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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 14 Jun 2010 (Monday) 08:00
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Polarizer vs. Graduated filter

 
IsaacSteiner
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Jun 14, 2010 08:00 |  #1

Hi there,

Right now, my 30D is in at the camera shop for repairs, but in the meantime I bought a neutral density filter. I want to get either a polarizer or graduated filter as well, because I want to get that dark-dynamic sky effect. So would either of those filters do that for me? Or will my neutral density filter get that dramatic effect already?

Thanks!




  
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HrcRacing
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Jun 14, 2010 14:00 |  #2

Your ND will slow down your shutter speed for effects like blurred water. A GND will balance the exposure between a brighter sky and foreground (see pic below). A CPL will deepen the blues in the sky and remove reflections from water, etc. It will also saturate the colors somewhat.

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Jun 14, 2010 14:05 |  #3

Your neutral density filter will allow you to slow your shutter speed to capture motion in a situation that would be normally too bright to leave your shutter open that long. It will not help with the effect you're trying to achieve.

A graduated neutral density filter will block light from a bright sky to reduce the dynamic range (amount of difference between the lights and darks in your image) so your sensor can capture the entire image in one exposure. The reason skys look blown out in many snapshots could be because the camera sensor cant handle the amount of dynamic range in the image. Screw in GND's are next to worthless because you have to put your horizon in the middle of the image to use them. Get a Hi-tech 4x5 instead if you go this route.

A polarizer will block various degrees of polarized light depending on the angle to the sun and how it is set. It it will also act as a mild neutral density filter. The effects here will be reduced glare/reflections and some pleasing color effects. You will still need to use a GND or bracket your exposures if the image has a large dynamic range.

I didnt give you an answer, but hopefully this is enough info for you to decide what you need.


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Jun 14, 2010 14:06 |  #4

It is not a "v" thing they do two completely different jobs.


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Kaksa
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Jun 14, 2010 15:34 |  #5

I have been reading a little bit around at the internett, and some people use both CPL and GND together. How do they do that? I dont understand how they could twist the CPL and still get the horizon straight with the GND?


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Jun 14, 2010 15:44 |  #6

A CPL is also a 1-2 stop ND filter depending if it is filtering polarized light or not.


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MNUplander
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Jun 14, 2010 17:34 |  #7

Kaksa wrote in post #10360994 (external link)
I have been reading a little bit around at the internett, and some people use both CPL and GND together. How do they do that? I dont understand how they could twist the CPL and still get the horizon straight with the GND?

They are probably using a filter holder (Cokin/Hitech/Lee] with an integrated CPL, adjusting the GND after the CPL, or just hand holding the GND in front of the CPL. I would vote for the last option.

Keep in mind, they probably arent using a screw in GND to do this - they're worthless. Probably a 4x5 filter.


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IsaacSteiner
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Jun 15, 2010 07:46 |  #8

Thanks for tips, everyone.

I think I'll get a graduated filter over a polarizer for now, just because of the price difference..




  
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Hikin ­ Mike
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Jun 24, 2010 18:58 |  #9

IsaacSteiner wrote in post #10364986 (external link)
Thanks for tips, everyone.

I think I'll get a graduated filter over a polarizer for now, just because of the price difference..

I know it's an old thread, but I would buy the CP over the GND. You can always bracket your shots and create a GND in Photoshop. You can't replicate a CP in Photoshop. ;)


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MCAsan
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Jun 27, 2010 21:19 as a reply to  @ Hikin Mike's post |  #10

between using ND tool in PS or LR and/or doing merge of two photos with wide range, you can probably drop ND filters entirely. A CPL with liner one on top will give you the VND effort needed slowing exposures...such as waterfalls.




  
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Jun 28, 2010 07:23 |  #11

MCAsan wrote in post #10437329 (external link)
between using ND tool in PS or LR and/or doing merge of two photos with wide range, you can probably drop ND filters entirely. A CPL with liner one on top will give you the VND effort needed slowing exposures...such as waterfalls.

The ND effect cannot be duplicated in PS or LR...if you're referring to GND, then I'd partly agree with you (getting it correct in-camera with the use of a filter is much preferred).


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Mike55
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Jun 30, 2010 15:55 |  #12

You cannot replicate a CP in Photoshop/Lightroom, but you can easily replicate a GND. Go for a nice CP and you will be glad you did - especially if you are after better colors.

I think GND's are hassle in the field and I don't like the IQ on many of them.


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Jun 30, 2010 15:57 |  #13

CP filter for sure, unless you have a specific use for the ND.


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Polarizer vs. Graduated filter
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