Other uses for a polarizing filter?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by LAW2, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. LAW2

    LAW2 TPF Noob!

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    I understand the benefit of the filter when near water or other highly reflective surfaces, but what about other situations? I am going to be taking pictures of a family at a local park that has a tree canopy that provides shade with splotches of sunlight. This park is also on the water with a dock. About half of our time will be in the shade and the other half will be on the water. I have used this location before with out a polarizer with good results, but I’m curious what could I expect if I used a filter? I don’t currently own one so I don’t have any experience with one. Any exaples of with and with out would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks to all.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Correctly used a polarizing filter will increase saturation (by removing subtle glare from surfaces), and change the sky from cyan to navy. Foliage on a bright sunny day often has a lot of glare (because of the waxy surface plants use to keep from dehydrating) that may not be very obvious, but use a polarizer and you'll see it. Without the pol filter green foliage tends to be a little bluish green. With the pol filter it's lush green.

    Also a polarizer can be used as a neutral density filter. A ND filter can be handy to get shutter speeds down to the flash sync speed when shooting in bright sun.

    Pay attention to the sky when using a wide angle with the pol. Sometimes you get a fade from navy to cyan across the sky that can look funny.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Here's an example of the sky with a polarizing filter.

    [​IMG]

    Kodak Royal Gold 25
     
  4. LAW2

    LAW2 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I love the example it sealed the deal for me. Looks like adorama is going to get some more money from me, $171.60 to be exact. I am looking at this one (B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer Multi Coated Glass Filter) for my D50 and will be used on my 28-70. Sound about right?
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Sounds right to me. B+W filters are excellent.
     
  6. cumi

    cumi TPF Noob!

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    Do you know how many stops does it decreases the amount of light?
     
  7. LAW2

    LAW2 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again for all the advice. I purchased one last night. I will hopefully have it for this weekend. One thing I did not know initially is that you have to turn the filter in order to control how much light is filtered. Is that correct? I imagined it to be like my UV filter and just screw on, but I guess you need that adjustability because you never know how it will be aligned. I wish the online stores did a better job of describing the filters and provided an actual picture.
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    With a circular polariser that is correct. The adjustability is not just because you don't know how the filter will line up on the camera, it also allows you more control over the polarising effect.
     

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