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Old May 2, 2007, 3:50 PM   #1
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Hi All,

First post, hopefully not too similar to other ones. I did search but couldnt find my exact answer!

I have a D80, and until today was rockin 3 lenses. An 18-35, 60 micro, and 10.5 fisheye. All Nikon.

The 18-35 wasn't doing it for me, i needed something a bit longer so plumped for the 18-200 VR. It arrived today, and I am stoked. Its fantastic, do believe the hype if you havent tried it already.

My question is this ; on all my other lenses (in fact every camera I have ever owned since I was 12 and got an EM) I have always used a Skylight filter or equivalent, and left it on at all times just as protection for the front element. Never really noticed much if any effect, but was happy in the knowledge that they were much cheaper to replace if they ever got damaged. Now with the 18-200 I dont know whether to get a Skylight, or a decent circular polariser and leave on the camera all the time. I've used polarisers before but would appreciate feelings on whether it can just be left on the camera all the time. I shoot mainly outdoors, (plants, building etc). Main concern is not having to take the filter off the camera all the time, what situations is a polariser not a good idea in?

thanks everyone
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Old May 2, 2007, 4:40 PM   #2
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While a polarizer is a very useful filter to have and use, I would not say it should be left on all the time. It works best in bright sunlight (not shade or heavy overcast). It also robs you of about 2 f-stops, so use only under bright conditions is advisable (unless you use a tripod a lot).

The main reason NOT to use it all the time is the loss of 2 f-stops. Now if you can live with that, then, by all means use it.
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Old May 5, 2007, 8:29 AM   #3
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Actually most are only about 1 stop (unless filtering a MAJOR reflection you probably don't want anyways).... but yeah that is a point.... plus if not constantly twirling it (or actually have it on for specific desired in advance purpose) you might actually not get reflections you actually WANT (They both enhance and deminish... vs normal)

Or as I pointed out to someone here a while back a Polariser can make a rainbow REALLY POP (they didn't have)... and can also make it TOTALLY DISSAPEAR....

A polarizer is DEFINATELY NOT A PASSIVE filter!!! It takes paying attention.
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Old May 11, 2007, 5:34 PM   #4
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I have seen it written several times in photo magazines that the digital sensors are not subject to the same color shifts as film, so these filters are not necessary, although I can see no harm in using them. I would think the UV would be preferrable to the skylight, since it eliminates blue scatter and penetrates haze; the skylight has a slight warming effect not needed on the digitals. I have even seen it written that the extra coatings on lenses optimized for digital photography make it unnecessaryto haveany protection, but I disregard that advice myself. Clearglass lens protectors are available that could also be used, if you wish. It should not be necessary to remove these filters - just add the polarizer when you need it and remove it when you do not, but be careful not totighten it excessively lest the two stick together. And remember that cheap filters --especially uncoated ones --can degrade the image. Better to use no fllter that a bad one.

If you haven't already gone through Steve's review of the camera, do so -- it, like all his reviews,serves asa good tutorial on basic operation of the camera.
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Old May 11, 2007, 5:42 PM   #5
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Polarizers should only be used when their effects are desired, ie enhancing blues and greens and removing reflections from non metallic surfaces. Unless you're completely worried about damaging your lens, most other filters don't really serve a purpose, as their effects can be duplicated (and controlled easier) in post processing. The only other filters I commonly use are ND and graduated ND filters.

One other poster mentioned stacking filters. Generally, this is not a good idea, as it typically will result in vignetting and makes flare difficult to avoid.
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