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Thread: How often use a polarizer + ND Grad

  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    St. Louis, Mo.
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    2,994

    Re: How often use a polarizer + ND Grad

    I found that when using a screw in polarizer next to the lens and then using square filters you have to be careful not to change the setting of the polarizing screen. It's a bit fussy but of course can be done. I have used both a screw in polarizer and a Cokin square graduated filter together and it worked out fine.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Stevens Point, WI
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    1,544

    Re: How often use a polarizer + ND Grad

    I found a polarizer better in theory than in practice. Difficult to get skies even. Maybe for reflection on water or green plants but not that helpful for landscapes. I would pass on a polarizer if you are trying to save money in large format.

    ND filters are often not needed due to low film speed and tiny apertures. You could use f/45 rather than a 0.6 ND filter for example. so if you have to pick, I would get a strong ND filter (at least 3 stops) for use with really long exposures. A yellow/orange/red filter would be more useful for me. Just my 2 cents.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
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    1,691

    Re: How often use a polarizer + ND Grad

    I find a polarizer to be essential for landscape photography. Virtually all leafs have a reflective sheen that will reflect blue or gray skies - polarizers can remove that and allow the actual leaf color to be revealed. The filter can be problematic with wide angle shots that include a vast blue sky and the polarization will be uneven across 90 degrees of field of view (But in those cases you can just use less polarization). The filter will also cut though a bit of haze on high humidity days (which is about 90% of the time in the eastern US in the summer). So I use one on about 90% of my landscape photos.

    Around sunrise and sunset it is common for the sky to be much brighter than the earth, so it is common for me to add a GND at those times. It is no big deal and yields a photo much closer to what I remember seeing (since we can see 14 stops of light and our brain self corrects on top of that).

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Buford, GA
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    13,163

    Re: How often use a polarizer + ND Grad

    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    I found a polarizer better in theory than in practice. Difficult to get skies even. Maybe for reflection on water or green plants but not that helpful for landscapes. I would pass on a polarizer if you are trying to save money in large format.

    ND filters are often not needed due to low film speed and tiny apertures. You could use f/45 rather than a 0.6 ND filter for example. so if you have to pick, I would get a strong ND filter (at least 3 stops) for use with really long exposures. A yellow/orange/red filter would be more useful for me. Just my 2 cents.
    So, you were using a polarizer with a short lens?

  5. #15

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ajman - U.A.E
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    666

    Re: How often use a polarizer + ND Grad

    To be honest, filters are just tools, i use them when i need them or if they help in some scenarios, people think filters are always been using in every photography, i have the freedom to use them, if they help the photos then great, if not then simply i take them off and shoot without, there is no another answer for that, to have something as backup and when needed is better than have nothing and wish to have it when necessary, i traveled in the past to some where you live [Europe, USA, New Zealand] and filters gave me like 90% keepers, i may do without but then i will have about 40-60% keepers, and that time i wasn't aware about blending or multi-exposure much, so i always get the one exposure almost right and this saved a lot of my time.

    If i shoot waterscapes with sky then the three filters are there, if no water but there is sky then mostly 2 of them, either ND and GND or POL and GND, if no water and no sky then ND and CPL, if water and no sky then also ND and CPL, so GND i always use where there is a sky in the scene and i use ND if i want longer exposure sometimes, CPL is only for either increasing the saturation if green and plants/trees are there or water reflection like in waterfalls end or streams and such.

    At the end, in film from what i here you get that kind of amazing DR or latitude, so this may help to minimize the use of filters, i didn't try yet, but once i will shoot landscapes/waterscapes with film i will give it a try and see.

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