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Thread: How to use a circular polarizer

  1. #1

    Default How to use a circular polarizer

    Hi all,

    I have a circular polarizer, but I have not been able to use it to achieve the desired result. As far as I know, I just need to rotate the filter until I get the best result. And that the maximum effect can be achieved when the sun location is 90 degree from the camera.
    And my question is, do I need to set the camera to some particular setting or not?
    I read at h**p://www.dslrtips.com/workshops/How_to_use_polarizing_filters/reduce_haze_deep_blue_sky.shtml, it suggests to set the white balance to daylight, and the exposure to -2/3EV to -1EV. I tried that as well, and got the result like below:

    Without circular polarizer
    h**p://i62.tinypic.com/28i3fjn.jpg

    With circular polarizer
    h**p://i62.tinypic.com/33mob6e.jpg

    The result is somehow not so good, if not worse, than the original photo without polarizer.

    My camera:
    Canon EOS 650D
    18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
    B+W CPL

    Or is there any other tips on how to get the best result? Would also be good if someone could share the photos taken with CPL, particularly in Singapore so I can try to take some photos on that area as well.


    PS: Replace ** with tt - as I can not post any link due to the number of posts

  2. #2
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use a circular polarizer

    I cannot see what you're trying to achieve in the pics you attached. Look like you used the polarizer as ND filter!
    You need to know why you want to use the polarizer. And that will decide the settings you need.

    Here tell you when and why you need to use a polarizer:

    http://www.great-landscape-photograp...rizing-filter/

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to use a circular polarizer

    I wanted to have a nicer sky like in the photo of the link that you gave. Also better color as well.
    Yes it seems that the pic I took was like darkening everything, which is not what I wanted.

  4. #4
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use a circular polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by ikanmuruku View Post
    I wanted to have a nicer sky like in the photo of the link that you gave. Also better color as well.
    Yes it seems that the pic I took was like darkening everything, which is not what I wanted.
    The sky in your photo is featureless to start with. Don't expect anything out of it. Try again...

  5. #5
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    Default

    I have read your post & have seen your pictures. I can't quite understand what had happened. The WB is way off.

    Basically what a CPL does is to reduce the glare or reflections from shiny surfaces of the scene or subject that you want to take.

    It can be used for many types of photography. I usually use it for macros or when shooting at a beach, lake or pond. I use it to reduce the glare from the reflected light from the water or the waxy surfaces of flowers & bugs.

    Just mount the CPL and rotate it until you see the glare is reduced and the colors become saturated. It is most effective if the light is off axis from the camera lens.

    All three pictures of the flower were taken at the same place under the same lighting conditions. Manual exposure, WB Auto, ISO Auto. The CPL attenuates the light level but with TTL the camera just cranks up the ISO to compensate.

    Shot with UV filter


    Name:  UV filter_D4K8677.jpg
Views: 0
Size:  27.1 KB


    Shot with CPL, rotated for max glare.

    Name:  CPL demo_D4K8678.jpg
Views: 0
Size:  29.6 KB


    Shot with CPL adjusted for minimal glare and maximum saturated color

    Name:  CPL demo_D4K8679.jpg
Views: 0
Size:  27.3 KB
    Last edited by Light Machinery; 2nd March 2014 at 11:51 AM.

  6. #6
    Member mardellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use a circular polarizer

    I'd try shooting in Av mode, WB auto, then use liveview to shoot. Turn your CPL and see what differences it make. Don't only try 90 degree, cos it worked for me when the sun is behind me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use a circular polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by mardellion View Post
    I'd try shooting in Av mode, WB auto, then use liveview to shoot. Turn your CPL and see what differences it make. Don't only try 90 degree, cos it worked for me when the sun is behind me.
    When the sun is behind you, the CPL acts more as a ND filter.

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use a circular polarizer

    Quote Originally Posted by ikanmuruku View Post
    Hi all,

    I have a circular polarizer, but I have not been able to use it to achieve the desired result. As far as I know, I just need to rotate the filter until I get the best result. And that the maximum effect can be achieved when the sun location is 90 degree from the camera.
    And my question is, do I need to set the camera to some particular setting or not?
    I read at h**p://www.dslrtips.com/workshops/How_to_use_polarizing_filters/reduce_haze_deep_blue_sky.shtml, it suggests to set the white balance to daylight, and the exposure to -2/3EV to -1EV. I tried that as well, and got the result like below:

    Without circular polarizer
    h**p://i62.tinypic.com/28i3fjn.jpg

    With circular polarizer
    h**p://i62.tinypic.com/33mob6e.jpg

    The result is somehow not so good, if not worse, than the original photo without polarizer.

    My camera:
    Canon EOS 650D
    18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
    B+W CPL

    Or is there any other tips on how to get the best result? Would also be good if someone could share the photos taken with CPL, particularly in Singapore so I can try to take some photos on that area as well.


    PS: Replace ** with tt - as I can not post any link due to the number of posts

    Newbie Guide to Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    .............



    Circular Polarizer Filter (CPL)

    What is CPL
    It is a filter that filter out light rays other than ones in a certain orientation. This will improve contrast, cut reflections and make skies bluer. If you want to know how Polarization works and the science behind it, here is an easy to follow tutorial on how polarization works:
    How Polarization works - http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000...ion/index.html


    How to use a CPL
    A video says a million words.



    Notes when using CPL filters
    • When using UWA lenses, CPLs will tend to give uneven polarization. This means parts of the sky will be darker than the rest. So the advice is to avoid using CPL with UWA lenses. If you have to use one, use it carefully and observe the effect in your viewfinder and LCD.
    • CPLs come in thick and thin versions. When shooting wide angle, try to use the thin versions.
    • You do not leave the CPL on your lens all the time. You only use it when you need it.
    • For adding contrast and removing haze, CPL works best when the sun is perpendicular to the direction where your lens is pointing. So this means if you are shooting into or away from the sunset/sunrise, a CPL is not very useful in giving you more contrast.
    • You will lose light when using a CPL. Depending on the specific model and brand, you will lose around a 1 to 1.5 (even 2) stops of light. You can use this to your advantage if you know how.


    Which CPL filter brand and model?

    So which CPL filter is the best? Which is the most value for money? Which should I buy?
    lenstip.com did a comprehensive and controlled test of 25 of the more popular CPL filters on the market. You can read the entire test below. The results may surprise you. But do note that some of the new recently released filters (like Hoya HD and Kenko Zeta) were not included in this test.

    Lenstip.com's Polarizing Filters Test - http://www.lenstip.com/115.1-article...ters_test.html



    ..............


    Hope this help.
    Last edited by catchlights; 2nd March 2014 at 01:14 PM.
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