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Steven NY

Circular Polarizing Filter or not?

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Two weeks from today I'm on my way to Tanzania, ending up in the Northern Serengeti.  I think I've got my camera equipment covered.  Two bodies  - Canon 70D & 80D - 3 lenses - extra cards - remote trigger - mounting mic, etc.  Going to put it all in my new Incase backpack and see how much the whole thing weighs.  

 

I'm wondering about polarizing filters.  I always have a UV-Skylight filter on, primarily for protection.  I occasionally use polarizing filters, when there is much glare or a fantastic sky I'd like to enhance.  I think I would have a problem with the filters as my three zoom lenses  - Sigma 10-20, Sigma 18-300, Sigma 150-600 all use lens hoods which make it difficult to turn the filter.  It may be too much trouble to have to fiddle with it while on site.  On the other hand, I imagine some of the landscapes I'll see will be incredible and perhaps worthy of a filter.

 

Any thoughts on this?  

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What is the disadvantage with taking it? It weighs almost nothing and takes up very little room.

 

That's just my two cents.

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Posted (edited)

@Steven NY I agree with @Peter Connan that the filters are easy to take. However I'm not sure how much they will get used as most of the landscapes tend to be at their best early in the morning or at sunset and I've never found glare (as opposed to generally too much light) a big issue.

I must say that I don't use filters (other than a UV skylight) now I use digital - it is pretty easy to get the effects I want in post processing.

Edited by pomkiwi

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Thanks for the responses.  I'll have to see how much all my study weighs, and how well it all fits into my new backpack.  I looked at You Tube and found several very informative videos on filters.  I think I'll put them on my list as something I could leave behind if needed.  It may be too much trouble changing them on safari and I'm likely to get very little use out of them anyway.  Thanks.

 

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The hood on my EF 100-400 L mark II has a little flap at the lens end to allow circular polarisers to be rotated. I wonder why other lens hood don't offer this. I can't remember ever using a polarising filter on safari though.

 

I don't use UV filters when using a lens hood as the latter offers good protection for the lens. But that's a non-reconcilable controversy :o

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Never use a polarising filter if it is any bit the least overcast , it can wreck your photo exposure

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Posted (edited)

We did use it a lot, in Namibia. It makes the harsh midday light a bit less harsh (yes, we do took photos from sunrise to sunset :D), yet we have used it on wide lenses only. Some software can act as good as the C-PL filter. On the other side, we tend to stay away from UV or sky or any other filters, if not in really harsh environment. Filter, IMHO, is only useful when outside is very dirty or wet weather as cleaning the filter is much faster then cleaning the lens front element. For impact protection, some tests shows filter is even worsening the possible damages on lens. YMMV.

Edited by xelas

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I remember Tamron had a lenshood on the old 200-500 that allowed turning the pol-filter, it was really a clever solution.

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Here's a case for a clear protective filter, though most know this already.  I had no idea when I was shooting that it had happened.  We were in some rough riding vehicles in the northern Serengeti a month ago.  Images looked good through the viewfinder, and luckily I wasn't at a critical sighting.  Soooo glad I brought a replacement clear filter with me!  I prefer this to a hood, so I can use my lens cap in all the dust.  I also never changed lenses at all due to the dust issues.  Brought an extra lens though, just in case.
Nikon 5100, 18-300mm lens

Africa - cracked lens cover and dust.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Wow, @LizW  a nasty scratch but I would think that a lens hood would have saved the lens from that scratch in the first place. In a vehicle a cheap shower cap suffices as a good dust cover that can be used with a lens hood and is quicker to remove than a lens cap and you don't worry about misplacing or losing the lens cap.

 

Also without using the hood you're possibly letting stray light into the lens and I'm loathe to use a UV filter with an expensive lens.

 

Just my 2 cents worth...

Edited by Geoff
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Also, the front element of a decent lens is usually treated to be much tougher than a filter.

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Geoff and Peter- I see your points for sure.  It was a serious, full on crack though, not a scratch :o.  I use a lens leash and have no issues with cap loss.  I also used a small pillow case-type thing with a zipper to cover camera in the field (as it hung around my neck, kinda dorky but whatever :) ).  I will try the hood and shower cover though, great idea.

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