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Old Sep 1, 2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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I have heard that you can use a PL filter just as you would an ND filter, but I was wondering how many f/stops it would cut... Would it be more like an ND2 or ND4?
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Old Sep 13, 2006, 3:43 AM   #2
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It's not really the same at all. If you want an ND filter, buy one.

The CPl is more for cutting out the extra light from reflections, leaving light entering the camera from only one plane so that you can see what is really there.

For instance, if you're shooting down at an outdoor goldfish pond, the random reflections come at you from all axes, and that's why you can't see beyond the surface. Using a CPl cuts out all but a selected plane of reflections and with it you can actually see the fish in the pond and still tell that there's a reflection also.

ND filters won't do that at all -- they only allow you to take a picture at a slower shutter speed / wider aperture than without, so that you can A) take pictures with some motion blur in them such as water over a waterfall, even on bright sunny days where without the filter the aperture and shutter-speed even at the lowest ISO setting would be so fast the motion would be frozen; or B) take pictures with what you think will be better exposure all around, especially in bright sunlight.

The two filters don't replace each other -- they each have specific purposes.
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