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Old May 28, 2006, 11:01 PM   #1
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Took a trip to Italy and the pics I took with my Panasonic DMCLX1* came out with haze in scenes of green landscapes.* This I would correct with iPhoto by increasing contrast, maybe increasing the color temperature a bit.In comparing my recollections of these scenes with the photos I get on my PowerBook LCD screen, there is not only the haze but the colors aren't as saturated.* There are no bodies of water reflecting light which might cause this haze.* But the sunglasses I'm wearing have polarized lenses, which often give sharper definitions to variations in the greenery, as well as just deeper color saturation (brighter reds, for instance).I'm wondering if a polarizing filter would yield better results.* I don't think there's an exposure change or editing software which would correct the haze or the faded colors.Unfortunately, I can't find polarizing filters for the Panasonic.* I'm guessing outside of DSLRs, there aren't polarizing filters available for digicams.The other problem is bloom from windows in cathedrals or churches.* Even when the windows comprise a small portion of the frame and I center the frame to somewhere other than one of these windows (assuming center-spot metering), the windows come up as a white blob often, even when they're moderately stained windows.* So you have to reduce the exposure and maybe contrast with software to try to get any kind of details with.Either the metering is too sensitive and/or the CCD imaging doesn't have enough HDR?Are these problems/scenarios common?* I was into film photography a long time ago and film seemed to have better contrast (to deal with the haze, with a good polarizing filter) and dynamic range (to photograph the rooves and domes of cathedralswith bright light sources).Anyone find good solutions?
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:15 AM   #2
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wco81, just for the heck of it, try out this link:

http://www.nextphoto.net/

This guy makes custom-machined filter adapters for a number of Nikon Coolpix mega-zoom cameras and for the FZ-20. If you were very good in your last life you might find that one of these will fit on the front of your lens. It depends not only on the inner diameter of the front lens barrel but also on whether there is enough room at the inner lip to hold the adapter's o-ring securely. It's a long shot, but hey.....

You write:
I don't think there's an exposure change or editing software which would correct the haze or the faded colors.

You should post one or two representative photos in the Extreme Makeover section of this site. People with a good bit of experiance in post processing will try to make the images look better. You might be quite surprised at the results.

You also write:

Either the metering is too sensitive and/or the CCD imaging doesn't have enough HDR?Are these problems/scenarios common?� I was into film photography a long time ago and film seemed to have better contrast (to deal with the haze, with a good polarizing filter) and dynamic range (to photograph the rooves and domes of cathedralswith bright light sources).Anyone find good solutions?

Yeah, film still seems to have an edge on digital as far as dynamic range goes, but some of the really high-end D-SLR's come pretty close. There are ways of extending the DR of digital images that involve taking at least two shots of the same scene, one underexposed and one overexposed and then blending them together in the computer to get one pic with the best of both images. It takes some trouble to set up and then do the blending, but the results can be impressive.

But, post those photos and you'll get some good advice on how to tweak them!

Grant
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Old May 29, 2006, 1:25 AM   #3
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OK I just posted them.* Unfortunately, I had to resize them to fit under 250kb.* The original file sizes are 2.4 MB and up.* These are 16:9 pics with 8 Megapixel resolution using the higest quality setting without using the RAW or TIFF settings.http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...p;forum_id=89I will check out the filter site.* I'm reluctant to go to DSLR because of the size requirements.* Editing helps a bit but it's a tedious, manual process using sliders.* Maybe I need to look into better batch-processing editing software.
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Old May 29, 2006, 3:29 AM   #4
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That haze ain't caused by water, it's water vapour and smoke particles in air which cause that effect.

And polarizer wouldn't work well, its effect is strongest at 90 degree angle from sun so it would only work for certain angle shots.




Here's one software for making HDR images.
http://www.hdrsoft.com/
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Old May 29, 2006, 10:00 AM   #5
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Someone on another board attributed to glare falling on the lens from oblique angles.* So a lens hood or using a hand to shade the side light would alleviate the problem.
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Old May 29, 2006, 6:24 PM   #6
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wco81 writes:

Someone on another board attributed to glare falling on the lens from oblique angles.� So a lens hood or using a hand to shade the side light would alleviate the problem.

I don't like it. Earlier in the thread you allude that just about every pic you shot outdoors had this problem. Seems to me that since the light would be coming from a slightly different direction as you moved around and the day progressed that only some of the pics would display this problem. Also, why would the haze appear the worst in the distance and clear with proximity to the camera just like it would if you were dealing with atmospheric haze?

Now, I'm not saying that oblique light couldn't contribute to lack of contrast and detail, but it would affect the foreground also and not follow the orderly progression from heavy to nearly nil, background to foreground.

I'm a believer in lens hoods and you should probably get one, but that isn't the feature attraction, here.

Of course, that's just one man's opinion.

Grant
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Old May 29, 2006, 10:48 PM   #7
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Good point.One thing is that I do try to photograph with the sun behind me mostly.
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 11:06 PM   #8
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I'm going to try a UV filter.* Obviously, you can't use a screw-on filter for a pickup-and-shoot digicam.But Cokin has a couple of options:One is a holder which attaches by a magnet to a steel ring you affix on your lens.* However, that won't work with the camera I have.So I'm going to try on a holder which attaches by using the tripod socket.http://www.cokin.com/shoeholder.htmlAccording to the Cokin site, UV filters should cut down some of the haze:http://cokin.com/ico7-p4.html?name=#1Adorama.com lists some difference between the A230, A231 and A232 UV filters.http://www.adorama.com/CKA231.htmlThe holder and the A231 filters are just under $30 shipped from Adorama, through Amazon.* Worth a shot for that amount.
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 11:42 PM   #9
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It would be nice if you could take a few test shots on a hazy afternoon by just holding a UV filter (borrowed from a friend?) in front of the lens and snapping off a few, then shooting the same scene sans filter and see whether you realize any benefit.

I've heard that digital sensors are not as sensitive in the UV range as film, so that a UV filter may well have minimal to no effect on cutting haze in digital cameras.

Might be interesting to post a question asking other forum members who use a UV filter on their digital cameras if they see any benefit aside from helping protect the front lens element from sand and impact damage.

Grant
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Old Jul 1, 2006, 1:38 AM   #10
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OK I got the Cokin filter holder and a UV 231 filter.Took pairs of shots on a sunny afternoon.Don't see any difference as far as haze.What I get is longer exposures with the filter using the auto exposure mode of my Panasonic LX-1.* The filter doesn't look that dark.* If it's fooling the meter into longer shutters, then it's not compensating because the pictures clearly look overexposed in comparison.* They look brighter and more faded in some parts.I could go shutter-priority but then it would just make it use larger apertures would be my guess.Is this a common experience with UV filters and auto exposure metering?
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