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circular polarizer meeets wide angle
Would a circular polarizer be a good item to use with a 12-24 wide angle lens?I had read that iit would not work properly.Wanted to get opinionsThank You..

Comments (15)

Gracenrich wrote:.

Would a circular polarizer be a good item to use with a 12-24 wideangle lens?I had read that iit would not work properly.Wanted to get opinionsThank You.

There are two factors to consider with using a PL on a SW lens:- vignetting- polarising effect across a wide scene.

Filters on WA lenses are likely to cause some obvious/harsh vignetting in the corners. It's your call whether it's too intrusive for your images. You can get thinner polarisers that don't have front threads and therefore don't vignette as much as standard thickness polarisers, but they usually have non-standard lens caps that don't stay in place so well..

The polarising effect of polarisers isn't even across the frame, and the unevenness is maximised at very wide angles. You can end up with a WA scene that looks quite odd because one side is polarised quite strongly and the polarisation varies acress the frame to where the other side of the frame is hardly polarised at all. This is really obvious with shots that include plenty of blue sky. Once again, it's your call on whether that looks ok to you..

I don't hesitate to use a CPL on my 10-22 lens on my Canon 40D (1.6 crop factor) to see what it will do for me and I often get results I prefer over those without PL..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #1

The polarising effect of polarisers isn't even across the frame, andthe unevenness is maximised at very wide angles. You can end up witha WA scene that looks quite odd because one side is polarised quitestrongly and the polarisation varies acress the frame to where theother side of the frame is hardly polarised at all. This is reallyobvious with shots that include plenty of blue sky. Once again, it'syour call on whether that looks ok to you..

That could be a little misleading. It's not that the polarizer itself has an uneven effect, it's because the light coming from the sky has a varying amount of polarized light, depending on the angle from the sun. Because a very wide angle lens can encompass such a wide selection of the sky, it has a different effect on the light coming from different parts of the sky. That can indeed look unnatural (although it is just an exaggeration of what is perfectly natural), but it isn't the fault of the polarizer..

Using a polarizer for most scenes other than blue skies doesn't have this differential effect, so there are still plenty of good situations where a polarizer is perfectly appropriate with a wide angle lens..

Davehttp://www.pbase.com/dsjtecserv..

Comment #2

Dsjtecserv wrote:.

The polarising effect of polarisers isn't even across the frame, andthe unevenness is maximised at very wide angles. You can end up witha WA scene that looks quite odd because one side is polarised quitestrongly and the polarisation varies acress the frame to where theother side of the frame is hardly polarised at all. This is reallyobvious with shots that include plenty of blue sky. Once again, it'syour call on whether that looks ok to you..

That could be a little misleading. It's not that the polarizer itselfhas an uneven effect, it's because the light coming from the sky has avarying amount of polarized light, depending on the angle from thesun. Because a very wide angle lens can encompass such a wideselection of the sky, it has a different effect on the light comingfrom different parts of the sky. That can indeed look unnatural(although it is just an exaggeration of what is perfectly natural),but it isn't the fault of the polarizer..

Using a polarizer for most scenes other than blue skies doesn't havethis differential effect, so there are still plenty of goodsituations where a polarizer is perfectly appropriate with a wideangle lens..

Davehttp://www.pbase.com/dsjtecserv.

Hi Dave. I hadn't thought my comment could be misleading, but thanks for your additional ideas, which will hopefully add to people's understanding..

Doesn't the amount of polarising vary across the polariser exactly because of the differential in the polarised light in the sky that you mention? The light from the sky is polarised and the polariser polarises that polarised light unevenly across the frame. It's the polariser and the source light together that create the effect we're after, so I'm not so sure it's so meaningful to say that the polariser polarises evenly when the combination of the uneven polarised source and 'even' polariser' creates the polarised differential..

I agree with you that the polarising variation in a WA scene that doesn't include lots of blue sky across the frame may not be so obvious or unnatural/displeasing. Always a judgement call by the photographer of course, as I'm sure you'd agree..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #3

John down under wrote:.

Dsjtecserv wrote:.

John down under wrote:.

The polarising effect of polarisers isn't even across the frame, andthe unevenness is maximised at very wide angles..

[snip].

That could be a little misleading. It's not that the polarizer itselfhas an uneven effect, it's because the light coming from the sky has avarying amount of polarized light,.

[snip].

Hi Dave. I hadn't thought my comment could be misleading, but thanksfor your additional ideas, which will hopefully add to people'sunderstanding..

Doesn't the amount of polarising vary across the polariser exactlybecause of the differential in the polarised light in the sky thatyou mention?.

Yes, but I agree with Dave that what you said was something different. I've kept just the key part of the quote above - to me it seems to say that the polariser itself varies in it's effectiveness across the angle of view, and of course that is wrong, it is the scene which varies. Using a correctly adjusted polariser with an ultra-wide, one part of the sky will be bluer/darker than the rest, but if you swing the camera the bluest part doesn't follow the camera movement. (Actually two parts of the sky of course - at 90 degrees either side of the sun.).

If you were to take the classic shot of an expanse of water using a polariser to remove the reflection of the sky, the polarising effect would be the same from edge to edge, even with an ultra-wide..

It's a fairly pedantic point, perhaps - but correct...

Comment #4

John:.

Yes, Steve clarified it quite well. With respect to the sky, the effect will be uneven, even though the polarizer itself is uniform, because the "input" from the sky is different when coming from parts of the sky that are at a different angles relative to the sun. But there are so many subjects other than the sky where a polarizer is of benefit, and the effect of the PL will be uniform, that it is still an important and useful peice of gear, even with an ultra-wide..

Davehttp://www.pbase.com/dsjtecserv..

Comment #5

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

John down under wrote:.

Dsjtecserv wrote:.

John down under wrote:.

The polarising effect of polarisers isn't even across the frame, andthe unevenness is maximised at very wide angles..

[snip].

That could be a little misleading. It's not that the polarizer itselfhas an uneven effect, it's because the light coming from the sky has avarying amount of polarized light,.

[snip].

Hi Dave. I hadn't thought my comment could be misleading, but thanksfor your additional ideas, which will hopefully add to people'sunderstanding..

Doesn't the amount of polarising vary across the polariser exactlybecause of the differential in the polarised light in the sky thatyou mention?.

Yes, but I agree with Dave that what you said was somethingdifferent. I've kept just the key part of the quote above - to me itseems to say that the polariser itself varies in it's effectivenessacross the angle of view, and of course that is wrong, it is thescene which varies. Using a correctly adjusted polariser with anultra-wide, one part of the sky will be bluer/darker than the rest,but if you swing the camera the bluest part doesn't follow the cameramovement. (Actually two parts of the sky of course - at 90 degreeseither side of the sun.).

If you were to take the classic shot of an expanse of water using apolariser to remove the reflection of the sky, the polarising effectwould be the same from edge to edge, even with an ultra-wide..

It's a fairly pedantic point, perhaps - but correct..

No problem Steve. I can live with the way you're explaining things. In the end, it's the polarising from the whole system of light source, reflecting surface and polariser on camera that together create the polarising differential across the scene..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #6

Dsjtecserv wrote:.

John:.

Yes, Steve clarified it quite well. With respect to the sky, theeffect will be uneven, even though the polarizer itself is uniform,because the "input" from the sky is different when coming from partsof the sky that are at a different angles relative to the sun. Butthere are so many subjects other than the sky where a polarizer is ofbenefit, and the effect of the PL will be uniform, that it is stillan important and useful peice of gear, even with an ultra-wide..

Dave.

No argument from me Dave. Thanks for your input..

After all this duscussion, I hope the OP still gets the message that UWA + polariser will mean quite a variation in darkness across the sky..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #7

Gracenrich wrote:.

Would a circular polarizer be a good item to use with a 12-24 wideangle lens?.

- If you mean Sigma 12-24 than your question is irrelevant because that lens has a protruding front element that doesn't allow to put any filter in front of it..

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/..

Comment #8

John down under wrote:.

No problem Steve. I can live with the way you're explaining things.In the end, it's the polarising from the whole system of lightsource, reflecting surface and polariser on camera that togethercreate the polarising differential across the scene..

I simply don't accept that. The differential already exists before you put the filter in front of it to make it visible to the human eye..

You can make the 'whole system' argument about pretty much anything. A set of weighing scales and the earth's gravity between them make it possible for us to know the difference in weight between two apples. But in no sense does that make them the cause of the difference...

Comment #9

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Gracenrich wrote:.

Would a circular polarizer be a good item to use with a 12-24 wideangle lens?.

- If you mean Sigma 12-24 than your question is irrelevant becausethat lens has a protruding front element that doesn't allow to putany filter in front of it..

Hmh. Good point...

Comment #10

Could the Cokin filter system or equivalent be used in front of this protruding front element?.

Davehttp://www.pbase.com/dsjtecserv..

Comment #11

No - it would induce vignetting. Or it would have to be impossibly huge....

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/..

Comment #12

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

No - it would induce vignetting. Or it would have to be impossiblyhuge....

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/.

Um, I use a Cokin Z-Pro system with my Canon EFS 10-22. It does not create vingetting and while large, is not "impossibly huge"!.

My question was whether the Cokin holder would clear the protruding front element of this particular lens, since I'm not familiar with it..

Davehttp://www.pbase.com/dsjtecserv..

Comment #13

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

John down under wrote:.

No problem Steve. I can live with the way you're explaining things.In the end, it's the polarising from the whole system of lightsource, reflecting surface and polariser on camera that togethercreate the polarising differential across the scene..

I simply don't accept that. The differential already exists beforeyou put the filter in front of it to make it visible to the human eye..

You can make the 'whole system' argument about pretty much anything.A set of weighing scales and the earth's gravity between them make itpossible for us to know the difference in weight between two apples.But in no sense does that make them the cause of the difference..

Steve, how about if I say that when using a polariser with a WA lens, the darkening effect across the sky varies greatly due to the interaction of the polariser with the polarised light coming from different parts of the sky?.

At least it will still satisfy my aim of telling the OP about the visual result of using a polariser with a WA lens with blue sky, which is what I set out to do to start with..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #14

John down under wrote:.

Steve, how about if I say that when using a polariser with a WA lens,the darkening effect across the sky varies greatly due to theinteraction of the polariser with the polarised light coming fromdifferent parts of the sky?.

Any form of words which makes it clear that the difference is in the polarisation of light from different parts of the sky, and not the angle that the light reaches the camera, is good..

You probably thing I'm being needlessly precise here, but contrast it with vignetting - which can look quite similar to the inexperienced eye. Vignetting does depend on the lens design and the angle of incidence, and not on where the light is coming from. The difference is important...

Comment #15

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