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Old Apr 9, 2007, 9:09 PM   #1
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The pictures go in this order 12 zoom with no filter, 12x zoom with Polarizer, no zoom and no filter, no zoom with polarizer.These pictures are 100% cropped.You can see a clear difference in the zoomed pictures but not so much the non zoomed ones. What could the problem be? It's a Targus brand polarizer, maybe it's just incredibly cheap?

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Old Apr 9, 2007, 9:26 PM   #2
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The exif on the first shot shows a shutter speed of 1/30s at f3.3 which is way too slow for a full telephoto. The rule of thumb used to be that you need 1/focal lenght which means you would need a shutter speed of 1/400s to guarantee a shake free shot. Generally the pana OIS will give you a couple of stops over that meaning you could get away with 1/100 for a reasonably stable shot. Obviously you have steady hands and shot 1 has worked.

However when you put a polarizer on you generally lose 2 stops of light. You have only lost 1 stop and have an exposure of f3.3 1/15s. This time you did not manage to keep the camera still and what you are seeing is camera shake.

In the non zoomed you have 1/50 and 1/30s shutter speeds which is enough to stop camera shake and hence you do not see the problem.

I would try running similar tests in bright sunshine where you have an adequate shutter speed and I suspect that you will find that the polarizer is not the issue.
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 9:29 PM   #3
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Ok, I will use a tripod and set the camera manually and take the pictures all the same.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 10:02 PM   #4
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Ok here are the new pictures, it got dark outside so I had to change the subject. Anyway the first is with the polarizer, the second is identical settings but with no polarizer, the third is no polarizer with adjusted settings. All were taken using a tripod and a 2 second timer.

So what do you think?
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 6:14 AM   #5
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What Rafe said!

There are situations that call for a polariser and situations that don't.

99% of shots are in the second category.

When you buy a cheap polariser (or any other piece of glass), you usually get what you pay for — or maybe a bit less.
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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Rafinmelb says right things.

Yet I sometimes have soft portion of images when using a polarizer even in sunny environs, when the polarizer doesn't stop down at "dangerous" speeds.

Polarizers are used to eliminate reflections from water, glass, leaves...
They saturate pics, esp. skies and leaves, (the effect can be too exaggerated if you use HIGH SAturation in camera setting and a polarizer) and make clouds more evident in the blue sky (sometimes they hive a slight green or cyan cast to clouds, dependently from WB, but this can be easily corrected in PP).

The best effect is when the sun is 90° left or right from the direction in which you re shooting. Less effect when you shoot towards sun or with sun behind you.

Great effect. in using a polarizer (and tripod) to achieve moving water effect, by shooting at a cascade (better if in the shade) with F/8 and the slowest shutter speed possible (beware not to burn Highlights).

TIP: the c. 2 stops that the polarizer takes, could force (in P mode) a largeaperture of F/4 or even F/2,8 in the landscapes shots.
Even if these apert. have less DOF (but very slight in compact cams and depending from the distance of focus point) these are the ones in which softness of image, CA and other problems are more evident.
Generally min. apertures (F/8, F/11 or in dSLR F/16, 22) tend to minimize CA and also the effect of any filter, but I recommend to shoot in A mode with the polarizer and at F/5,6 ap. maybe the one in which you have the best image quality from the Leica lens, if you use a FZ UZ model.

Francesco Raffaele


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