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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,675
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

No, you are not correct. It is because you need to use a circular polarizer instead of a linear polarizer. Linear polarizers interact with the phase detect auto focus. Circular polarizers don't affect focus, but they don't work as well either.

VIP
Posts: 11,502
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?


@kvbarkley wrote:

No, you are not correct. It is because you need to use a circular polarizer instead of a linear polarizer. Linear polarizers interact with the phase detect auto focus. Circular polarizers don't affect focus, but they don't work as well either.


When it comes to linear vs circular, I think one is just as bad as the other.  I think both wreak havoc with AF systems.

 

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
VIP
Posts: 13,855
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

[ Edited ]

DSLR cameras have a mirror which is the cause of the problem. A linear polarizer can cross polarize, causing the image to darken or go completely black. Simular to an ND filter. Our old film SLRs used fully reflecting mirrors.  Meaning they had mirrors that reflect all polarized light with equal intensity to a point. DSLRs with autofocus use partial reflecting mirrors. The reduced reflected light, the key point here, goes to the viewfinder and metering systems.  And, some light goes on to the auto focus sensors.  This reduction can cause exposure errors and/or autofocus errors.

 

All circular polarizer filter are linear.  They just have an additional layer that "spins" the light, so to say. This fixes the exposure and focus errors or at least reduces them to a non-critical level. Will a plain linear polarizer work on a DSLR, yes, it will since the mirror is completely out of the way of the sensor when the photo is actually taken. However, you run the risk of the exposure or auto focus errors.

 

Perhaps a little simplistic but that is the basic idea.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 13,855
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

[ Edited ]

" I think both wreak havoc with AF systems."

 

Perhaps not "havoc" but you are certainly correct.  The exposure issue can be as bad or even worse. Again, for the record all polarizers are linear, otherwise they would not work at all. They just have an additional layer or filter if you will included.

 

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 13,855
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

I will add with the possible exception of reflection from water or windows, etc, the ploarizer filter, as is all other filters, possible exception of the ND filter, are obsolete. Post editing and digital files have rendered them largely irrelevant.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎11-28-2020

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

Filters are not obsolete. Not even close.

 

First of all, when you capture an image that is filtered by a real glass filter you capture the image how you want with 100% of the detail possible by the sensor. 

 

If you rely solely on editing, you have to crush details to get the "look" you want. 

 

In reality, there is usually not a lot of detail in the highlights of an image, editing that is a huge pain. And if you do go through all that trouble the end result is a lower quality image.

 

There's also the issue of time. With a polarizer you can greatly reduce highlights and reveal color and detail without having to take the time to edit every single picture.

 

Also, when using filters I tend to get a more consistent look from shot to shot vs. relying on editing alone.

 

Plus it's kind of fun using filters.

 

Anyway, hope this helps!

 

 

VIP
Posts: 13,855
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

"...when you capture an image that is filtered by a real glass filter you capture the image how you want with 100% of the detail possible by the sensor."..."If you rely solely on editing, you have to crush details to get the "look" you want."

 

Shoot Raw format, solves that issue. Second take a course in Photoshop.

 

"Plus it's kind of fun using filters."

 

Just as much or more so to watch your image develop from a good to great photo.  This is no different than our old darkroom abilities. But some folks did just drop their film off at the drug store and picked up the prints a week later?

 

I agree there are a few, very few, instances where certain filters can be useful but otherwise they are largely obsolete. I must have 25 or 30 filters of all kinds and types sitting on the formerly stop bath stained shelves of my old darkroom.  They have been sitting there for years and years!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-26-2015

Re: My circular polarizing filter doesn't seem to have a very wide change spectrum?

What size? Any 77mm, 62mm, or 58mm? I'm always looking for cool filters. I'll pay.

" I must have 25 or 30 filters of all kinds and types sitting on the formerly stop bath stained shelves of my old darkroom. They have been sitting there for years and years!"
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