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Old Jan 5, 2008, 3:20 PM   #1
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The subject of polarizers has come up occasionally, so I thought some people might be interested in my experiments yesterday, and some examples of with/without the filter to get a better idea of what it can do for you (and more importantly, what it can't do). The filter is darker than clear glass, so you'll always lose light (exposure is different - you'll have to compensate either by using a bigger aperture or a slower shutter speed).

Yesterday I received one of my Christmas gifts - a B+W circular polarizer (77mm) and a couple of step up rings. Up until now all my experience has been with a linear polarizer I bought years ago and used with my old manual camera. I've used it a couple of times with a dSLR, with both the M 50mm 1.7 and the Phoenix macro lens (the only two lenses I now have with 49mm threads - what the polarizer has). I've had some excellent results with it, but it hasn't been predictable - I've occasionally had exposure problems and focus problems with the linear polarizer. There have been several times when I've wanted some type of polarizer that would fit the A*300 - with 77mm threads, there's no way I could make the 49mm filter work. So that's what I got with my B&H gift certificate - a large circular polarizer.

Typically, the filter arrived on a rainy day. One of the effects I've enjoyed with the linear polarizeris darkening blue skies and extra color saturation on a bright day. The first thing I noticed about it was that it didn't have the dot on it that my old linear polarizer had. No problem, it isn't that necessary anyway. Go outside, turn the ring and it seemed like nothing happened - light was that bad and diffused. How to tell if the polarizer works? No problem, I found a car parked nearby and could tell it works very well.

Picture without any polarizing effect (K10, DA*50-135, CP and 67-77 step-up ring)- notice the back window of the car:



Twist the ring on the polarizer and now the back window looks like:



The effect isn't noticeable in most of the shot, but it made a difference when it comes to the reflection on the car.

A second experiment. This time I used the Vivitar 104 macro lens, CP and the 52-77mm step up ring. It shows how useful a polarizer can be for shooting flowers and things botanical. First, without any polarizing effect:



A turn of the polarizer and you get:



These are all full frame pictures and have had no levels adjustment - the only pp I did was to run them through Neat Image, resized them and added a little USM to add back in the sharpness lost. As you can see, you don't get vignetting when you step up (hint, buy a filter that fits your largest lens threads).

As a final note, I put it on the DA 12-24 lens and didn't notice any vignetting. This lens has 77mm threads also, so I don't need a ring with it. So far I'm very happy with my Christmas presents!


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Old Jan 5, 2008, 4:44 PM   #2
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Nice info,nice examples and thaks for posting this...I still want that 12-24...

Larry
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 5:02 PM   #3
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what a great show and tell, you were able to demonstrate the effects of it quite well! i have two, one in 62mm the other in 58mm but never use them. i probably should sell them and buy an 82mm and some step up rings like you harriet.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 7:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for that Mtngal. A CP filter is on my shopping list this next week!

cheers
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 8:32 PM   #5
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The step up rings are more because I wanted a good filter - I know some of the problems you can have with a cheap filter. Some day I want to be able to afford both the 67mm and the 52mm polarizers, but can't at the moment. The other advantage to my set-up is that the inexpensive rings I have are lighter than filters, and my camera bag keeps getting heavier and heavier. My hubby asked if I needed a new bag while I tried topack what I wanted to carry on a regular basis into the Slingshot 200. There's no way I want a bigger bag - I can pack more weight into the 200 than I probably should carry, and a bigger bag would be worse!
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 9:17 PM   #6
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
The step up rings are more because I wanted a good filter - I know some of the problems you can have with a cheap filter.¬* Some day I want to be able to afford both the 67mm and the 52mm polarizers, but can't at the moment.¬* The other advantage to my set-up is that the inexpensive rings I have are lighter than filters, and my camera bag keeps getting heavier and heavier.¬* My hubby asked if I needed a new bag while I tried to¬*pack what I wanted to carry on a regular basis into the Slingshot 200.¬* There's no way I want a bigger bag - I can pack more weight into the 200 than I probably should carry, and a bigger bag would be worse!
Harriet,

Thanks for the info
I just have not had much chance to use my 300mm lens in two months after getting a relatively inexpensive Pro 1 cp. I also have got a 67-77 adaptor for my Zenitar 67mm thread too.
The step ring is not that expensive in ebay.

Daniel
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 9:43 PM   #7
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Hi Harriet, I have some B&H filters, but have not thought of using them on anything but my film cameras, but your demonstration has inspired me to dig them out, thanks.

Tom
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Old Jan 6, 2008, 8:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
There have been several times when I've wanted some type of polarizer that would fit the A*300 - with 77mm threads, there's no way I could make the 49mm filter work
Same problem here Harriet, I have the CP, but it's 49mm ... I do have some 49mm lenses but the majority are larger. Ishould considergoing your way, I always liked using a CP, but haven't done so for a while. Many thanks ... Jack
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 11:53 PM   #9
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I decided to add on to this topic rather than do a "polarizer, part 2" thread. The weather has been lovely recently - no marine layer, no haze, and very clear skies. So today I put the polarizer on and went out to see if a circular polarizer is as effective at darkening skies as a linear polarizer might be. I didn't take comparison shots (didn't have a lens with me that would fit the 49mm threads). However, going by memory, I think it is just as effective (I wonder if anyone can figure out exactly what this is).



I was at just about the perfect angle to the sun for the picture above, so I got the maximum effect.

This second one wasn't at as good of an angle. I suspect some people wouldn't like the extreme "falling away" lines on this one, but I rather like it the way it is. It's just kind-of fun, something different rather than an exact rendition of a pretty building.



I'm having a great time playing with all my Christmas toys.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 1:58 AM   #10
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A polorized blue sky is so nice. Thanks for all your pictures. I was particularly impressed with the car and the leaves. It is not a big difference the filter made, but just enough to make the picture look like real life. I had a polorizing filter for my film camera, but haven't got one yet for my DL. You have to stop posting these or my LBA will turn into FBA!

Glenn
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