Advantages of a Polarizer?


TPF Noob!
Oct 26, 2007
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What are the advantages of using a polarizer on your lens? Does it only impact shots when outside in day light?
That's when it is mostly used, yes.

It generally gives more saturation throughout the photo - the sky is more blue, the greens are a deeper, richer green, etc.

It can also be used to cut down on reflections in car windows or in water for example.
They will reduce or eliminate light reflected from Glass, Vegetation, Water, etc. Not from Metals though. The elimination of reflected light will intensify the colors of the sky and vegetation. The effectivness will depend on the angel of the sun to your subject.
I only use it when outdoors...but almost always, when shooting outdoors. It does rob some light, so it's important to take it off when shooting in low/indoor light.
Would it help take some glare off of skin. I have seen some outdoor shots where a person's forehead is shiny, and have wondered if a polarized filter would help.
These were among the first couple hundred photos I took with my D80.

1) without CP


2) without CP


3) without CP


4) without CP


misc with CP

misc with CP
Mav's got it nailed.
I just received mine and used it this last Sunday. I loved the difference it made especially to the sky, because it tends to always end up washed out looking. Everything else seemed to be more crisp and vibrant as well :)

The above pictures are great examples.
I especially like it for water shot (and of course blue sky). As seen in the examples above, you can take the reflection off of water, so that you can see what lies beneath the surface.
Thanks for the sample photos. So basicaly as the final effect, you also get more dynamic range, or at least that's what it looks like - the sky is not washed out so much on the photos with CP filter on.
Thanks Mav, that is what i was hoping would come from this post!

I bought the Sunpak Circular Polarizer, is that an ok one to have or is there a better one that I should look into. It was $20 bucks at Bestbuy.
The price of filters will vary, depending on size, brand, quality etc. The top end ones might have some fancy coatings to help reduce lens flare and such.

If price is an either got a great deal or a low end filter. Check out B&W filters...a good size cir. pol. will be rather expensive....maybe 10x what you paid.
Any thoughts on Quantaray "Professional" CPL's?

That's what I bought and it does a great job with sky, clouds and reflections on water but I'm not seeing the popping color I was expecting to see in vegetation, etc.
That's what I bought and it does a great job with sky, clouds and reflections on water but I'm not seeing the popping color I was expecting to see in vegetation, etc.
It really depends on the angle of the sun and the polarization of the light etc. I'd say that the increased color in vegetation is the least noticeable effect. Although, using the polarizer may make it easier to get good results when you bump up the saturation while editing.
I really want one of these filters now... Can the same be acheieved without a filter in GIMP fairly easy?

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