to polarize or not...

Joined
Feb 15, 2007
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102
Location
New Jersey
so, when i first started getting in to photography a few months ago, i followed some of the beginner tips from Ken Rockwell. One of them was stepping up my filter size to a common 77mm so i wouldnt have to buy the same filter at multiple sizes. Seemed like a smart, economical idea to me, the one caveat being that i wouldn't be able to use the lens hood (which he recommended not using).

well, now i am thinking i should be using the hood more, at least i want to try it for this weekends trip (leaving tonight for Austin TX for a long weekend) and am just taking the d50 with the 18-200vr, and the 50 1.8 for a smaller, lighter and night time shots...

i was thinking of going over to B&H today (i have a few hours to do so) and pick up a circular polarizer to stick on the 18-200vr...

what do you guys think? is a polarizer filter ok to leave on a lens full time? i anticipate a lot of out door shots and the weather looks good in Austin...

or is it just a waste of $65 dollars?

any (quick) replies or thoughts greatly appreciated

thanks!
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
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Houston, Texas
I have a CP for all my lens sizes. I used to laugh at Ken Rockwell, but I agree with some of his thoughts on the D200. I do not agree regarding lens hoods, and use them on any lens that has one. I have not gotten one for my 60mm 2.8 or 28-105 3.5-4.5 yet, and wonder why Nikon chose to not include one with the lens. if you think about all the money you have alreaddy spent, the cost of even a Hoya Pro1 digital CP is nothing in comparison. I would not leave the CP on the lens all of the time, but would use a UV or protective filter instead, swapping out with the CP for appropriate shots.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
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Berlin, Old Europe
Good polarizers aren't cheap - you need to judge for yourself whether you think it's worthwhile. For my main outdoor lenses I don't want to miss it, although I only use it when I have proper light - which answers your other question: No, keeping a polarizer on a lens all the time is not a good idea because it takes a lot of light and it only useful in proper light/angle to the light. So most of the time you would slow down your shutter speed considerably without benefit.
 
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robthorn

Guest
I have a hoya on my 18-135 / d80 and while I don't take professional photo's I thought the color saturation was better with it than without it. I was shooting in a beach setting with lots of sun. I was also in automatic mode most of the time.
I was taking a lot of pictures at a friends wedding and started the day with the polorizer and noticed a spec of dust a couple hours into the wedding and tried to blow it off. well I spit on the filter and then tried to clean it without a cleaning kit and made it really bad. the rest of the day I had no polorizer and the pictures were still ok just not as nice. it seems like the reds and greens were the most noticeable. yes I always have a real cleaning kit in my bag now.
 
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jaymc

Guest
Certainly not a waste of money, however when you are on the wide end of the lens the polarizer will only 'polarize' part of the photo. Here's a shot I took at 17mm (17-55mm) using a circular polarizer. Notice the difference between the right and left part of the photo.

https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=110893

- Jay
 
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BigPixel

Guest
as one who used to economize on filters as a young man, I would recommend you buy the best you can and be done with it. There is quite a lot of difference between consumer level filters and pro filters just as there is with lenses. A nikon CPL costs about $115 but is so much finer a CPL than the lesser expensive Hoya I used to use its rediculous. The thinner profile means less vignetting on wide lenses and the fidelity and color reproduced is much finer.

I guess my bottom line is why spend hundreds/thousands of dollars on lenses then cripple them with cheap filters? Doesn't really make sense.
 
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robthorn

Guest
I haven't seen nikon filters I will have to look for them. anyone want to buy a hoya? ;)
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
18
Location
Hamburg
Certainly not a waste of money, however when you are on the wide end of the lens the polarizer will only 'polarize' part of the photo. Here's a shot I took at 17mm (17-55mm) using a circular polarizer. Notice the difference between the right and left part of the photo.

https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=110893

- Jay
Sorry Jay, I left these questions in the thread you refer to:

"From what angle was the light coming from? How high was the sun?"

I had never thought of that effect on WA lenses, I was only thinking on the vignetting and the need for a slimline.
 
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Dave_Canada

Guest
Polarizers can be invaluable when shooting in harsh light and also good for removing glare from water and glass.

heres a shot where i would have lost the reflection of the boats if not for a polarizer.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
1,358
Location
Long Island, NY
You may also want to consider a step up ring so you can use your 77mm filters on your 18-200 which takes a 72mm filter. It costs about $10 give or take a few. Especially a good idea for CP because a good one can be expensive. You won't be able to get the hood on while using the larger filter but this shouldn't matter since it is difficult if not impossible to rotate a CPL with the hood on anyway.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
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Location
Central Virginia
You may also want to consider a step up ring so you can use your 77mm filters on your 18-200 which takes a 72mm filter. It costs about $10 give or take a few. Especially a good idea for CP because a good one can be expensive. You won't be able to get the hood on while using the larger filter but this shouldn't matter since it is difficult if not impossible to rotate a CPL with the hood on anyway.
I agree that the step up ring is a good way to go. You can attach an inexpensive rubber 77 mm screw in hood to the polarizer and get at least some of the benefits of a hood. A screw in hood also makes a nice grip for rotating the polarizer. One nice thing about a rubber hood is that if it causes vignetting at the wide end when attached to the CP you can roll the outer edge back, although as noted above the effect of the polarizer is uneven across big expanses of sky in really wide shots. We usually think about using a polarizer for shots with blue sky, scenes with lots of foliage can also benefit.
 
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