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Polarizing Filter


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#1 robedwcar

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 01:53 AM

I am new to photography. I am considering investing in a polarizing filter. The specific question I have is regarding the picture quality. My images are softer than the images I find in the photo gallery. Would a polarizing filter help to limit harsh light and sharpen my images?
-Regards
Robert

#2 markgoldstein

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:52 AM

In short, no - a polarizing filter makes blue skies bluer and cuts through reflections in things like water and glass.

You'll find that most of our members use a program like Photoshop to sharpen their images before uploading to the Gallery. Sharpening should be the last action that you apply to your images.
Mark Goldstein
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#3 robedwcar

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:02 PM

QUOTE (markgoldstein @ May 2 2008, 04:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In short, no - a polarizing filter makes blue skies bluer and cuts through reflections in things like water and glass.

You'll find that most of our members use a program like Photoshop to sharpen their images before uploading to the Gallery. Sharpening should be the last action that you apply to your images.


Ok, I have photoshop. I did not know that sharpening should be done last. I should probably look up some example workflows and try to find something I can work from on my own. Thanks Mark!
-Regards
Robert

#4 markgoldstein

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:55 PM

Sharpening should be done last when you know how big your image is going to be.

For example, the amount of sharpening required will be very different for an A3 print than for a 800 pixel image published on the web (an extreme example, I know).
Mark Goldstein
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#5 Guest_artfulpics_*

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 12:52 AM

Back to the polarizer, though. Even if it doesn't help with sharpening, it is still a highly recommended filter, in my estimation. Once you use one for a while, you'll really be surprised how much reflective light there is almost anywhere. Leaves, for instance, constantly are reflecting sunlight & such. Give it a try. There are some polarizers that are very expensive, but at this point in your photographic journey, you can get a lot of service from a less expensive one.

Chris

#6 robedwcar

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 02:23 AM

Whoa! Ok, a lot has happened since the last time I looked on here. I realized why my pictures were all so fuzzy. iPhoto should never be used to retrieve your photos from your camera. Not only does it code the EXIF data in a form that does not make the transition to the internet, it (in my opinion) RUINS the picture. It will automatically convert to .jpg without asking you. I decided to experiment and try to use the software that actually came with the camera...go figure. I was shocked by the difference in the quality. Now I just have to figure out how to get that quality to the internet. Back to the workflow research.

BTW, Thanks mark! I am going to play with the sharpening and see what works best for the different size pictures.

Chris, I suppose I could just get one on e-bay? Are there any that you recommend? (just something to start with, not necessarily the best) Thanks!
-Regards
Robert

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 09:20 AM

Don't know a thing about ebay, but they'll have inexpensive ones at most any camera shop. Don't know much about the brands, either. I just get the cheapest one, and they've always served me well. Just make sure you take all the measurements of your lens with you (filter size is printed on the insides of some lens caps, or on the lens itself.

Chris

#8 markgoldstein

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 10:16 AM

If you have a few lenses with differing filter measurements, then something like the Cokin P system is a better solution than lots of individual sized filters. It uses a holder and filter ring system that allow you to use the same filter on different lenses - you just buy inexpensive filter rings for each lens.
Mark Goldstein
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#9 Digital SnapHappy

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:05 AM

Polarising filters are great for bluer skies and getting under the surface-reflections on water and glass. However, uneven white/indigo-blue skies can result if you are not facing directly towards the light-source when it comes to sky photos (see my Cambridge Cottage photo for proof!) If you keep moving the camera from horizontal to vertical like I do, you often forget to spin the polariser to compensate! I agree with comments on Cokin filters above. smile.gif jOhN

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#10 robedwcar

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:48 AM

Thanks All. I will look into those filters. I have been a little inactive lately due to a crazy workload. I think we have a photography shop in town. I am going to have a look at the different kinds of filters. Both of my current lenses are the same re: filter size but I may just try the Cokin system anyway to keep from limiting myself in the future.

Ps...Mark, sometimes I never get the email that lets me know of replies. The service is a bit spotty. For example...I got an email that Snaphappy posted a reply to me, but never even knew until I looked for his reply that you and Chris had replied on May the third. Is this something that may have been improved by the new server?
-Regards
Robert




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