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Thread: Filter question

  1. #1
    JimG's Avatar
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    Filter question

    Hey guys!

    I recently purchased UV filters as well as 1 CP filter for my 3 lenses. i installed the UV on my lenses and i'm keeping them on all the time as i don't really see any drawback doing so (so far).

    My question comes with the CP, when i want to use it, should i remove the UV or can i just mount them both back to back without hindering the quality of my photographs? It can be somewhat challenging when i'm outside trying to swap the filters without a table...


    Thank you for the feedback!

  2. #2
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    Re: Filter question

    I tend to use a single filter. However, I know many photographers who don't have any problems doubling up a UV and a CPL as long as the lens is not wide with the two filters causing vignetting.

    I suggest that you make a test with two filters and with the CPL alone...

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Filter question

    In theory there will be some level of image degradation when using two stacked filters, but frankly I've never noticed any in real life shooting. The only time that I have seen an effect of stacking filters is when I shoot with an extremely wide angle setting. Depending on the filter construction, you might see some vignetting when you stack.

    You might not want the polarizer in place when shooting with a wide angle setting anyways, as any shots showing the sky may have banding issues.

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    Re: Filter question

    Probably easiest just to try it. Personally, I remove my UV when attaching other filters, but generally that's because I get (at best) vignetting and (at worst) outright obstruction. Changing in the field shouldn't be difficult though - you just "unscrew one" - put it in it's case/pouch - and screw on another!

    To be honest though, I find CP filters to be a waste of time and money 99% of the time (I've got 2 and never have a need for either of them) -- with their loss of light and unevenness of wide-angle shots with sky in them, they create more problems then they solve.

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    Re: Filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    CP filters...with their loss of light and unevenness of wide-angle shots with sky in them, they create more problems then they solve.
    That's really misleading, Colin. I appreciate that you don't use your CP filters and have no problem with that. However, to suggest that they create more problems than they solve in the context of only two situations, one of which is easily overcome with the quality of moderate to high ISO values when using a modern sensor, isn't helpful because it doesn't address all of the other situations when they can be very useful. The fact that your photography may not encounter those situations or that you choose to ignore them doesn't mean that they don't exist.

    As a pro and administrator of the forum, it would be far more helpful if you would at least acknowledge that many people in the pro community disagree with you. Doing so would openly and frankly leave room for the people who do, which I think is part of your responsibility of your position at CiC.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 27th April 2013 at 11:55 PM.

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    Re: Filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    That's really misleading, Colin. I appreciate that you don't use your CP filters and have no problem with that. However, to suggest that they create more problems than they solve in the context of only two situations, one of which is easily overcome with the quality of moderate to high ISO values when using a modern sensor, isn't helpful because it doesn't address all of the other situations when they can be very useful. The fact that your photography may not encounter those situations or that you choose to ignore them doesn't mean that they don't exist.

    As a pro and administrator of the forum, it would be far more helpful if you would at least acknowledge that many people in the pro community disagree with you. Doing so would openly and frankly leave room for the people who do, which I think is part of your responsibility of your position at CiC.
    I don't find CP filters useful - I think that often they create more problems than they solve - and not everyone agrees with me.

    There you go. Sorted.

    I will go on to add though ...

    ... that many people seem to think that they're practically a prerequisite to quality landscape photography and are practically a prerequisite to getting saturated blue skies (which I would argue are the two most common uses for CP filters), when in reality, if the landscape involves wide-angle (and many folks also erroneously equate the two as going hand-in-hand) then (a) it generally degrades the shot by making the sky uneven (b) costs you two stops of DR if you need to use a higher ISO (c) doesn't accomplish anything in that context that can't be worked around by other simple techniques.

    Add to that that when shooting world-class landscape one generally has other filters (such as GND and ND) to contend with, and all a CP does is give vignetting and/or outright obstruction. And for shooting people they can throw skintones off.

    So if one want to take a photo of "fish in water" then by all means use a CP; all I'm saying is that as a part-time professional landscape, product, & portrait photographer (ie "covering quite a few bases"), my two CP filters are - BY FAR - the least used tools in my toolbox. I'd be lucky if I'd use them once in every 3 to 5 years - and people tell me that my landscapes seem to "scrape by" without them just fine.

    Just for the record Mike, I find YOUR editing of the quoted portion of what I wrote to be what's misleading. the full quote of that paragraph is ...

    To be honest though, I find CP filters to be a waste of time and money 99% of the time (I've got 2 and never have a need for either of them) -- with their loss of light and unevenness of wide-angle shots with sky in them, they create more problems then they solve.
    ... you'll notice that I wrote it in the context of what I find ... and that you've edited those key words out for some reason.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 28th April 2013 at 02:34 AM.

  7. #7
    CP140's Avatar
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    Re: Filter question

    I'd suggest using one filter or the other.... at the risk of taking the discussion to extremes, here's a look at the effects of stacking (an unreasonable) number of filters...

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011...th-bad-filters

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    Re: Filter question

    Thanks for your helpful clarification, Colin. Your revised post is surely much more helpful to people who respect your photographic skills as I do, haven't used a polarizer filter and visit CiC to learn about their advantages and disadvantages.

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    Re: Filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Thanks for your helpful clarification, Colin. Your revised post is surely much more helpful to people who respect your photographic skills as I do, haven't used a polarizer filter and visit CiC to learn about their advantages and disadvantages.
    No problem sir, happy to be of service.

  10. #10
    JimG's Avatar
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    Re: Filter question

    Well, thanks for all the feedback, very appreciated!

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by JimG View Post
    I recently purchased UV filters as well as 1 CP filter for my 3 lenses. i installed the UV on my lenses and i'm keeping them on all the time as i don't really see any drawback doing so (so far).

    My question comes with the CP, when i want to use it, should i remove the UV or can i just mount them both back to back without hindering the quality of my photographs? It can be somewhat challenging when i'm outside trying to swap the filters without a table...

    It’s my opinion that you need to take a realistic approach and predicate that approach on a few facts, some of which I’ll mention.

    What can get you into a bit of strife is using wide angle lenses and filters: stacking them might create an optical vignette; one filter which is too thick can create an optical vignette; and (as already mentioned by Colin) a CPL used on a wide angle lens can create ‘patches’ of light and shade.

    So, noting these facts I am always cautious about using any filter (or stacking) on a wide angle lens.

    Also, I am careful about using any filter on any Wide angle ZOOM lens – mainly because of the added bonuses of additional Flare and or Ghost Images.

    On the other hand - I agree with Manfred – in so far as I am not really concerned about the “[theory of] some level of [general] image degradation” , mainly because the Filters I have are very good quality and of themselves do not cause any ‘real world and noticeable’ Image Quality loss. So, generally I tend to leave a UV filter on most of my lenses, most of the time.

    The technique (and theory) I would advise you to understand and practice is: to know when to take the UV OFF the lens – for one example, be very careful when shooting into the light.

    Now looking at another example (NOT a wide angle lens) but using a telephoto zoom lens (in this case the EF 70 to 200 F/2.8L USM) – AND shooting into the light: here is an example where I stacked the CPL onto the UV.

    This is a shot taken early at a particular pool where the best camera position looks into the glass windows – rendering an annoying shine on the water’s surface:
    Filter question
    “First Away - Dash”

    In the shot above, there is no real need to use a CPL, because (IMO) the glass effect on the water creates an ‘abyss’ into which the swimmers can dive – at least there might be some artistic element in simple sports work.

    On the other hand – when working at the same pool and when it is required to make images where what is UNDER the water is a significant part of the value of the image – then a CPL is a very useful tool.

    But, I, not having the patience (or the time) which is required of the quality Landscape Photographer - in this shot below (made at the other end of the same pool), I just threw on a CPL over the UV filter.

    Speed to get the shot was the prevailing element. And you’ll note that a significant portion of the body of the foreground swimmer is clearly visible beneath the water and the white-water splash.
    Filter question
    “Backstroke Start”

    In this shot I was very comfortable that stacking a CPL over the UV filter on my telephoto zoom lens would not affect the Image Quality - provided I was very careful NOT to shoot directly into the light - and I based that choice on the Photography Theory, which I had learned.

    ***

    You don’t need a table, to allow you to change filters – you just need practice, changing filters.

    That’s one element of Photography that has always intrigued me (i.e. the lack of practicing).

    Those young girls in that first photo, practice about six sessions a week, swimming about 4 kilometres each session - just to cut a few seconds off their time and that’s after one or two year’s training . . .

    Yet, (as just one example), when I take a Photography Class and I suggest that we practice lens changes, to get each Student to be able to change a lens within 5 seconds (maximum) – they look at me as if I have two heads . . .

    WW

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