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02-02-2018, 06:59 PM   #1
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Polarizers for DA15mm

Ok, a while back I posted a thread about using a UV Filter as a protective piece of glass for my lenses, lots of wonderful suggestions, I ended up with getting Hoya ones that seemed to compete strongly with the B+W and I have been happy with the results.

But now I think it's time I grew up and delved into the world of Polarizers Thing is I really know very little about them, I get that they defeat reflections and enhance blue skies etc which is my main reasoning for intention of purchase, but are all polarizers equal? Do I need to take the UV filter off before hand? Im guessing so. I'm looking for a 52mm polarizer, so that it can fit the DA15, FA 50mm, DFA 100mm and 24mm Pentax-A (for FF) (even tho some of those are 49mm threads, 52mm gives me slightly more lenses to put it on, I'll use a step up ring).

Currently I use ETTR principles when taking landscape shots of the sky, typically spot metering on the clouds, locking exposure etc so not to blow the highlights, clouds and sky can look great but the land itself sometimes heavily underexposed. I'm hoping a polarizer can help change that by darkening the sky for me and allowing me a better exposure for the land etc.

Are all polarizers equal? Do I need to be looking for something specific? Educate Bruce!

TIA!

Bruce

02-02-2018, 07:54 PM   #2
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As in UV filters, polarizers share the same constraints. I'd stick with brands like B+W, the top Hoya series and so forth. On something like the 15, be sensitive to how much you dial in the filer and your angle to the light. You can get a severe gradient across the sky. That said, they still can be quite effective on wide angle when used properly. I would also recommend low profile. Thing is, on the DA15, if you get it in 49mm, you can still use the built in lens hood - it may be worth getting a couple different size CPLs for your most used lenses. The specific filter I know fits inside the hood (because I've used it) is the B+W XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission MRC-Nano Filter. I know you're hanging upside down relative to where I sit, but for reference, this one:
B+W 49mm XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission Circular 66-1081470

And yes, take off the UV. Stacking filters of any type if not necessary is to be avoided for all the reasons there's such a debate on filters to start with.
02-02-2018, 07:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote

Are all polarizers equal? Do I need to be looking for something specific? Educate Bruce!

TIA!

Bruce
They are like everything else, some are better than others. To get a decent polarizer you don't have to spend a fortune, but beware of the really cheap ones. I would stick with a reputable source, because I think there may be counterfeits out there. A bad filter can blur your photos, it is an extra piece of glass. However your 52 mm filter is not going to work for your DA 15, you won't be able to use the hood with a step up ring. There are slim polarizers too that will work better with certain lenses that can tend to vignette.
02-02-2018, 08:20 PM   #4
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I have a 62mm Manfrotto polariser, for use with my DFA 28-105, and DA 18-135. It's very good, with a very low profile. I expect the 49mm version would allow deployment of the hood on the DA15.

However, I don't really recommend polarising filters on UWA lenses because of the sky gradients. I doubt you'd get much use out of one anyway. On the other hand, ND filters or even graduated ND filters may get more use.

02-02-2018, 08:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
However your 52 mm filter is not going to work for your DA 15, you won't be able to use the hood with a step up ring.
Considering how the lens hood protrudes from the DA15 when collapsed, I doubt even a step up ring will be able to clear it. You might have to put a blank filter between it and the step up ring, however doing so might cause issues with vignetting.

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
On the other hand, ND filters or even graduated ND filters may get more use.
When using GND filters for use with wide lenses you WILL have to invest in a square filter system - which isn't exactly a cheap venture
02-02-2018, 08:49 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
As in UV filters, polarizers share the same constraints. I'd stick with brands like B+W, the top Hoya series and so forth. On something like the 15, be sensitive to how much you dial in the filer and your angle to the light. You can get a severe gradient across the sky. That said, they still can be quite effective on wide angle when used properly. I would also recommend low profile. Thing is, on the DA15, if you get it in 49mm, you can still use the built in lens hood - it may be worth getting a couple different size CPLs for your most used lenses. The specific filter I know fits inside the hood (because I've used it) is the B+W XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission MRC-Nano Filter. I know you're hanging upside down relative to where I sit, but for reference, this one:
B+W 49mm XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission Circular 66-1081470

And yes, take off the UV. Stacking filters of any type if not necessary is to be avoided for all the reasons there's such a debate on filters to start with.
One tiny thing to be aware of. A circular polarizer and the 15's screw on hood are sometimes a bit too friendly. Separating the two can be be a tad twiddly if you try to snuggle up the cap too much.

...and BTW that's the same filter I use on mine. Works well with a light touch.

---------- Post added 02-02-18 at 10:52 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote

When using GND filters for use with wide lenses you WILL have to invest in a square filter system - which isn't exactly a cheap venture
Yeah, learning that now. :/
02-02-2018, 08:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
As in UV filters, polarizers share the same constraints. I'd stick with brands like B+W, the top Hoya series and so forth. On something like the 15, be sensitive to how much you dial in the filer and your angle to the light. You can get a severe gradient across the sky. That said, they still can be quite effective on wide angle when used properly. I would also recommend low profile. Thing is, on the DA15, if you get it in 49mm, you can still use the built in lens hood - it may be worth getting a couple different size CPLs for your most used lenses. The specific filter I know fits inside the hood (because I've used it) is the B+W XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission MRC-Nano Filter. I know you're hanging upside down relative to where I sit, but for reference, this one:
B+W 49mm XS-Pro Kaesemann High Transmission Circular 66-1081470

And yes, take off the UV. Stacking filters of any type if not necessary is to be avoided for all the reasons there's such a debate on filters to start with.
$50 is ok, not a ridiculous price to pay, and I take your point about different filter for different lenses as in the case with my DA15mm currently in that it does have a UV filter on it 'permanently' and when adding on a ND filter (tut tut) for a shot etc vignetting does occur, but I can usually work around it (ie the first non ND shot of the scene with quick exposure is fine, no vignetting, it's only the slow mo water stuff frame that has vignetting, and that means a crop at the bottom usually only (as water doesn't live in the sky often )
Good to know that one fits on the DA15mm and allows for the hood to pass. I kinda want to see shots now with the DA15mm and a polarizer on, see if the 'bell' thing is happening or not etc.

What about ND filter and Polarizers then? Which order of putting them on is right? I ask this as I live in the Blue Mountains, plenty of bright aussie blue skies and water falls, I already use ND filters, I have 2, one is not that dark, the other very dark (which I seldom use), I know the polarizer darkens things somewhat so I'm thinking it may assist in getting that extra second in some shots with the lighter ND filter which doesn't (on some bright days) manage to extend the exposure much, but this also giving way to helping to control the overall exposure of the image by way of the polarizing benefits (ie it takes care of the sky and clouds).


QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
They are like everything else, some are better than others. To get a decent polarizer you don't have to spend a fortune, but beware of the really cheap ones. I would stick with a reputable source, because I think there may be counterfeits out there. A bad filter can blur your photos, it is an extra piece of glass. However your 52 mm filter is not going to work for your DA 15, you won't be able to use the hood with a step up ring. There are slim polarizers too that will work better with certain lenses that can tend to vignette.
Yep thanks for that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Considering how the lens hood protrudes from the DA15 when collapsed, I doubt even a step up ring will be able to clear it. You might have to put a blank filter between it and the step up ring, however doing so might cause issues with vignetting.



When using GND filters for use with wide lenses you WILL have to invest in a square filter system - which isn't exactly a cheap venture
Yeh nah it doesn't, with the DA15mm it has to be the filter only really and nothing else to avoid vignette.

Ok you lost me at the last part a bit GND is gradual neutral density filter, similar to a polarizer I guess? But if wanting to use that on a 15-24mm then yer suggesting those large square filter thingies are a better option (but more expensive)? Honestly I think I'm looking towards the future, I just want to make a right purchasing decision (which may involve putting off on buying any filter for now and saving funds if that means big square thingies).
I get that polarizers are used for different things, such as taking a pic of a car, a stream, a waterfall (and no sky), but then also just mega wide landscape sky ones too. Perhaps I get a 49mm polarizer for use on the FA50 and DFA 100, for those stream and car shots etc, and then work towards a different system for wider lenses down the road?
02-02-2018, 09:10 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Two points. Polarizer reduces light by ~2 stops. When rotating CPL do not turn all the way, stop before it gets too dark. How to Use a Polarizing Filter

02-02-2018, 11:10 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Ok you lost me at the last part a bit GND is gradual neutral density filter, similar to a polarizer I guess?
They can mimic a polariser, however Graduated Neutral Density* filters come in several grades** that allow you to gradually attenuate the light coming from bright parts of a scene. They are very popular with landscape photographers as they allow you to control the dynamic range of the scene in front of your lens. It is possible to capture a scene in one shot with an GND filter that would require a lot of mucking about in post processing to accomplish. Square filter systems also have very strong ND filters made for them. And the upshot of a square filter system is you can use it with any lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Perhaps I get a 49mm polarizer for use on the FA50 and DFA 100, for those stream and car shots etc, and then work towards a different system for wider lenses down the road?
That would be the most practical solution, you can still use the 49mm filter on the DA15 if you choose.

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
Two points. Polarizer reduces light by ~2 stops.
Unless it is a linear polarizer, which only attenuate 1 stop on average. Hoya claim to make a rather expensive Circular polarizer that only attenuates 1 stop - I suspect it is just a linear polarizer in Hoya HD Drag. The only difference between a C/Pol and L/Pol filter is the quarter wave plate.


*I'll use the abbreviation GND for the sake of brevity.
** apart from the commonly used ND values of 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2 [ i'm quoting from Lee filters here, which I personally work with] you can also get variations of very hard to very soft transitions between the clear and dark portions of the filter, which allow you to control how steeply the attenuation kicks in. you don't have to buy a complete set - you can get away with just three GND filters of varying strength as with square filter systems allow you to stack the filters and combine their strength.* Fair warning* Lee filters are very expensive, but truth be told: I have had the same set [that has been added to every now and then] for over 12 years, their filters are built to last.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-02-2018 at 11:23 PM.
02-03-2018, 02:41 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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You can get a decent result with a empty old filter and a step-up filter.
This way my 62mm works with most of my lens, but gets more use on the 21mm and the 18-135.
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02-03-2018, 03:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielblues Quote
You can get a decent result with a empty old filter and a step-up filter.
This way my 62mm works with most of my lens, but gets more use on the 21mm and the 18-135.
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I did the same as well.
I just took the glass out of an old filter and that got me past the hood to be able to use a step up ring.
02-03-2018, 05:03 AM   #12
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A polarizing filter with wide angle lenses tend not to work well together, especially when you have a lot of sky in the image. The angle of polarization varies continuously with the angle from the sun. With a lens wider than about 28mm (in 35mm film terms) the sky will be unevenly polarized.
02-03-2018, 04:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
A polarizing filter with wide angle lenses tend not to work well together
Of course how much polarization you use is up to you and your aesthetic sensibilities, some people I know sometimes just use a polarizer for the light attenuation.
02-03-2018, 05:19 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Of course how much polarization you use is up to you and your aesthetic sensibilities, some people I know sometimes just use a polarizer for the light attenuation.
That is good to know, I used a new B+W CPL on my DA 15 and did notice the sky being different shades of blue, so I had planned on just using it on other non-UWA lenses instead. The new MRC coated B+W's claim only 1 1/2 stops of light lost.
Love the pics of your new beastie! He is handsome so post more. Don't you know everyone loves cat pictures and videos?
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