ND Filter or Polarizer

tahmail

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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!
 

gizmo2071

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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
 

Steph

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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.
 

Zatodragon

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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.
 

Sideburns

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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.
 

JerryPH

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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.
 
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tahmail

tahmail

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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.
 

kundalini

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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.
 

Rhubarb

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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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