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Thread started 18 Dec 2013 (Wednesday) 22:40
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Tell me about CPL filters

 
Frodge
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Dec 18, 2013 22:40 |  #1

Since most of us post process, is the CPI necessary? Discussion encouraged....


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Dec 18, 2013 22:55 |  #2

You can't replicate in post what a cpl does.


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Snydremark
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Dec 18, 2013 22:58 |  #3

PP can't really replicate a few of the things that a CPL do for you, such as the removal of reflections from surfaces (both glass and rocks, etc), increasing contrast [yes, I know you can do this one in PP, but it doesn't have the same impact, IMO]


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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David ­ Arbogast
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Dec 18, 2013 22:58 |  #4

The main thing with CPLs is reducing glare and reflection...not feasibly or easily done in post.

This photo was taken through a store window. Without the CPL it was overpowered by reflections of the exterior environment, but with the CPL the reflections are minimized and don't create a distraction. Can you see the reflections of the street in the glass? They're there, but really hard to make out.

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Window Shopping (external link) by David Arbogast (external link), on Flickr

Likewise I love watching the glare drop away from foliage as the CPL is engaged...it can make a huge positive difference with foliage.

Finally, it is often preferable to reduce the reflections in water, either to see beneath or just to create a sense of deep immensity.

So, if reflections are occluding desirable details (stream bottoms, window displays, etc.) you can't do much in post to reveal details the camera's sensor never recorded. And that is why a CPL remains essential gear, even in this day of extraordinary post-processing tools.

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David ­ Arbogast
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Dec 18, 2013 23:24 |  #5

Sometimes I even rely on post-processing to get the most from a CPL. For instance, CPLs often produce terribly uneven skies if used on a lens wider than 28mm. So, I will sometimes take a shot with the CPL on to get the desired glare/reflection reduction and another without to capture a clean even sky. Then I just blend the two together with a layer mask in Photoshop.

Yes, the glare/reflection reduction is just as uneven (on WA and UWA lenses) as the sky, but skies are generally continuous tones which makes the uneven darkening look really noticeable and unattractive.


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BigSkyKen
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Dec 18, 2013 23:28 |  #6

David, I've had the same issue occur with the uneven sky color/saturation. Is it necessary to remove the CPL for the second shot, or could you just rotate it until it reaches the point of no impact?


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EOS5DC
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Dec 19, 2013 01:04 |  #7
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You get what you pay for with CPL. I have a 77mm B&W CPL that is just wonderful. I have some off-brand ($15?) ones that aren't worth the time it takes to mount them. I have tried Picasa, LR and PSE11. None of them come close to what a good CPL can do.


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David ­ Arbogast
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Dec 19, 2013 06:25 |  #8

BigSkyKen wrote in post #16538737 (external link)
David, I've had the same issue occur with the uneven sky color/saturation. Is it necessary to remove the CPL for the second shot, or could you just rotate it until it reaches the point of no impact?

Right. Just rotating is all that may be needed.

When using the WonderPana filter kit on my TS-E 17mm, it is easy to just pop the whole filter off. Same might be true for slide-in CPLs for Lee filter kit users. For standard screw-in CPLs, it is more convenient to just rotate the filter.


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kfreels
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Dec 19, 2013 09:48 |  #9

David Arbogast wrote in post #16539265 (external link)
Right. Just rotating is all that may be needed.

When using the WonderPana filter kit on my TS-E 17mm, it is easy to just pop the whole filter off. Same might be true for slide-in CPLs for Lee filter kit users. For standard screw-in CPLs, it is more convenient to just rotate the filter.

Is that right? Seems to me that rotating the filter on a wide lens would simply change the direction of the unevenness of the sky since the reason the filter does this is because the light is coming from all angles on such a wide lens. I'll have to go try it later to confirm this as I'm just guessing.


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David ­ Arbogast
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Dec 19, 2013 10:19 |  #10

kfreels wrote in post #16539600 (external link)
Is that right? Seems to me that rotating the filter on a wide lens would simply change the direction of the unevenness of the sky since the reason the filter does this is because the light is coming from all angles on such a wide lens. I'll have to go try it later to confirm this as I'm just guessing.

I think, but am not 100% confident, that if you rotate the CPL for max effect (dark blue stripe running vertically right down the middle of the view) and then rotate exactly 90 degrees it should neutralize effect.


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Snydremark
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Dec 19, 2013 10:49 |  #11

On a UWA, you can still see *some* effect but you can generally dial it in to where it isn't an issue and, effectively, turn it 'off'.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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kfreels
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Dec 19, 2013 11:58 as a reply to  @ Snydremark's post |  #12

Yeah. I was thinking about 10mm on my 10-20. I think I ran into that in Bermuda when shooting a lighthouse shot but I can't seem to find it now. Or I fixed it in post. I'm sure the angle of light and the direction you're shooting has a lot to do with it as well.


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Snydremark
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Dec 19, 2013 12:53 |  #13

kfreels wrote in post #16539964 (external link)
...I'm sure the angle of light and the direction you're shooting has a lot to do with it as well.

Easily the largest components of the results, yes.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
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ejenner
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Dec 19, 2013 18:13 |  #14

kfreels wrote in post #16539600 (external link)
Is that right? Seems to me that rotating the filter on a wide lens would simply change the direction of the unevenness of the sky since the reason the filter does this is because the light is coming from all angles on such a wide lens. I'll have to go try it later to confirm this as I'm just guessing.

Hmm, good point, but I've always rotated and not had a problem - I will sometimes take shots with various polarizations - say one for foliage and one for the sky.

What seems to happen is that the part of the sky you can't polarize, won't polarize as you turn the filter anyway - it's not like you can choose the sky pattern. The part that will polarize you can essentially 'turn off' by rotating the CPL.


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Dec 19, 2013 18:15 |  #15

You cannot do this without CPL...

Turn this

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into this
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Tell me about CPL filters
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