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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Polarizing Filter OR Neutral Density Filter
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08/03/2004 09:19:12 AM · #1
If iam to buy one of these two, what is a priority do you reckon.
08/03/2004 09:24:50 AM · #2
they are for completely different uses.

a polarizer will help remove glare from water, and glass, and help saturate skies, and foliage.

and ND filter will allow you to use a slower shutter speed in high light situations - they come in different grades of darkness - ie. stop down more or less depending on the filter.

in general i would say a polarizing filter is more usefull in every day scenarios.


08/03/2004 09:34:26 AM · #3
I agree with soup--a polarizing filter would be my first priority. In fact, I use mine frequently on outdoor shoots. It has the added benefit of acting like a very light ND filter--though not a benefit if you forget to take it off when you move inside.
08/03/2004 09:36:54 AM · #4
would a lens hood help in elminating the glare from water or reflections of glass, or would i still need the polarizer for this
08/03/2004 09:38:57 AM · #5
Purchase a polarizing filter first! It will cut down glare on any non-metalic surfaces creating richer color saturation and greater contrast. (water, foliage, glass,...) A polarizing filter can also double as a nuetral density filter because it should take 1 1/2 to 2 stops of light off your exposure as well.
08/03/2004 10:10:52 AM · #6
Originally posted by Shadowfax:

would a lens hood help in elminating the glare from water or reflections of glass, or would i still need the polarizer for this


A lens hood shields lightsources which are outside the picture and prevents them from affecting the colors in your image in a negative way (lens flare).

A polariser affects the glare (=polarised reflections) from objects within your image.

08/03/2004 10:18:46 AM · #7
Originally posted by Shadowfax:

would a lens hood help in elminating the glare from water or reflections of glass, or would i still need the polarizer for this


A lens hood helps eliminate flare caused by a bright light source shining on the lens at an angle. Flare will either wash out your image or create interesting artifacts on the image. It's different from glare, caused by reflections of light off of surfaces or dust particles (which polarizers can help control).

An example of intentional flare:
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08/03/2004 11:43:38 AM · #8
Originally posted by Shadowfax:

would a lens hood help in elminating the glare from water or reflections of glass, or would i still need the polarizer for this


Yes. A lens hood does help, but not quite at the level of a polarizer. The objective of the polarizer is to push the light rays into the lens at right angles to the sensor/film plane. This reduces the amount of light that bounces around inside the lens and reduces glare and improves color saturation at the same time. Most lens hoods are covered on the interior with a flat black surface that is non reflective. This helps.
08/03/2004 12:21:19 PM · #9
Another use of polarizers is to proliferate certain colour textures, as in plumage, animal coats and so on.

The only ND filters I ever use are graduated NDs, to darken part of an image, especially to darken washed out skies.
08/03/2004 12:30:06 PM · #10
About the only point of using a non graduated ND as far as I know is to slow an exposure enough to de-populate architectural shots, or get those post apocaliptic empty freeway/city images. By increasing the time an exposure takes by quite a lot, everything that is not static is eliminated. Neat effect, but used once in a blue moon. Get the polarizer, It has lots of uses.
08/04/2004 04:39:57 AM · #11
Everyone, thank you all very much. Your insight really helped. thanks
08/04/2004 10:38:01 AM · #12
If you've ever had polarized sunglasses you can judge how a polarizing filter works. Fishermen use them to help see things at or under the surface of the water in bright sunlight. When driving they will elimniate most glare reflecting from your hood and the top of your dashboard. The brighter the sunlight, the more dramatic the effect. Wearing them also helps you to know how your camera will see a scene before you shoot it.
08/04/2004 11:09:09 AM · #13
I would set the polarizer to priority though of course it depends on what your going to do with it.

Polarizers capture a light so the can also work as a low capturing ND filters.
08/04/2004 11:31:24 AM · #14
Just remember that when using a polarizing filter your results with it are highly dependent on your angle of view to the subject, as well as, the angle of the lens plane to the sun, and the sun's angle in the sky. You will have to rotate the outer rim of the polarizing filter between 0 and 180 degrees to get the effect that you wish (elimination of glare or dark sky/white clounds). It's best that the lens be 45 degrees to the sun for the optimum effect. Also, if you decide to use wide angle lens, be aware that you can have areas in the sky putting out different amounts of polarized light and this may cause some patch areas in the sky on your image so that it doesn't look natural.

All in all, I don't see why you don't get both a polarizer and neutral density filter...they aren't that expensive and each will serve a purpose. A ND filter is more useable for cameras that have limited high shutter speeds, such as the Olympus E10 and E20 that go no higher than 1/650th sec, but the graduated ND filters are great for balancing out a too bright sky and reducing contrast range.
08/14/2004 05:21:20 PM · #15
somthing bit off the topic.. does the polarizer come in different grades or shade? i know there are circular and linear. so whats the difference. and which brand should i get for a 18-55mm and 28-80mm lens?. would the type of lens actually matter?

thanks for any help !!
08/14/2004 05:27:07 PM · #16
If you live in a area where you get a lot of sun and clouds invest in the polarizer first.
08/14/2004 05:29:17 PM · #17
Originally posted by tokdg:

somthing bit off the topic.. does the polarizer come in different grades or shade? i know there are circular and linear. so whats the difference. and which brand should i get for a 18-55mm and 28-80mm lens?. would the type of lens actually matter?

thanks for any help !!


I think the difference between the circular and linear polarizers is that the circular are meant for autofocus cameras, so that is the one you should get for your Drebel. Yes, they also come in different shades, but I don't think they come in differnt grades, but I could be wrong about that. Looking through the B&H Photo catalogue I see that different manufacturers, such as Tiffen and Hoya, and Cokin make them in different colors.
08/14/2004 06:47:26 PM · #18
I've been looking into a polorizing filter myself. I've never used one in the past. My question is, would it really be worth $219 US?
08/14/2004 06:52:18 PM · #19
Originally posted by d14:

I've been looking into a polorizing filter myself. I've never used one in the past. My question is, would it really be worth $219 US?
text

A new linear polarizing that is adjustable for polarizing angle should not cost more than $50. Many are available on eBay for less than $30. A cheaper, circular polarizer is not adjustable but does a good job on blue skies.

$219 is rediculous.
08/14/2004 06:54:38 PM · #20
$219 is rediculous.

The reality of having a lens with 82mm threads. Thats about the best price I could find for a multi coated Hoya lens.
08/14/2004 07:04:28 PM · #21
thanks Olyuzi for your info.. has anyone used a sunpak brand polarizer, coz this the cheapest one ive seen..
08/14/2004 07:06:39 PM · #22
Originally posted by d14:

$219 is rediculous.

The reality of having a lens with 82mm threads. Thats about the best price I could find for a multi coated Hoya lens.
text

Wow! 82 mm diameter must be one terrific lens! Now I believe the $219 price. You might consider using polarizing film available in large sheets to make your own filter.
08/14/2004 07:09:52 PM · #23
Wow! 82 mm diameter must be one terrific lens! Now I believe the $219 price. You might consider using polarizing film available in large sheets to make your own filter.

Its a fantastic lens: Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX Aspherical DG DF
I've never thought of polarizing film. Wonder how well that would work? Might be worth a try at least. I've got a 4"x5" swatchbook. I know it has ND, it might just have polarizing as well.
08/14/2004 07:13:42 PM · #24
Originally posted by ElGordo:

Originally posted by d14:

$219 is rediculous.

The reality of having a lens with 82mm threads. Thats about the best price I could find for a multi coated Hoya lens.
text

Wow! 82 mm diameter must be one terrific lens! Now I believe the $219 price. You might consider using polarizing film available in large sheets to make your own filter.


A reasonable approach for most filters, but for best results you need to be able to turn a polarizer to the best angle. This would be difficult without a specialized mount.
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