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Old Jul 26, 2006, 7:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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I will soon be taking a 2 1/2 week holiday in Thailand (:-)) and plan to take lots and lots of photos. I have just kited myself out with a Nikon D50 and a couple of lenses and I am busily learning to use them.

I have read a bit about filters and so think I understand them and what they do and am now wondering which one/s to get.

I was thinking of a circular polariser, but is this something I can just leave on and use for all shots or is it just for when I need it? The other option was a UV filter which, from what I have read can just be left on, but I am not really clear on how it will alter the picture taken.

Ideally I don't want to be messing around with lenses and filters every five minutes as my girlfriend will go mad, so it would be nice to have an all round one if thats possible.

Does any one know a web site that maybe shows a comparison of images with different filters to help me choose?
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Old Jul 26, 2006, 7:36 AM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,528


A circular polarizer achieves 2 basic affects:

1. Under the right circumstances it will make the sky a deeper blue and the clouds a starker white - just like polarized sunglasses do.

2. It will reduce reflections - so shooting through a window, taking a photo of a car (where the paint is reflecting the scenery) are instances where a CP could be used to reduce the reflections.

The problem is, a CP costs you a stop or 2 of light - so you do NOT want to leave it on all the time - when you come inside you typically want to remove it (unless you're looking for it's ability to reduce reflections as you shoot through glass) because of the 1-2 stop loss of light.

A UV filter will not improve the quality of your photos one bit. People use them as lens protectors - the idea being it's better to scratch or break a filter than the front element on the lens. Do a search on the forums here and you'll see debates on this topic - some people say never do it because it can only downgrade the image quality others say they always use them and have scratched or cracked a filter in the past so it saved their lens. Do a search and read the pros / cons

Regardless of whether you decide to use UV filters I strongly recommend you use lens hoods - they cut down on flare and will help protect your lens from dust, scratches and minor impact (i.e. elbow, someone hitting the camera not so much dropping the camera).

I also think a quality CP is a great edition. But, realize each lens you have may have a different filter size required so you may not be able to use the same filter on all 3 (unless using a step-down ring - do a search). Typically though, you would most likely use the CP lens outdoors for your landscape shots - so whichever lens you're most likely using for those types of shots that's the lens I would buy the CP for.
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