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06-09-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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55-300mm and polarizer focus problem

I put a polarizer on my 55-300mm today. At 30mm, it is impossible to get clear focus. In fact, it's horrible. Take off the polarizer and it focuses fine. Up to 180mm or so, it works fine, but beyond that, it can't even be focused manually with the polarizer on.

Is this inherent of polarizers? Or is it the cheap one I bought at Ritz?

Thanks

06-09-2011, 01:41 PM   #2
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Just for fun I dug out a Quantaray (Ritz brand) CPL from my junk box, mounted it on my DA55-300 with a K20D and had no problems with AF at any FL tried. At first, I thought your problem was related to the loss of light coupled with a f5.8 aperture when extended. But if you can't even manually focus there is more to this story. No, it is not inherent to CPLs and even a cheap one should not stop focus. How bright is the environment? Which camera? When you tried MF, where was it actually focused instead of the subject? Maybe a posted shot would help.
06-09-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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K-5. P-mode. 55-300mm at 300mm.



Is it because I was in P mode? It would not let me manually get a crisp image.
06-09-2011, 02:02 PM   #4
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Program mode is not your problem. Unless there is axle grease smeared on the CPL (joke) then its focused SOMEWHERE. The DA55-300 is certainly not an easy lens to MF in low light through a CPL. Try a shot where you can see where its focused, like shooting straight down a sidewalk to a subject 100' away. That way we can see where focus is obtained. Also, I assume you have looked throught the CPL and your eye can focus through it. If so, so can the K-5.

06-09-2011, 02:09 PM   #5
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I'm seeing 300mm at 1/500s, iso200? Could you re-shoot at iso1600 and let us see it? It may be unfocus-blur v. motion-blur at iso200.. a faster shutter speed would help us understand this.

I've been quite happy with my Ritz polarizers BTW..
06-09-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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I'm going to go down to the water again tomorrow and try again. I'm thinking you are probably right about the ISO. And I might use a tripod at ISO 200 just to see.

I use a Ritz polarizer on my 18-55mm, and it works just fine.
06-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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This is a fire station a couple blocks away. First with no polarizer.



Now, with polarizer. Something is definitely odd.



It's a hazy day, but I don't know why the polarizer would be so problematic.
06-09-2011, 05:32 PM   #8
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Its a bad CPL. I had one that sometime would work sometimes not depending on the weather (hot, humid, cold...). They can distort the pic! Take it back or throw it away. Sorry...

06-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #9
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I figured it must be defective somehow. It was an el cheapo that came in a blister pak with a UV filter. I bought the same setup for my 18-55mm and that one works fine.

NOW I'm doubting my logic of putting dirt cheap filters on good lenses. Maybe I should "step up" to a name brand. Who makes a high quality CPL?
06-09-2011, 08:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by napawino Quote
I figured it must be defective somehow. It was an el cheapo that came in a blister pak with a UV filter. I bought the same setup for my 18-55mm and that one works fine.

NOW I'm doubting my logic of putting dirt cheap filters on good lenses. Maybe I should "step up" to a name brand. Who makes a high quality CPL?
I'd recommend a Marumi Super DHG CPL:

Polarizing filters test - Marumi DHG Super Circular P.L.D 72 mm - Lenstip.com
06-11-2011, 10:49 AM   #11
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bad cpl

i had the same thing happen! after some test shots and a question to the forum the conclusion was yes a cpl can go bad. it was an old tiffen cpl that always worked fine on my old zoom but when pulled out and used on my brand new 55-300 uggh! at the long end, so i purchased a new decent cpl and no problems. good luck
06-11-2011, 06:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by napawino Quote
NOW I'm doubting my logic of putting dirt cheap filters on good lenses. Maybe I should "step up" to a name brand. Who makes a high quality CPL?
MARUMI do !
06-12-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
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Is it possible that this is a linear polarizor? As far as I can tell the OP never stated that it was a CPL.

Regardless he needs to a different polarizor.
06-12-2011, 10:40 AM   #14
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I would advice the OP not to buy a polarizer less than $50.
06-12-2011, 04:47 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I would advice the OP not to buy a polarizer less than $50.
I will take that advice.

Thanks all.
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