Turning 'off' circular polarizer?
Can a circular polarizer be rotated into an "off" position if and when you are moving your angle of photography back and forth between when the polarizer can be effective and when it is not? Or, do you need to unscrew it?.

Since I don't yet own one of these, I am sorry that I can't perform my own easy experiment .

Peter F...

Comments (7)

The polarizing effect will go through minimum -> max as you rotate it but you're always going to take a 1-2 fstop light penalty when it's screwed on...

Comment #1

Most Polarisers have a white line marked on the rim which, when aligned with the sun, gives maximum polarisation, Turning it away from that position progressively reduces the effect and this is visible through the viewfinder. As was pointed out, keeping it on means you are losing 1-2 stops of light and you may increase the chance of reflections.Shay son of Che..

Comment #2

Howard Moftich wrote:.

The polarizing effect will go through minimum -> max as you rotate itbut you're always going to take a 1-2 fstop light penalty when it'sscrewed on..

Even the "minimum" does not represent a neutral setting, it is just one possible manipulation of the scene..

Also in some types of situations, the minimum effect on one reflection could be a maximum for another reflection. So there is not really an "off" position. Better to remove the filter completely when not needed.Regards,Peter..

Comment #3

That is why I carefully chose the word 'minimum', not 'off'. there is no 'off'..

Comment #4

That all makes sense. You can minimize it's effect, but there is no getting around the loss of 1-2 stops. I think I understand how this little contraption works now..

Thanks for the feedback on my post..

Peter F...

Comment #5

Howard Moftich wrote:.

That is why I carefully chose the word 'minimum', not 'off'. thereis no 'off'.

Yes of course you are right. I wasn't really correcting you, just trying to add more detail to the explanation.Regards,Peter..

Comment #6

Howard Moftich wrote:.

That is why I carefully chose the word 'minimum', not 'off'. thereis no 'off'.

As it happens, just as there isn't an "off", there is no "minimum", either..

In fact, the polariser is always in maximum for ONE plane or another within the subject, and at minimum for ones at 90 degrees. Intermediate angles of plane are filtered at intermediate levels of reflection suppression, naturally..

So it is that when the pola is set for maximum reflection suppression in horizontal surfaces, including that of a lake, say, then any vertical surfaces in the shot will be at their minimum. The fact that there are very few vertical surfaces, or they are very small and/or not very reflective, (trunks of trees?) means only that any lack of polarisation don't show much.... and therefore don't show much change when the filter is rotated.....

.... unlike the lake, of course!.

Hint: It is not a good idea to use a polarising filter as a matter of course, not least because it's ND function wastes nearly 3/4 of the light coming into the lens. Put it on only when you need it.... and take it off unless a reason for keeping it on has been positively identified in the next shot..


Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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