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A Filter Question

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Postby beachbum1616 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:13 pm


If I understand the use of this filter correctly, I can use a circular polarizer filter to take the glare off of water when shooting photos with water involved. Would this filter also take the glare off of glass when trying to take photos of things behind glass, (with no flash of course)?
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Postby Ross » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:48 pm


To a certain degree, yes. Depending on the light source, etc, sometimes it's not completely eliminated, but it does help a lot.

If you're going to look at one, consider Singh-Ray. (http://www.singh-ray.com) I got a 77mm UV/polarizer and it works great.

What camera are you shooting with?
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Postby Hersh » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:08 pm


Another big thing the polarizer will help you with is the sky. Again depending on the lighting conditions, the filter will deepen the blue in the sky and can really make those puffy cumulus clouds pop.
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Postby Gary Martin » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:10 pm


Ross and Hersh are both correct in their comments. The greatest polarization effect will occur when the sun is 90 degress or at a right angle relative to the direction you're shooting.
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Postby tekkybob » Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:52 pm


Im hitting you guys up for information on cameras from now on. I have a digital camera with 4200 settings switches and whizzers, and a bunch of filters and Im camera stupid. Ive learned alot from listening in here but I'd like to expand on my usage of this camera. Any ideas for places for lessons or pointers anyone?
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Postby Hersh » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:04 pm


A great place to look is the Photography 101 articles put together by Gary. There's a lot of info and sometimes it gets techy, but it's a great resource. Here's the link to the collection.

http://www.lighthousing.net/modules.php?name=Content&pa=list_pages_categories&cid=1

Also, just look through the old posts in the photography thread to see some great photos and get some good hints. Of course feel free to ask any questions you might have, we're glad to help out.
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Postby beachbum1616 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:24 pm


The filter would be for my 35mm Canon Elan. Since my digital is a point and shoot, I have been trying to come up with a way to use my 35mm to get those behind the glass shots as well, hoping to get some better phots. Even if they are not too expensive, it would be something to play around with.

A friend of mine also suggested a difuser (sp?) filter. Would this help, and could these two be used together as long as they are stackable?
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Postby Gary Martin » Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:00 pm


Filters are stackable, Stephen, but not always a good idea. For starters, you can get vignetting. The other thing is that when you stack filters, you tend to degrade the image quality unless they're all REALLY high quality.... most, unfortunately, aren't. About the only time I've stacked filters is when I've intentionally been trying to vignette an image.

As for a diffuser... they're designed to give softer images... ala what you'd get with some fog between you and your subject. If you're going to polarize to get rid of the glare, not a whole lot of point!
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Postby beachbum1616 » Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:06 pm


There seems to be several different types of filters out there to purchase. If you were going to add, say three, which types would you most reccommend adding to the camera bag that would be most useful?

Thanks for the help and the suggestions!
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Postby Gary Martin » Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:18 pm


Stephen, all of my lenses have a UV or haze filter on them with th exception of my 14 mm f/2.8 which cant accept a filter in front. The UV/haze filter is there for "insurance" to protect the front element of my lenses.

The only filters that I use are

A) circular polarizers
B) neutral density filters to control exposure times when I want to push film into reciprocity failure
C) graduated and split neutral density filters - these are intended to control exposure

That's about it. I have an 81A and 81C filter but to be honest, they haven't been with me when I've been out photographing in about 3 years. Personally, I like the cool "mood" I get from Velvia when shooting in shadows/low light and don't care for the filter warmed up version afforded by the 81's.

Hope that this helps.
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Postby Hersh » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:26 am


Stephen, I'm pretty much in the same boat as Gary... I use my polarizer quite a bit and I love it. I also love my split ND filters, they can really do amazing things with an image if used properly, and I carry a standard ND filter, but have rarely had the need to use it. Other than that I don't rally use any filters. I have severaal more in my bag but honestly I can't tell you what they all are because I never use them.
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Postby Gary Martin » Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:04 pm


Going back to the screw-in ND (neutral density filters) they come in gradations. 2X, 4X, 8X. The 2X corresponds to a full stop, the 4X to two stops and the 8X to 3 stops. The 2X designation corresponds to double the exposure time, which corresponds to 1 stop.

I probably use these filters a lot more than Hersh does, but then again, I'm probably far more inclined to fool around with reciprocity failure than most people. The other thing that these filters are quite useful for is in increasing exposure times when you're shooting waterfalls to get a "milky" appearance to the water when it's to bright to do so otherwise.

On the graduated and split ND filters, definitely stay away from the screw-in variety. They force you to locate the split in the center of the frame, which is seldom where you'd want it in a composition. If anyone wants to get into using these filters, I would seriously suggest that you check out Singh-Ray's website.
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Postby Ross » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:45 pm


I'll third that with Gary's list. I have:

A) Singh-Ray UV/Circular Polarizer that works fantastic.
B) Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter, (pricey, but VERY convenient. I don't need to stack 2x, 4x, etc.)
C) Various Singh-Ray graduated ND on a Cokin mount.

Singh-Ray makes good filters and the materials are top notch. I've had discolorations and odd things happen with Hoya and Quantaray filters, so I ditched them.
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Postby Hersh » Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:30 am


Ross, I'm jealous of the vari-nd... I've wanted one of those for a while now.
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