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04-29-2010, 07:47 PM   #1
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Advice on Polarizer filters

Just wanted to know if polarizing filters will help to bring out the nice vivid colors (like the blue in the sky) that I see in a lot of photos. Also, what type of polarizing filters do you recommend?

04-29-2010, 08:32 PM   #2
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Yes.

I don't recommend filters, but circular is the type for digital cameras. They are also known as CP filters.
04-29-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
Special K: Yes.

I don't recommend filters, but circular is the type for digital cameras. They are also known as CP filters.
Yes, that is generally true of CPS, but Pentax DSLRs can use Liner Polarizers also. I only use LPs on all the glass I mount to my K20d--AF & MF. This discussion comes up now and then.
04-29-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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Polarizers will deflect reflected sunlight and will in turn enhance colors when shooting outdoors in the daylight. I find that if I have a CLP filter on indoors that there is no difference from what I can tell.

I recommend the circular (CPL) kind because you can physicaly turn the filter to adjust the amount of effect you get from the filter and correct me somebody if I am wrong but I do not believe a linear polarizer has that ability.

04-29-2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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KxBlaze: I recommend the circular (CPL) kind because you can physicaly turn the filter to adjust the amount of effect you get from the filter and correct me somebody if I am wrong but I do not believe a linear polarizer has that ability
Okay, I'm correcting you--the LPs are also turned to adjust the effect.
04-29-2010, 10:44 PM   #6
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The CPLs are just less fuss, but give you the same effect of enriching blue skies and significantly reducing reflective glare (off glass and sea for example) when angled correctly. Have a read up on the use of polarising filters before you embark on a shoot with it to get the most out of it.
04-29-2010, 11:12 PM   #7
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Ash: The CPLs are just less fuss,
Ash, cpls are no less fuss than LPs--what do you mean by less fuss?
04-29-2010, 11:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by KxBlaze Quote
Polarizers will deflect reflected sunlight and will in turn enhance colors when shooting outdoors in the daylight. I find that if I have a CLP filter on indoors that there is no difference from what I can tell.

I recommend the circular (CPL) kind because you can physicaly turn the filter to adjust the amount of effect you get from the filter and correct me somebody if I am wrong but I do not believe a linear polarizer has that ability.
Both linear and circular polarizers do (more or less) the same thing, which is to remove or diminish unwanted reflections from non metallic surfaces.
Without getting into the technicalities of why, linear polarizers can interfere with the operation of equipment that use beam splitters.
In Pentax, the autofocus uses a beam splitter, and so may become impaired under certain somewhat limited circumstances.
A linear polarizer will not have any effect on exposure accuracy, or at least no more effect than a circular polarizer would given the same circumstances (except the LX film camera).
I have a mixture of linear and circular polarizers, and I actually find that I prefer the linear ones.
They seem to remove more reflections than my circulars, which is nice if I want more polarization.

04-30-2010, 02:23 AM   #9
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Linear polarizers transmit about a stop more light than circular ones. Trust me, I can explain it but I would send you cross eyed if I explained it.. Which makes me wonder when Hoya came out with a new series of HD circular polarizes that just happened to share that particular trait and marketed them for the high end camera market with extortionate prices...something smells fishy.

Wheatfield : it is my understanding that linear polarizers are much more efficient then circular ones are at removing reflections so your preference for LP's is well placed. I use them too.
04-30-2010, 03:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kangeroo82 Quote
Just wanted to know if polarizing filters will help to bring out the nice vivid colors (like the blue in the sky) that I see in a lot of photos. Also, what type of polarizing filters do you recommend?
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/89963-polarizers-irs.html

This is a very informative thread. Read through the three pages and you know all you probably want to.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/94128-circular-...oated-not.html

This shows some nice examples on the effectiveness of filter coatings

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/95594-circular-polarizers.html

some basics. worth a quick look

Ben
04-30-2010, 03:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Ash, cpls are no less fuss than LPs--what do you mean by less fuss?
You're right - LPs are no more 'fussier' to use, only perhaps to understand their application for a newbie might be more involved. Then again, perhaps not - depends on the person. I have found CPLs giving me the results I want more frequently than when I used LPs the few times I have - I may have misunderstood and given up on them too early, though...
04-30-2010, 03:56 AM   #12
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Couple of points, if I may?

The effect of any polarising filter is maximum with the sun at right angles to the line between you and your subject. In other words, the sun shining down from either your right or your left. When I go flyfishing, I wear polarised sunglasses to see "into" the water. It is very pronounced that vision is best with the sun high and to the right or left.

Having said that, the turning of the polarising filter can compensate for the sun NOT being at the optimal angle to a large extent. So the filter must be turned while looking through the viewfinder, for the effect you want.

Re type of polariser - I used to think that the brand and cost made little difference, but I have since learned that is rubbish. Pay good money for a good one - your entire image is passing through the thing, and can be ruined by a cheap polariser. I have recently graduated up from my previous cheaper ones to the new Hoya Pro range. I have one on my Tamron 18-250 walkabout superzoom, one on my Sigma 10-20 (as the Pro filters have a very thin bezel and don't cause any significant vignetting on the wide angle lens), and one on my new DA15 lens. The filters were not cheap - about $Aus180 each (gulp) but they claim to let in about a stop more light than other, cheaper filters, and so far, I have found this to be apparently true.

Hope that helps
04-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #13
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I plan on using this exclusively with my Pentax SMC-A 35-105mm f3.5 and that only cost me $85. Would it be worth it for me to spend more on the filter than the lens itself? Do I need to spend extra money on a circular polarizer over a linear one if I want to just shoot in Aperature mode? Does the circular polarizer give extra benefit when manually focusing? Also, I should debate whether the 35-105mm lens is better for outdoor shots over the 50mm f1.7 lens. I generally like the look of the 35-105 lens more than I do the 50mm.

Last edited by kangeroo82; 04-30-2010 at 11:57 AM.
04-30-2010, 11:52 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kangeroo82 Quote
Do I need to spend extra money on a circular polarizer over a linear one if I want to just shoot in Aperature mode? Does the circular polarizer give extra benefit when manually focusing?
The only time a circular polarizer will be a benefit will be when the polarization of the beam splitter would be working against the polarization of a linear polarizer.
Cross polarization can effectively blind the AF sensor, but in the real world, this would be a fairly rare situation.
I find that polarizers don't really lend themselves to quick shooting, and so I don't fine manual focus to be a burden when shooting with a polarizer, and I have never run into a situation where the AF in my camera has gone blind because of a linear type filter.

It used to be that one could get very, very good linear polarizers for about the same price as a mediocre circular polarizer, though I don't know for certain if this is still the case.
I suspect that because of all the hype surrounding circular polarizers and how they are a necessity if one is going to shoot with an AF camera, that excellent quality used polarizers are probably available for a fraction of their new cost.

Like most hype, the mythos surrounding circular polarizers is more fiction than fact, and a discerning photographer should be able to turn that to his advantage.
04-30-2010, 03:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Okay, I'm correcting you--the LPs are also turned to adjust the effect.
Oh, I did not know that. So what do they do differently exactly?
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