will check (give me a reminder if I have not PM'd you by after the bank holiday)

Since purchasing our boat pursuing monsters has long since been left behind Fish1

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hi simon

thanks for the info :kiss

ebay have a few, so far ive seen ones in green and blue wrapping and one that says its warm :?

green made in japan?

blue in china?

and one that says its a 'pro 1'

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Hoya-58mm-Circula ... 7C294%3A50

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-HOYA-58MM-CIR ... 7C294%3A50

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Hoya-58mm-WARM-Ci ... 7C294%3A50

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HOYA-PRO1-Digital ... 7C294%3A50

i can afford any of these :grin: if i can work out which is the best.

jill

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Do you mean Perry? Unless you enjoyed my anecdote about driving in the highlands in miserable weather I am not aware of having contributed anything useful this thread.

Or indeed any other. :lol:

Still, I have no problem taking the praise for other people's hard work. :naughty:

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The Pro is the one I have I think Jill I will check don't order yet!!!

I would give the Warm one a miss it seems a bit of a misnomer unless you were purely looking to reduce glare.

A side effect of polarizers is that they ‘cool down’ a scene – or make the overall colour balance slightly bluish

Well that is what I always wanted mine to do......

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Just their moneybanks? Why not sell the kids?

Just kidding ...

But seriously, save up for the Lee version. There's no point faffing around with lower grade screw-in filters when you've already got a Lee system.

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As the question had been asked I tried a couple of shots to try to give some idea of what a polariser can do.

Old lens (which fitted 77mm) with a basic Hoya 77mm Circular Polariser which I did not adjust properly as just for test shots.

Given better lens, adjustment and set up results would be better but these were very much quick add hoc shots. Note much less glare on the water and more intense Green's & Blue with Polariser.

post-79-136713528208_thumb.jpg

post-79-136713528476_thumb.jpg

post-79-136713528489_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for posting those Perry. The sky looks a bit like a grad filter has been used, but the marked difference is in the reduction of the glare from the water. It's subtle but definately worth using one by the looks of it.

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The effect on water is similar to Polarising sunglasses - reduces the glare.

This info might explain the technicalities:

he filter acts as a 1.5 X neutral density filter at its

minimum polarization and 2X at its maximum.

For darkening a blue sky, the maximum effect occurs

in a clear sky at right angles (90 degrees) to the light emanating

from the sun.

To use a polarizer for maximum effect, a simple rule of thumb

(literally) is to point your thumb at the sun, then extend your

forefinger (like your making a handgun). Maximum polarization

occurs at the direction your forefinger is pointing. When it comes

to reflections, the polarizing filter works best on light that passes

through the filter at an optimal angle (say 30 or 40 degrees)

from the reflecting surface. If you want to achieve maximum

polarization, you would do best to choose your subject, then

determine the viewpoint needed to achieve 90° (30°/40° for

reflections).

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