Results 1 to 15 of 34

Thread: Fun with Polarizers

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    SNC1923
    Guest

    Fun with Polarizers

    I took a rare solo ride through the Kern River Canyon (Hwy 178) this afternoon in search of some photos. What I ended up with was an object lesson in the many benefits of using a polarizing filter. If you're not familiar with them, polarizers are adjustable, dark filters that adjust the incoming light. They work best when photographing a 90 degree angle to the sun.

    First and foremost, a polarizing filter can be used to bring out the blue in the sky.







    I'm pleased to note that the self-cleaning sensor on my Canon 40D seems to be working quite well.

    A second benefit of a polarizing filter is its ability to saturate the image by reducing or eliminating reflections, in this case, on the water's surface.



    Kern River taken at 17mm (28mm equivalent)



    Kern River taken at 85mm (135mm equivalent)

    The third benefit of a polarizing filter is that it functions also as a neutral density filter. The dark filter reduces the amount of incoming light by two f-stops. This is true of all polarizers, though specific neutral density filters can be purchased in 4, 8, or more stops of density.

    Why would anyone want this? Sometimes you want to shoot something with a low shutter speed in bright daylight. You can lower the ISO to 100, and you can stop the lens down to f/32, but sometimes you need a little bit more. That's where an ND filter, or in this case, a PL filter, comes in handy.



    1.3 secs. @ f/32



    2 secs. @ f/32



    8/10 sec. @ f/29



    1/2 sec. @ f/29

    It should go without saying the four photos above were all taken on a sturdy tripod. A darker ND filter would have resulted in slower shutter speeds and a more "painterly" quality to the water.

    Click on any image for EXIF info.

  2. #2
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,030
    Feb. 17, 2008 -- Nikon D300 & Hoya circular polarizer.

    The white 1967 R60/2 in the foreground causes the exposure to darken the sky even more.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jeff Dean − Tucson, Arizona − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/2014-r1200rt.htm − MSF Chief Instructor (1994)
    Friend of the Marque (1999) − Prof. Gerhard Knochlein BMW Classic Award (2013)
    2014 & 2007 R1200RTs, R60/2s, R67/3, R51/3 ↔ 1949 R24

  3. #3
    rocketman
    Guest
    Nice shots!

    I discovered the G9 has an ND filter built in, reduces the f stop by a factor of 2 (I think?0 I used it a few times on my recent trip for some of the really birght daylight high noon shots. I'll have dig those out when I get a chance.


    Love the water fall shots at slow speeds very nice effect.

    RM

  4. #4
    SNC1923
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    Nice shots!

    I discovered the G9 has an ND filter built in, reduces the f stop by a factor of 2 (I think?0 I used it a few times on my recent trip for some of the really birght daylight high noon shots. I'll have dig those out when I get a chance.


    Love the water fall shots at slow speeds very nice effect.

    RM
    I think it's actually a factor of 3 (3X). I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I was sure impressed to find it there. It's mechanical too; you can hear/feel a "thunk" when you deploy it from the menu. Pretty cool. . . .

  5. #5
    rocketman
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    I think it's actually a factor of 3 (3X). I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I was sure impressed to find it there. It's mechanical too; you can hear/feel a "thunk" when you deploy it from the menu. Pretty cool. . . .
    So you have new toy in hand, eh?

    RM

    Toys are good!
    being able to afford them.....




    priceless

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Marin By God County, California
    Posts
    11,639
    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdean View Post
    Feb. 17, 2008 -- Nikon D300 & Hoya circular polarizer.

    The white 1967 R60/2 in the foreground causes the exposure to darken the sky even more.

    Nice photo.


    Nice tankbag.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,030
    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    Nice photo.


    Nice tankbag.
    I think you have one of those too, right Dave?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jeff Dean − Tucson, Arizona − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/2014-r1200rt.htm − MSF Chief Instructor (1994)
    Friend of the Marque (1999) − Prof. Gerhard Knochlein BMW Classic Award (2013)
    2014 & 2007 R1200RTs, R60/2s, R67/3, R51/3 ↔ 1949 R24

  8. #8
    @ the Big Muddy & I-80 bluestune's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    LeClair, IA
    Posts
    319

    Thumbs up

    Outstanding Tom!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1976 R90/6

  9. #9
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Marin By God County, California
    Posts
    11,639

    Polarizing filter

    Anybody using one? Any thoughts on them? Use one for outdoors?
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  10. #10
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,030
    Last edited by bmwdean; 02-19-2008 at 03:11 AM.
    Jeff Dean − Tucson, Arizona − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/2014-r1200rt.htm − MSF Chief Instructor (1994)
    Friend of the Marque (1999) − Prof. Gerhard Knochlein BMW Classic Award (2013)
    2014 & 2007 R1200RTs, R60/2s, R67/3, R51/3 ↔ 1949 R24

  11. #11
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    2,224
    Yes, use it almost exclusively outdoors. I love it for green foliage on rainy or overcast days. It takes away the reflections and deepens the greens. And of course, there are times I want a more dramatic sky, or more emphasis on the clouds, so I use it then, too.
    Dan

  12. #12
    SNC1923
    Guest
    It's an indispensable accessory. Far from a bauble or a gadget, it can have a profound effect on your images. Get one for each filter size you have among your lenses.

    You'd use it at the same times as you would tend to use a pair of polarized sunglasses. It works most effectively when shooting at a 90 degree angle to the sun. And it does all the things Dan outlined above. See the thread Jeff points to for a number of samples.

    I'm not sure if linear polarizers are even still available, but be sure you get a "circular" polarizer as it is what will work with your autofocusing system. Get a good one (Hoya, Tiffen) but you don't need to go crazy (B+W) unless you're a frantic like me.

    Nikon makes an awfully nice one. Theirs used to take a dedicated hood, too. . . .

  13. #13
    1024JLC
    Guest
    Just be careful to not over saturate your photos...

  14. #14
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,631
    My filter is on all the time. It protects my lens and does what a polarizing filter is supposed to do.

  15. #15
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    1,124
    I think the most polarizing is the K&N versus stock paper argument.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •