Polarizer Filter

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by loves_guitar, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    Hey all!
    Thanks for those that threw in their 2 cents about buying gear on Ebay.

    The reason for asking is that I want to buy a polarizer for my Nikon D70s. I've got the kit lens (18-70mm) and a Nikon 50mm (1.8f). Now the physical size of the two lens are very different (50mm is smaller).
    What is a guy to do? Buy two sizes? What are step-up/down adapters? How do they work.
    Is there a brand I should be going for? Are the cheap ones alright?

    Needless to say, I've got lots of questions. I want to amass the right equipment first rather than go through a bunch of junk.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Buy the filter in the size of the largest lens you own...or plan to get.

    Step up rings are very simple...all they are, is a metal ring with threads. One side threads into your lens, like a filter would. The other side will have bigger female threads (step-up) or smaller (step down). If you get new lens caps, you can leave the step up rings on the smaller lenses all the time. They can be found in camera shops or on E-bay for $10-$20.

    As for brands of filters....I don't know. B&W is a respected name. Kenco, Hoya, etc. are some others. More expensive is usually better. When I'm not sure about all the details...I usually go with the philosophy of not getting the cheapest nor the most expensive. I'll go with something in the middle and hope I get good value for my money.
     
  3. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    If the thread size on your two lenses is different, your best bet is to buy a polarizer that fits the larger one, and then use a step-up ring to fit it to the smaller lens. A step-up ring is basically just a ring with different size threads on each side - you screw it to your lens, then screw the filter to the other side.
     
  4. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help.

    Now I've seen some write-ups that say something along the lines of 'double-glass' or something like that. What is that?

    Thanks.

    p.s. Oh, for Big Mike - GO CANUCKS!! ;)
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Canucks....ha ha...they will miss the playoffs again... :lol:

    As far as double glass...this might be it. A circular polarizer has two pieces of glass and the front one is allowed to rotate. By rotating the front element, you can change the affect of the filter. If you have polarized sun glasses, you can mimic this effect slightly by tilting your head from side to side. It's most noticeable when looking at blue sky and looking at 90 degrees from the sun's rays. So basically, when using the filter...you look into the viewfinder and rotate the filter until you get the effect that you want.

    Oh, I forgot...you are in Vancouver...so I guess finding any blue sky is out of the question. :lol: :lol:
     
  6. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    The best thing to do usually is to buy your filters in the size of the largest diameter lens you expect to have. I think someone on this board said not too long ago that Nikon pro lenses are all a certain size (like 77 or 72 or something). By getting a large diameter filter, it'll fit all your lenses with a step ring. You can also put a small filter on a larger lens (such as 52mm filter on a 55mm diameter lens) but that can cause vignetting of the image. Then you just get step rings in appropriate sizes (ie 77mm-55mm, 77mm-52mm, etc)

    A step ring is just a ring of metal about 1/16" or so wide. One end is the same diameter as your filter (and female threaded so you can attach the filter), and the other is the same diameter as your lens (male threaded so you can attach the ring to your lens). Voila! Your polarizer now works on all your lenses! Step rings are also waaaay cheaper than another filter - you can get them for practically nothing on ebay.

    The only exception to this plan is UV filters. I have one for each lens, for protection. They stay on all the time.
     
  7. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Haha, I started writing and then had to actually go do some work... Hit submit when I got done and found that everything had been explained already
     
  8. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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    I see all these filter packages on Ebay. Are they good, or just crap? Would I be better to go down to the local photography store and buy my filters there?

    And the Canucks are SOOO going to make the playoffs, but then loose in the first round! :)
    Nice 'blue sky' comment though. Sorry I can't write anymore, it's too warm to be indoors! ;)
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What filter packages are you asking about?

    There are very few filters that's can't be easily recreated with software like Photoshop. A polarizer is one of them, so that's why I recommend getting one.
     
  10. loves_guitar

    loves_guitar TPF Noob!

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  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The fluorescent filter is practically useless for digital since all you have to do is change the WB setting (or let the camera do it with auto WB). As for the others...I don't know much about that brand...but 'you get what you pay for'.
     

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