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Thread: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

  1. #1

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    cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    hi everyone,
    I'd like to ask if it wise to have a cpl filter for my 55-250mm canon efs lens, since it is a medium tele i would not be shooting any landscape with this lens.
    is it wise move for investing a cpl filter with this lens?
    and how about ND8 filter too, is it wise?
    please help me decide, i can not afford to waste some money over here if it's unwise...
    thank you all...

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    You say what you think you WILL NOT be shooting, but you don't say what you think you will be shooting. It's only once you're clear on that point that I think you can decide what filters you want/need. I, like many others, automatically put a protective (UV) filter on all my lenses. Thereafter, filters are chosen according to need.

    I am interested in your statement in relation to your 55-250mm that, "since it is a medium tele i would not be shooting any landscape ..." and wonder if this is based on a choice not to shoot landscape at all, or a view that such a lens is not suitable for landscape.

    If it is the latter, then I think you are misinforming yourself. The 55-250 would provide opportuntities for many landscape photographs. If you doubt that a medium telephoto could be used for landscapes, then I would strongly recommend reading Colin Southern's paper on the Singh-Ray blog, here. Scroll down. It's the second paper, dated September 22, 2009.

    So, if you are intending to shoot landscapes and agree that the 55-250 will provide opportunities to do so, then a cpl will be useful. The other point related to this is that once we spend a fairly significant proportion of our income on something like a cpl, we want to use it all the time in order to justify the cost. There are some people who do indeed seem to use it nearly all the time. I do not. So, we have to balance up whether the investment is near the top of our priority list, or are there other items that are more important and the cpl becomes an item on the 'for future purchase' list.
    Last edited by Donald; 17th March 2010 at 11:54 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    Hi "belong",

    Could you tell us your first name please?

    Donald is quite an accomplished longer lens landscape shooter himself (but too modest to admit it ), so I fully support his suggestion.

    To add to that, and this is where us knowing what you DO want to shoot is important, have a think what each of these filters will enable you to do.
    Apologies if you know all this (but others reading this may not).

    The CPL will allow you to:
    a) darken blue skies in landscapes , etc. (most effective 90 degrees to sun)
    b) reduce/remove reflections from the surface of water or glass
    c) reduce/remove glare from 'shiny' surfaces, thus increasing saturation on; most foliage, skin/fur and car paintwork, etc.
    The downside is this requires an extra two stops of light, so wider aperture, slow shutter speed or higher iso. Slower shutter speed may require a tripod if the lens doesn't have VR/IS.

    The ND8 will almost certainly require a tripod, main use will be in landscapes where you want to smooth water (sea, lake or waterfall) or blur movement of people, clouds, things.

    Now a Graduated ND will allow you to equalise the exposure needs of sky vs foreground, but again, we are talking of landscapes or perhaps architectural shots.

    HTH,

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    Donald, I totally agree with you. IMO the use of UWA lenses in landscape photography is overdone and far too few photographers even think of picking up a telephoto when intending to shoot a landscape.

    Although, I have viewed some nice landscape images that were shot using a wide angle lens, these were most often shot by photographers familiar with UWA lenses and including a prominent foreground subject such as rocks or a significant bit of plant life. Including such a foreground object imparts depth to the image. Without it, you often have much uninteresting and wasted foreground space and sky. I think that the philosophy of some photographers is "I know that there is something interesting out there and if I include everything, I am bound to include the interesting part!" the result, most often is a very dull and uninteresting image.

    IMO (I have lots of opinions and I agree with them all!) a pano will often be better for including vast stretches of landscape because you can use a longer focal length lens; especially when shooting in the portrait or vertical camera position. Using the vertical position will allow you to include a taller top to bottom angle of view while the left to right view is predicated only by the number of images you include in the pano. This is not only true for landscapes but for many cityscapes, seascapes and other images. BTW: Often a single string panorama can be shot hand held without the use of a tripod, monopod or pano head. See image of Seward Harbor, Alaska which I shot hand held. Sometimes a hand held two or three shot pano will give you the angle of view that you need without resorting to an UWA lens.


    This post on Digital Photography Review contrasts the use of an UWA lens with a pano:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=17572474

    Max Lyons Image gallery includes many beautiful panos:
    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/index.html

    Using a telephoto lens such as your 55-250mm; you can isolate interesting portions of the landscape and also compress distances which can really benefit some images. This is true for cityscapes, seascapes and often when shooting down city streets. I plan to use my telephoto lens to compress the mass of bicycle riders on the streets of China when I visit next month. The CPL will often help any image that includes a portion of the sky, given that you are in the correct position pertaining to the sun.

    Many of Guido Tramontano's images of the beautiful Tuscany landscapes were shot with a telephoto lens and benefit from isolating specific portions of the landscape and also compressing distances:
    http://www.pbase.com/alekhine/one_day_in_tuscany

    I would definitely recommend a CPL filter for your 55-250mm lens because a CPL can do many things and is virtually the only filter, the results of which cannot be duplicated using Photoshop. Additionally, if you are using the 18-55mm kit lens, that lens takes the same size filter as your 55-250mm. As we say in the States, "You get more bang for your buck!"

    Here are a few advantages of a CPL filter. I am sure that I have neglected some of the advantages:

    1. Darken skies and therefore accentuate clouds. The darkening of the sky also effectively reduces the dynamic range of the image, often to one which your sensor can accommodate reducing or eliminating the need for a graduated neutral density filter (GND).

    2. Reduce or eliminate reflections off non-metallic objects. This will enable you to see below thew surface of still water and see through windows which otherwise would be obscured by reflections.

    3. Piggy-backing on #2; the reduction of reflections will enhance the color of foliage and/or many rock formations. It will also deepen the color of a seascape.

    4. Reduction of reflections will often allow you to penetrate misty or foggy scenes because the reflections from the particulates of moisture are reduced.

    5. This is both a positive and negative attribute but the CPL will require an increase of about two stops in exposure. You will sometimes be able to slow down your shutter speed enough (in relatively low light levels such as in shade and on very overcast days) to allow the blurring of running or falling water.
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    Last edited by rpcrowe; 19th March 2010 at 04:54 AM.

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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post

    This post on Digital Photography Review contrasts the use of an UWA lens with a pano:
    http://sdcl.lib.overdrive.com/56F4BA...en/Default.htm
    You might like to check this link?

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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    wow! thank you donald for clearing up my mind, i used to thinked before that for the focal length of 55-250mm i cannot shot a good landscape. it seems to me now that i will reciprocate that belief upon reading the link of colins blog you gaved to me.
    i was amazed on the works of colins... wow!
    now, i can't wait to go outside to test my 55-250mm for landscape shooting...
    this time i'm fully convinced to purchase cpl for my lens.
    thank you all guys!

  7. #7

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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    thank you all those who replied!

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    Quote Originally Posted by belong View Post
    thank you all those who replied!
    I am pleased we have been able to help you reach your decision. Amongst the participants in this forum there is a vast amount of knowledge and experience and everyone is always willing to assist you. So, if you have more questions, please keep posting them.

    rp:-
    "I have lots of opinions and I agree with them all!"
    That's amazing. I, too, find that my opinions are always the most sensible, well thought-out and correct!

    And thank you for the link to Guido Tramontano's pbase galleries. I've looked at the Tuscan and the B & W Landscapes galleries. They are very, very impressive.

    What particularly interests me is that he refers to being in some of these places for only a very short time. To have captured this number of high quality images if he was only in the place for a very short time, indicates someone with an amazing eye for spotting the opportunity. Or maybe he means that he had planned the shoot for some time, but then executed it all in a short time. I think, however, it is the former ... which leaves me full of admiration.

  9. #9
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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    Colin... Thanks, I changed the link, I had been perusing my local library's new way of checking out audio books... Lucky that I don't visit porno sites... That would have been embarrassing.

    Slightly off topic. But, Donald, if you enjoyed Guido's links, here are two more links to great landscape sites. BTW: I have permission from both these photographers to link to their galleries also...

    Roman Johnson's work convinced me to get the 12-24mm f/4 Tokina and I love that lens. However, I have yet to match the quality of his imagery:

    http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/profile

    Brett Cole is soon embarking on an extended trip to India. I am anxious to see his coverage of that photogenic nation:

    http://www.wildnorthwest.org/galleries/oregon.html
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 19th March 2010 at 05:03 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: cpl for 55-250mm canon efs

    Isabelo

    To finish off the discussion we had here, this one that I've just posted in another thread is an example of how a 70-200mm fitted with a cpl AND a GND can be used for landscape.

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