The Benefits and Challenges of Working with Polarizing Filters

There are few more important things that a nature photographer can do to improve his photography than to familiarize with the use of the 3D polarizer filter. What can a polarizing filter do for you? Among other things, it can darken the sky, eliminate water reflections and make the foliage appear less bright. Color saturation is also significantly improved. It is the only filter to use with the polarizer film that can do all this.

Well, really, what is a polarizing filter? It is a filter for sunlight that attempts to block the light rays that often cause glare, while allowing the desired light to enter. Designed with layers of filters that form right angles to each other, the system within the polarizing filter is generally quite effective. But, due to the way the layers prevent some light from entering the lens, it is necessary to rotate the filter to allow the light you want to enter.

Since it is necessary to visually adjust or adjust a polarizer film, some people believe that it is not possible to use one with a rangefinder type camera, but that is not the case. Some manufacturers have created ingenious solutions for this problem, but there is also a simpler way. If you have a polarizer that has marked around the edge, simply hold the filter in front of you while pointing at the subject and observe the angle of the mark.

If it is, for example, one o’clock with maximum polarization, place the filter in the chamber and rotate it so that the mark returns to one o’clock when it is on the lens. Polarizers are preferable for this reason because they have continuous numerical marks around the periphery of the filter, which makes this quite simple.

Another easy solution to preview the effects of polarization is to wear polarized sunglasses. Just remember when watching a scene to tilt your head from side to side to change the polarization angle. If this is uncomfortable, you can simply take off your sunglasses and hold them in front of you while turning them. If you wear prescription glasses, you can ask for them polarized the next time you renew.

Be careful not to try to wear polarized sunglasses while looking through your camera AND at the same time with a polarizing filter. Using only one or the other is the best way. To use both, you would basically prevent all the light from entering and it is very likely that you will not see anything while trying to shoot. Therefore, the solution is to use one or the other, but not both!

The second problem with polarizers and wide angle lenses is the thickness of the filter. By their nature, polarizers are thick filters because they have a double ring, the first of which mounts the filter on the lens and the second, which is the rotating polarizing element. If the lens is wider than approximately 24 mm, when used in small openings, the edge of the ring may cause vignetting at the corners of the frame.

The solution is to buy a thin polarizer. One option is to buy a single polarizer of the largest size you need and then buy reduction rings to fit your smaller lenses. However, this is not something you should try in the field if there are difficult weather conditions. Also, make sure everything works before you start and make sure you are NOT using a wide angle lens, and then a bullet is likely to occur.


Matthew Gregor

Matthew Gregor decided that he wanted to become a writer at the age of 16, when his high school football team won a big game. He wrote a poem about this, and two days later the poem was published in the local newspaper. When he began his professional writing career, Matthew attempted to write books. Matthew’s writing direction changed and he writes news and articles. He is now onboard with Time Bulletin as a free lance writer.
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