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Digital Circular Polarizer vs Circular Polarizer
I have been looking at circular polarizing filters for a little bit now, and I see some labeled as "Digital" and some not. Typically the ones labeled as "digital" cost significantly more than the ones not. Can anyone tell me what the difference is?.

Kelemvor..

Comments (24)

Generally, the "digital" polarizers have a thinner/lower profile frame than their non-digtal counterparts, potentially reducing vignetting. As well, they can have non-reflective frames. Often, digital fiters have coatings that standard filters to not..

However, you should compare specifications carefully as the above are not necessarily limited or exclusive to circular polarizers marketed as digital...

Comment #1

Kelemvor4 wrote:.

I have been looking at circular polarizing filters for a little bitnow, and I see some labeled as "Digital" and some not. Typically theones labeled as "digital" cost significantly more than the ones not.Can anyone tell me what the difference is?.

Same as "digital" headphones way back when CDs first came out. Stick "digital" on a product and you can up the price..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #2

Iggier wrote:.

Generally, the "digital" polarizers have a thinner/lower profileframe than their non-digtal counterparts.

Thin circular polarizers have been around long before they were labelled "digital"..

They can have non-reflective frames..

I'd certainly hope so! Every (decent) filter made in the past 50 years have non-reflective frames..

Often, digital fiters have coatings that standard filters to not..

Non-digital filters have coatings. It's possible the coatings are a bit different, but it's also possible that they are not..

However, you should compare specifications carefully as the above arenot necessarily limited or exclusive to circular polarizers marketedas digital..

In other words, digital filters are regular filters with the word "digital" printed on the side..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #3

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Week/slides/LIDSKI_APRIL_2008%20(22).html.

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

Comment #4

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Yes you do. CPL cuts reflections. You can fake it by pumping up saturation and contrast to cartoon levels, but it's much better to get it right in camera..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #5

Nickleback wrote:.

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Yes you do. CPL cuts reflections..

- But I LOVE reflections!.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Week/slides/LIDSKI_APRIL_2008%20(47).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Landscape/slides/LIDSKI_LANDSCAPE%20(8).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Nature/slides/LIDSKI_NATURE%20(72).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Nature/slides/LIDSKI_NATURE%20(73).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Nature/slides/LIDSKI_NATURE%20(48).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/City/slides/LIDSKI_URBAN%20(34).html.

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

Comment #6

Nickleback wrote:.

Same as "digital" headphones way back when CDs first came out. Stick"digital" on a product and you can up the price..

I've often wondered why 'digital ready' headphones always seem to have analog interfaces.....must be like why an amp that goes to 11 is 'better'  What about if you hook an amp that goes to 11 up to a guitar that only goes to 10, then I guess you're wasting one, eh? Just thrown' it away....

Maybe digital polarizers only let ones or zeros into the lens?   Turn it one way, only ones get in, turn it the other way, and only zeros are allowed   Wouldn't a digital polarizer need to have discrete stops, as compared to an infinitely variable analog polarizer? ..

Comment #7

Absolutely beautiful work with reflections, in fact, the entire gallery. Thank you for sharing..

I also agree with you and rarely use a polarizing filter. I find that I can usually get the look I desire without one and like the fact I don't lose so much light...

Comment #8

Guidenet wrote:.

Absolutely beautiful work with reflections, in fact, the entiregallery. Thank you for sharing..

I also agree with you and rarely use a polarizing filter. I find thatI can usually get the look I desire without one and like the fact Idon't lose so much light..

- Thank you! Speaking of loosing light - sometimes you need to do just that, so why not get a polarizer at least for ND? Because you need x4 ND:.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Landscape/slides/LIDSKI_LANDSCAPE%20(104).html.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

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

Comment #9

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Nickleback wrote:.

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Yes you do. CPL cuts reflections..

- But I LOVE reflections!.

If you had originally written "you don't need a CPL, use reflections in your images" then I'd have no problem. But you didn't write that. You wrote "with digital you don't really need it". Digital or film has no bearing on whether you need a CPL or not..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #10

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Speaking of loosing light - sometimes you need to dojust that, so why not get a polarizer at least for ND? Because youneed x4 ND:.

Because a CPL is not ND. It does more than ND. If you want ND, your best bet is to buy... an ND..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #11

Most people use it for blue skies - this is how PLs are advertised even by asample photo on the box usually (with-without). I've posted a sample demonstrating my point. Can you post a sample showing areal-life situation in which removing a reflection was critical and was successfully achieved with PL?.

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

Comment #12

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Most people use it for blue skies - this is how PLs are advertisedeven by asample photo on the box usually (with-without)..

What does this have to do with digital or not digital, which is what you originally wrote about? Blue skies are only one part of ND, and even to achieve that is a bit finicky because angle to the sun matters..

I've posted a sample demonstrating my point..

You posted samples showing that you love reflections, and you get blue sky by pumping up the saturation and contrast. None of this has anything to do with digital..

Can you post a sample showingareal-life situation in which removing a reflection was critical andwas successfully achieved with PL?.

You'll only be satisfied with before/after, which I don't have. Here's a couple from a filter manufacturer. One is blue sky, the other is reflections in a window..

Http://www.tiffen.com/polarizer_pics.htm.

For more real life examples, but not with before/after images, pick up any car magazine. Sometimes you want the environment reflected in the shiny paint, other times you do not..

You apparently always love reflections, except when you want to use an ND and use a CPL instead of an ND..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #13

Adding "Digital" to some item's either on the item or in the packaging greatly increases the price..

A few lenses have been updated by revising the nature of the coatings used and that may cut back on some of the internal reflections caused by the sensor and it's front filter being more reflective than the film surface was. I suppose some recent changes to filter coatings may also have been made. Certainly neither of these is a significant cost driver in actually making the product..

Someone selling a "digital" filter that is substantially more expensive is probably selling a higher profit margin and not better results..

That's not to say that there aren't different quality levels in materials and coatings from brand to brand and within brands, increasing quality steps. Just that the assertion that a filter is "digital" isn't a good reason to choose it over another one without checking all the other features..

Http://www.2filter.com/.

Is a good source, and you'll see that some brands indicate a "digital" filter and many don't. In some cases it's an indicator that the section is for the smaller digicam sizes as opposed to the larger lens sizes found on film and digital slr lenses. But you'd see also that in listings of diffent filter types, by brand and size, that not all use "digital" as a descriptor and the price differences between brands and types are feature driven not descriptor driven...

Comment #14

Hi,.

In the world of advertising names mean everything and names mean nothing...call it digital eco green...the proof of a filter is in the testing of the filter..

Check this outhttp://www.kenandchristine.com/gallery/1054387_ucZqa/3.

Some folks believe that on wide angle lenses you should oversize the filter one step...use a step up ring, say 52 to 55mm, and buy the 55mm filter. If you have vignyetting with the filter on a particular lens, usually at the lowest F stop value, then that's the fix...

Comment #15

Blue skies, color saturation, cutting through haze, and reflection shifting... note - polarizers do NOT eliminate reflections - they only eliminate glare coming from a specific angle in relation to the polarizer. Look at a car on a sunny day through a polarizer and rotate the polarizer - it will not eliminate reflections - it will only change what reflections make it to the camera sensor. Polarizers are quite valuable. I will frequently wear my polarized sunglasses on foggy days because I can see farther into the fog with them, despite cutting out two stops of light. They do MUCH more than make skies bluer (which is something they only do at certain angles to the sun).

If you don't want to use them, fine. Nobody is going to force you to. But to say they are not needed because of digital is just flat out wrong..

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Most people use it for blue skies - this is how PLs are advertisedeven by asample photo on the box usually (with-without). I've posteda sample demonstrating my point. Can you post a sample showingareal-life situation in which removing a reflection was critical andwas successfully achieved with PL?.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #16

Nickleback wrote:.

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Yes you do. CPL cuts reflections. You can fake it by pumping upsaturation and contrast to cartoon levels, but it's much better toget it right in camera..

As you mentioned, polarizers cut reflections, thus really cannot be "faked"..

I understand what you mean by increasing saturation/contrast, but would not want any "beginner" to be confused that is in any way a replacement for a PROPERLY USED polarizer..

No amount of increased saturation/contrast will allow shooting through glare into windows, through surface reflections on water, or eliminate the "glare" from green-leaves or dust in the (blue) sky..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #17

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Nickleback wrote:.

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Yes you do. CPL cuts reflections..

- But I LOVE reflections!.

YES .... I can see that you do like reflections..

Very excellent work..

It is also an excellent example of a recent post I made concerning photos starting in the EYES/MIND. 99% of photographers either never see the reflections in the first place, or never visualize an actual photo/image incorporating it..

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Week/slides/LIDSKI_APRIL_2008%20(47).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Landscape/slides/LIDSKI_LANDSCAPE%20(8).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Nature/slides/LIDSKI_NATURE%20(72).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Nature/slides/LIDSKI_NATURE%20(73).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/Nature/slides/LIDSKI_NATURE%20(48).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/JAlbum/City/slides/LIDSKI_URBAN%20(34).html.

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #18

JoePhoto wrote:.

Nickleback wrote:.

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Because with digital you don't really need it:.

Yes you do. CPL cuts reflections. You can fake it by pumping upsaturation and contrast to cartoon levels, but it's much better toget it right in camera..

I understand what you mean by increasing saturation/contrast, butwould not want any "beginner" to be confused that is in any way areplacement for a PROPERLY USED polarizer..

I agree with you, I was simply pointing out what MICHAEL_61 was doing..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #19

Nickleback wrote:.

You getblue sky by pumping up the saturation and contrast. None of this hasanything to do with digital..

- I do not pump up the saturation and contrast - I actually do just the reverse, at least contrast-wise. Suppressing highlights and lightening shadows a wee bit, so you can see good DR. Beautiful blue skies (not washed out) AND some detail still visible even in deep shadows, something I could never get from any film - direct printed or scanned and digitized, regardless..

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

Comment #20

JoePhoto wrote:.

Very excellent work.It is also an excellent example of a recent post I made concerningphotos starting in the EYES/MIND. 99% of photographers either neversee the reflections in the first place, or never visualize an actualphoto/image incorporating it..

Thank you Joe!.

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

Comment #21

JoePhoto wrote:.

Would not want any "beginner" to be confused that is in any way areplacement for a PROPERLY USED polarizer..

- You are right, but using a polariser properly isA) not always easyB) not always convenientC) not alweays necessary.

- and I believe that a beginner should first learn to take photos properly before buying such a filter or even trying to figure out if he needs one at all..

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

Comment #22

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

- and I believe that a beginner should first learn to take photosproperly before buying such a filter or even trying to figure out ifhe needs one at all..

Ramember when we only shot film and slides...Do you think a beginner should have to use that technology before he learns to shoot digitally? Remember keeping a notebook for every shot you took and how you reviewed each contact print or slide against your notes...I think that keeping a log might not be a bad idea for a beginner but a log book or a clean lens restriction (no filters or multipliers) isn't necessary....

The photographers brush is his glass, everything else is just manipulating what he captured with that glass. Filters are just another peice of glass, though all glass is not created equal..

Http://flickr.com/photos/26045023@N04/..

Comment #23

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

JoePhoto wrote:.

Would not want any "beginner" to be confused that is in any way areplacement for a PROPERLY USED polarizer..

- You are right, but using a polariser properly isA) not always easyB) not always convenientC) not alweays necessary.

True .... True .... True .....

- and I believe that a beginner should first learn to take photosproperly before buying such a filter or even trying to figure out ifhe needs one at all..

I have no argument with that at all ......

Http://lordofthelens.co.nz/.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #24

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