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torresmd Sep 8, 2005 3:47 PM

I just bought a canon D20 with a EF17-40mm f/4L. I purchased a UV filter to keep on the lense all the time for protection, and a circular polarizer filter. When it the best time to use the polarizer filter, and is it OK to stack these 2 filters with this lense?

granthagen Sep 9, 2005 11:01 PM

The best time to use it is any time that you want to reduce glare (thus increasing color saturation and detail) from non-metalic objects and/or darken a blue sky.
You won't get any results worth mentioning when it's overcast or when you shoot indoors.
The effect varies with the subject's angle to the sun, the maximum being 90 degrees. If you point your index finger at the sun with your thumb sticking up like you're pretending a gun, the direction that your thumb is pointing will be the direction of greatest effect.

I've heard from a few people that it is not a good idea to stack the two filters, but check with the maker of the polarizer to see if they think there is any compatibility issue. Generally though, the more glass you have stacked in front of your lens, the tougher it is to realize the quality potential of your lens. Just me? I'd use one or the other.

torresmd Sep 10, 2005 2:28 PM

Thanks for the reply. I went out and took pics without the polarizer in the Arizona desert and felt they are better than with the polarizer. Iwill continue to experiment with it.


granthagen Sep 10, 2005 9:09 PM

I just got back from a trip to Lake Powell, Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon.
In the full sun the polarizer made a big difference in the drama of the scene with huge contrast between the sky and clouds and horizon with a bit more saturation on the rock faces. To me, these incredible vistas beg for drama, but then, I'm not a big fan of subtlety, anyway.

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