Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reasons for having a Circular Polarizer filter

Ok, so today I wanted to talk about the uses of a Circular Polarizer (aka: C-Pol); after my last post, I watched my video and thought to myself that I didn't have my C-Pol with me that day. I had recently had the opportunity to buy a 24-70mm F2.8 for a great price, and it replaced my 17-50 F2.8 in my bag as my every day lens; but it came at a cost...

The Tamron 17-50 F2.8 uses a more standardized 67mm filter size, and the Sigma 24-70 F2.8 uses a rather large 82mm filter; so I took out my 67mm C-Pol of the bag, and ordered my 82mm C-Pol. Not a single lens that I carry on a regular basis, uses the 82mm filter size, with the exception of the Nikon AF 300mm F4.0 D that I use from time to time, but that has a 39mm Drop-In filter for the C-Pol.

So until this time, a 77mm was my biggest C-Pol, so at the time of that last video, we saw my bag in the transition period of waiting for the new one to arrive.

Anyway, onward...

The Human eye sees light de-fraction in 16 directions, and a Circular Polarizer will now cut that down to 2 directions. Ask anyone that wears Polarized sunglasses, can say to how much that it really improves the view of things as you look upon the world with them.

Now with a simple twist of the C-Pol, you can control which 2 directions those are. As shown below:

It helps increase saturation of colours, it darkens the sky with a richer blue, livens up the greens of your foliage, and cuts glare off of water or glass. Depending on the brand, you do lose 1-2 stops of light, with the average sitting a nice 1.5 stops. This is one filter that no photographer should be without.

A C-Pol will work best, when it is seeing 90 degrees to sun, so whatever you are photographing, if the sun is at your left or right of you, then you are going to get the most out of the filter; but that is not saying that it will not function at any other angle to the sun.

I always say, get the best C-Pol you can afford, and get it in the biggest size you need, there is no real need to get a C-Pol for every lens you own, get one for the biggest size, and use the stepping ring to get it to the size you need.

If you are planning on getting a lens that uses a 77mm somewhere down the road, and the biggest you use now is 67mm or 72mm... get the 77mm now.

You want to have a quality filter in-front of your expensive glass. Now you don't have to go nuts and get the B+W Kasemann MRC C-Pol, and spend more on your filter than you did the lens.... but if you can afford that filter... get it. All I am saying, is just be sure to get a good quality one.

I received my 82mm Kenko Pro1 Digital MC Circular Polarizer, and I think it is top quality, and it matches the quality of my lenses that I intend to put it on.

As I have mentioned before, Kenko Pro1 and Hoya Pro1 are one and the same, as they share the same parent company, and from what I hear, both are made in the same factory in Japan.

So if you don't have one, I highly recommend that you get a C-Pol, if you do have one, put one on, give it a turn and watch the world change in front of you.

I hope this helps answer any questions, and I'll see you on Sept 14th.


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