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Old Sep 20, 2002, 1:00 PM   #1
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Default Basic Filter Question

I realize this is a basic photography question, but I'm hopeful that some of the many helpful people here will help an inexperienced, but learning, amatuer photographer out.

I have Nikon Coolpix 5700. I just bought the adapter from Nextphoto, and I bought Hoya UV and circular polarising filters. I'm very happy with this combination, and have used it effectively already. I'm planning to leave the UV filter on all the time. It has a filter factor of 1, so it seems to me there's no downside to leaving it on, and it's protecting the lens assembly and filtering out UV, indoors or out. Does this make sense?

I'm not sure whether there's a reason to leave the circular polariser on all the time or not. The one I got has a filter factor of 3~4, which means it costs me up to two f-stops, which is clearly a downside for indoor photography. The question is, does the circular polariser give me any advantage when shooting indoors, or is it's effect limited to outdoor photography. I'm suspecting that it is, since all the articles I've read use outdoor shots exclusively in their examples, but I've never seen indoor photograph with a PL-Cir discussed.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Old Sep 20, 2002, 1:19 PM   #2
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Unless you want to reduce reflection indoor - other wise the built-in flash will have to work harder and also cut down on external flash (if TTL) range, otherwise it'll throw you off as well unless you've factored it in!

[Edited on 9-20-2002 by NHL]
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Old Sep 20, 2002, 1:23 PM   #3
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look at it this way- accidently smash the UV your out a lot less money than the CP. plus the filter factor. outside in the late afternoon those 2 stops can be kinda useful. indoor shots with light coming thru windows onto reflective surfaces definetely it helps. its a matter of personal taste of what you can deal with or want to deal with

[Edited on 9-20-2002 by sjms]
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Old Sep 30, 2002, 9:16 AM   #4
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There are definite downsides to use of a polarizer even if you don't consider the light loss. Polarizers remove glare. That is usually good. In some cases glare is what gives a certain look to the image. Metal or water with absolutely no sparkle can look quite unnatural. Leaving the filter on as a random thing runs the risk of correcting something that was not a problem. It would be better to evaluate each lighting situation and decide if the polarizer would add anything to the image. If not, don't use it. I own polarizers and would say they are very useful in 10% of the situations I encounter. That leaves 90% where the best place for the filter is in your pocket.

There is nothing wrong with leaving the UV in place. Stacking too many filters can lead to vignetting so it might be best to remove it before mounting the polarizer but that would be something to try and see. Take a photo of the plain blue sky with both in place at full wide angle setting and see if you get dark corners in the image. If you don't, it is OK to leave the UV on full time.
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Old Sep 30, 2002, 10:13 AM   #5
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Thank you for the very useful insights.

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Old Oct 2, 2002, 2:00 PM   #6
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Default polarizers

glare/reflection's a good thing to have since it's the stuff that makes things sparkle. it's just a matter of how much for that great shot. your camera should have a setting that compensates for the +2 factor. Nikon's are very good at this.

if you look at a polarizer solely for the purpose of glare/reflection reduction then you're missing a lot of fun in photo imagery. in addition to glare/reflection control, I use polarizers for color/image enhancement (i.e. - deeper blue skies, make white clouds punch out against a sky background, richer sunset/sunrise colors, deeper landscape colors, cut through a lot of haze in landscape shots).

if you're shooting people/portraiture, parties, etc., the colors are more focused and deep giving the images a more vibrant look.

by the way, it's not a good idea to keep removing the filter off the lens. normally, i carry 2 polarizers. however, for some strange reason, i left one at home during our vacation. ended up switching the 1 polarizer between 3 lenses. short version of the story is that the polarizer slipped out my hand and onto the rock 4' down from me. good thing it didn't break though.
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