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Old Nov 18, 2006, 12:19 PM   #1
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Well i 've been down to jessops today and asked what sort of filter i need to make lights look like stars and so on.The girl in the shop told me a circular polariser would be a good choice because i can change them to how i want them to look and also make things like the clouds look more 3D like. So i bought one for my wide angle lens attachment and doesn't really seem to be making much of a difference to thre pictures.

So i wondered if anyone has used one and which type of light is better to use them in:-)help most appreciated

-Dale-
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 12:45 PM   #2
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A polarizing filter will make colors more saturated (often skies and oceans) and reduce or eliminate reflections (if there is glass between you and the subject, like in a museum). Many people say the polarizer is essential to really good photography.

Books and internet examples show the effect of a polarizer. They cause colors (like blue sky) in the windows of travel agencies' posters to be more deeply colored (saturated). Remember, this filter takes 1 or 2 "stops" of light away, so don't leave it on the camera all the time.

dSLR cameras usually require a circular polarizer. Less expensive linear polarizers are fine for most other models.


A star filter will make lights look like stars. Nice special effect -- it is good for pictures of a city at night, a discotheque, candle-lit dinner table, etc. Not essential otherwise.

A polarizing filter is good, but not to "make lights look like stars". The sales staff should have recognized that you wanted a star filter.

Hope this helps.

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Old Nov 19, 2006, 5:36 AM   #3
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Thanks very much for that saturndudeI had a play about last night and realised that it took the reflections away and i was amazed:-)also made the sky look really blue this morning and the pond look green:lol:

I realised that the images are slightly darker when the polariser is not neccessary.

I will have to wait till next week now or maybe me GF for christmas. To get a star filter
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 6:53 AM   #4
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by the way, to achieve most of polarising effect you need sun on your left or right side. if it's in front or behind you there's no visible effect.

I'm not surprised stor staff didn't know what to offer you, they usually don't know anything besides some of cameras they sell.

linear polarisers may work fine with DSLR (at least with Pentax they do)
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 7:32 AM   #5
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Yeah i've noticed it doesnt work head on. I was trying to shoot the full sun when it was at its lowest,Just setting behind the Riverside. The sky was a lovely colour but the sun was just too much. I had the shutter wide open but it just wouldn't take.
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Old Nov 21, 2006, 12:19 AM   #6
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I have also heard that polarizers work better when you are higher up. I do not know if this means further above sea level or further north (or south) of the earth's equator. Someone will know, I'm sure.

The last time I was far north of the equator (Alberta, Canada, 150 km north of the US state of Montana) I sure wish I could have had a polarizer. I was lucky to have a camera at all, so I'm grateful.

Next time, I'll be really prepared!

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Old Nov 21, 2006, 4:23 PM   #7
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If staff in a camera shop don't know the diference between a CPL or Star Filter then they need a different Job!!

Go onto Ebay and they have loads of good cheap 4 Star Filters and 8 Star Filters.

I bought mine on there for about £5.00 (USD $9.00) then Postage ontop £3.00 ($5.00 USD)

Good luck!!
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 4:00 PM   #8
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saturndude wrote:
Quote:
A polarizing filter will make colors more saturated (often skies and oceans) and reduce or eliminate reflections (if there is glass between you and the subject, like in a museum). Many people say the polarizer is essential to really good photography.

Books and internet examples show the effect of a polarizer. They cause colors (like blue sky) in the windows of travel agencies' posters to be more deeply colored (saturated). Remember, this filter takes 1 or 2 "stops" of light away, so don't leave it on the camera all the time.

dSLR cameras usually require a circular polarizer. Less expensive linear polarizers are fine for most other models.


A star filter will make lights look like stars. Nice special effect -- it is good for pictures of a city at night, a discotheque, candle-lit dinner table, etc. Not essential otherwise.

A polarizing filter is good, but not to "make lights look like stars". The sales staff should have recognized that you wanted a star filter.

Hope this helps.
Very interesting information on filters, thanks for sharing.
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 10:57 PM   #9
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Polarizers do have a bigger effect when you are at higher elevations - the sky is already (normally) darker and the polarizer enhances this effect (at least that's been my experience). At the moment I only have an old linear polarizer, and my Pentax K100 sometimes doesn't expose or focuscorrectly with FA lenses. It works better/more reliablywith my manual lenses.
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Old Mar 12, 2007, 12:24 AM   #10
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Actually it is mostly a matter of shooting direction/position relative to light source.

No matter how good or bad a polarizer it wil have its maximum efectiveness/effect at 90 degrees to the light source.

Another benefit... sometime a problem in low light.... no matter the direction of effect... they still also act as a 1-2 EV ND filter.... that can be useful too.
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