ND Filter or Polarizer

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tahmail, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. tahmail

    tahmail TPF Noob!

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    I need to prioritize the purchase of either a ND Filter or polarizer for a 12-24 W/A lens. Which would you buy first and why would you select it?

    Also, do you layer over a skylight or use direct? Thanks in advance folks!
     
  2. gizmo2071

    gizmo2071 TPF Noob!

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    Polarizer should be your first purchase.
    ND filters are not needed, but are good for lengthening exposure times, unless it's a graduated ND filter which are great for scenes with mixed light intensities, like horizons

    The polarizer will cut glare(reflections) on reflective subjects, give colours a boost and cuts some haze in the sky to give great skies.

    check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_(photography)#Polarizer
     
  3. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Be aware that the effect of a polariser depends on the relative position of camera, subject and light source. When used with a wide angle the effect won't be uniform across the frame. For example, if you were to use a polariser with a wide angle (wider than 24mm on full frame) to take a picture of a blue sky, the intensity of the colours would not be the same across the frame and the result could look very unnatural.
     
  4. Zatodragon

    Zatodragon TPF Noob!

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    unless you were using a special wide-angle skylight filter, (and even then, i'd probably still take it off) you'll probably be catching the edges of the filter if you decide to stack them. I also see a greater use with a circular polariser than an ND, but it depends upon the kind of photos your wanting to shoot.
     
  5. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    definitely a polarizer. ND is useful for some things, but a polarizer is good for far more situations.
    I'd rock it straight up on the end of the lens.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In the digital world, ND filters are needed a LOT less than on film. You can always doctor an exposure to a lower level as long as the highlights are not blown out.
     
  7. Double H

    Double H TPF Noob!

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    In regards to a previous post about using a polarizer and being in the right position in relation to the sun, get a circular polarizer.
     
  8. tahmail

    tahmail TPF Noob!

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    Some great comments here folks. One of the great benefits about this forum is leveraging everyone's knowledge and experience. Thank you.
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd definitely have the CPL before the ND. I bought this B+W CPL and this Hoya ND for my 12-24mm lens. The CPL is "slim" and has no problems, for me, of showing on the edges. I just make the adjustments before I slide on the hood.
     
  10. Rhubarb

    Rhubarb TPF Noob!

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    Yep go for the polarizer first. It also acts as a poor mans ND, as it reduces light by 2 stops.
     

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