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Polarizing Filters?


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I was browsing some of my older pics recently, many of which were taken on a fine day with a Hoya circular polarizing filter fitted. Looking at them again, I reckon very few if any would get through QC, and would fail the SoLD test so I won't be uploading them. (They print to 16x12in on an 8-colour inkjet beautifully, but I quite understand thats a different set of requirements so no gripes from me). Since I've been using Lightroom, I find that quite often careful use of its own graduated filter can produce much the same result as a physical polarizing filter in front of the lens (the most recent 7 pictures in my portfolio have all had this treatment).

 

Do any of you folks use polarizing filters, and if so, any recommendations as to manufacturer that doesn't soften the image in use?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Richard Laidler said:

I was browsing some of my older pics recently, many of which were taken on a fine day with a Hoya circular polarizing filter fitted. Looking at them again, I reckon very few if any would get through QC, and would fail the SoLD test so I won't be uploading them. (They print to 16x12in on an 8-colour inkjet beautifully, but I quite understand thats a different set of requirements so no gripes from me). Since I've been using Lightroom, I find that quite often careful use of its own graduated filter can produce much the same result as a physical polarizing filter in front of the lens (the most recent 7 pictures in my portfolio have all had this treatment).

 

Do any of you folks use polarizing filters, and if so, any recommendations as to manufacturer that doesn't soften the image in use?

 

 

 

If you have the Nik software Color Efex Pro has a polarizing filter. You can adjust the strength.

 

Paulette

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Software can't actually polarise light, of course, so it's presumably a selective saturation.

I've hardly used one in digital. I did use one last week to get rid of window reflections- in fact I'd just put it back in my bag after losing a couple of shop windows because I'd thought it was redundant. It isn't!

Incidentally mine is  a 99p. resin one from China. If there's a colour cast I haven't noticed.

I'd be surprised if a Hoya filter caused much degradation on its own. I haven't had any QC problems with the cheap one.

+1 for LR grads but do try selective saturation of the blue sky (HSL). Since I discovered it I use grads much less. Just watch any skylit shadows!

Edited by spacecadet
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I often use Hoya HD2 Circular Polarizers, partly out of habit from my film years and partly because I think it sometimes does a better job than software. They are expensive, but resist oil and scratches better than others, and transmit more light than the older ones. Even when shooting through a filter, I use the Clear View slider in DxO PhotoLab (formerly Optics Pro). 

Edited by KevinS
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36 minutes ago, Richard Laidler said:

I was browsing some of my older pics recently, many of which were taken on a fine day with a Hoya circular polarizing filter fitted. Looking at them again, I reckon very few if any would get through QC, and would fail the SoLD test so I won't be uploading them. (They print to 16x12in on an 8-colour inkjet beautifully, but I quite understand thats a different set of requirements so no gripes from me). Since I've been using Lightroom, I find that quite often careful use of its own graduated filter can produce much the same result as a physical polarizing filter in front of the lens (the most recent 7 pictures in my portfolio have all had this treatment).

 

Do any of you folks use polarizing filters, and if so, any recommendations as to manufacturer that doesn't soften the image in use?

 

 

We had this discussion sometime in 2016. Yes you can simulate some of the effects of polarisers in software but it is only simulation and it is less than perfect. You can't cut reflections and there is a certain quality to the colours and the quality of the light with a good polariser on a good lens that can't be simulated in software.

 

The filter should not soften the image. It is difficult to understand why your older images would fail just because you had a Hoya polarised fitted, even one of the cheap ones, unless you were working handheld and did not use a fast enough shutter speed because of the brightness decrease. If they print well up to 20x16 they should be downsizable to pass Alamy. Or are they film scans?

 

As Kevin says, Hoya do higher end filters and also make Kenko. There is a wide range available including ultra-thin. The better ones cut out very little light in comparison to the old cheap ones and are absolutely neutral colour-wise. The Kenko Zeta range filters are excellent (not sure if these are being replaced).

Edited by MDM
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6 minutes ago, MDM said:

It is difficult to understand why your older images would fail just because you had a Hoya polarised fitted, even one of the cheap ones, unless you were working handheld and did not use a fast enough shutter speed because of the brightness decrease

 

I suspect inexperience with processing raw files at the time would have been the real culprit (thats a relatively new discipline for me). Whatever, having got used to Alamy's exacting standards, I think those pics would at best be marginal for QA purposes so I'm not going to risk them as they are. I'll have a play with one or two by downsizing a bit and see what they look like, thanks for the tip.

 

22 minutes ago, MDM said:

there is a certain quality to the colours and the quality of the light with a good polariser on a good lens

 

I agree, and as per Kevin's reply, that too was where I started using them (Canon A1 with a selection of FD series lenses). Fortunately the subjects won't be going away any time soon so I'll just have to wait for the right conditions and go out and shoot some of those views again!

 

Thanks everybody.

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Interesting - I used a Hoya Polariser for the first time in ages recently and wasn't sure how things would turn out. I was using it handheld against the lens as it is a different size, and it worked fine for me and I didn't even worry about passing QC. I was on F8 at about 1,500th so decent light, fast speed etc.

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I do use one. I have one that fits my wide angle lens. The filter in my possession has been manufactured by B+W. I am very happy with the results it produces. Cannot imagine replicating the same in post.

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