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06-21-2015, 08:34 PM   #1
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Circular polarizer for whale watching?

I was about to order a Marumi Super DHG CPL in 62mm for my Pentax 18-135 as my first polarizing filter with a step-up ring to let me use it on my Pentax D-FA 100mm Macro as well. But now I'm wondering if I shouldn't get the 86mm filter to use on my Sigma 150-500 with another step-up ring for the 18-135.
I was primarily getting the CPL because we are visiting the Grand Canyon and Yosemite on our trip. But we will be taking two whale watching trips as well. I will be using the 18-135 on the whale watching trip if the weather is iffy but intend to break out Sigma at first opportunity.
So, should I spend the extra money for the bigger filter?
And secondly, would a CPL be more trouble than it is worth while whale watching?

06-21-2015, 09:14 PM   #2
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Circular polarisers are easy to use, so if the bigger one is not too much more, that would make sense. I would figure the 150-500 would come in handy for whale watching as the boats usually try not to get too close to the whales.
06-21-2015, 10:30 PM   #3
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A polarizing filter can:
1. cut reflections which is useful for example after the rain, as reflections of wet surfaces reduce contrast,
2. and to make sky darker blue--when not using a wide angle lens
But for ocean it is often not a good idea because the sparkle due to sun reflecting off water is what makes it not look flat,
and often seeing below the water surface is also not what you want.
Not saying you may not want a polarizing filter when on a whale watch--but it is not a given that it is a good idea, and if you do use it you likely will want to turn it to only partial polarizing, for above reason 1.
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